If you are fortunate to have your sales of your work take off, you may get to experience a level of producing your work that can feel very much unlike creating art or anything at all creative.
I try to use the problem-solving skills that I have learned from the creative process to approach the drudgery that a thriving business can become. Finding joy in developing an efficient way to manage one’s order fulfillment/shipping is a skill one should develop if on the path to starting a business with a bootstrap mindset.
I never envisioned my current online business as anything other than a new career path, so I can’t really speak to envisioning one’s hobby or talent as a sideline only, but the business was a sideline until it overtook my other sources of income. And looking at the business as an eventual full-time venture helped to plan out adaptable systems for handling the day to day tasks that the business, sideline or full-time, required.
All that stuff is really exciting, i know 🙂 How about we talk some about what it is like to be a successful enough single-person Etsy shop to make a living? The intangibles of keeping all the plates spinning and the fires put out?
In my experience, it beats digging ditches, but it has as many challenges and aggravations as your average job. But it also has a few unique challenges too.
One of the biggest challenges is the work ethic. It’s a doozy. You have no boss or co-workers to keep you on track, so it is all down to you. You have to be willing to do it all, at all hours, 7 days a week. That’s not to say you will always have to work that much. You just have to be willing to do it when the situation calls for it. And to be able to know when the situation is calling for it. You will come to appreciate the days on end of work, work, work when the situation is not calling for it.
I have had spells where I had pipe dreams of a 4-hour work day, but at the same time I pushed my business away from the manageable task of producing paper prints for sale toward more production-heavy items like mounted prints on blocks and boxes. The business called out for new, more finished product, and I wanted to put more of myself in the final product, so the pipe dreams lost out. A decision made for me more than one made by me, but one I hand a hand in, just the same.
So, are you a making, listing, marketing, communicating, shipping machine? If you are willing to be one, and your work connects with customers you may just get the chance to find out.