Etsy as Your Door to a Connected Future

etsyDOORtoFUTURE Etsypreneur

This post is written to the dreamers and doers out there. If you get a little bit excited at the idea that the little Etsy shop you started could be just the beginning, then this is for you. If you’re young, or young at heart, and you love to imagine a wonderful future beyond your wildest dreams, then you and I are on the same wavelength right now.

What Does the Future Hold?

It’s no secret at this point that the Internet is changing the world. We are hyper-connected through smart phones, tablets, laptops, computers, and more. Even our newest cars and televisions are connected to the world, through the web.

While there seems no shortage of people warning of the dangers of all this, and there are certainly many of those, I can’t help but be mesmerized by the opportunities. Limitless, amazing, heart-pounding opportunities.

What will you do, five years hence, when your tv is seamlessly connected to an endless supply of quality video content about every conceivable subject? Will you still watch whatever happens to be on at the moment, or will you search for something of particular interest and relevance to your life?

Will you choose to listen to one of three or four offered voices for news and opinion, or will you find that voice which resonates most deeply with you as a person?

Will you feel limited in what new skills or knowledge you can gain? What about what kind of job you’ll have, or what you consider yourself to “be”?

I don’t think I’m going out on a limb when I say that these things and many more are in the process of changing, fast.

Etsy is Just the Beginning

Dreamers like you want to be more than a spectator to this future. You want to be in the game. You want to take the bull by the horns and go for it. I – heart – you.

Etsy is Internet. It is selling online. It is eCommerce. When you have an Etsy shop, you have a web page. You have an online business.

Just claiming a stake in the new frontier is a huge-mega-jumbo step in the right direction! You can’t help but learn when you do it. You expand your knowledge massively as you progress. With each item listed, you grow. With each sale, you become more confident.

Each sale. More confident.

Do the math… what happens if you keep going and don’t quit?

Ex1+1+1 Etsypreneurtreme confidence and utmost competence is what happens. If you keep going and DO NOT QUIT you will become an online professional. You will own a recognizable and tangible piece of theinternetisthefuture real estate.

And then you’ll keep going. Further still. Step by step, day by day.

You’ll start to see opportunities in areas you never expected. You’ll become one of those voices I mentioned that people listen to. You’ll produce one of those quality video programs. You’ll become something new, something more you. Something so beautiful it excites me just to write about it years in advance.

Don’t Lose Sight of the Road Ahead

Years ago I had a friend who mentored me in business. As with all mentors, some of what he said was right, and some was wrong. But one of the things he saw in me that needed to change was right on.

I tended (tend?) to look at what was happening directly in front of me. Right now. Today. I often failed to lift my eyes up and over the events of the day so that I could see further down the road. He urged me to look further and set my primary focus on that which was coming a year, two, or ten years ahead.

I find that advice even more relevant in today’s fast changing world.

How can you change your focus? Realize that every step is progress even if it doesn’t pay cash money today. If you’re late on the rent and your Etsy shop isn’t making money, then you probably need to divert your attention for long enough to earn a few bucks. But then come back. Keep taking steps. Make progress.

Try and learn something new each week. Learn a little about SEO, set yourself up with a WordPress website, get better at photography, learn what works for others in social media.

And stay motivated! I’ll do my best to help with that part.

~Tim

Image – Original source image by Frank Vincentz, Etsyfication by Tim Layton

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Comments

  1. Stumbled here today by accident except that I don’t believe in accidents. Apparently this was just the message that I needed to hear right at this moment and it is loud and clear! I am at a pivotal point in my online and offline career paths. I am looking ahead to the future. Except that instead of waiting for best laid plans to pan out in 2-, 5-, or 10- years I want that brass ring right now! My impetuousness needs to be tempered. I can see the forest but not the trees. And I thank the Universe everyday that I have someone by my side who can, who can tether me back to earth lest I go spinning into the stratosphere with no way to return. So I may have to back off the BIG DREAM in favor of little ones, the ones that can happen here and now that will add up to the BIG DREAM down the road. Thank you for you enthusiasm and your encouraging questions. I am a new follower. Enjoy the day. Erin

    • Tim Layton says:

      Hi Erin!

      It sounds like you are right where Kim and I were when we first started working online. Previously we had only experienced “immediate gratification” type business and work, so we thought it would work this way online too. It can, but it usually doesn’t. With patience, on the other hand, I think online is more of a “sure thing” than offline business. So I think if this post encourages patience, then it will be helpful to you.

      When I say it’s a “sure thing” I’m reminded of a post on EverythingEtsy.com from almost two years back:

      http://www.everythingetsy.com/2011/01/success-on-etsy-its-a-sure-thing/

      Thanks for your comment and I’m glad to gain you as a new reader!

      ~ Tim

  2. Tim this was so good and so interesting. It makes me want to keep growing and keep challenging myself. It came just at the right time in my life.

    I’m going to save this to refer back to
    Thanks

    • Tim Layton says:

      Hi Debra,

      Thanks for your feedback! I really agree with you on the “keep growing” part. Sometimes it’s fast growth, sometimes it’s slow, but if you’re always growing then you’re moving in the right direction.

      Have a great day and thanks for visiting!

      Tim

  3. Thanks for this very motivating post! It’s such a great reminder to keep going even during those times when the light’s so hard to see at the end of the tunnel. Ditto Debra. I’m going to bookmark this for future reference.

    http://cutandchic.blogspot.com

  4. I opened my Etsy shop a few months ago and although sales have been slow, I feel more enthusiastic about its future now, than when I started. Every sale IS progress, it’s money back into the shop to try more products, and it hopefully leads to increased positive feedback…thanks for your encouraging article and the interesting links!

    • Tim Layton says:

      Kerri – You’re not alone. Almost all sellers (of most anything!) experience slow periods. The holidays are coming up though and I bet you’ll be pretty surprised. Get ready!

      Thanks for being here today!

      Tim

  5. HI Tim,

    Thank you for a post that has made me feel really enthusiastic right over. It’s so easy to just look at exactly what is happening now and think that if that’s it, it’s not enough.

    Like you say, the only way to improve is not to give up. If you keep working hard at your Etsy shop and have a realistic goal for the future, and another one after you’ve achieved that, it really will happen.

    Would you mind if I posted this on the Etsy Ireland Team page and blog (I am the Team Captain). Apart from helping to encourage all of the team members, it will probably get you a fair few new followers.

    I will obviously say it’s your piece, and credit it all to you etc etc.

    Kind Regards,

    Sue
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/amazingbeads
    http://www.amazingbeads.net

    • Tim Layton says:

      Hi Sue!

      Of course I don’t mind you sharing it with your Etsy Team. I could use a fair few new followers, especially from Ireland! Ireland is on my list of “must see” places so I’ll need some friends there to point me in the right direction. We were in the UK a few years ago, but didn’t make it to Ireland. Next time!

      I’m glad to hear this post inspired you and can serve as a reminder to look ahead a little!

      Best regards beir beannacht (hope I got that right!)

      Tim

  6. Thanks for this post and your encouragement!
    Just a babe in the world of the internet – website is 3 months old and Etsy store just open six weeks.
    No sales on Etsy, yet… but have made a couple of sales on our website.
    Still learning the ropes and it’s folks like you and Kim that help me stay inspired to keep on keeping on!
    Again, thanks for the encouragement!

    • Tim Layton says:

      Hi Polly!

      Cool to hear that you had some sales on your website. Most people wait forever on that big event.

      Kim and I both share the same feelings about Etsy, Handmade, Vintage, and indie sellers in-general so I can speak for both of us when I say how glad we are to help, even if it’s just a little bit.

      Have a great day and thanks for being here!

      Tim

  7. Thank you for casting a vision for the future and making me feel better about today. I really work hard to be a professional with my small shop and keep believing that it is not in vain and that it could be the start of something big but to hear someone else say it makes me stronger. Thank you!

  8. Fantastic! I love the “just keep going” attitude! I heard it best said that success is just a matter of holding on after everyone else has let go.

  9. Thanks, I needed this today!

  10. Hi Tim,
    Great words for motivation and perseverance…two qualities that I have lacked for most of my life. Creativity was never encouraged and although I was never discouraged, the idea of going to work everyday…to a job with benefits was far more important and so, I forced myself into a mold that never did fit. As a result, I went from office job to office job over the years and was totally miserable. I am taking a great risk at this point in my life and have been traveling within the western U.S. for the past 8 months. Next up, I return to the mountains of northern New Mexico to help out at an off-the-grid type of place that is powered completely by solar and wind. In my off time, I will begin my creativity – rug hooking and needle punch to eventually open my Etsy shop. I already write but want to begin fibre art.
    Thanks for your encouragement and inspiration and all the best to you and your family.

    Sincerely,
    Maggy

  11. Renee' Benson says:

    Chock full of info, thank you!

  12. Thank you for this post! Your words are something I will refer back to when I need a little encouragement. I love what I do, no matter how small it may seem, and this gives me all the reason I need to KEEP GOING and continue to grow! You and Kim do a great job for Etsy and the Handmade community. Thank you for your support and motivation!
    By the way, are you all still in Punta Gorda? If so, we’re practically neighbors. I live in NPort!

  13. I happened to come across your post today and it was just what I needed!
    I am at the point with my shop and in life that I need to make more of what I have. I have dabbled in blogging, but can’t seem to get going…….it is fear of failure that is stopping me. Your post has given me the inspiration to just be “out there” and try! How long did it take you to have a following?

    I have learned a lot from you both about how to do things…..keep up the good work!

    Thank you!
    Kim
    http://www.Loosethreds.etsy.com

  14. A great inspirational article to move people to open a store on Etsy. I was afraid to do it for a long while but finally got the courage. I also opened another store to sell my art. This article has inspired me to keep learning as much as I can about SEO, selling online, photography, etc.

  15. Boy did I need to hear this and hear it today. Coming up on 6 months with ETSY and only one sale ugh! But, it’s all that you say above!

    Thanks for reminding me!

    Job well done!

    Madame

  16. I don’t remember how I found your blog today but can promise you I will be reading it daily. What great insight you have and its so nice to see encouraging thoughts.

    I will try to keep this short….WARNING its not one of my strong points. I hope my story helps others that are unsure or struggling with where to go from here or looking forward.

    I had retail stores for over 30 years and in the early 90’s started to see a trend. The big box stores and China imports were putting many small mom and pop’s like myself out of business. Along came Ebay and I was able to semi-see the future of online commerce. I was one the first couple hundred sellers on Ebay and it was great! I starting seeing another trend that I actually needed internet commerce to keep my retail store going which frightened me. It was all new to me since my entire life was built on face to face customer contact. I was good at that BUT could I be good at remote selling also…it was a whole new ball game and my future scared me. (have you noticed I get scared a lot?) I continued to sell on Ebay and opening a few websites selling a product that my husband and I produced and sold in our stores.

    Fast forward to 2002. I took the plunge running completely on faith that I could make it in the online world. I closed my store and went strictly internet. It was really really hard at first and sales were slow making about half (sometimes less) of what I needed to live on. I sold personal belongs to keep food on the table but continued to keep forward motion and refine my products finding what my customers wanted. Did I have a 2, 5 10 years plan….I’m not sure but just kept working at it.

    Then a few years ago I found Etsy…thank goodness because Ebay was going south for me. I was sooo excited….an online venue of artists and after all its what I do. I started trying to sell everything from my jewelry creations to vintage…I was finding my way once more with some (but not enough) sales. THEN two years ago I refined yet again. Although it may sound like I have been “all over the place” with no cohesiveness its not really true. Everything I did in the past brought me to what I do now, the key being to keep moving forward regardless of what seems to stand in your way.

    I now have what I consider a successful Etsy business. When I started my new product line very few sellers were doing what I do….now there are tons! I just keep doing the best I can at my craft, developing new designs, keeping excellent quality control and really friendly customer service.

    It can become a job like most things but I love every minute of it. I have worked for myself my entire life and find it gives you the “illusion of freedom”. My work IS my life but I love going to work in my pajamas if I want, take as many coffee breaks as necessary and staying up late if I happen to chose to.

    Do I still get scared sometimes when business is slow…you betcha but I fly by the seat of my pants and keep positive thoughts.

    My next struggle is social media…I barely have a facebook page and know I really need to blog to increase my business. Really scary for me to put myself out there but hope to learn here how to do all of that. I have to remind myself that in every challenge there is an opportunity.

    Really sorry, that was certainly not a short post but hope it helps others know that WE CAN DO THIS!!!!!

    Thanks so much for this site, I know I will be here daily.

    Ludi

  17. Hi,
    Thank you for writing this awesome article! It is very helpful and I know that I will be on this site daily now that I found it. I have been tediously taking baby steps every day just like you said, but it is the same as working out when you want to lose weight…you start going to the gym and working your tail off – and it’s easy to get discouraged when the weight doesn’t start immediately flying off. I wish everyone would have left their etsy links here in the comments – I would love to network! I have compiled a long list (5 pages) of different sites to advertise,add your site,network, or list products on, mostly for free. Every day I try to chip away at that list. I am willing to share it with anyone that is interested! Send me a message at my etsy store and I will send it to you. I know that it is possible to be really successful online, and we all can do it! :)

  18. Thank you SO MUCH for this. I’ve been feeling somewhat down about things lately, but I now see that I’ve been looking at the “right now” instead of ahead.

    Thanks again, I’ll be back to read more :)

  19. Hi Tim! Finally taking the time to sift through all the emails that I wanted to read this summer, this was one of my save for later. I am so glad I read this. I do find myself in a day to day existence and it is good to step back and set some long term goals. I am learning how to set up a blog right now, the learning curve is very steep! It is a challenge for me but when I overcome an obstacle, it feels great and I know I am one step closer to having my own blog. Thank you for your advise and inspiration!

  20. Nice blog here! Also your website loads up very fast!

    What host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to your host?
    I wish my site loaded up as quickly as yours lol

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The term "Etsy" is a trademark of Etsy, Inc. This site is not affiliated with Etsy, Inc.

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