image and ACEOs by Jan Burch
I was posting around in the Etsy promo forums yesterday, when a very nice seller called stonetotem wrote that she had bought one of my items - the little fish shown above. I was so surprised, I had to fumble through all the back-clicks to get my own shop pages and find out that it was true - w00t! Ding ding ding! Happy Dance - I made a sale!
Fellow Etsians will know what I'm talking about: There's something about getting that sale notification that brings out the Happy Dance like nothing else. This is especially true for us newbies - wait, did I just call myself a newbie, when I've been selling since August, and have (ahem) 17 sales currently under my belt?
Yes, I still feel like a newbie, and that's what I really want to talk about. I'm not writing this just to brag about myself, you know, although that's certainly part of the agenda. No, I want to explore the underlying neuroses that accompany my journey through selling v. not selling. I'm sure I'm not alone in my thoughts, and I hope this will ring a bell with some of you.
The awful truth is, when I go into those dry spells between sales, the Itty Bitty Bleepit Committee in my head takes over, and they start making me think I've never made a sale in my life and I never will again!!!!! I'm a total impostor, I'm a kid playing around with the big boys, and how dare I call myself an artist. (Actually, I think of myself more as an artisan or craftsperson than an artist, but never mind.) Then I lose my confidence, and I start doing rash things like planning to pack all of my shop goods in plastic trash bags for the next charity drive in my neighborhood. Fortunately, good sense prevails and I refrain, and then fortunately another sale comes along and I regain my equilibrium.
With that in mind, I find it helpful to go through my list of what I've actually sold since I began my Etsy venture:
- Five ACEOs - all of which are original collage art pieces. (That means people are actually buying my art, I say as I pinch myself to make sure I'm not dreaming.)
- Three afghans, all of my own design (ditto with the pinch).
- Five scarves, three winter and two summer.
- One shawl, a vintage dress pattern, a crocheted Christmas stocking, and a reading!
- Add to that the things I've sold outside of Etsy - two labyrinths, three scarves, and several note cards. Since these don't show up on Esty, I tend to forget about them. That's why I've started posting all my sales to my Facebook profile.
Because at the end of the day, it's all about having confidence. Let me modify that - a balanced sense of confidence. I know very well the pitfalls of hubris and thinking I'm better than I ought to be, but I also know well the dangers of the Itty Bitty Committee and the voices that would tell me to hang it up. Confidence wins, and I have to keep lists of stuff I've done successfully (and post them to my blog now and then) to remind myself that I CAN DO THIS - well, so be it. And so it may be for you, dear readers and fellow Etsians. Look back at your successes and remind yourself that you can do this. It helps, it really does.