Summer is nuts. Every routine I established during the school year is out the window. Exercise? Not so much. Dinner? PB&J is legit. Laundry? Sorry, maybe tomorrow. Cleaning? Well, lets not pretend that ever really happened.
I could explain how busy I’ve been with two kids on summer swim team, a dog that doesn’t get walked enough and a husband who works from home. (see how I just explained that?) But I think most of us are in the same boat. Regardless of if you have kids, dogs, husbands/wives/partners – summer just throws a wrench into the routine.
Don’t get me wrong, we’re having (had) a fun time – lots of swimming, vacations, friends and family. It’s great -- just different.
But that’s ok because it is officially Fall. I love this time of year. Time for change.
As I mature (really?) I realize that I’m not so great with change. I have a tough time getting on board with a new schedule. It takes a while. I’m working on that.
It’s no surprise that my creative business on Etsy (the online store where I sell my handmade goods - Infinite8Creative) took a back seat over the summer. I see it sitting there, in the waaaay back. With the laundry.
In an effort to get focused, I read books and articles about growing an online business. I’ve found these very helpful:
Sell Crafts Online
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Selling Your Crafts on Etsy
I’m also a huge fan of Brian Tracy’s GOALS!
At first look I thought GOALS! looked like a cheesy “get rich quick” type of book. But it surprised me with its’ simple message: you are responsible for your life. Don’t blame other folks when you’re not where you want to be. Get focused, set some goals and head in that direction. Pretty simple.
I tend to pick it up and randomly read from any chapter and it helps me focus, and not just on my business, but on my life goals as well. You should check it out.
My “get back on track" reading gives me lists of things to do. I love lists! And I can’t wait to put some little check marks next to each item. There are some really great suggestions about marketing – SEO (that means Search Engine Optimization!), research (who’s selling what and where?), pricing (what’s my product? are other people selling the same thing? how are they priced? how can I make my products stand out? etc.)
Etsy has a blog section with all sorts of advice for improving your business.
I recently read one blog post on Etsy that inspired me to step out of my box a little more. The article described some of the most successful craftspeople on Etsy offer the most unique items. Don’t be afraid to be bold and unique. Stay true to your artistic vision. If you want to be known as the seller of porcupine art, or grasshopper sculptures, then do it. And do it big.
I’m going to try to bring more of that uniqueness to my shop. More of “me.” That’s exciting!
When I first started out on this little adventure in March 2013 my goal was to sell something online – put my toe in the water and see how it felt. My friends and family came through in a big way. Thank you! Then I thought it would be really cool to sell something to a stranger. I’ve sold some items to complete strangers (thank you Bethanne in IL - you were my "first stranger sale.") - which still surprises and thrills me!
New Goal: I want to do better on Etsy. However, it’s not enough to say “do better” or “sell more.” I need to be specific with my goal.
So, this week is about setting that specific sales goal, ramping up production on my existing products and introducing one new product.
Oh, and I will make sure my family has clean underwear.
Go out and set yourself a goal for this week, or month. It can be anything, seriously. It can be “do the friggin’ laundry, and actually fold it and put it away.” See what happens. I’d love to hear how that goes for you. Leave a comment.