I had my hundredth sale today – it’s been a very long time coming. I thought it might help some of you for me to let you know what I’ve learned over the last few years.
I opened my Etsy store in June of 2008 – that’s right, 2008. Prior to that I had spent several months lurking on the forums, planning and trying to think of just the right name. Not only just the right name, but just the right profile etc etc etc. After that I spent until the fall of 2008 coming up with just the right product. Are you seeing the common theme here? PERFECTIONISM is my first lesson – let go of it. Plan but don’t be like me and have to cover every single situation, product choice, punctuation mark before finally acting.
FEAR was a tough lesson for me. Don’t be afraid to be yourself – my style is very different than many others here – I can’t create things that aren’t me.
I had some early success and it was fun – joined a great team and kept doing all my fabulous research on the forums and searching around on Etsy and other sites on the net. TIME WASTERS is my next lesson – make sure that time that you spend on your business is actually spent on your business, not on all the things that feel like they’re your business but they’re not. Sometimes it’s tough to figure out what is and what isn’t but if your sales aren’t increasing and you feel like you’re spending your whole life on here, whatever you’re doing might just be a time waster.
I would go through fits and spurts of listing, trying new things, branching out...sometimes listing several times a day, sometimes not listing for days or weeks or months. CONSISTENCY was a huge lesson for me and something I’m still struggling with. Momentum is something that you have to work hard to get and still work hard to maintain. Whatever level you wish to work your business at, work it at that level. I take the summers off because we don’t have internet where I spend the summer. That kills my momentum every year and I feel like I have to start all over again. I’ll be changing that this year.
My last big lesson is DONT TAKE ANYTHING PERSONALLY – there will be customers, situations, other sellers, technology, product indecision – it’s all part of a business. Do your best, make things right and chose to let go of things that you just can’t control. I wasted two whole months trying to make a situation work that was just doomed from the start and the situation was making me feel horrible. I should have walked away when I first realized I couldn’t let it go.
I’ve really enjoyed Etsy and the great people I know here. Above is one of the first listings I created for Etsy and a link to a similar card.