Monday, March 14, 2011

Accepting Praise: Saying Thank You

The Hurdle

One of the (many) hurdles to creating your own creative business is being able to take  a compliment. I have always had this problem. I was a very nerdy kid, and I learned at an early age not to brag or to show too much excitement over acing a test in school. I carried the habit of minimizing my successes with me to adulthood. When given praise I would sort of try to change the topic quickly, shrug it off, or say something negative. I never even realized that I did this until a few years ago while working in a call centre.
My “pod-mate”, the person with whom I shared a cubicle, congratulated me on a sale, and without thinking I gave some sort of response about how I still needed more sales and that it was only a small sale. My pod-mate told me that I really needed to learn to accept compliments and say “Thank You”. Huh?!?
Wow, it had never occurred to me. I turned back to my computer and thought about just how right he was! We had only known each other for a month, and he definitely hit it on the nose. I had issues with compliments.
As artists, we often find minute faults with our work, and are rarely 100% satisfied. And since those of us trying to create a business have the added stress and pressure of not taking the beaten path of a career, I think that we carry many insecurities. Selling products at shows and approaching businesses is tough. But since we represent out business and our products, we need to be confident. A large part of that is accepting comments.

Thank You

Not every person that you meet is going to buy your product. It’s not personal. They just don’t have a need for it. However they may appreciate the work, the quality, and the end product and say something positive about your work. You don’t need to come up with a witty reply, or re-invent the wheel. Anytime some says something positive about your work, say “Thank you”.  Acknowledge and accept the praise. Not only are you acknowledging the person checking out your work, but you are also increasing your own confidence in your work. Be happy with every little bit of praise. Running a craft business is hard work!
it is a cycle. When you accept praise you then increase your confidence in your work which in turn  increases  customer confidence in your work, and that will result in more praise and more sales.
I still have difficulty with compliments, and I am a bit of a perfectionist. I hope that by writing this blog, I will be one step closer. Then end goal it to let any negative comments slide over me and internalize the positive once (usually the opposite is true).
And, while we are on the topic, be sure to compliment people in your life and also say “Thank you” to them as well. I want to thank every single person who has every complimented me. And a big Thank You and smile for everyone who has taken a time from their day to read my blog.

Thank you,
Crochet Bunny Amigurumi

1 comment: