I’m a little late in sharing this but I had a post up on RevolutionizeHer yesterday about overcoming discouragement. Have a read and let me know what you think! Also, if you have any tidbits to share, please do. Enjoy your day!
The internet is an amazing thing but it also has the potential to bring a person down. One of the things I’ve been struggling with since trying to grow my blog and Etsy shop is comparing myself with others. I follow some amazing blogs and often put a lot of pressure on myself to be where they’re at and have the same success. The thing is, a lot of these bloggers have been doing this for years. And here I am just starting to blog (somewhat) consistently since July and I’m expecting myself to have the same place of authority in the blogging world. They’re not kidding when they say you need to be patient when trying to grow your readership.
This comparing has also seeped into my creative mindset. I find myself second guessing things I’m doing and once loved. Losing confidence in the things I was once so excited about. But when I step back from the computer for a bit, not worry so much about what others are doing but what I’m doing to make this dream of mine come true, I find my confidence restored. The blogosphere is a great place for ideas, inspiration, and instruction, but it’s so important to not get caught up in it all and let it hinder your personal and creative growth.
Am I nervous about sharing these thoughts about my handmade journey and making them available for all to see? You betcha. But it’s inevitable to have these moments of weakness. The question is: do I get sucked in to comparisons and crash and burn? Or do I learn to step away to enable myself to grow and to learn? I’m shooting for the latter.
I often times find myself comparing my life to others. It’s a horrible, horrible habit of mine. One that I’m hoping to work on and obliterate from my life. In the past, I’ve found myself getting jealous at the fact that others have more than I do or are able to go on vacations or do more than I’m able to. And the thing is, I am blessed beyond all measure. I have SO MUCH compared to others. I may not be able to take two-week vacations to Europe, going out to eat for me is going to Chik-Fil-A, and buying new clothes oftentimes means buying one new shirt…on clearance…at Old Navy. But I have a loving family, a roof over my head, heat in my house, and food in my belly, among a slew of other luxuries.
[Stephen playing with the little guy]
When I start to get down about not having the things I want (take note: things I want and don’t need), Stephen always helps me to put things into perspective. I make assumptions that the people I know who have more than me are better off financially. And, a lot of times, this isn’t the case. We live in a culture where most people live beyond their means. We have so much yet always want more. People that are taking big vacations every year and going out to eat constantly at nice restaurants likely have large amounts of unnecessary debt. It’s so important for each of us to not compare ourselves to others. And, just as important, is to not make assumptions about others. It’s damaging to both parties. For the person making the assumption, you harbor a lot of negativity, jealousy, and bitterness. I don’t think I need to elaborate on why holding on to those feelings is not good. And for the other person, they’re being completely misjudged. Your attitude towards them can affect the way you, and others, treat them.
What I’d like for you, and myself, to take away from this post is to not compare yourself to others. To delight in your successes and, also, the successes of others. Secondly, it’s not a horrible thing to have wants but it is important to not let it overcome you. And you don’t want it to negatively affect your attitude towards others and what you have been blessed with.
So, I feel very silly. I made this big huge fuss about having to get up in the wee hours of the morning to partake in Hello Etsy and, little did I know, they were going to make the sessions available on their Online Labs afterwards. And I’ll admit, I did wake up at 4am to watch the very first one. I would have also watched another at 5:30am except Caleb woke up at that time and needed comforting. And baby tending will always come before watching an online event.
I did catch up on all of the sessions I wanted to watch this weekend though. I have to say, two of the sessions that stuck with me in a major way were Chad Dickerson’s, CEO of Etsy, and Lisa Rodwell’s, VP of Marketing and Product at Moo. Chad’s was very inspirational (it was about finding the courage to take on your passions) while Lisa’s was very informative and practical (branding your business on a tight budget).
Chad made 4 concluding points that I think are short and to the point but very, very good:
3. Make mistakes (to allow yourself to make progress)
4. Be true to yourself
I mentioned my creative vices a few posts back. How I have a hard time starting something because I’m afraid of making mistakes. But he just reiterated and reminded me that, especially these two things, are very important to learning and growing.
Lisa had so many good points about branding that I wouldn’t be able to put them all here. But one thing that stuck with me throughout her whole session was the idea of consistency. She said to be consistent will help your brand build itself.
I am in no way a public speaker though. To see them speak more eloquently than me, click on the links below. I’m sure you’ll be able to get some really great insight out of each of their sessions. I have a notebook full of notes.
Get ready for Hello Etsy tomorrow morning. It starts bright (well, maybe not too bright around 4am) and early for us on the East Coast. Have your notepads ready to jot down some insightful information! And have a wonderful weekend!
I subscribe to the Etsy Success newsletters and when I got the latest one about Hello Etsy, I was stoked. Yes, it’s in Berlin. No, I can’t afford to go there. But Etsy, the always helpful organization, has come up with a way to allow those who can’t go to Berlin a chance to attend. They have satellite events in the U.S. that you can attend, should you be lucky enough to have one of those said events near you. But for those who don’t, like me, you’re still able to attend through their Online Labs. And the best news of all? It’s FREE. How often do you have a chance to attend a creative summit like this for free? The only thing you may have to sacrifice is a bit of sleep since Germany is six hours ahead of the east coast. I figure it’s worth it to lose a little sleep to be able to attend something like this and gain some helpful insight for creative entrepreneurs. I’ve wanted to attend an event like this for some time and am so, so excited to have a chance to do so. The summit takes place from Saturday the 17th to Sunday the 18th. It doesn’t look like every single conference will be available for streaming but, after looking through the list on the Online Labs and RSVPing for a bunch of them, there are some really great ones available for us U.S.-ers. If anyone reading this is a creative entrepreneur, I would suggest you not miss out on this event.
Also, I have to point out that I’m in no way affiliated with Etsy. I do shop there and intend to set up shop on the website, but I don’t work for them. I just love them.