A worked with a very wise librarian once. She was just as wise as she was kind. One of the smartest things she ever said to me was simply, “Do your best.”
I recently screwed up with my Etsy business. I don’t like being told I did something wrong. I can be a perfectionist and I take criticism kinda hard. I’m pretty sure that has something to do with my sensitivity.
Anyway, I was selling some really cool essential oil burners on Etsy. There are three categories in which you can list things on Etsy: handmade, vintage, and crafting tools & supplies. My Etsy shop contains items from all three categories. I upcycle/craft matchboxes and include a tea light candle with these essential oil burners. So, I put them under the “handmade” section. Thus, the essential oil burner, that I did not create, was listed under the “handmade” section. Big no-no. That was a huge oversight on my part. I did not intend to sell it as handmade, but that was exactly what I was doing.
So I was contacted by the Etsy integrity team because they were flagged by someone (who knows who, but we’ll get to that later). I bet I know who flagged them too. Someone really awful and mean and horrible person who actually worked really hard handcrafting an essential burner on a potters wheel. I should’ve been reported. Etsy immediately removed my essential order listing as well as my nag champa incense listing. I, like an idiot, listed that as handmade too because of the included matchbox.
Talk about, D-U-H. Anyway, this prompted some serious Etsy store re-evaluation and revamping on my part. I do not want to take business away from artisans and crafters. I’m not Walmart, but some of the things I sell are kinda borderline, so I am creating new stuff for Etsy and a new project off Etsy is in the works.
This “scolding” really brought out my inner child and ego. After the initial shock wore off I started pointing fingers. “Who turned me in?” and “Does someone hate me?” “Is someone competing with me?” My thoughts were really ugly and childish. I had to tell myself that anytime I had the compulsion to blame, I needed to turn it right back around on myself. I was the one who made the mistake. No, it was not malicious or intentional, but I SCREWED UP. I had to deal with it. Logically, I knew why I had to take the listings down, but my ego took a hard hit once my integrity was questioned.
Me? I don’t make mistakes, EVER! I do everything with the utmost integrity every single day of my life. It wasn’t me!
Uh. Okay, whatever you gotta tell yourself, weirdo.
Just do your best.
There is a blessing in making mistakes. It’s how we learn and grow. In this case, I took a hard look at what I was doing. I updated my listings to reflect the transparency of their creation and I am working on another platform for product sales. Plus, it got me writing again.