Sell Your Work – Get Your Side Hustle On (part 2)

Woodworkers & DIY'ers

Learn To Sell Your Work

Get Your Side Hustle On (part 2)

I know it can be scary

Woodworking – selling your work, dealing with customers… ahhhhh!

(In a minute I’ll share a little secret I learned that makes this fear disappear)

But I used to wonder, what if I get someone that hates what I built?

What if they don’t really “get” my design, or how I finish it, or what joinery I used?

What if they think it’s poorly made and ask for a refund?

I’d be crushed!

I hate harsh criticism. I’d like to think that it’s helpful and I welcome it. But in reality, it’s intimidating and stressful.

>> That’s where we have to have a paradigm shift.

What does that mean?

Change the way you think about something. Change your worldview on a subject.

Let me share a little secret with you that I found out a few years back.

I was making one of my first painted projects, it was a night stand for my bedroom.

I think I did just fine in the construction of it, but the finish was another story.

I wanted to try out the ‘mirror finish’ using paint. Black paint.

The top is made of plywood, trimmed in poplar.

I sanded the top until it was like glass.

Then I painted, and then I wet-sanded. And again, painted, more wet sanding.

Then I wet-sanded with a buffing compound and something like 4,000 grit sandpaper. (Not sure if that step was entirely necessary…)

Then I buffed it manually with a shop rag, using the compound. It was a lot of manual work for such a small piece of furniture.

But I finally did it… eventually, I had my mirror finish!

Everyone I showed LOVED it. It looked like a dark glass top, with a deep and clear reflection.

(that reminds me, I’ve got first hand insight on the mindset of the general public, I’ll share with you, and why it’s so beneficial, which I’ll get back to later)

But anyway, at that point, I was really proud of how this project turned out.

However, there was a flaw. It was subtle, but piercing at the same time.

Shortly after bringing it inside, the poplar must have done a little contraction in the lesser humid environment.

There was a shift, and the seam between the oak trim and plywood top became exposed.

You can now see a line, 3/4” in from the edge, all the way around the top.

At that point I no longer felt proud of that project. Needless to say, I was a bit dis-heartened.

But apparently, no one else notices this ugly ‘line’.

When I see my night stand, that’s the first thing I notice. My eyes are drawn right to it.

But only me!

No one else sees it, or if they do, they don’t think anything of it.

So what I found out, was that I, by far, am my own worst critic!

That bears repeating – I’m My Own Worst Critic. Period.

And most people in the world that have a hobby or a specific skill, are exactly the same way.

We’re all human. We don’t expect perfection from others.

Yet for some reason, when it comes to our own skills, we demand it.

We are our own worst critic.

So even if you think you’re project or your skills are not good enough…

That doesn’t’ really matter.

I can assure you, if you’ve got any experience at all in a wood shop, you can thoroughly impress the general public.

Use this to boost your confidence, and in doing so make sure you’re not UNDER charging for your goods.

You can easily make a quality product to be proud of.

Don’t be like Wal-Mart and sell stuff made of pressed wood and micky mouse screws. These are destined to break after a year.

And likewise, don’t be like Wal-Mart and always try to sell for bottom dollar, you’ll go out of business.

Build with real wood, and price things fairly, for you and the customer.

There are some basic concepts in marketing and selling that can help.

Let’s talk about that a little more…


1. To sell for what you’re worth, you need to have a paradigm shift.

2. You are likely your own worst critic. The reality is that the general public will most likely LOVE what you make.

3. Do not sell at bottom dollar in hopes you get customers. Be proud of what you made. I’ll elaborate on that coming up.

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