I'm currently reading Danielle LaPorte's book,The Fire Starter Sessions: A Soulful + Practical Guide to Creating Success on Your Own Terms. I'm trying to sort out how to define what success will be for me as a knitting professional. Using the monetary gauge at this point would define me as a failure. I am however feeling very positive as I'm starting to get more teaching requests and I just submitted my class list for Vogue Live NY 2013. I am confirmed for Chicago Oct 2012.
It's always interesting to read the comments of knitters on Ravelry. Many seem to think that once a pattern is published that the designer just sits back and watches the profits pour in. Sadly it doesn't work that way. Even if I don't count the time it took me (and I don't) there are other costs. I may have purchased the yarn, as yarn support has become difficult to find with the number of indie designers looking for support. I have to pay my editor. I also bought a fair bit of equipment so that my husband can do the photos for me. Have I mentioned that I have to sleep with the photographer to get him to work for free?
I have some patterns that have done very well, but I have others that have not yet covered their costs.
I've spent time on and off for the last year collaborating with another designer on some plus size patterns. I decided to go with her offer of royalty payments instead of a flat fee and I don't expect to see any earnings for that work for another year.
This year I played around with selling a few notions and some of my patterns at three different events as a trial. I did make some money doing that but it will take a few more events before I can assess if it is worthwhile.
How do I define success? I'm not sure yet. This is still a work in progress.