Dolly Henry is a sewing and design blog for the creative wanderer, where style meets play and making is a lifestyle.

Hi, I'm Megan - owner, designer and writer at Dolly Henry! Join me here as I explore the ins and outs of creativity, dabble in dollmaking and raise my voice on issues facing creative entrepreneurs.

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Creative Business Tips - Maintain a Giving Mindset

Secret Sauce: Definition (your contacts, suppliers, processes...all the stuff that helps you do what you do!)

Every maker has her secret sauce and by all means, you do not have to share the recipe with anyone. A little bit like a magic show, there are some things you should keep close to your heart, otherwise you may find when the process is demystified a little bit of the magic around your work evaporates with it.

This said, it is important to maintain both an open heart and giving mindset. Often we interpret this as having to 'blab' our Secret Sauce recipe in response to the impertinent questions from others who either want to do what you do or are your competitors. This is not the case.

As a maker and creative you will eventually come across a copycat and inspire countless others to join you in your craft, either selling it or making it for themselves.

This is inevitable and you need to think of it as part of the initiation process on your climb up Maker Mountain. It doesn't mean you will feel GOOD about these things, it's simply the milk that eventually gets spilled - it's okay to cry about it but then you have to clean it up and get on with the day.

The trick is, not to let these things affect your mindset. Don't let them stop you from being giving, gracious and generous with your work. As the old adage goes, it is better to give than to receive and that's because the warm fuzzy count is pretty high when you are generous with others.

The BURST of energy you get from being open-hearted helps counteract the fearful feelings that you find creeping in, as you grow more invested in and naturally, more protective of your work.

When you are a maker or creative selling your work, you have a fine line to walk. You need to be able to keep up the energetic creative rhythm so that you can continue to make new things to sell, while juggling the business side of things that can cause you to evaluate your work in ways you wouldn't when it is a hobby.

This includes the information you share, the images you post and the niggling worry that if you hand over too much, your Secret Sauce will be discovered and then you will be out of a job.

All this fear and worry can be crippling when it takes hold. Maintaining an open-heart and giving attitude can help stop this from happening.

When you decide to share freely and openly, you are basically saying 'NO' to Fear.
Fear that if you share or give too much, that it will be taken away by others.

People who are unscrupulous will always be there, and they usually find a way to break into your house and take stuff anyway. While they might take some of your valuables, and mess things up a bit, they can never take the things that really matter from you.

Your creativity and your ideas. The magic 'X' factor and the unseen essence that makes you, YOU. It's your choice as to whether you let Fear take that from you too. It takes positivity to rise above these kinds of situations. If you feel like you have to hold everything tight to your chest and ward off the vultures that come to steal the precious jewels with a big stick, then you will become more focused on what you stand to lose than what you have to gain.

By being open-hearted and giving, you automatically change your outlook and you can look forward to the GOOD stuff. This is a state of mind you will create within yourself. I am not saying that you need to tell everyone where you source your supplies or answer the incessant questions of strangers. They can do their own research and homework, it's good for them. It's also not what you are in the business of doing, so you should feel no obligation to answer those questions.

People will always ask, they are curious. And you can decide you want to mentor others if you wish - that's your call and you probably have the wisdom to know who to help, and who is going to cut and run as soon as they have the goods.

But don't be afraid to share yourself, your heart and the creativity that flows from it. Don't be afraid that you can incidentally inspire others. Be gracious and be secure in your own work.

Once you realize that there is room enough for everyone and that the biggest threat to your success is your own fear and doubt, you will find that your energy is abundant because it is coming from a place of love, positivity, and productivity. And that is your real Secret Sauce.


If you know someone who would find this article useful, please direct them back here, to my blog as I would LOVE for more people to enjoy my work.

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