Giving Up Perfectionism When Running an Online Shop

I’ve been running online shops for many years and it really has been a rollercoaster of an experience. When I first started out about 11 years ago, things were quite a bit different. To start with, many of these online platforms were much smaller and there weren’t quite so many people competing and jostling to step into the limelight. But I think one of the main differences is that they used to only consider real handmade products from artisans.

fionastolze silkencircle

Today that is completely different. Most of these sites are filled to the brim with mass-produced goods which makes it difficult to get much visibility. However, that is how things are, and we always have the choice to play along or go play elsewhere. We always need to stay on our toes and adapt according to what is being asked of us.

It brought me to think deeply about a lot of the things that I was doing and it’s only been in the past few weeks that I really got much more clarity on where I wanted to go with all of this. Many people contact me and ask if it is worthwhile setting up shops on Etsy and other sites and my answer is still yes.

However, having been on this path for many years and a bit wiser for what I’ve found along the way, I have now given myself permission to do things my way, and this is what came to me.

First of all, I’ve stopped wearing all the hats. By that I mean that I truly only focus on what I do best. Which is creating my art and pouring out from the heart. I deeply know that my art speaks for itself. The colours, the movement, the message…. It doesn’t need drums and trumpets.

fionastolze silkencircleNext I decided to stop editing my photos and videos for hours. Cropping, playing with saturation, adding light…yikes. No, I decided that I wasn’t going to do that any more. Yes, it’s still freezing cold outside after yesterday’s snow storm, but not reason enough to just stay in for hours tinkering away at tiny photo details. So now I simply take the best possible photo I can in that moment and upload it. Done.

Etsy now allows you to upload very short product videos to highlight your art. So today I put my perfectionism to one side. I had a few trial runs and then shot the 15 second video for my mandala card deck. I noticed that I hadn’t laid the first card down cleanly on the table and just took a deep breath and realised it mattered not in the least. I was really proud of myself. And of course, these uploads are without sound so I didn’t need to play around and edit out background sound.

And I decided that, since Etsy and co. are always changing their rules and the moving the goal posts, I just had to get totally clear on being very okay with all of that. The bottom line is this. Either I am at peace going along with it all and benefiting from the exposure I get on their site. Or I decide to get upset and give myself a hard time because things aren’t going the way I want them to go. Or I can quite simply take a deep breath and say – Okay, Etsy. We’re done. I’m going elsewhere where I have more freedom to express myself artistically and creatively.

sea of calm mandala oracle deck

It’s always about taking the path of least resistance. We can make life very difficult for ourselves and go against the current but this results in unnecessary energy and time expenditure. So my advice is to just take the invitation to explore their offering and see how you can best adapt it to your situation. As I said earlier, putting perfectionism to one side is how I manage to keep my sanity in the online world. People looking for my art work and silk scarves are going to be drawn energetically to me. It’s quite simple. So staying with what I know, I move forward for now, sharing as much of my artwork online as I possibly can.

Artwork that’s sitting quietly and invisible in your workspace isn’t really helping anyone. It’s meant for sharing. It’s an energetic exchange. Enjoy the process.

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