Episode 32 – Stuck in a Rut

Remember: every episode is now available on YouTube! You can still find us on iTunes, Soundcloud, Stitcher, and Google Play, as well (links at the top of every page). This is just one more offering, because THE HUSTLE NEVER STOPS.

Special thanks to new supporter Michael Brindle and top supporters Luis Gonzalez and Ryan O’Horo for their contribution! If you can, please Support Makers’ Hustle on Patreon – every dollar helps.

This week,Amy, Jeff, and Bill discuss a letter from listener B. R. Delaney about what to do when you’re stuck in a rut:

A little back story about me to help substantiate my question. I’m in my mid 30’s, live and work out of my studio in upstate NY (Catskills to be specific). I have been a furniture builder/designer/fabricator all my life. 2.5 years ago, I quit my full time job as a fabricator/installer in the entertainment industry to start a freelance career. The thought was to start working for myself in the industry I knew, in preparation for starting a business as a furniture builder. In April of last year I started the business and went to my first furniture show, The Philadelphia Furniture Show. It was a fairly well accredited show, and I was stoked to be accepted to it. As the year went on, I exhibited at several other shows in New England, and with 2016 coming to a close, I was working my tail off on a few commissions that boosted me into the black in my first year.

You would think, what is so bad about all of this. What it comes down to, is I really feel like Ive hit a rut. I listen to podcasts, read blogs, and consume as much content as I can about entrepreneurship, but I feel like I’m missing out. Sure I got a few commissions last year, and a few sales at shows, but Im not feeling like I’ve got a system that works, or even a clue at that rate. I watch other artisans post on social media, and get commissions and praise almost instantaneously, while I repeatedly ask my wife, what are we doing wrong.

This has started affecting my design as well, now Im trying to think about designs that “will sell” instead of designs that fit my aesthetic. I think you get the point.

How do you get through these times? Do you change your designs to fit the current trends? Pay for followers on instagram (not really gonna do that)? How do you break out of this bubble?

Any and all thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated. Don’t worry, while I’m not really feeling empowered with my business right now, I sure as sh*t ain’t gonna stop. Just like you guys always say, the hustle NEVER stops!

What are we working on?

Jeff – Jeff has partnered with Harlem YMCA to host the STEM program! Attempting to buy a house. Securing sponsorships with electronics companies to reduce curriculum costs.

Amy – Working on art! Fascism Journal. 

Bill – No Lathe Pen Challenge is CLOSED and now it’s time for judging. Over 200 entries. Also released white oak whiskey tumbler video.

During the Show:

Image crafting

Minimize roadblocks between your customers and the sale

Do what you’re good at – farm out the rest

Customer acquisition versus customer retention


AmyThe Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

JeffFieldstone Artistry

BillGary Vee on Instagram – pay special attention to his engagement strategies

Where to find us

Amysurlyramics.com, @surlyamy on Instagram

Jeffmoore4our on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, Moore Progress Project

Bill: onecarworkshop.com, @onecarworkshop on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Bill Livolsi on YouTube


4 thoughts on “Episode 32 – Stuck in a Rut

  1. Jeff, Bill & Amy,

    Thank you so much for taking the time to talk through my question/situation with my business, on the show. It was super helpful. I really appreciate the differing views that you all have and how that creates an interesting group of ideas. I am absolutely going to try and initiate some of the changes you’ve suggested, and I will keep you updated on what works and what doesn’t.

    Also, I do have an instagram page Jeff, but I have had some issues with the icon on my website, so I removed it. Check it out @fieldstoneartistry Ill fix that bug soon!

    Thanks again guys!!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *