Crickets to Cha-Chings Episode 009
Are you afraid of failing with your Etsy shop?
Welcome back to another episode of crickets to cha-chings! If you are new around these parts or this is your first time tuning in to an episode, HELLO and welcome! I am Lauren Keplinger and I teach Etsy Entrepreneurs to take their Etsy shop from a side hobby to a consistent income while maintaining flexibility, which we all need in our busy lives.
I am super excited to talk to you guys about this topic today, because this is the number one thing I have students tell me that holds them back from getting started or putting themselves out there to REALLY be all in on creating an Etsy shop with sustainable success.
And it is also the topic that people have told me is most helpful to them when we talk about it. Do you know what that one thing is? I’ll tell ya -
It is the fear of failure.
And oh buddy do I understand it because I feel it every single day in my business.
I think we all understand these feelings, really. When you get down to it, at the end of the day, we all want to be successful in every single thing that we do, and no one WANTS to be a failure or else they wouldn’t even be starting it to begin with.
And I think in this day and age of social media, that pressure is even higher to be successful in all of your ventures - there are so many more people *watching,* or at least it feels that way, and there’s also so much more smoke and mirrors with people parading their picture perfect fantasy lives all over the internet.
So it becomes a little harder to have the vulnerability to put yourself out there and take that leap or that chance, when you feel like the only people you ever see are the ones who are having these crazy success stories.
Today we’re going to talk about goal setting, and breaking through those mindset blocks that hold us back from chasing after the dreams that we really do want for ourselves but that terrify us so much that it holds up back or we make excuses about why we can’t move forward with those goal or dreams.
I’m super type A and love to make lists and set all kinds of goals for myself of the things that I’m going to achieve today, tomorrow, next week, next month.
But actually following through with those and not abandoning ship at the first setback, or not jumping in only to be totally overwhelmed by all the negative thoughts that pop into my head and then deciding that it’s not worth it and I need to work toward something else?
Another whole story.
I’m a big fan of setting what I call a Big scary goal, your BSG for short.
Your BSG is the one that you’re afraid to admit to people, and mostly likely afraid to even admit to yourself because you’re pretty sure you’re not going to be able to do it or the fear that you won’t be able to do it really scares you because you’ll be really disappointed if you fail. It’s what you daydream about if you could skip past the working part, past the day to day grind, and the times that you’re working without really seeing success, and you could just get to that end result...that end result is your big scary goal.
It looks something like “I want to quit my day job and work full time from home” or “I want to have over $30,000 in annual revenue from my Etsy shop and pay off my car” or even “I want $1000 a month in revenue to my shop so that I can get out credit card debt”
It’s a BIG goal -- and it can be kind of scary to think about how you could get there (hence the name!)
Today we’re going to break down the concept of setting that BSG a little more, and also talk about what really goes into that mental hang up that scares us so much about failure. What gets in the way of really going after the goals that we are wanting for ourselves and how are we talking ourselves out of them or convincing ourselves that it’s not really worth it?
I want to take a moment and give credit where it’s due. I got started down this path of mindset blocks and overcoming them after listing to Brooke Castillo of The Life Coach School Podcast. Her episode about Obstacle thinking, which is Episode #235 and it’s linked in the show notes of this episode, is a great one, and she does a fantastic job of explaining why we get held up in these thoughts and how to overcome them.
Alright, so how do you start goal setting for yourself in regards to opening your Etsy shop and then actually go after it even if you’re terrified?
The first step is, I want you to brainstorm what that big scary goal will look like for you.
Where do you want to be six months from now, or a year from now? What is your long term goal surrounding your shop and the success of owning your own business, and what does that look like for you once you’re past the early stages of getting started and being in that kind of grind, and you’re on to the more fun parts where it is rolling along without a lot of struggle?
Does it involve a set number of sales you want to have for the year?
Does it involve a life change (like being able to quit your full time job or reduce your hours and make up that income from your Etsy sales)?
Does it involve a revenue number or a goal for the revenue that you want to make (like make enough to pay the mortgage payment every month, or be able to pay off your car loan within the next year from the money you’ve made from your business) or being able to pay for camp this summer for the kids without stressing about the cost?
Now I want you to write out that end goal on a piece of paper or in your notebook.
Don’t just think it in your head but not flesh out the details -- go all the way there because it will help you as you work through this entire exercise. Write it out and visualize your life once you are achieving that goal and what that looks like in the day to day for you.
Next, I want you to sit for a moment and allow your mind to wander surrounding that big goal that you set or that long term vision of what this business can provide for you.
What are the immediate thoughts that pop into your head?
They may not be popping into your head right this second while I’m talking to you, because it takes a little bit of stillness to allow those thoughts to really enter.
But believe me, they’re there, even if you aren’t hearing them right now. They are just more sneaky when you aren’t acknowledging them, but they are still living in the back of your mind, and playing on repeat.
Chances are, the thoughts are negative.
They probably sound something like this: “Everything on Etsy has already been done before, and I’m not creative or unique enough to stand out” or “I don’t know how to market, and I’ve never done anything like this successfully. I’m too old to get starter, I don’t have any business experience, or I have no idea where to start.”
On that podcast I mentioned, Brooke Castillo calls this Obstacle Thinking, and says that this is our mind’s way of protecting us from failure.
We’re terrified of failing, so we do everything we can to keep ourselves in the safe zone where we won’t ever experience failure. But we also won’t ever really experience great success either, because we’re just kind of hanging in that limbo grey area of mediocrity.
We tell ourselves all the many ways that we probably won’t be able to achieve our goals, and then we look for evidence that that is true.
When you tell yourself that everything has already been done on Etsy, you then find evidence that the niche you’re in is totally saturated. You go searching and you see that there are thousands of shops selling really similar things, and some people are even doing a really good job selling what you want to sell.
When you tell yourself you’ll never be able to quit your day job, you then proceed to see all the ways that you’ll be stuck in the 9-5 forever (I need the paid vacation, I have to have a reliable income and won’t ever have enough sales to feel comfortable with the stability of it, I have student loans to pay for the degree I got for the field I’m working in, and there’s no way I can change directions.)
Your mind finds a way to confirm that that obstacle thinking is true, which then just proceeds to discourage you from moving forward and changing it.
But I just want to make the point that this doesn’t mean that the obstacle thought actually is true - just that you’ve found enough evidence that you don’t have to admit to yourself that you are not going after your dreams because you are too scared of failing, and that the only thing REALLY holding you back is yourself.
So we’re fight against that. I want you to go back to that worksheet, and write out those objections and obstacle thoughts.
Again, don’t just think them.
Write them out.
Put them on paper and make them real. This exercise requires some work and some time, but don’t rush it. I promise that by acknowledge these thoughts and giving them a name and a voice, we’re able to address them so much more successfully. But it requires really thinking through them, and not just giving them a once over.
What is your mind telling you is standing in the way of achieving your goals or even taking that first leap?
What kind of obstacles are in your way or make this goal so impossible that you’re never going to be able to do it or that failure is imminent.
Sometimes obstacle thinking can also present itself as merely an observation - for example, you have this fleeting thought that there are millions of shops on Etsy so there are so many shops already selling the same thing as me.
That’s just an observation, and there is some truth to it. There are tons of shops on Etsy, and likely there are lots of shops already selling the same thing as you. So you can justify it to yourself as a truth, not an opinion.
But you need to dig a little deeper to see the unspoken part of what your mind is assuming is ALSO true: the end of that sentence “There are lots of other shops selling the same thing I want to sell on Etsy” is “so I will never be able to stand out with my items, and my shop will not be successful. I don’t have anything unique to offer that people haven’t already done.”
Even though the observation that there are a lot of shops on Etsy selling the same thing seems relatively benign, when you really flesh it out, it is that unspoken end of the sentence that holds you back in fear.
Once you have a decent list of obstacle thoughts to attack, you’re going to think about the answers or the rebuttals to these thoughts.
Think about how to combat that obstacle by thinking of what you need to do to make it NOT true.
Obstacle thought: “There are millions of shops on Etsy and there are lots of shop that already sell the same thing as me”
Overcoming Strategy: “Ok, so I have to figure out a way to uniquely brand my products so that they offer something that makes them stand out and be different than what other people are offering”
You don’t have to come up with what that unique spin on the items is right at this moment, but you just need to acknowledge that this challenge does exists, and you’ll have to work on that area of your business strategy in order to be successful.
All the sudden the saturation of Etsy isn’t so scary.
You just need a plan to brand your items in a slightly unique way that makes the stand out from the other people who are selling similar things -- seems doable, right? It certainly isn’t an impossible task, and it makes the whole thing a lot less overwhelming, because you an action item to really address - branding your items and getting the message out about what makes them unique.
Here’s another one:
Obstacle Thinking: “I have no idea how to get started and I’ve never run a business before”
Overcoming Strategy: “I need to learn the basics of Etsy, and spend invest some time in the education of making my Etsy shop successful.”
Ok, that doesn’t seem so complicated.
As the marketing genius Marie Forleo says, “Everything is figure-out-able.” You aren’t unable to learn new things, so of course you can learn how to set up an Etsy shop and get it started.
It is not rocket science.
I just want to put a little plug in here that if you are having trouble taking the very first steps of getting started on Etsy, today is the last day to join my free masterclass, Crickets to Cha-Chings, the 3 Step Framework for a Profitable Etsy Shop. If you want to sign up for that, you gotta move fast because today is the last day. The website to sign up for that is www.cricketstochachings.com. We will walk through the framework, the step by step of how to build that shop, and what you need to work on first, and next, and next.
Once you’ve done this for all of your obstacle thoughts, you’ll be on your way to overcoming them.
Remember this: your brain is not right. That voice in your head is not telling you the truth. It’s telling you a spin on the truth that makes it safe for you to stay where you are - but it doesn’t make you content in that place, and it doesn’t allow you the room and freedom to take those chances and really find the success that you’re wanting.
Those thoughts in your head telling you that it can’t be done, everyone else has already done it, and YOU can’t do anything that big/crazy are just WRONG.
But you know how the saying says better the devil you know than the devil you don’t?
You have to acknowledge them to know them, rather than ignore them, so that you can think through the solution and the strategy to overcome them. If you don’t ever call them out, you aren’t able to fight against them.
Once you master the art of obstacle thinking and overcoming strategies, you’ll be able to set even higher goals for yourself in the future.
You’ll begin to achieve so many of those big scary goals that you’ve set, which makes it possible for you to allow yourself to dream even bigger and to be okay when you don’t reach those goals. We’re not always going to be successful right out of the gate, but you’ll no longer see these setbacks or slow growth as a personal failure, but instead see it as something to work toward even harder or allow yourself to re-adjust your strategy and keep moving toward that goal
If you’re wanting to chase after those Big Scary Goals in 2019, and you want some help and accountability along the way, I’d like to this time to invite you to join that free masterclass, Crickets to Cha-Chings, the 3 Step Framework for Profitability on Etsy in 2019 and beyond. Today is the last day to join that masterclass and I don’t want you to miss out if you are interested in hearing about that 3 step framework and also hearing about my signature program, Etsy Roadmap to Success which will walk you through the steps to take yoru shop from this side hobby that’s not really going anywhere to a consistent income — whether you are wanting a full or part time income. Again, that website is www.cricketstochachings.com.
I hope this has been helpful to yall and you’re ready to crush those huge dreams. I can’t wait to see what my students do by the end of 2019 -- it makes me so stinkin excited to think about I can barely even stand it! I will see y’all back here next week on the podcast. See you soon!