Wednesday, 25 May 2011


I'm accustomed to answering "What do you do?" but yesterday Megan Auman (business oracle!) suggested that "Why?" is the more important question.

She says "people don’t buy what you do, they buy WHY you do it" and that got me thinking.

I'll have a cup of tea while you read her article here:

There are lots of answers of course.

One is that I pay my bills by selling my work :-)

But *why* do I do precisely what I do? Why do I knit meerkats, why do I put them in costumes? some of that is answered in my "About Me" page here, but the short answer is that I have found my niche. I started knitting all sorts of things, but it's the meerkats that people most often buy, and they like being able to "design their own". Many of my meerkats started life as commissions, some then find many more buyers, some don't.

Megan goes on to say that "companies that start with WHY – a belief, cause, or idea beyond what they make – build loyal fans for life"

I'd be stretching it a bit to say I have a belief or cause behind my kats, but I do have loyal repeat buyers. Maybe I do have a belief? I always say if it isn't fun, I won't do it. I like to think my sense of fun shows through - maybe it's that childlike enjoyment that keeps people coming back? Maybe it's that head-shaking wonder - what on earth will she make next?

I don't know - but as long as it continues to be fun for me and fun for you, here's to the future!

I'm still interested though - Why do you do what you do? Do you really care why people you buy from do what they do?

I'd love to hear your answers!


Katherine said...

I was interested in your post because you sum up everything I feel about the fact that I've moved into a crafting niche for my bread and butter rather than the relentless treadmill that I was on. I'm finding that thinking about WHY I am doing it leads to more positive thinking (health, well-being, giving my creative side a free rein, reducing stress) than when I ask myself "what is it I'm doing again, exactly?" I'm earning from my writing, but not really from my crafting, so it's good to evaluate a bit using the questions raised in your post! It's great to have this kind of input from someone who's clearly so much farther along the creating-for-a-living road. Thank you :-)

Heather Leavers said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts Katherine!

joy said...

was it you who said "I knit, therefore I am"? (I know I read it SOMEwhere).
well thats how I feel, I am me, I am a knitter, have been since the age of 5. dont do it for the money though, just for the sheer pleasure of making things, dont sell much but what I do sell helps the WAAA, and most of what I knit (and these days crochet as well) is given away to friends and family. why do I do it? when I was young we made our own clothes, as that was the only way you got anything new, otherwise my mum bought second hand clothes at jumble sales, so homemade (sewn or knitted) new clothes were preferable to someone else's cast offs. now I cant break the habit!
joy x x

Heather Leavers said...

Yes, that's one of my mottos Joy! I can also remember homemade being a better altnerative to cast-offs, although I'm pleased to say attitudes have changed today.

Raige Creations said...

a good question to be sure! I love making people smile, I love to see my creations when they are finished, I love putting things to good use (using vintage and things that were something else).
But WHY? because it sure beats working for someone else, building their business. I love the freedom of creating, and doing it on my time.
Is that enough of a why? I am sure tomorrow my why will be different, when I am actually creating and now surfing the internet.... :)

Heather Leavers said...

I know what you mean - a new "why" each day!