I can't believe I just hit 3000 sales on Etsy! It seems unreal…when you cut and sew and stamp and mail and promote for so long you don't always see how it quickly adds up. I have had my Leather Travel Goods Etsy Shop for two and a half years and had no clue I'd be still working at it today. One of my favorite things along my Etsy journey is sharing my successes as well as struggles with other small business owners so they can learn from my mistakes. I've shared these things through my Learning As I Go series and Etsy Tips. I encourage you to read those if you have an Etsy shop or hope to in the future! I want other people to have access to the knowledge I've obtained over the past two and a half years so they can build their own shop and do what they love.
I was going to write a long list of 30 things I learned in 3000 sales. After making my list, I figured I could sum up my biggest lessons in three tips, so here are 3 Major Lessons I've Learned in 3000 Sales On Etsy.
1. Don't Give In To The Comparison Trap
I think this applies to more than just owning a business, but when you give in to comparison, you are paralyzing yourself and your growth. It is easy as a small business owner to look to the right or to the left at someone who is doing so much better than you (or it seems so on the surface) but you can't see all the extra time and effort they put into their work or the mistakes they choose not to broadcast over Instagram. You have to have confidence in yourself, your work and your purpose. I think it is so wise to look at the great things other people are doing and learn from them - and then do it in your own way. This message talks about how comparison causes us to devalue others. It's so true when you think about it! I want to have a business that can join with others and be a community, not a lone island. Comparison will make you a small island and no one will be able to reach you!
2. Customer Service Wins.
People matter, and they are putting their trust in you ordering from your shop! That is a huge honor and when you go the extra mile, your brand turns into a community instead of a one-stop shop. I'll do a customer service blog post soon...But bottom line is: how do you expect to be treated when you go shopping? Emulate that when you are on the other side!
3. Don't Give In To Coasting.
It can be so enticing to just become stagnant and coasting where you are, but you don't grow from that. There is always work to be done, new ideas to be mocked-up, people to reach out to, holidays to prepare for (hello, preaching to myself here). The beauty of owning your own small business is you can do what you want, set a schedule, have friends over for brunch and push your work aside. I do those things, but I have learned that there are always moments to take just one tiny step forward and not become so comfortable with your tiny shop. I am really trying to work on this and grow my shop, and myself, this way. I also want to add, this applies to celebrating where you are. There will be small victories as well as big victories along the way- celebrate each one! There will also be mistakes that are made, don't dwell on those. Take note of what you could have changed and move forward!
Wherever you are on your Etsy journey, I applaud you! It is not as easy as people make it seem to run an Etsy shop. It takes a lot of work, but it is totally worth it! Thanks for following along with Always Rooney, you don't know how much it means! If you have any Etsy questions or even stories of your own to share about owning a small business I'd love to read about them and answer questions in the comments below!