As many of you may already know, I love what I do for a living. I love making and repairing furniture. But what I love most is learning and sharing the craft to whomever is interested. Deep down I am one of those people who likes to talk to anyone about my ambitions and goals in the world of woodworking. I enjoy seeking out any craftsperson and picking their brain about business and what it takes to make a living owning a business. They are the ones that truly understands. If you look around there isn't many who make a living at this full-time.
When I was first getting in the field I would ask every professional woodworker for advise about getting into the craft and running a successful business. Sadly each and every one of them told me do not to go into the woodworking world full time. Just keep it as hobby! Than one day I tripped over an article/interview in Woodwork Magazine with Christian Becksvoort. In this article Mr. Becksvoort said don't go to furniture making school but rather go to business school. This article has a ton interesting material, but this statement has stuck with me since the day I read it.
So here I am 13 years later as full time furniture maker, restorer, and educator. I've ignored all the conversations and advice about keeping this as hobby. Now the question is what is next? The next goal in the long list is to band my business and becoming more recognize publicly. Essentially it is time to be on the other side counter versus being the consumer.
This is where the 20 questions come in. I was recommend recently to visit Bernadette Jiwa a specialist in her field in helping business become meaningful brands. Up to this point I never thought of asking myself the 20 questions she recommends a business to ask themselves. To receive these 20 questions all you need to do is sign up for Bernadette e-newsletter which is free. The E-newsletters are inspiring and very informative. I like them especially since it is literally what my life is about. Sometimes there is more to the world than just business and I just need to live in the moment and enjoy what life has given me.
Anyways back to the 20/20 as I like to call it. My goal for the next several days or maybe the next 20 days is to answer these questions and get a better understanding of my brand and prepare myself for the next step in my business.
Here are the questions;
1. Why am I doing this?
2. Why am I the person to do it?
3. Why is now the time to start?
4. What problem am I solving?
5. Who is it for?
6. Why will they care?
7. What do the people I hope to serve want?
8. What do they believe?
9. What do they do — where, when, why and with whom?
10. What will customers say to their friends to recommend this product or service?
11. What am I really selling, beyond the utility of the product or service?
12. How can I add more value?
13. What happens because my business or project exists?
14. How will people find me?
15. What’s my greatest strength?
16. What weakness might get in the way if I don’t address it?
17. What does success look like, today, this year, next and five years from now?
18. What do I value?
19. What promises do I want to make and keep?
20. What’s my difference?
Lets start with question #1
Why am I doing this?
Working with my hands is an expression of who I am. I love making things and I love to preserve them. Something made by hand is such an enjoyable experience. I love to share with the world items that was once a living tree. There is just an amazing feeling when you see items of quality handed down generation to generation. Everyday information is lost and I believe that everything I have learned is a blessing and it should shared to all who are interested. There is nothing worst than lost information. Its about the craft not the person.