September 1, 2019
Know How (Knitting Edition)
If you shift your identity over time from someone who executes your craft to someone who knows how to execute your craft, your product ladder will naturally grow to include more profitable, higher leverage, lower risk offerings.
My wife Erica is an amazing knitter. She knits all. the. time. She does beautiful work that people love.
If she thought of herself exclusively as “someone who knits beautiful sweaters” her potential income streams would be quite limited:
- She could knit sweaters and try find people to sell them to
- She could do custom commission work
- She could mend other people’s sweaters
That’s about it (and the last one is a stretch). Unless she had an extremely wealthy clientele and was a world-famous knitter, none of these pursuits would generate enough profit to live on.
Just to give you an idea, she’s working on a sweater right now that will take her about 40 hours to complete and will require more than $200 worth of yarn. Even if she managed to sell this sweater for $1000 - which would be a heck of a lot for a sweater - her pay would work out to only $20 per hour. To make $100 per hour knitting, she’d have to sell this sweater for $4200!
Now consider this...
If she DIDN’T think of herself exclusively as “someone who knits beautiful sweaters” and instead as “someone who knows how to knit beautiful sweaters” her income streams are significantly more diversified:
- She could create sweater patterns and sell them in PDF format on Ravelry
- She could launch video knitting courses and sell them on Udemy
- She could write a knitting how-to book and sell it on Amazon
- She could teach in-person knitting classes to groups of knitters
- She could host drop-in knitting sessions for a local knitting community
- She could run knitting workshops for local organizations (e.g., senior living, hospitals, colleges, VA, homeschoolers, churches, etc)
- She could run online knit-a-longs for a paid membership community
- She could publish a quarterly knitting magazine and generate revenue from subscriptions, knitting store sales, and advertisers
Every single one of these things is a real offering that exists in the knitting world. And every single is significantly more profitable AND less risky than selling sweaters that she knit herself by hand. And maybe best of all - every single one still involves lots and lots of knitting.
Here’s the thing...
If you limit your identity to “I build great websites” or “I write elegant code” or “I design engaging apps” or “I take gorgeous photos” or “I write killer sales copy” then you are drastically limiting the value you can deliver - and by extension - the profits you can generate.
Once you shift to “I know how to build great websites” or “I know how to write elegant code” or “I know how to design engaging apps” or “I know how to take gorgeous photos” or “I know how to write killer sales copy” then you can open up more profitable and less risky income streams.