I LOVE creative product business owners.

You’re some of my favourite people. You have big ideas, you want to change the world and your vision is so clear you can paint a picture with their words. Me too!

One of my favourite parts of Trefiel in the initial stages was figuring out how I wanted the brand to sound and look. I was forever taking photos, writing emails and blog posts for our customers and social media content.

It was so much fun creating something that was all mine. You know that feeling too, right?

Here’s the thing though…

Trefiel was stuck at $2,000 per month until my business partner came in and kicked my ass for not selling. Then we leapt to $50,000 per month.

And this is the problem when creatives start product businesses. Because we look at the most successful brands we want to emulate and we think it’s their creativity that makes them so special.

But it’s not. It’s actually the other way around.

The reason why the brands you look up to are able to be creative in the way you see is because they are first and foremost a sales machine.

Sales first, then pretty photos.

I wish I had of known this when I started Trefiel. Because if I had of, all of my focus would have been on marketing and selling my product in a way that actually produced results.

Instead, I was making up stories to myself about why it wasn’t successful.

  • “Oh, but I’m building a brand!”
  • “I want to build a long-term company”
  • “I don’t care about money”
  • “I want to make an impact”
  • “I don’t define success by money”

Hands up who’s told themselves one of those stories before?

You’re not alone.

But if you’re serious about building a successful product business, you have to stop believing the narratives you tell yourself, especially if they are any one of the ones above.

How do product businesses get to do cool shit?

  • You know how brands are built? From customers… and acquiring LOTS of them.
  • You know which companies get to stay around for the long-term? Ones that actually make money!
  • Do you know why you don’t care about money? Because you don’t know how to make it, you’re stuck financially and you don’t know how to go beyond that. So you believe it’s outside of your control and therefore you relinquish your care about it.
  • Guess what companies actually get to make impact? The ones which sell lots of product!
  • Even if you don’t define success by money and it’s freedom or flexibility, guess which business owners get those things? The ones that make money!

It all comes back to the same thing.

Your product business HAS to be, first and foremost, a sales machine.

And only through that can you get to do all the cool and amazing projects and dreams you have.

Sales first, then pretty photos.

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