make it or market

Here’s the thing.

In my experience of being in business and helping others with their businesses, there are two kinds of people—

  1. Those who make stuff
  2. Those who sell stuff

Sure, there are folks who do both well, but I expect they started with one as a gift and developed prowess in the other out of necessity. Whatever, they’re not common.

***

The one thing I wish I’d done from the start: Know and be the Maker that I am and leave the marketing to people who enjoy it and have a talent for it. Because, seriously?

Selling stuff drives me nucking futs.

Why did I think I could be a great salesperson? I’m an introvert, born and bred. I’ve always been shy with strangers. Blah blah.

I’m a fab spokesperson, though, but that comes from a different place. That’s a natural by-product of my knowledge-seeking, fact-finding trait. When I find something I love, I tell everybody everything.

But lawd. Don’t ask me to shout from a rooftop about my own stuff.

I love to tell it, but hate to sell it.

However.

I’m really, really good at making stuff.

I write. I invent. I code.

And that’s just what comes from the Genii. When I have something to work with…

I create order. I build websites. I design systems.

And when I think about a person who can pound on a keyboard for hours (or days) to bring imaginates into The Real? Someone who translates ethereal concepts into tangible products and processes? Someone who lovingly embraces the lonely work?

There’s a mad scientist* vibe to all that, and it’s not the same characteristics as a person who sells stuff. At all.

And yesyesyes, there are people who can do both. Laurie is one. Fabeku is another. So is Nona. You may be, too.

But I’m not.

And if you’re struggling with creating products or selling them, then maybe you’re not either.

And that’s a really good thing to know.

***

Maker or Marketer…neither is better or worse, richer or poorer, blah blah. You need both to be successful with this business thing, but you don’t need to be both.

And once you know which one you are, you’re free to choose about the part you suck at. You can hand it off to someone who absolutely loves it, master it, or skip it altogether.

I’m gonna master what I know how to do:
Tell. Teach. Share.

And I hope that it’s enough, because it’s all I have. And who knows, maybe that’s what marketing is and the sales-y stuff that makes my eyes bleed isn’t important. Or even necessary.

We’ll see.

***

Oh, and that thing where you hand off the part you suck at? Be thoughtful about how you do that. Hiring a VA seems to be the stock answer to overwhelm and skill shortages, but I disagree.

If you’re so miserable at (or miserable from) doing a task that your business is held back by it, then get some help already. Seriously.

But if it’s merely uncomfortable and you do it more than twice a month, then learn how to do it. Develop some expertise and the confidence that goes with it, keep your money to yourself, maintain your independence and balance your yield.

What’s “yield”? If you make an additional $500 by using a VA but the VA costs you $600, that’s a negative yield. You’re losing money as you earn it. Don’t do that.

To sum: Mail off the misery. Trade discomfort for expertise. Maybe not a VA.

Because if you’re a Maker, you can sell through well-connected friends and advocates, enthusiastic affiliates, a sales team, or butt-kicking sales copy written by someone who specializes in that—a copywriter, not a VA…copywriter. Not VA. Yes, I meant to say that twice.

And if you’re on the selling side, someone else can design your offers, create your ebooks, build your website(s), and manage all those teeny details for that live workshop you’re dying to teach. Maybe you need a VA.

Contradictory, maybe, but you’re smart…you can work around my inconsistencies :-)

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Big love for all you do, whichever you are <3

** Speaking of mad scientists, read The Oatmeal’s rant on Nikola Tesla vs Thomas Edision. Clear case of Maker vs Marketer.