Wednesday, May 11, 2011

How to Keep Going when the Going Gets Tough

I've been running Faerie Garden Fancies for almost 3 years now, and sometimes it frustrates me how slow things are going.  I had expected sales every day, but truthfully I've been lucky to get sales every week, and some months there have been no sales at all.  The times I did better were when I did a lot of promoting for my shop all over; I felt so spammy.  And it's discouraging, you know, to love what you do so much, but feel like no one else does.  There have been many days when I thought, "Why bother?"  But I keep plugging away.  Part of why I keep going is that I love to experiment with my art, and I can't keep everything, so selling it makes sense (and cents).  But beside that, I've discovered a few things that keep me motivated.

  1. Find a Partner in Crime.  Someone who sells too.  Someone to share tips back & forth with.  Someone who will celebrate your successes with you, as well as commiserate when things aren't going so well, but who will also kick your butt back in gear when you've wallowed in self-pity long enough.  This could be your significant other, someone in your family, a friend, a co-worker, or a combination of all of those; however if no one around you really gets it, find someone online!  Search through Etsy's Team pages and find a group of people you fit with, now you have a whole TEAM of people cheering you on!

  2. Follow Your Heart, but Listen to Your Head.  When it comes right down to it, only YOU know if something is working for you or not.  If something causes you more sorrow & worry than joy & contentment, then perhaps it's time to let it go.  But if something brings you so much happiness that you stay up all night doing it, or jump up out of bed early in the morning to get started, if your feet start dancing or your fingers start itching to get at it, even if everyone around you is saying, "Whoa Nellie!"  Then you keep going.  Keep doing that thing that makes you so excited.  Find that group of people who will get excited right along with you, and forget what the naysayers say.  But *do* take time to listen to your head.  Just because you want to stay home all day and make art, does not mean you should quit your job right now and do that.

  3. Read Inspirational Blogs.  Sometimes your Partner in Crime won't be enough.  They won't get what your're going through or you'll feel like that anyway; they'll be AFK and you'll need encouragement ASAP; or maybe they're looking for help from you, and you just won't have the right words.  That's when hearing other people's stories - or just a simple quote from someone - helps.  There are a few I follow regularly: KindOverMatter posts beautiful photos paired with meaningful quotes interspersed with inspirational stories and kind art & projects; RootsOfShe is a whole tribe of women coming together to share their wisdom, their joy, and their stories; and perhaps the one that most often seems written directly to me, Goddess Guidebook, by Goddess Leonie Allan, who writes about creativity & art, spirituality & healing, magic & miracles, and lately a whole bunch of business inspiration!
The motivation for me to write this post came from another such blog; in fact, I didn't even get all the way through the other post when I felt the need to write all this!  The post I started reading was Four Habits For Long Term Success on Etsy by Kim at EverythingEtsy, and in it she quoted a story about a king who didn’t believe in miracles from the blog of  This king asked for proof of God's miracles, and the wise counselor to whom he had been speaking gave him four acorns, told him to put them in the ground, then gaze into a pool of water for a moment. When the counselor told him to look up, there were four enourmous oak trees where the acorns had been planted.  The king praised this miracle, but the sage then told him he had been looking into the water for 80 years, even though it had seemed to the king only a second.  Indeed, his clothing was threadbare, and his reflection in the water showed an old man.  Angry the king denounced it as no miracle, but the sage replied, "It is God’s work nonetheless, whether he did it in one second or in eighty years.”

Oak Tree from dlofink

While this story refers to God's miracles, it's also a good parable for any endeavor you might undertake.  Success doesn't happen overnight.  You have to keep going with patience and persistance (as Kim said in her post) in order to reach your goals, whether running your own business, getting your Masters, or raising your kids right.  Tough times pop up, but you don't have to let them knock you off track.  Turn to your partner in crime, keep following your heart & listening to your head, find some inspirational words, and you'll find the strength to push through and things will get better.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love getting comments! They make blogging so worth it! So feel free to say anything you'd like.... And look! No silly Captcha or anything... ^_^