3 Mistakes I Made Early On While Running my Retail Business

3 Mistakes I Made Early On While Running my Retail Business

Truth: I’ve made a thousand of mistakes in running my creative retail business, Front Porch Mercantile. But I decided to narrow it down to the three biggest lessons learned to help you, as a creative retailer, not make the SAME MISTAKES.

I see the same struggles with my coaching clients and social media followers. So I offer these mistakes as first-hand experience of what NOT to do. It seems so simple now, looking back. But at the time, I just didn’t know what I didn’t know.

The 3 Biggest Mistakes I Made in my Retail Business

If you prefer to listen, here’s the quick 6-minute recap.

My 3 Biggest Mistakes

  1. I had zero strategic planning. I was just winging it.
  2. I was Wonder Woman trying to do all the things myself, and failing. I had burnout.
  3. I was avoiding the un-fun, hard things. And they piled up. Because I was so busy.

My 3 Biggest Remedies

  1. I started planning promotional calendars, revenue streams, and yearly goals.
  2. I got over myself. I identified where I needed help. I asked for help, I hired help. I started to delegate and hired a business coach,
  3. I had to get a handle on my financials: to learn my financial numbers and really understand what they meant.

If these remedies sound like they could really help you and you are ready for support, you can see how I work with retailers HERE.

The easiest way to work with me is to jump on the waitlist for my monthly group coaching – The Retailer’s Inner Circle, it’s support, education, community and you will find retailers at all levels in there, we open the doors to new members occasionally to those on the list.

Ready to start running your business like a boss? Download my Successful CEO Habits below. 

It’s a list of 10 things you could put into practice to really take control of running your retail store like a real BOSS. Like a CEO of a viable, profitable business.

3 Mistakes I made early on in Retail - Wendy Batten

You are running a real business. 

You are a retailer and an entrepreneur doing all the hard work. This is not a hobby store and you aren’t just playing arts and crafts. I want to encourage you to continue to follow your passion and be successful. 

If you’re not already part of my free Facebook group: Rockstar Creatives, join us here. Every Tuesday you can ask me questions about running a brick-and-mortar creative shop! I’d love to see you online!

Running a retail business doesn’t have to be so hard, you’ve got this!

Thanks for popping in!



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5 Reasons Why Creatives Make Rockstar Business Owners

5 Reasons Why Creatives Make Rockstar Business Owners

Don’t let the fact that you have a “creative” brain slow you down or give you excuses. It is not a handicap, especially when it comes to business.

So many of my creative retail shop owners come to me with this limiting belief that they “can’t do the business side” because they are creatives.


In fact, there are so many positive attributes to having a right brain vs a left brain and it can totally make you a great business owner to be blessed with the right brain giftings!

I’ll explain in this quckie video…

5 Reasons Creatives Have the Advantage in Business

  1. We have the vision, the ideas and the dream. We think in possibility.

  2. We have all the creative ideas … especially when it comes to marketing. We can think outside the box.

  3. We are heart-centered and passionate to share our product.

  4. We are not in it just for money. While corporations are usually driven by shareholders and profits, our business drive is profits and purpose to share.

  5. We understand everything is a learned process and can easily, quickly learn new things, techniques, etc. And just as easily learn the basic business principles to run our retail business. That is why I created the 7 Retail Secrets for Creative Shop Owners: Foundational Pillars for Retail Success. This a free guide Creatives running brick and mortar businesses, DIY studios help fill in strong business foundations.


The Takeaway

Your creative brain is magical. Own your strengths and seek out additional resources, trainings, assistance, staff and knowledge that complete your brain.


Discover your Creative Business Community.

There are quite a few business owners like you over in my free Rockstar Creative Retailers& Shop Owners Facebook Group. We are a group of “paintpreneurs” and shop and studio owners who curate creative lives for our customers and link in our business learning and networking. We are always sharing ideas and getting better together at business. We’d love to have you join us!


Thanks for popping in!



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5 Reasons Creatives Entrepreneurs Have the Advantage in Business by Wendy Batten


10 Simple CEO Habits for Creative Shop Owners

10 Simple CEO Habits for Creative Shop Owners

Do you think of yourself as the CEO of your retail business?

I work with shop owners all over the world who don’t always think of themselves in this way. Mindset is 80% of business success. I hear retailers say that the people around them, sometimes well meaning and very close family and friends, can say things like “your little shop”, or “you get to play arts and crafts all day”. Hurtful. Right? We work so hard. I know you probably entered into this world as a creative, made plans to make your store pretty, set it all up and have worked your buns off. You take care of not just the fun things, but the planning, organizing, the staff, the money, workshops schedules, product lines, the whole enchilada. YOU are the visionary and leader of your business. This is it. It’s YOUR business. YOU choose to treat it like a business, not a hobby. Whether you want to call yourself the CEO, Head Honcho, Queen Bee, whatever. You need to have a CEO Mindset. Stand tall. Get healthy business habits in place. Be the CEO of your business. Level up your mindset and your business will grow. Get great business habits in place and your business will thrive (and so will you).

I’ve put together a list of CEO habits that I’ve seen common in successful retailers and shop owners just like you. View this list by filling out the form below. 

  There is something to be said for the habits that successful entrepreneurs and business owners share across industries. Let’s apply them to YOUR role as store owner… I know you will find success!!! Thanks for popping in! Xo Wendy

How to Level Up Your Creative Business

How to Level Up Your Creative Business

Recently I’ve had to make some changes to my business model. Nothing major on the outside, but large mindset shifts have occurred. I have had a big overview and look at what I was doing and asked myself “WHY” I was doing this or that.

Questions came up, does it align with where I want to go, do I love it, is it profitable (reality is we sometimes do things we love but are not profitable), does this make me happy (an important and often underlooked question), how much time is this or that taking me, what am I NOT doing because I am doing this. So many questions.

I wear a lot of hats and as a creative, I bet you do too.

I’m a shop keeper, a workshop teacher, a furniture painter, a consultant for a couple of paint brands, a mentor and teacher and a coach. I help my husband with his service-based business, I blog, I import paint brushes, I teach and speak and work with retailer clients all over the world, and I love it all. I have staff and a team and a lot of balls in the air. When I sat down to look at 2019, and plan out my year, I realized as much as I loved almost all aspects of what I was doing, in order to serve my retailers, customers, and clients at my best, I had to go deeper with some, and set down some of those other balls.

I came to this realization mostly because of the advice and belief of others have in me.

you need great business friends that will challenge you to level up when you need to - advice from Wendy Batten, mentor and coach to creative retailers

I have always, always believed in surrounding myself with people that are doing good things in the world. Positive, successful, happy people. I have also always tried to learn from those who are doing great things and are a level up from me, whether that was always conscious or not, I have always followed, looked up to and authentically befriended people who are doing good things in life.

I have a circle of people who challenge me to level up.

I’ve grown a community of coaches, business friends and (believe it or not) by my retailers and customers that push me and challenge me a lot.

You need these people in your life.

I hope you have them or can start making a point to find them, I’m not talking about people who just wish you well, and cheer you along (although those people are super important too) I’m talking about people who are coaches, mentors, people who SEE what you are capable of and have no doubts about your ability (even if you do) they push you to rise up to that level up and step into what you are capable of. Your higher purpose.Your ability to do the things you want to do in this world. They challenge you and have unwavering faith in you, even if you don’t believe them all the time lol. They usually make you squirm and get braver. Whatever that is for you, you need these people. 

These past few weeks, I have had many deep and sometimes uncomfortable conversations with my coaches, business colleagues I admire, a couple of mentors, my accountability partner, my customers, my business friends. These people have such strong belief in me at times, it’s humbling. I’ve been challenged to stop playing small in some areas, to be braver and show up in ways I feel compelled to for my retailers but limiting beliefs usually sneak in.  Their deep belief that I can do those things floor me at times. They have given me the confidence to be brave and set some of the big things down, and to be brave enough to level up on things I think will make a bigger impact for the creatives I serve.

So, some priorities have been set, some balls have been gently and loving set aside, I’m putting my brave girl pants on and leveling up in some areas.

I share all this, as I know there are others out there that need a mindset change, or a tribe to support them, to have people to believe in them. Look to the leaders in your field, find people who align with your beliefs, who are doing good things in good ways, people are where you hope to be sometime. You don’t need to hire them all or become besties overnight, follow them, learn from them. Reach out to local mentors, business friends doing good things, attend conferences, meet people. Be authentic, always, and give back to those behind you looking up to you. It takes time, but it’s so important to surround yourself with a tribe of people who support and believe in you. I believe in you, you can make any change you want in this world.

Do you have a tribe of people that challenge you and believe in you? I’d love to know how they have helped you. I love when you share comments.

Have a fabulous brave week friend!



ps…if you are a retailer, brick and mortar with a creative side, if you need any help, you may want to jump on the waitlist for the Paintpreneur’s Inner Circle here for our fab group coaching program (not open now, but we will open again to the waitlist first) and you may just love our free community on Facebook called Rockstar Creatives, you can join free here 



💕Here’s a little encouragement for all of you retail owners💕

💕Here’s a little encouragement for all of you retail owners💕

If you’re a retail owner, maybe you can relate …  When you’ve worked so hard to create a beautiful business that you know is amazing, that helps others tap into their creativity and is great for your community, but at some point you just feel like it’s taken over your life and left you a little overwhelmed, or you feel a little out of control with your business?

I would like you to be encouraged by Amy, Jeff and Carol.

They are some of the hardest working creatives I have ever met. They are all growing their brick and mortar businesses and rock-starring it!

Jeff from the Vintage Nest

When I started working with Jeff, he wanted to scale his business The Vintage Nest, but he was feeling overwhelmed with operating his business and wasn’t sure: how to manage his team and where he needed to dedicate his time, focus and direction. He was a little overwhelmed and “trying to do it all.” Watching him put in the work to make positive impactful changes (and see him actually take a DAY OFF – gasp!!!) has had me cheering out loud (literally) – ask my hubby lol.



Carol from Concession Road Mercantile

Carol has a newer business, Concession Road Mercantile, and as we all know, starting a brick and mortar can be a challenge. When Carol started in our monthly mentoring group she was “winging it” like many of us do. She told me once, “You can’t google experience and advice from others doing what you do and who have the experience.” So true. She now runs her store with a plan in place and with confidence in her business decisions. Her team sees that she no longer is winging it. It’s a pleasure to watch her grow her new business and make a difference in her community.



Amy from Sage and Twine

Amy has been running her successful store, Sage and Twine, for quite a few years and was looking for some support along the way. Sometimes when running a business as a creative, we have so many ideas and directions we can take, and as painters and creatives we can sometimes find it hard to put on the hat of CEO. Sometimes we just need support of a like-minded community to get us making the decisions. I literally laughed out loud when I read this from Amy. “Thank you for all that you do and for support store owners like myself! You not only helped me put my big girl panties on, you practically took me to the store and helped me pick them out!” It’s a pleasure watching you grow Amy.


What do they have in common???

The thing I recognized in these three is that they can all see the potential their business has to succeed, and even beyond that, how much passion these three have for their business and their customers. They are truly dedicated to making it a success.

Their journey is much like many of ours! We have a drive and passion to grow and run our stores and want to design a business with a lifestyle to match

Sometimes we just need a community to help us grow and support us.

I share their stories with you, so if you are feeling discouraged or suffering from lack of focus or overwhelm, or maybe nay sayers are telling you retail is dead, or you are feeling alone. Know there are lots of others out there feeling the same and building great successful businesses. You can too.

THIS is why I love what I do!

For all of us, myself included, our brick and mortar stores are so much more than a way for us to make money. We get to impact others and help them find their creativity, or perfect piece for their home, we get to be helpful and encouraging, and meet and build great communities. We also get to do what we love AND make money.

Hopefully you found a little encouragement in this email knowing that you can succeed in business while doing what you love. You can make a difference in your community, help others find their creativity and be successful!

Because when you see your bigger purpose, your business and your love for it will flourish!





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