A Strategy for Woodworking #6: Design Opportunities

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Blog entry by Gary Rogowski posted 07-07-2014 01:48 PM 1759 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 5: The Fit Again Part 6 of A Strategy for Woodworking series Part 7: Finishing Makes the Difference »

A Mastery student of mine came through town to visit. Over 10 years ago he studied with me and he’s building still. Not as much as he’d like but it’s a tough game this woodworking world. Not everyone understands how much time it takes and how much skill. Nor do most people appreciate how long it takes to develop that skill.

This isn’t a new hobby for folks that they get good at in a couple of weekends. It takes work. It takes dedication, commitment, practice. I have always found it interesting that doctors have a practice and woodworkers have a job. No, we have a practice as much as any doctor. We’re always getting it wrong, learning new methods, fixing things. Just like them. Oh my Mastery student is a doc.

There are no mistakes, only new opportunities. In woodworking, as in life. Learn from your slip ups and get up and run again. Thanks for the advice Jim.

The Northwest Woodworking Studio

-- Gary Rogowski...follow my podcast at and twitter @garyrogowski

3 comments so far

View Texcaster's profile


1287 posts in 1848 days

#1 posted 07-07-2014 10:08 PM

I’ve never been sued for malpractice. I’ve made many bad cuts.

I’m enjoying your blogs.

-- Mama calls me Texcaster but my real name is Mr. Earl.

View Jorge G.'s profile

Jorge G.

1537 posts in 2650 days

#2 posted 07-09-2014 07:52 PM

Not everyone understands how much time it takes and how much skill. Nor do most people appreciate how long it takes to develop that skill.

You know, there are a myriad of woodworking schools, both online and “brick and mortar” as it were, but I have yet to see one that includes courses on selling and educating the customer as to how much time and dedication it takes to do good wood work.

Most concentrate on joinery and shaping techniques, dovetails this, dovetails that, the tenon, the mortise, blah, blah, blah. Who cares?!? I will tell you, no one cares about the joinery but other woodworkers. Customers can’t understand why, if they pick pine as opposed to mahogany, the price of the table you are selling is still only a few hundred dollars in difference.

I don’t care how good a wood worker you are, if you don’t have a marketing, networking and selling strategy you are doomed to fail, if you want to make wood working your business.

-- To surrender a dream leaves life as it is — and not as it could be.

View Gary Rogowski's profile

Gary Rogowski

73 posts in 1640 days

#3 posted 07-10-2014 05:56 PM

I couldn’t agree with you more. Most clients think dovetails grow that way. In my Resident Mastery Program, we take the time to develop a business plan, even if it’s just for practice for now. Young or old woodworkers who are thinking of getting into this craft as a business need to know that 20% of every week should be spent on marketing. That’s a tough pill to swallow but it’s true.

So to keep your dream alive you need to have your eyes open. Best, Gary

-- Gary Rogowski...follow my podcast at and twitter @garyrogowski

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