It has been seven months since I opened my shop on Etsy and I am excited to say that just this week I made my 14th sale! It might not sound like much, but considering the craziness of this year, where there was a time I was afraid that I might lose not only my centurion grandmother but my mother and dog too, my iron repeatedly dropped so low that I had to have 6 iron infusions, and thanks to the financial impact of my father’s death and the rise in cost of living we have had to make the tough choice to put our house for sell, 14 sales is a very big deal.
As I look back at these first seven months on Etsy, I wish that I could say that I had learned the secret to writing a high converting description or made great strives in understanding SEO. It would be nice if at this early mile marker I could lean back and share the secret to creating eye catching product photos and videos. But seven months in and a whole lot of you tube videos and I am just as confused as ever. To a great degree I still feel like I am wearing a blind fold, have been spun around in a chair a hundred times, and am blindly trying to hit a dartboard in a 5000 square foot room. And then wonder why I miss the mark far more than I hit it.
Alas, my major take away from the first 7 months is that if I ever hope to make a success of my Etsy endeavor, is that the very first skill that I am going to have to learn is not SEO, illustration, or photography, but patience and endurance. While learning to create eye catching illustrations and heart catching product descriptions are important, having those skills will mean nothing if I give up five feet into the race.
It would be great if I would wake up tomorrow to find that I had become one of those overnight Etsy success stories. I would love to wake up and find out that my next step attempt at leveling up my shop by adding drop shipping had worked, and that my puzzle and notebook designs were such a hit that I had made a dozen, then a hundred, and by the end of a week a thousand orders. I would love nothing better than to wake up tomorrow and find out that I had sold so many digital packs on Etsy that I could call social security and tell them that I no longer needed SSI.
But sadly, that is just a dream. The overnight wonder is the exception, not the rule. And even though I work as hard as my chronically ill body will allow, giving my body’s version of 100 percent, the likely hood that I will be able to close my eyes and wake up to discover that overnight my dreams had come true is sadly nothing more than a pleasant dream. Worse yet, even though I push myself to the point of breaking, because of my body’s weakened state, 100 percent for me probably is the equivalent of a healthy persons 40 percent.
Whether I like it or not, if I want to be successful I am going to have become far more patient and persevering. The road between me and a life altering successful Etsy shop is going to be a long one. Much longer than it is for the healthy and more financially mobile. At every turn I am going to have to contend with the battle to learn how to stand out on Etsy, but how to deal with the barrage of obstacles created by episodes of eye closing migraines, overwhelming exhaustion from low iron, and days of being so pain ridden that even copying and pasting a few lines feels like a marathon of torture.
If I want to win this race, and I do, I am not only going to have to endure the frustration of views and clicks that bring nothing, where a whole month passes with only one $2 sale to reward my hard work, but the agony of wanting to move ahead and build up my shop inventory, but having to wait for a whole week or two to pass until I can get a much needed iron infusion so I can have the energy to do more than stare blankly at my screen.
On days where it feels like all hope is lost, where it seems like all the forces of misery are against me, and nothing I do ever works, I will have to find a way to muster up the courage to count the few steps towards my goal that I have made, and gather the courage to focus on my dream and trust that in the long run if I patiently persevere, the morning will come when I will realize that my long night of dreaming is over, as thankfully, my years of working and dreaming have become a reality.