Here's a picture of my very first ~sold~ item from my new Etsy shop! The Impressionista crocheted throw was mailed today, off to make a young lady's room happy with comfort and color. Yippee! It was a happy moment for me, even though I was just a bit nostalgic as I folded up Impressionista and nestled her within the tissue paper in the shipping box. We'd spent a lot of time together, before I finished her up, photographed her, and posted her on Etsy.
But before I got to do my victory dance, I went through just a tad bit of mental/emotional upset, largely of my own making. And therein lies the lesson:
You see, from the first, when I hatched my vision of setting up this online shop, I wanted it to be more than an outlet for my creative hobby. It certainly is a creative outlet - it's amazing how the chance to earn has given me a focus for pursuing my artisan passions - but I want and need an income-generating stream, as well. I mean, I really need this potential income!
So, I worked my tail off for several months getting everything ready, taking photos, opening accounts, creating a banner, writing the copy - all that stuff. I posted my Grand Opening announcement here and sent it out to several contact and discussion groups. I did all that marketing stuff that I was supposed to. And then I waited, and waited.
Okay, I didn't have to wait that long - it took less than two weeks to get my first sale, for cryin' out loud Jan get a grip! (Patience is not one of my virtues.) And I also waited for some positive feedback (kudos, strokes) from a certain set of folks that I was expecting to hear from. And I waited some more.
Now, if you remember my previous CycleCast, I said we've been in a time of blocked energy. There I was, trying to find a way around my Block called fear of financial insecurity, which can do terrible things to people if they let it take over them. So I'm trying to remember my own forecasting advice and keep myself calm, while waiting for the money to follow my doing what I love. It wasn't working. My mood kept getting funkier, and funkier, and funkier.
What was going on with me at the time? I can't say I was afraid of being found inadequate - I know my works are good. With the money thing foremost in my mind, fear of failure was in the mix. Like, how dare I put myself out there and then not succeed? But the biggest piece of the emotional brew was this familiar little twist called athazagoraphobia - fear of being forgotten, ignored, blown off. Yes, I've had that "friend" hanging around me for a long time, but I've only recently learned the word for it.
On Monday morning I sat down and wrote another message to the group I'd been expecting to hear from to. Looking back I am not proud of how I whined and sniveled in that message - though I sure did a good job of whining and sniveling! Poor me, no one replied to my message, waaahhhhh. At least I got my feelings off my chest, so I was able to go do a few productive things that day. Then, when I got back to my computer a few hours later - there it was (long story short) - my first sale. Yiippee! Instant mood change!
And I immediately felt embarrassed as heck about that sniveling message I'd left with my discussion group (I confess to going back to the site and deleting it). Some folks did reply very kindly to me, and I've followed through and hopefully made amends. So here we are, and all's well that ends well, and now I'm scratching my head thinking, what was that all about? Out of the Block, here are my new foundation stones:
- If you want to see God laugh, tell him your plans (or expectations).
- Expectations, it has been said, are pre-ordered resentments. How well I know the truth of this, yet I couldn't stop myself from having expectations. Is it maybe just part of being human?
- Sometimes we have to authentically express our pain, show our warts and all, and then let the chips fall where they may.
- We all need to give, and get, support from each other. Often in our busy lives we pass up the chance to do this. A little reminder now and then doesn't hurt. Just remember, we're all doing the best we can.
- When all else fails, whine a little - it may even help! Just use some discretion about when and where you whine;-)