There are currently over 269,000 open shops on Etsy and, I’m proud to say, one of those belongs to me. I’m Lisa Jacobs of the Energy Shop—a spirited little spot where I sell mostly bracelets. Jewelry is a crowded market on Etsy, but I’ve made over 800 sales this year.
When I wrote my first post for the Etsy community forum about making 450 sales in my first three months of business, I shared all of my secrets and asked that readers remember that I am not the competition. I told the community, “I am always your friend. We have neighboring shops and we help each other, whether you realize it or not.”
When I wrote that post, I was using Facebook advertising to attract new customers, many of whom joined Etsy when they visited my shop for the first time. I saw my Facebook ads as a way to help my business and the selling community I was a part of. However, that logic sparked a debate between me and a reader who wondered: if I’m not trying to “outsell the competition” then why do I advertise in the first place?
If you and I were both shop owners at a local mall, and I advertised to draw people to my store, you would benefit. All Etsy sellers are my neighbors, and if someone comes to my door, it just so happens to be right next to yours. I don’t want to take your sales, but I do want to make sales. I told the reader, “To me, that’s like saying if you and I were fishing the ocean for dinner, we’re competing with each other. I don’t see it that way. I see it as both of us pulling from the bounty of the ocean.”
This is where we must be careful in business: erase those thoughts of scarcity. Ignore the reptilian-side of your brain that tries to shout, “If they have, I’ll have not!” I keep book author, Louise Hay’s lovely voice on my iPod and in my ear, and this topic reminds me of her saying that every thought we choose to think is an affirmation. When you say, “There’s only so much to go around,” that’s an affirmation, but a negative one, based on fear and lack.
As we are all human, we all are capable of that sudden jolt of envy when we see the high sales and huge success of another. What I try to do is transform that scarcity thought from envy to admiration. Do you realize that small business magazines, like Inc., are doing articles on Etsy sellers, like Ashley G and Drew, who are reporting six figure salaries with their handmade craft? SIX FIGURES! With nothing but the most respectful admiration, I shout, “Yes, please! That’s for me! Hallelujah!” By keeping my creative juices positive and forward-moving, I work toward success.
Imagine this: If you could figure out how to tell everyone in the entire world about your product right now, and then weed out the people who were interested from the people who were not, you would never be able to keep up with the demand from those who were interested. Not by yourself, anyway.
Here’s a new thought for the New Year: change your affirmations in a direction that leads you away from competitive, scarcity thinking and toward that sea of interested people. If you take one thing from this article, I hope it will be this quote from Wayne Dyer: “Abundance is scooped from abundance, and abundance remains.” That’s Universal thinking, and to that I say, “Yes, please!”