July '22

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G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M 2 0 2 2 J U L Y G R A P H I C S P R O 6 7 c ost you to open your doors? Don't know with a level of certainty? If not, stop what you are doing and go figure it out. Once you know that number, then what is your average order size? en on average, what is your prof it margin? When you know those num- bers, you can reverse engineer what you need to do to reach your idea of success. I overheard someone complaining about her Etsy store and that she gets excel- lent reviews. Still, FedEx, UPS, and the post office are why her store is not more successful. If she knew her numbers, she could determine how many orders would have an issue with the shipping company. en she could try to fix those shipping issues and add the needed profit to the pricing to cover those issues. Her excuses would instead become the reason she has the best reviews. Charge what you are worth. Once you know your numbers, it is almost laughable how easy it becomes to charge what you are worth. As graphics professionals, we are in a unique space. We take something manufactured by others (a consumable) and add value to it. Even the low-price leaders must add value, which is why we lose so many small businesses each year. ey don't have enough confidence to ask for what they are worth, yet will buy the latest and greatest toy, scratch and claw, and do everything else but charge what they are worth. STOP creating excuses. If there is some reason that you are not successful, which is anything but looking directly in the mirror, then someone else will always be in control of your success. I know this is hard to hear, and many of you have dealt with some com- plex challenges. B u t I 'm h e r e to tell you that each one of you deserves to stay i n bu si ne s s a s long as you stop bla ming some- one or something else. Take your power back and look at every situation from "How could I respond differently to get to the outcome I desire eventually?" DITCH THE EXCUSES Here is a breakdown of those excuses I mentioned earlier and why I can't buy them. My town won't pay that price. If this is true, can you move? It's like the weather. We complain about it because we know there is better weather elsewhere. Can't move? Why? Maybe you love your town or family or some other potential excuse. If you change your viewpoint from find- ing an excuse to finding a solution, you will find a way to get enough people in your town (or online) to pay what you need to charge. Someone in your town owns a designer handbag or a pair of Nike shoes. erefore, someone in your town is willing to pay a premium for a product they perceive as worth that price. Your job becomes solving the perceived value issue or finding a new market. Not enough resources. What are the resources that you need? en, try to fig- ure out how to get those resources. Can you start charging more, ask for help, write a business plan and ask for money, get a partner, or find some creative solu- tion to gain the resources you need? It is not a lack of resources you are struggling with but rather a lack of belief in yourself and understanding that there is plenty to go around. You must go get it, embrace it, grab the opportunities, and create the resources you need. Not enough support. Like resources, what support do you need? Have you asked more than one person for it? Have you asked more than 100 people for the help you need? Maybe your spouse is not supporting you as you would like? Do they know the reality of what that is doing to you? How important is their support? How important is your business to you and them? Are you supporting yourself enough? Do you get up in the morning and affirm to yourself that you will reach your goals? Do you look at yourself in the mirror and let your soul know you believe in yourself? Does it all sound a bit "out there?" What if it does work, and you were too focused on your excuses, getting left behind in the contender camp? According to Wikipedia, Warren Buffet (e third richest person in the world) said, "I always knew I was going to be rich. I don't think I ever doubted it for a minute." e moment you no longer have excuses and instead take 100% responsibility for your business, start taking action, asking for help, and investing in yourself is the day you "deserve" to be successful. Are you willing to look hard enough in the mirror to make that happen? GP Aaron Montgomery is certified by New York Times best- selling author Jack Canfield as a Success Principles Trainer and is the co-founder of Aaron has over 25 years of experience with personalized products and small business development and is the co-creator of the "5 Keys of Business Success." You can also find Aaron co-hosting the decorator's industry podcast 2 Regular Guys Podcast (www.2regularguys. com). Also, check him out on his podcast channel called Small Business Saturdays (smallbusinesssaturdayspod- B Y A A R O N M O N T G O M E R Y The moment you no longer have excuses and instead take 100% responsibility for your business, start taking action, asking for help, and investing in yourself is the day you "deserve" to be successful.

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