Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Working Without A Net

I'm one of those people who read too many books. So when I was pregnant with my first child, I read everything about parenting I could get my hands on. While I'm certain a great portion of the information I digested was uniformed opinions, there were a few universal truths revealed in many different places. One of those truths was the claim that children not only need structure, but crave it as well.

I submit to you, that we never stop craving that structure. I've decided that beneath all those requests in the critiques forum of etsy, besides the obvious cries for attention, are really requests for people to be told exactly what to do. They ask when they should list, what pictures they should use, how much to charge, how many items they should have and dozens of other things. Underneath all of those questions is one single request, "tell me what to do". We may claim that we want creative freedom, but we really want the safety net of a strictly scheduled life.

I remember getting out of high school and feeling that sweet, sweet freedom of no one telling me what to do. Then I went to college and even though I had more freedom, the recipe for success was still clearly spelled out. Go to class, study, get good grades, everything is fairly clearcut. Next, I got my first real job and I was told exactly what I needed to do to get paid and eventually get raises or promotions. I moved out on my own and even then I was told when the bills needed to paid.

There are a lot more areas of our lives that are purely unstructured and no one else can tell you what needs to be done to make you feel like you've succeeded. Etsy is one of those places. It is different for everyone and no matter how many times you plead for someone to tell you exactly what to do, you will still end up having to make your own decisions because there are very few right or wrong answers here in the real world. What works for me, may not work for anyone else. There is no magic formula, no parent or teacher to tell you what to do and give you an grade on your store.

I'm afraid that you are now working without a net, schedule or scapegoat. Sure people can help with a little advice now and again. We all have more to learn, but if you really need someone to tell you exactly what to do, you never will be truly happy or a real success.

7 comments:

Art By MAR said...

Very well said. Everyone wants the magic formula for success but I don't think it exists. You have find what works for you by trial and error and be ready to keep changing it.

niftyknits said...

you're so right - but I still want the magic answers. please?

T.Allen-Mercado said...

What an insightful well-written post. I am one of the few self absorbed, deeply introspective types who've flown without a net for a large part of my life. So much so, that I have real issues with authority. It's all good though;you'd be surprised what one learns from a hard, net-less fall. The road to wisdom is paved with big hard rocks that show no mercy. Etsy is a good show of that on a microcosmic scale.

Regal Beads said...

I'd have to agree!

Anitra Cameron said...

Very well put, and so true.

Chucka Stone Designs said...

Great reminder, thanks!

Waterrose said...

I agree. I think I ask those questions on days when I'm feeling a little uncertain about myself. I forget that the best way to success is to just do what you love and then market yourself.