Monday , 20 October 2014
Have you ever felt so overwhelmed running your Etsy shop, website, blogging, tweeting, facebooking, etc...that you seriously don't think you can do it one more day?

Take a Breath and a Break From Your Etsy Shop

Have you ever felt so overwhelmed running your Etsy shop, website, blogging, tweeting, facebooking, etc…that you seriously don’t think you can do it one more day? I do, frequently, but a couple of days ago I had a meltdown.

I have an Etsy shop and a website where I sell digital clip art and backgrounds. My website sends automatic email downloads to my customers, NOT so on Etsy. I have to manually send each order to the customer. My policy is to send out orders within 24 hours, this means I feel tied to my computer at all times. I have begun to feel like a prisoner. I never get a break- and honestly I don’t, because I usually send my orders out within minutes, not hours, (keeping up that great customer service-ya know?)

I know a lot of my customers that sell digital goods and promise delivery in a short amount of time feel the same way. So….this brings me to my meltdown. Yesterday, after a year and a half of this I completely fell apart- it was probably long overdue. I actually needed to fall apart in order to get some clarity.

In tears and ready to curl up in the fetal position and suck my thumb, I chose instead to

STOP, EVERYTHING.

I sat down, no computer on my lap, no book about SEO, no notebook about blog posts I need to write. I just sat, eyes closed, and heard the words my husband says every time I get jacked up and overwhelmed,

“Take a breath”

Now, he was not actually at home at the time, but I heard his words as clearly as if he were in the room with me, “Take a breath”.  So I did, I sat down on the sofa, no laptop,  no SEO book, nothing, nada. I bet I am not the only one that rarely does this. I know someone that actually takes their laptop to bed with them and during the night when they get up to go to the bathroom, checks their orders, I am not as seriously disturbed as that, but I do understand!

In that quiet moment I realized this is all self-inflicted. The world is not going to end if I wait 4 or 5 hours to send a download. Cancer won’t be cured, world peace is not going to happen because of what I do or don’t do. Don’t get me wrong, I take my business very seriously, as I know you do, but is it worth losing your mind over- NO!

I can say all this and probably not a lot will change, because I am driven, focused and do everything to the extreme, as I know a lot of you are, but try to remember, the next time you feel like you cannot deal with one more crazy customer, one more trip to the post office…

Take a breath, you will be amazed at how much good it will do!

Beth from Great Graphics Designs!

Check out Beth’s new site: http://myfriendbeth.com/blog ad1

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57 comments

  1. It sounds like you need CraftHub.me!

  2. Wow, I feel like you read a page out of my diary! This week is one of those weeks for me too. I sell invitations and provide digital proofs w/in 48hrs and similiar to you I feel like I am ALWAYS tied to my computer and a ticking clock. As if that isn’t bad enough I hear “I’m in a time crunch I need to get these invites out asap!” from almost EVERY single customer. I agree there are moments you have to put things in perspective! Great post.

    • oh I KNOW Jennifer!!! They don’t read what you say about turn around time- and EVERYONE is always in a hurry! Drives me insane!!! glad to know I am not alone!!

  3. This is SO true. People who create anything need calm, both inside and out, otherwise there’s not going to be a lot of creating going on! And yet, when you use your creativity to earn a living, then like you say, it’s orders, tweeting, packaging, posting, researching SEO, blogging etc etc ad infinitum. It’s a wonder anyone has any time to actually make anything at all :)
    Great article. So glad you wrote this!

  4. Great article…great reminder…thanks so much for sharing!

    Best wishes!
    Patty

  5. Yes….I have had to do this recently. I found I was much more productive after the break.

    Thanks for sharing !!

    Karen

  6. GREAT article is right and it’s a topic that Beth has literally hit the nail on the head. The person who she’s referring to who brings the laptop to bed would be MWAHHH….. BUT … I’ve been much better about that and don’t do that anymore BUT I do check my iphone when I get up in the middle of the night to go to bathroom. LoL. I have a ton of out of the country customers who ask many questions, same as my USA and I guess a part of me would like to give them the same amazing customer service as my USA customers.

    I guess the bottom line is, thank goodness in this economy we’re all that busy that we actually are able to even discuss this topic!

    Stephanie – Owner of Cutie Patooties

    • thanks Stephanie!!! and I really didn’t mean you were THAT disturbed- but Etsy makes us all feel like that sometimes- glad to hear you aren’t taking the laptop to bed anymore- now if we can get you to take the cellphone out of your hands….

  7. Terrific article Beth and I’m pretty sure most of us feel this way (I know I do often!). Now with the holiday season approaching I’m certain I will be taking lots of breaths! Thanks for the reminder to stay calm!

    Michele

  8. You’re so right. Unfortunately, I’ve been on rather a long break, which probably isn’t so good. Short breaks are so refreshing–even if it’s just a little pause while you notice your breathing and pull your shoulders down from your ears, which is where mine always end up. And you’re right: the world doesn’t stop turning just because you’re not connected!

  9. I too have been there. Like you, I take my business very seriously. This is a great reminder to pause and take a breath.
    Thanks Beth for showing me that I am not the only one who feels this way at times.
    Sky

  10. So true and timely reminder. I know when I’ve taken that break whether for a couple of hours or a day, it’s made all the difference. Time to get perspective! Thanks for great article! Xx

  11. Oh my! Thank you for writing about ME! This is so me. There are lots of people out there just like me who can’t seem to turn it off. I love what you had to say and yes, great advice. Can’t wait to see another article from you.

  12. So glad you reminded ME…I think I’ll just sit back for a sec and chill!

  13. thanks Patty and Katy! Nice to know I am not the only one prone to melt downs- and LOL on the shoulders to your ears- I swear I find myself completely knotted up like that sometimes!

  14. Yep- me too! I’m going to start leaving my computer & cell phone on another floor when I go to bed, that “just gonna check in” need is too strong!

    • good idea spoon! I must say – when I sleep- I SLEEP- the last thing I do in the night is check my Etsy shop- but under full disclosure- the second I wake up- I check- BEFORE coffee- which is not always wise!

  15. Great article, Beth! I feel the same way sometimes, so this is a NICE reminder. XOXO

  16. Fabulous article! Thank you so much for putting things into perspective for us. Much needed advice :)

  17. Loved your article–hopefully it will remind me to “take a deep breath” every time I get overwhelmed.Thanks so much!

  18. I’m taking a break while my store is working. Crafthub’s new Instant Digital Download Delivery ow.ly/dUyTW is making my life so much easier.

    Automatic delivery has been on my wish list for a long time and now that I have it up and working I am thrilled.

    I haven’t completely transferred all files yet but I have the most popular files uploaded and activated. It works great.

    Your customers will receive an e-mail with links to download their items a few moments after their transaction is complete and payment is received. You also get a copy of the e-mail message as delivery confirmation.

    Ten Reasons I Love Crafthub
    1. Customer receives instant delivery (even international orders at 3am my time)
    2. Automated means fewer mistakes (sleep deprived sending wrong file)
    3. I’m not rushing to computer every few hours to fill orders YAY!
    4. More time to design!!! (best part)
    5. Limited protected downloads– I can lock your files to a single IP address.
    6. Easy to resend links if email goes to spam folder.
    7. Reports at a glance- track all downloads
    8. Lots of storage- up to 1000 files
    9. Auto renew sold items.
    10. All the about for the same as my old non-delivery storage space.

    FYI: Since all my files are not transferred I leave this message:

    “I am in the process of switching to a new automated delivery system. If you ordered more than one item and it is not included below it is a file not yet in the new system. You will receive any missing link from this order within 12 hours (usually within the hour). Thank you for your patience during the file move.”

    Once all my files are uploaded (over 600) I can add INSTANT DELIVERY to my banner and descriptions.

    Now we need to get Etsy to make a DIGITAL category.

    Doing the happy dance!

    • Robin you are wonderful!!! THANK YOU THANK YOU!!! great info- particularly the part about letting them know you may not have everything uploaded yet- thank you SO MUCH!!!

  19. Amen sister!!!! I know when I get overwhelmed it’s always nice to remember to sit back, take a breath and a break. I usually try to turn off all electronics and read a few chapters of the book that has been sitting on my bedside table unopened for the past few months. It’s very relaxing and helps me get my mind off the constant orders that are coming in…which of course I am so thankful for! Thank you for this article and helping us remember to “take a breath”

  20. thanks for being so open and honest!! this is so true, and i think we should look at our shops like a “job” punch in int he mornign, work, and “punch out” at dinner time then take the evening off….thats how we ended up dealing with it after 2 years of 24/7…we came to the same conclusion! i can ship the box tomorrow! i can answer messages in the morning! dying of a heart attack from over work and stress certainly doesn’t help your customers!! and when i need an extra day i just send a little note and people are so glad and understand that we are not a corporation, we are a person!! who needs time and healing sometimes!! ♥

    • thanks Kim! oh the dinner thing- my husband gets so MAD when I stop eating to send an order- and it is almost impossible for me to sit there knowing I have one to send- but now with crafthub- my life is going to change dramatically- but for those who actually have to physically send things- I hope this will be a great reminder- and you are much wiser than I!!!

  21. Great article, Beth. You have a talent for putting words to thoughts we all have. Being self-employed usually means double (or more) the hours worked in the “normal” working world. The self-fulfillment can be double or more also, but we have to remind ourselves that we are human and not machines. And set human limits for our own health and sanity. Thanks for the reminder!

  22. I’m breathing, I’m breathing. Thanks for the reminder.

  23. Love it! :) Stopping to breathe is something we all need to do…especially before responding to the “fun” customers. ;)

  24. This was such a great article. We all need to take a step back sometimes and just let things be. Thank you. Beth. I’m so proud to be a part of the http://www.myfriendbeth.com community! Thank you for inspiring those of us just starting and those of us who have been building our little biz for a while to take a break! Great message!!! xoxo

  25. Oh Beth, this is so true. I have always been an all or nothing girl and this endeavor is no different. :) Today I took your advice and got out and took the little one for a bike ride and then both dogs and the little one (2 y/o) for a walk. It was chaotic bliss and a great break! Thank you for such great advice!

  26. I’ve actually been struggling with this as well, so this was a timely reminder to put things in perspective! The world will not stop spinning if I take a much needed and deserved break. Thanks for reminding me I’m not alone!

  27. This was such a helpful article! I feel like we were best friends in a past life haha. You are the best, look forward to reading more from you. Thanks & take care

    -Sheila

  28. I do usually take a break for part of a day. It took some time to find my schedule but I often find myself editing photos anyway. I just love what I do and yes it can be refreshing to be away for a break but I am always so satisfied when I get some great photos and know I can list something new that night.

  29. Great article Beth! As usual you are always there to put th gs in perspective and motivate us to keep on plugging. I love hearing what you have to say-it’s is always refreshingly honest and completely reassuring! Great post!

  30. Thanks so much Merrill! So glad you enjoyed it!

  31. Thank you so much for this wonderful Article. you are so right how we need to take a break from our shops. Sometimes i forget that i need time off too! But when I take a breathe and relax for the rest of the day I feel better and get more excited on doing more work on my shop the next day! :)

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