Today’s episode was inspired by the annual “reasons to love New York” issue of New York magazine. I believe that is the magazine associated with the New York Times. As a native New Yorker, I find it to be an enthralling recap of the many things that make New York so gosh darn lovable to many (bearable to some.) New York will always be home for me and provide that homey feeling for many who have connected with it! Connection, community, and general uniqueness are a few of the things that make New York so loveable and that, too, was an inspiration to this post, to me, my life… you get the idea!
On this episode, I’m sharing 5 reasons to love our membership for handmade business, The Council in 2021. And basically 5 reasons why I really want YOU to join The Council!
The Council is our membership for handmade business owners
2021 is our 5th year! I can hardly believe The Council has just turned four years old. In that time, we have worked with hundreds of makers and seen so many incredible victories among them! After all these years of working with handmade business owners, I have found the flexibility of a membership for handmade business owners to be an asset to small business owners as we cover these topics and the community element to be absolutely crucial. We LOVE hosting The Council and fostering the community we have there. I am passionate about helping small, craft-based businesses succeed and this is the way I’ve chosen to deliver the education and support we know makers want, need, and value.
You can get all the details about The Council at jointhecouncilnow.com to learn how it works, what’s inside, and who is there to support you. (Not just me! Which I will explain here shortly.)
Since it does get asked regularly, there IS an important difference between The Council Membership for handmade business owners and the Training Course for Etsy Sellers. Firstly, the course is a course and The Council is a membership model (a subscription.) The Etsy Training material works in the course format really well and we know that! The Council addresses other things that are better suited to the membership model. The primary difference is the content. The Training Course for Etsy Sellers is literally ONLY about Etsy, is Etsy specific and delivers everything we know about creating an Etsy shop that works harder for you than you work for it. Details here.
The Council is for your handmade business BEYOND Etsy.
The Council is designed to help you nurture the non-Etsy-specific parts of your business, so if you are doing business WITHOUT Etsy, this is the place for you. If you are doing business WITH Etsy (either only on Etsy or you have an Etsy shop and your own site) then this is also the place for you! In either of those situations, you are a good fit for the council! Everything we speak about and cover in the council can apply to someone who only sells on Etsy but it is NOT Etsy specific. For example, no matter where you are doing business you need to know about marketing, finances, wholesale, copywriting, social, etc… all manner of business applies to all business no matter where that business exists. Most importantly we do a lot to nurture YOU as the business owner and clearly, that’s essential no matter where you are currently selling your product.
The Council is here to help you grow your handmade business
You’ve probably put a lot of emphasis on growing your business, but we want to nurture YOU to grow as the CEO of your business – as the business owner – as well!!
Here’s what I know: your business can only grow as much as you’ve grown. Because you are the person who is going to run your business at each level, you need to uplevel yourself alongside your business! I also know that that gets FAR LESS coverage in the online business education space. We want to support you AND your business. This membership for handmade business owners isn’t just a bank of lessons on how to do things. We do of course have tutorials for things but we also have SUPPORT – peer, expert, and mentor support – so that you can grow and develop as the big cheese, decision-maker of your business. That will serve you well every single day no matter what is going on. It is essential! Since we see that is being left out of the equation of education so often, I want you to join The Council so you dont miss out on that big, important part of your growth.
That is the first thing to love about The Council in 2021: biz care/ self care/ CEO care combined! We love to see it, and we are uniquely positioned to offer that to you!
The second reason is….
We’ve been there and can help answer any question
Because most of the questions you have are already answered in The Council and the rest are questions that you either don’t know you have yet OR they will require dialogue and coaching to get an answer to, which of course, we can provide in The Council.
There are questions that are easily Googleable. Questions that simply have the same answer no matter who is asking. Questions like, “how many minutes are in an hour” will have the same answer no matter who is asking.
Then there are questions that you can probably Google and get somewhere with, like, “how much time will it take to hem a dress?” The answer won’t be the same for everyone, but you’ll find the steps, a very few variations, and you’d have enough information to judge it pretty accurately.
Then we have questions that are not Googleable because they are about you or your business specifically (feedback!) or you don’t even know what to ask because you haven’t gotten to that point yet! Maybe you just don’t have the words for what you’re wondering. Another possibility is that you know that asking Google would be fruitless. When you just are a rolling ball of development (which most of us are, for most of the time we are in business) what you pick up in that phase is massively impactful. You do NOT want to be making big or pivotal decisions about YOUR business specifically based only on what you can learn from Google results. This is where it’s less about being told what to do and more about LEARNING how to DECIDE what to do. It’s not just ‘push these four buttons and give it a day’ – it’s a more strategic, long term, understanding. It’s knowing how to make the best choices for YOU, not just how to execute tasks. Knowing what to evaluate and how and what is important to look at, developing as the CEO of your business (the decision maker!) Learning how to decide and prioritize and move forward. Google will NOT help you there.
Humans will help you though, I will help you! This is where you would be most helped by a membership for handmade business owners. We offer both coaching and consulting inside of The Council.
And that leads me to the third thing to love about The Council: this is where I can help you.
If you’ve wanted to work with me and my team, this is the place.
You get to work with me!
I get questions every day on Instagram and in email that I would LOVE to dig into and explore and get to a good answer on. I would love to help everyone and I really do enjoy digging in and brainstorming and chatting shop! But in order to give a good, comprehensive answer that would actually be meaningful and useful, I would need more context. I would need to do some research or have some dialogue with the question asker — sometimes all three. Unfortunately, Instagram is NOT the place for that because it gets so messy in the DMs and such. And business owner to business owner, I cannot do all of that work for free for everyone who asks. (I love it but I wouldn’t get anything else done!) Also out of respect for the people who do pay us for that guidance, it’s just not possible to advise everyone in the DMs. But in The Council, we CAN dig in and we can explore all the different options, all the context, have all the necessary information and dialogue. And I do know that our Council Members, and usually anyone who puts money behind their intentions, is more invested in implementing, so it puts us both on a more even field and we get further together. I want to help you but only if I can do it well! I don’t like to give bandaid answers. For personalized questions, I cannot advise well elsewhere, the membership for handmade business owners was designed not only for me to help you as best as I can but for you to supplement that with helping yourself by utilizing our extensive resources. That’s the third reason I really want you to join The Council and if you’ve ever wanted to pick my brain, this is a huge reason to LOVE The Council.
unlock your handmade business potential
The next reason to love The Council in 2021 is, so you can see your potential fully illuminated.
I really want you to join The Council so you can see more clearly all the potential and options in your business. When we work independently, we can very easily lose track of what MORE or what ELSE there is for us outside of what we are currently working on and we might even set our goals without knowing what’s possible.
It happens often in The Council that great ideas are born from discussion in our group or on one of our calls. Because people who are really invested in their businesses in the same way, and who are creative minded and open to sharing, gathering and discussing things openly, we see a lot of traction come from our community. Sometimes people do not see things as clearly themselves as someone else sees for them and when you grow in a community you feel safe enough to share and trust enough to absorb!
It’s inspiring to be part of a community where people are developing and sharing ideas! You might not think opening a brick and mortar is for you, or possible for you, but when someone in your community who you relate to does it, maybe that feels more attainable. You might not see yourself as a person who makes videos and shows up on camera every day to post stories to Instagram, but with the proper insights and training, you might be inspired! We close ourselves off to things every day just because we don’t know enough (or have preconceived notions) or don’t SEE enough people who we relate to and trust doing them! (Also there is immense value in getting insights about a thing BEFORE you try it so you can vet it out!)
business is better with a friend
The fifth reason, and very tangential to that fourth reason, is because, very simply, just like New York, business is better with a friend and you’ll find lots of friends in The Council.
Truly, I cannot emphasize enough: business is BETTER, easier and more enjoyable with a solid, strong community. In the spirit of New York, we love to come together when times are tough, in times of celebration and also just every day for casual shop talk.
As I always say, your business needs and empowered, educated, confident CEO – that person is you and do you want the CEO of your business taking business changing advice from random strangers in gigantic, free, unmoderated Facebook groups? I don’t! The community you surround yourself with is much more a part of your success as a happy confident empowered CEO than most people realize! Get a great community you can trust and grow with, let them learn about you and your business and allow them to assist you!
Whenever you ask a question, know that the people you are asking it to know a ton and that you would trust their insight or referral. Business is hard enough already, doing it alone makes it even harder.
The council provides the support you need
With a membership for handmade business owners, you have your peers and you have me, of course, but The council is not just me talking and teaching, not at all! It evolves over time, but at present, we have a resident marketing expert, Brianne, who hosts lessons and office hours monthly. We have a quarterly correspondent, a new expert each quarter, who hosts lessons related to their expertise (areas like Canva, Pinterest, Finance…) We also have some of those Correspondents in our group still to support and answer questions, because all of their lessons live on! If you joined The Council this week you could watch any of the lessons those past correspondents have created and if you have a question about it, you can get it answered straight from them!
In an average month, members have access to peer support (always), mentor support (always – that’s me!) and expert support (me there too but not JUST me) for a total of up to 5 experts per month.
And I just really don’t want you to miss that because I know how impactful all of this can be when put together.
If you’re craving community, and your questions are no longer Googleable, and you want to set yourself up for sustainable growth and business betterment and happiness, YOU are a future Council Member!! Every Council Member has a part in shaping the future of The Council. The beauty of this format is that we can adapt to YOU, we can address things as they come in, in real time! It’s a wonderful thing. I know there is lots to love about The Council and if we were to ask members what they love, this list would get even longer. But there is only one way to find out what YOU would love most about The Council.
Let us know if you have any questions! Thank you so much for being here today. If you haven’t caught up on the past seasons, summer is a great time to do so — find all our episodes at merripodcast.com!