So I'll just go ahead and say it: I'm not sure I want to keep going with my Etsy business.
There. It's out.
I really do love designing and creating things, that is my passion, but I'm starting to question if it's really worth it.
Is this worth not being able to spend as much time with my kids and be fully present? Is it worth not being able to fully emotionally support my husband? I'm not really making any money, so is the payback worth sacrificing my time away from my family??
Every blogger who has made it big will admit they were not present with their families and took a lot of time away from them so they could exert all of their energy on their work. Every. Single. One. (Trust me, I did a lot of research this year.) I know success comes from hard work and I'll admit I wasn't working to the core, but I still worked hard and feel like a failure because I still feel like I'm at square one.
Well, square two because I have learned so much, but I haven't progressed forward.
Last year I put a lot of effort into getting into festivals and craft shows and worked hard to get my inventory/booth set up ready for those shows. It's stressful and it really takes a lot of time and I don't even make things that take hours to make! (Like pottery or handbags.) I really love preparing for these shows, but the financial outcome isn't worth the time. If I started actually making money, I'll be honest, I think it would be worth it, but right now, I'm really questioning if this is my path.
I also made a lot of different items other than prints and was really hoping that would help me take off. Maybe it's because people don't love them or maybe it's because I'm not getting enough exposure?? It's so hard to pinpoint what my issues are with my products. I'll get a lot of positive feedback, but I'm not making a profit, so I'm really at a loss with what my problem is.
This past year I've listened to and watched countless webinars, podcasts and YouTube videos brought on by really amazing and worthwhile people who really do have information to offer and help. I really believe they were never telling me lies and that all of the information was true and what helped them "make $100,000 in 1 year." In all seriousness, they were excellent sources for my research and not scammers. Their successes were true and worked for them. I've tried to implement their advice and I know I'm not doing everything right, but I feel like what I am doing should make some sort of difference and frankly, it's not.
And I don't even want to go into all of the time it takes to market and take photos and the different advertising I tried... And the stress of needing to post everyday! The time you have to spend on Instagram and Pinterest is insane in order to obtain and keep a following! Every big blogger says they spend at least an hour a day on Instagram so they can grow their following..! It blows my mind! These people really have worked hard to get where they're at and I'm really impressed with their stamina because one year of this has blown me out of the water.
What I want for my business is what you could say is maybe the new American dream, to make the quality of my life better. I want to help my family out financially so we can do more things together. As much fun as I have designing and creating things, it really boils down to making money to make it worth my time and that's why I'm so discouraged. I'm discouraged my hard work hasn't paid off and it has literally left me exhausted and wiped out.
This whole post probably sounds like I'm whining and making excuses, but I guess that's really what it's come to be! Haha! I'm tired and exhausted from working hard and not seeing results. So with the new year I've found it really hard to stay motivated when all I'm thinking in the back of my head is, "I don't want another year like 2016." I don't want to put so much of my energy and time into nothing. 2017 for me will probably turn out to be my "Make it or break it year." If I don't make any progress this year, I'm thinking I'll call it quits. Which is totally making me cringe to type out. I don't like quitting. I don't like excuses. But with a family, I feel like I need to choose one or the other because I can't keep teetering and holding them on my string.
Wow, this feels so good to get out.
So as I'm going through this phase of needing a break (if it is a phase...), just know I will not really be posting much on here. I won't be offended if you don't want to follow me anymore. Who you want to follow and spend your time on is totally up to you, which is why I felt compelled to give a heads up on why I won't be very active on my blog, FaceBook and Instagram. There have been bloggers I've followed and then realized they haven't posted something for over a year and I'm like, "Why am I still following this person??" So I'm just trying to be honest and courteous!
I am, however, still very much interested in client work. As of right now, that's where I feel like my focus should be going, opposed to having an Etsy shop with goods I've made and want to sell. I've gotten back to making my website and I'm having it catered more to my freelance designing. I have no idea when it'll be done, but it is something I am working on and is one of my resolutions for this year. So feel free to email me if you want to work with me!
Also, can I just say how nice it has been to just read in my spare time?? Maybe all I really do need is a big break!
Until next post (whenever that is), take care! And I hope 2017 is good to all of us!