Getting Started Right – Learn Your Craft!

In a series of articles on exercising your story telling techniques, Mary Robinette Kowal, Hugo-award winning author, novelist, blogger, and professional puppeteer, writes about the need to practice and protect various writing skills before jumping into writing the full story, novel, or non-fiction book. She says,

I’ve often felt that one of the way writers differ from other artists is that we tend to jump into trying to create finished products without working on the individual skills involved in that finished product.

"For instance: An artist will practice shading without working on a picture.

"A writer very rarely sits down and decides to just practice description, or dialog, or plot, without worrying about trying to create a story at the same time."

I couldn't agree more with Ms. Kowal. I have often said the same thing in relation to professionals in all fields learning their craft. It is important to understand and master the finer points of what you are doing before you can truly deliver quality services for a fee.

For the solopreneur or work-from-home business owner, whether you are an author, coach, web developer, graphic artist, or anyone else relying on your skills to market a service to others, you must first study and learn the things necessary to creating a successful business around your passion.

This may involve learning about websites, business procedures, marketing methods, writing, content development, and all the other things both indirectly and directly related to the type of services you will provide. If you are a retailer offering your own, or otherwise manufactured, products, many of these things will also apply.

Developing a business looks easy but truly being successful at it is not as easy as it looks. This is why so many businesses fail, or simply don't make the kind of returns on effort or investment the owner hopes for. True success takes work. Lots of work -- whether it's hard work or smart work you need to know what you are doing in order to do it right.

Contact me for assistance getting your business off to the right start, or to move your business to the next level. Having a guide or a mentor who has walked the path before you is a great way to move forward toward your own goals. I can help.

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Stephen B. Henry, known by many online as the WordPress Wizard, the Coach's Coach, or just the Wiz, is an author, web developer, small business consultant, and personal mentor. Steve earns his entire living online, providing business, technical, and online presence planning and support to small business owners, spiritual practitioners, online marketers, and other solopreneurs, including those who work from home. With a focus on permission marketing and heart-centered business, Steve works closely with, and cares about, each of his clients. He can be reached by email at

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