{Handmade Business in 31 Days — Day 22, Having grace towards others.}

Day 22// Over the weekend I received a Facebook message from a blog reader. She had a question about how to respond to a situation involving someone copying her work. At the end of her message to me she concluded,

One more thing, total shift of gears — I am always so impressed by the way you handle (or don’t handle) people who feel the need to question/criticize you over petty things. (Like drinking coffee [while pregnant], for example.) … Anyway, I have observed your graciousness time and time again and just want to encourage you that your light is shining.

I thought it would be good to touch on knowing how to have grace towards others during fussy situations {and what I’ve learned}, because there are times when we need to tell ourselves “no!” to hitting the reply button. Instead we need to practice giving more grace to our neighbor. And sometimes grace comes out a bit quieter — not speaking audibly but instead speaking through our actions.

A few times this season I’ve decided to wait something out. I told myself I wouldn’t take any immediate action, instead it would be wise to sit back + think about the big picture. And to be honest, I think waiting — being able to separate the emotions from the circumstance, has been life-changing.

How does this translate to you as a Handmade Maker? Here are a few examples of when to give more grace:

  • when someone is unhappy with their order
  • when someone disagrees with a blog post or status update you wrote
  • when someone thinks you’re running your business wrong {prices too high/low, frequency of shop updates, your activity on FB or Twitter, etc.}

It’s important to take the time to know how you’ll address situations where grace-giving is needed. Are you going to hoard grace, or are you going hand it out? And maybe you’re thinking, “GRACE, are you kidding me? I am so offended!” or, “But I didn’t do anything wrong, and our policies exist for a reason!” True — maybe you were offended and maybe your policies are to protect you, but you know what? I’ve been embarrassed in the past over things I’ve handled incorrectly, but there have been a few fussy situations recently where I’ve chosen to handle my actions differently and I’m telling you, it not only stopped any future fuss but it nipped at any unnecessary emotions. I’m not saying you should be walked over, but what I am saying is you need to set standards for how you will, 1.) run your handmade business and, 2.) treat others.

These two things definitely go hand in hand.

The way you respond to others — or don’t respond, if that’s truly the best solution, will be remembered 100x over the situation you were making a fuss over ~ mmhmm.

Keep your eye out for “I like to be fussy”-producers, luring you to say or do something to tarnish your reputation. When they come into your life be careful in how you respond. And no matter how absurd someone’s demand is, don’t tweet about how absurd it is. If a business situation or comment deeply + truly hurts your feelings, take your moment to be silent and consider how you will respond. Even if your “moment” is two days.

Give grace, and join me in practicing it?

Homework// Think about the way you handle fussy situations, what have you learned from them? What have other peoples actions/responses taught you about giving grace?

view all Handmade Business posts right here, yeow!

Comments

  1. 1

    says

    My first response to a fussy situation is to be hurt and upset, often losing sleep over it. I’m learning that sitting back and giving it time before responding can make a huge difference, as long as I truly let it go while I’m sitting back, and not dwelling on it. In some situations, a response really isn’t even needed or helpful, but in others, eventually you do have to confront the person about their unkind behavior. I appreciate the example you set for all of us Maggie!

    • 2

      says

      @Emily,
      I too spend an awful lot of trouble worrying about what others think. My medical problems for a long time made me feel like I needed to act a certain way to look sick. I finally realized to forget other people’s comments. I don’t look sick.

  2. 3

    says

    I completely agree with the reader’s email. Your grace and joyful attitude is so admirable. I imagine you are human and get upset but by shedding grace to others your are not only keeping it from getting to you but you are building a reputation as a respectable business owner. I think you are amazing and this advice is so encouraging. I am just a blogger and so many of these things relate to dealing with people online in general. You are one wise girl Gussy! xo

  3. 7

    says

    so well said…there was a great (in)courage post yesterday that reminded me that my job is not to fix the other person or to make them see my side of things…my job is to extend the grace and forgiveness that has been so graciousy extended to us. Thanks for the reminder! xo

  4. 8

    says

    I had a situation a few months ago where someone complained about my product and I responded kindly and explained my return policy and for an explanation of what the issue was. It became clear very quickly that they were not interested in a resolution, they just wanted to complain. At first I got upset, but I sat back and thought about it and offered a replacement product. Of course there was no reply. My sweet email in response to their nastiness obviously wasn’t what they were looking for. Kindness always seems to diffuse those situations and oddly enough a few hours after deciding to just let it go I received 2 very wonderful emails raving about my product. You cannot please everyone because some people are just out to be not nice. Good stuff as always :)

  5. 9

    says

    It blessed me so much the direction you took this post! Thank you, thanks you, thank you for taking such a godly and humble approach to this tough topic!
    On a another note, do you have a small business lisence? If so, at what point did you get one? Thanks so much! You have no idea how helpful and inspiring this series has been!
    Alesha <3

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