I used to have a small online business. You see, I love – I mean, LOVE!! – to make stuff. Sew, paint, draw, design, whatever. Mostly I’d make stuff because some brilliant idea would hit me. I’d get inspired. I’d keep some stuff, but a lot I’d give away to family or friends or coworkers.
People kept telling me I needed to sell this stuff. So I decided, what the heck, I’d give it a whirl.
I opened an Etsy account. If you haven’t discovered Etsy, you’re missing out. Basically, it’s people like me that like to make stuff. And then they sell their stuff. (There’s also vintage stuff for sale, too.)
Well, now I needed to have stuff to sell. At that point, I was mainly making these (1) great tote handbags and wallets inspired by ones I had seen at a store that were way out of my price range and (2) adorable child-sized hats of fleece with animal ears. So I sat down in my craft space, turned on movies in the background, and cut material until my fingers hurt. Then I sewed and sewed until needles broke.
Once I had a few dozen things made I had to photograph the items with decent lighting and backgrounds. Then format the photos to be the proper size for a listing. Then I had to go online and list each item – description, size, materials, price, shipping cost, etc. Basically, outside of the actual time to create each item it took another 15-20 minutes to photograph and list. Per item.
I would hurry home from my job, work until late hours, crash, then do it all again the next day. And my weekends were full of photographing, shopping for materials, planning future projects.
Know how many things I sold through my Etsy shop? One. Sad trombone.
I was tired exhausted and I had no life. What I used to do for fun because I loved doing it became a chore felt like sweatshop-esque slavery.
And that’s what this blog started to become.
Was looking at the site, Man Vs. Debt, which I’d highly recommend you check out. Even though I’m debt-free, I like his thoughts and particularly reading about getting rid of stuff.
And I ran across a post where he was talking about finally creating a product, putting it out there, and it didn’t sell. And he got depressed. Been there, buddy.
The problem, he says: “I lost my mission.
“Rather than focusing on my message and my mission… I simply broke things down into ‘next steps’. They became chores. Crap I had to do in order to get to some mythical place where everything would be peachy and happy. There would be rainbows and monthly income of $5,000 in this place. Probably unicorns, too. Everything would be awesome…
“If I could just get my next guide out. If I could just execute a HUGE guest posting surge. If I did these steps… I would get this awesomeness in my head.
“Guess what happened? I hated the idea of those next steps. I attached negative feeling to them. They became hurdles I had to jump over, not obstacles which helped promote my message.”
Sheesh, I could have written that – except that I don’t have a message for the world as much as a mission for myself. If you take away a message and get inspired, then that’s just a super-duper happy side effect.
So perhaps you’ve noticed a recent shift away from the logistics side of this bigwhatif to more inspiration and thoughts. It’s my effort to refocus. To remind myself why I’m considering this in the first place. And to think about if I really DO want to do it. (And I do.)
Yes, I do need to take formal and investigative steps instead of just daydream. And as much as possible I will try to tell you about them. But I shouldn’t be taking those steps with the intent to BLOG about them as much as to USE the information gathered to help me make a decision. I love writing – almost as much as sewing – but when the blog becomes the reason it’s not a good reason. Unless I was one of those super lucky people who gets to earn a living by blogging. If you want to sponsor me, ya know, I’d be cool with that.
Apologies to all ten of my readers out there if you started checking this blog out to see logistical steps and have been disappointed by the recent progression into introspection. But ultimately, at least at this time, the blog is not for you. It’s for me.