Turning a hobby into a living

Making a living from their hobby is the dream of many craftspeople. In a slight change of pace, I explore here how they can turn this dream into reality. I’ve focused on woodland crafts because, as an amateur green woodworker, that’s what I know about. But the lessons are the same for pretty much anyone wanting to turn pro.

As our jobs become more stressful and less secure, an increasing number of us spend our few idle moments wondering what it would be like to jack in the day job and make a living by doing something that we truly love. Whether it is managing a woodland, making chairs or carving spoons, the thought of using our skills to create an exciting and profitable business holds many of us in its thrall. But what would it be like to turn our hobby into our livelihood? And how can we make it happen? Continue reading

Long-term planning in an age of uncertainty

Long-term planning in the current political and economic climate can seem like a bit of a mug’s game. But it’s not because things change. That, after all, is to be expected. It’s because everything’s changing. We can’t take anything for granted any more. This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t bother with long-term plans, though. It just means that we need to approach them in a different way. Continue reading

Iteration, iteration, iteration

Business planning is an important part of setting up or running any organisation. It helps us to establish what we will do, how we will do it and how we will finance our activities. But it can be incredibly difficult to forecast exactly what is going to happen in the future. This means that the business plans we have slaved over for months can very easily become obsolete within weeks, if not days. So here’s an alternative approach: iteration. Continue reading

The times they are a-changin’

Things are moving quickly. Whether you work in higher education, local government, the health service, the not-for-profit sector or somewhere else, it’s likely that things look very, very different from how they looked ten years ago. And ten years from now, they’re likely to look even more different from how they do today. How we deal with this rapid pace of change will determine whether our organisations survive, thrive… or disappear. Continue reading

The way we do things around here

When it comes to making organisations work well, we tend to think of tangible things like strategies, plans, processes and controls. But while these all have their place, there is something else that we should also consider. Something that is so powerful that if we don’t get it right, then everything else is an irrelevance. I’m talking about culture. The unspoken and unwritten code that exists in every organisation. The way we do things around here.

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