Working for yourself can be the most freeing and amazing journey one can take. But as wonderful as it sounds to be your own boss, it is also a journey where you have to be making big decisions constantly. A little under two years ago, as I was gearing up to launch this blog, I faced one of the biggest dilemmas I have faced so far as a small business owner. If you are feeling stuck, and have to choose between two (or even more!) promising paths, this mindset shift of mine and my story might give you the boost you need to make that decision faster.
When I first opened my Etsy shop in the summer of 2011, I never imagined I would still have it open, up and running, 5 years later. You see, when you start small and humble, you tend to think that you will be overlooked, and success looks like such a distant dream.
But I was blessed, and my little shop thrived and was everything but overlooked, the sales kept coming daily and my income was on the rise. I went from earning the humble amount of $34.00 in July 2011 to earning $1,625 during the month of February 2012. In 7 months, I was earning 48x more money. That was huge! And it just kept getting better.
Business Linear Growth
According to my statistics graphic, my business showed linear growth with a positive and steep slope from June 2011 through December 31st of 2014.
I couldn’t be any happier with the business I had built and the reputation I gained. I take great pride in my 5 stars reviews and wonderful feedback my customers leave after receiving their products.
But – sadly- the graphic also shows how my total income plummeted in 2015. So, what happened?
The Mindset Shift That Changed it All
On December 2014, I launched this blog. An idea that was spinning in my head for over a year, while I processed and shipped almost 800 Etsy orders. And it was then when I found ‘a fork in the road’ and I had to make what it could be the best or worst decision for my business.
I was physically and mentally exhausted. I had fulfilled 800 orders, 80% of them custom. I was pleasing each and every customer, I was going the extra mile creating customized products, from the cardstock color down to matching the ink with the ribbon. I was even ordering ribbons from South America, so I could have the perfect shade of yellow.
But one day, I had enough. I needed a shift in my mindset. I had a burning fire inside of me. I had this crazy, amazing and insatiable desire to write. But, not just to write a blog, insert links and bring traffic. I had this yearning for creating a place I could call my haven, my happy place.
And that place was writing a blog about things I am passionate about, things I am learning along the way and sharing them with the world. From DIY tutorials to events and parties I was styling, to balancing life, I wanted to share it all. And I needed time, and lots of it in order to make it right. Even if that meant choosing the path of discontinuing products, and rejecting custom orders.
It cost me money and tears. I doubted myself, and many nights I regretted my ‘poor decision’.
But it did not take me long to realize that if I was brave enough to sacrifice part of my income, I needed to be brave enough to face the new challenges, tests, and trials that blogging would bring. I needed to stick to my guns and dedicate that ‘extra time’ I had to this new adventure. And that mindset fueled my blog. Haven’t I made that decision a little over a year ago, I would not be here today.
To be totally transparent and honest, blogging isn’t certainly bringing the steady income my Etsy shop was bringing when I was making dozens of nautical party hats monthly. But one thing is for sure: as a blogger, I am in a better place today than I was a year ago. I have a list of subscribers that grows daily, a steady stream of traffic that is on the rise too, and best of all, I am at a point where I know for a fact that I am in the right path.
Whatever your heart desires, follow that path. You will find your way. Nothing great has been accomplished without compromise and great passion.