The subtitle of this entry should be " A Party of One". As I've reached out over the years and met so many other makers, there is one constant that seems to transcend ability or interest. It's the characteristics of introversion that nearly all of us exhibit. It's especially noticable during a big show like Handworks, wherein exhibitors and attendees alike seem to share this trait. It's like a loner convention.
I suppose it's worth defining what I mean by introvert. A book that I recently read called "Quiet" by Susan Cain does a great job of describing it. I only realized the extent of my own traits upon reading it and felt a huge sigh of relief to learn that I wasn't the only one. Basically there is a spectrum of introvert extrovert and everyone falls somewhere along it. Perhaps the greatest sign of introversion is that social interaction is draining and alone time is very necessary to "recharge". I am a bit jealous of people that gain energy at social interaction, for me, it is hugely desirable, but leaves me drained.
This may come as a bit of a surprise to those who have only seen be in my role as a teacher or public speaking. But in those moments I am excited and engaged by the challenge of communicating and sharing my love of the craft. Take note of my whereabouts after the talk, I usually slip away to a quiet corner to gather my energy.
What has this got to do with starting a business as a woodworker? Woodworking is a solitary sport and starting a business is a very personal challenge, pitting your abilities and desires against the world at large. If you are uncomfortable with intense periods of alone time or self motivation without external influence or support, you might find starting an operation that stems from a single operator a tough road. Of course the extrovert might find the sales and marketing of their work much easier as they naturally gravitate towards interaction, whereas the more introverted might prefer to stay in the shop making stuff. Cultivating both abilities, public presentation and private achievement are both essential to making a go of it as a woodworker.
It is worth stating that there will most certainly be periods, probably extended ones in which it's just you, the work and the voices in your head. This should be considered and expected, especially if you are prone to depression or as many creatives are, self doubt. Reaching out to others in the field, such as I do often through shows like Handworks or WIA is a good idea.
I don't have any great words of wisdom on this subject, it's so very personal. I've spent many years both indulging my introvert tendencies and fighting them. If you haven't paid much attention to your own tendencies, starting down this road will likely bring them into focus.