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There's too much to do, too much to learn, too much that I don't know about all the changes in technology, seo, marketing, etc....way too much to overcome to make my dream of a successful side hustle a reality. I'm too late. There's not enough time to do it all.

These are just a few of the thoughts that swirl around in our heads that prevent us from just taking the leap in starting our own business.

“Our greatest battles are with our minds.” – Jameson Frank

If you're around me much, I'm sure you'll hear this sentiment again. Because our minds are so incredibly powerful. What we think has the power to propel us towards an unbelievable future or paralyze us with fear. When I was restarting my business, conquering some of my negative thought patterns was one of the biggest things that contributed to my growth. Years of insecurity and doubt had long settled in and weren't planning on moving out.

You haven't sold anything in almost 9 years. Your customers are long gone.

The market is saturated now. You'll never get seen.

I don't even remember how to list something for sale.

I'm going to have to take a ton of photos; this is going to take me forever.

I don't understand how people are "using AI to be successful."

What if what I'm creating is irrelevant now?

Is Etsy still a good place to sell or is it over-saturated?

Are there other marketplaces I should look into?

Is all this work worth it?

I mean, I could go on all day. Because the list is WAY longer than this. But you get the idea. In our digital age, we are inundated with information. And a lot of it is junk. So how do you know which has merit and which is just hype?

I think I have a pretty good barometer for sifting through the noise. But it has taken a lot of time and research to get to where I feel comfortable saying that. I certainly have been bitten by good marketing strategies only to find that their paid value is exactly what you get off google. And I find that extra annoying, not just because I paid for it, but because it wasted my time and that's the bigger commodity I don't have any bandwidth to lose.

I will be honest and tell you that I have not conquered the overwhelm monster. But I have learned to listen to the thoughts and be able to identify which ones are coming from fear, set those aside, and refocus my attention to which tasks move the needle forward faster. Most of the time....

You will get overwhelmed, no doubt about it. But you can wrangle in the negative thoughts and still make progress. One step at a time. That's how we all do it.

The good news is that you don't have to do everything now. You don't have to follow what everyone else is doing, in fact, frequently, highlighting what makes you unique is the best selling point. And you don't have to figure it all out immediately. I have another blog post on slow growth that really spells out the benefits of figuring things out when there aren't as many eyes on you.

“Anxiety happens when you think you have to figure out everything all at once. Breathe. You’re strong. You got this. Take it day by day.” – Karen Salmansohn

But in case you're still wondering about those thoughts from above, here are the answers:

The people that loved you then will love you now. Yes, the market is saturated, but you will get seen with the right tools & information. The how-tos on listings & mockup, etc are the easy part. I love AI now- it's a very useful tool for me. Yes, Etsy is oversaturated but it can still be a good place to sell and yes, there are other marketplaces that can be very helpful depending on what you want to sell. And lastly, yes, it definitely can be worth it.

One of my tips that I wish I had done in the beginning is to dream big before I build out the business. Take a look at: What if your plan succeeds? What will your days be filled with? Is it easily scalable? (even with print-on-demand and digital downloads, you have to be prepared for increased customer interactions and how much time it takes to create new products, create mockups, and list & market them) The point in this exercise is to realize that success comes with some hardships you will have to work through. Every growth point brings good and bad that you'll have to navigate. But if you can envision what your days will look like when you get there, you can catch some pitfalls before they happen.

Warmest regards,


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