Pledges and affirmations can be powerful things. In this episode, we take one of our favorite pledges and make it especially relevant to your Etsy success and the e-commerce space.
A great idea to commit yourself to Etsy success!
Today, we’re talking about the Marmalead version of the S.W.E.A.T pledge, which stands for Skill and Work Ethic Aren’t Taboo. We totally borrowed this idea from Mike Rowe of Mike Rowe Works and Dirty Jobs. We thought this was a cool idea as it’s all about things you stand for. Things that you feel are important with work, which of course bleed into your life.
Ten things for Etsy success
We have ten things on the pledge, which we’ve twisted and turned into a format that makes more sense for Etsy sellers and Marmalead users instead of just the general public. We’ll take you guys through each of these ten!
1. I am grateful
I am grateful for the ability to sell in an online marketplace.
This wasn’t an option fifteen years ago. You would have needed a paper catalog to do this. Fifteen years ago, back before the e-commerce boom, your barrier to entry would have been magazines that were popular to order through. Just a couple examples would have been Skymall magazine or the Sharper Image catalog.
If you wanted to sell hobby-related products or DIY stuff, you’d basically be putting out ads in the back of a magazine, and that would cost more than creating an Etsy shop and publishing some listings. And now, so many people can search and find your products without going to Barnes & Noble to cruise the back of magazines! We live in a really good time to be alive for this kind of e-commerce opportunity.
2. Passion drives my business, but it’s not always fun
My passion drives my business, but that doesn’t mean every part of my business is enjoyable. There are some things I must do to be successful, and those things often aren’t fun, but they’re worth it!
It’s going to be very rare that you’re going to enjoy every aspect of your business or job or anything else for that matter. You might like doing yard work, but it doesn’t mean you enjoy every part of it. Maybe you enjoy gardening, but you don’t enjoy cutting the grass or pulling weeds.
In business, these might be things like loving to make and sell your product, loving to market it but not enjoying the accounting part of your business. That part might suck your soul. But that’s ok to a certain extent because it’s necessary.
What’s important is to bring the passion you have for your business and funnel it into those tasks you don’t love as much. This will greatly help your overall success in your business!
3. Etsy success is my responsibility
Success is my responsibility. There are many resources I can use to help me. It’s how I put those resources to work that determines MY Etsy success.
Accountability for yourself and your success. It’s not about the things that happened to you. It’s what you do about them and how you respond. Of course, things happen. There are ups and downs, but we have to take the mentality that we are ultimately responsible for how things turn out.
Let’s take Marmalead, for example. It’s a set of tools, but it’s not going to do the work for you. You still need to do something with them. It’s no different than buying some paintbrushes and some paint. You aren’t then going to expect the paintbrushes to paint a canvas alone. You’re ultimately responsible for how the paint gets onto the canvas.
4. I use my time wisely
I use my time wisely. There are an infinite number of ways to become distracted. Creating product, telling shoppers about my product, fulfilling my product, is at the core of my business. My daily activities either directly relate to that or it’s playtime, not work time.
This goes right back into having that passion for your business. There are a lot of things that we want to do as business owners. Like right now, we might be writing a blog post. There are one thousand other things we could also be doing!
If we open our email, if we get on social media, all these things will vie for our attention. The key is learning to just knock the small things out, stay focused, get your work done, and all of a sudden, you’ll find you’ve got more time to accomplish even more! Time management and staying focused are key.
5. Education is critical to my Etsy success
I believe education is critical to my Etsy success. There is a big difference between knowing everything and knowing what I need to know for the task at hand. I could spend all day in forums and or Facebook groups, but I won’t. I won’t because my time is valuable and I will learn what I need to learn to do the job in front of me.
Needing to know that “one more thing” is a big trap that any of us can fall into. I’ll read that one more article. Watch that one more video. Read that one more book, and then I’ll be ready. But even when you do that, the problem is, as soon as you open up that thing you want to do, you’re going to run into something that wasn’t talked about in that book or that article, and you’re going to have to go problem solve it anyway.
So learn as you go. Try it out. There is no substitute for just working at your craft and learning as you go. That’s how the people writing the books learned in general. That’s why we make these videos. Because we’ve personally learned these things along the way. We didn’t read it in a book and then summarize it in this post.
6. If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right
If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right. I don’t skimp on quality in my business. I buy the best tools for the job and get work done.
Quality in, quality out. Buy the best stuff, and you’re going to have the best results. In general (no matter what you’re doing), you’re just going to have a better time with better tools. So do it right! Especially when you’re delivering products to customers. People will remember high-quality products. You want quality. You deserve quality as a customer. As a producer, reciprocate that quality for your customers.
7. I don’t whine and complain
I don’t whine and complain. There is simply no time for that, and it gets me nowhere. I have a business to build.
So stick with it. Don’t whine and complain about it. Remember, what you focus on expands. If you find something negative to complain about, that negative complaint will just get bigger. Especially if you find more people complaining. Maybe you’ve experienced this in a workplace environment. As you start to find something to complain about to other people, they will gravitate towards you with their own thing to complain about. Next thing you know, all you’re doing is complaining.
Instead of complaining, look for the best in things. Be that glass half full person and don’t focus on the thing that’s not going well. Focus on the thing that is.
8. My choices dictate my direction
My choices dictate my direction. I strive to make good choices to move in a good direction. I believe if I do the right thing (even when others don’t) I will absolutely be better off.
It’s natural to want to compare yourself to others, but you’re on your own journey. Just remember that your goal is to be a better version of yourself. Eventually, if you keep doing that, your competition will be left behind naturally because you just keep improving.
9. Work smart and hustle
Hustle is great. Working smarter and hustling is even better.
Hustle can be great. Richie has been talking about hustle over the years but has been torn about it. Hard work is not a bad thing. But when “hustle” is communicated in such a way that it seems like you should be working twenty-hour days, that is no longer a good thing. This will wear you down and contradicts what we just talked about above. If you wear yourself down, you’re not putting your best foot forward. You’re not doing your best quality work.
If you’re running on a couple hours of sleep, you are not going to be very clear about things. You’re not going to create quality content. You’re not going to write clear. Ultimately, you’re not going to be happy and might be kind of grouchy. So, focus and work hard at what you’re doing, but work smart.
Focus where it counts
Don’t break your back hustling if you want to go do some gardening. Just be sure to use a shovel. Don’t necessarily just dig in with your fingernails. This ties back into what we were talking about before. If you’re not focusing on the right things, you can still be hustling quite a bit, but you’re not going to be making as much progress or forward momentum as you want to with your shop. This is why it pays to spend some time thinking about things and making sure you’re being smart about how you’re hustling and not just 24/7 hustling.
Our shameless plug to help with your Etsy success
You want to do SEO well? There are manual ways that you could go collect a bunch of numbers. Obviously, you can’t get all the information that we provide in Marmalead. But there is stuff you could do to go do market research on your own pricing-wise. However, Marmalead makes it way faster and does all that work for you. Instead of writing the info you’ve collected about your listings on a spreadsheet and tracking everything manually. That’s not hustling. That’s working hard. That’s not working smart.
10. I make every hour count
We all have the same 24 hours in a day. I am going to make the most out of each one of those. And yes, sleep and self-care counts.
It might be easy to look at someone else and wonder how they’re getting so much done compared to yourself. But the 24 hours we have in a day is one of those great equalizers we all have. It’s a matter of how you’re going to use that time. So work hard, work smart, and deal with those 24 hours in the day… but make sure you get some sleep.
Make sure you take care of yourself, otherwise you’re not going to be at your best. And that means exercise, eating right, and even relaxing. Take time for yourself to clear your mind, meditate, practice mindfulness. There are all kinds of ways to take care of yourself.
Creating space for Etsy success
You need to create space. This might be a weird thought to consider creating space when you feel like there’s so much to do. Your to-do list feels like it’s getting massive. You’ve got a ton of projects you want to do. You don’t see any way forward and the thing you want to do most is just put your head down and cram through everything.
But the thing you need most is to create a little bit of space to get your mind in the right place. When you take the time to do this, it’s amazing how much clarity there is to be found.
A traffic jam preventing Etsy success
It’s almost like when you’re just trying to power through things, your mind becomes a traffic jam. Once you create a little bit of space your mind is still working on those things in the background. Your subconscious is cranking through them and then solutions just come to you while you’re cooking eggs for example.
It’s weird, but it’s how it often works. People always say their best ideas come when they’re in the shower and there’s truth to that. There’s a reason why people say this! It’s finding separation in that time away from the task that’s in front of your face all the time.
So there you guys go! This is our version of Mike Rowe’s S.W.E.A.T. Pledge. We hope you enjoyed it! With our version, it’s even more relevant to people in the Etsy and handmade space. Take the pledge and commit yourself to Etsy success!
Below is a PDF version of our S.W.E.A.T pledge, so if you wanted to come back and either watch this again to remind yourself of the pledge or if you wanted to print that out and keep that with you, we’re going to try to give you a convenient way to do that.
Happy selling, everyone!
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