I want this blog to be about my progress starting an Etsy store, so, to start my journey, I wanted list of all my fears in doing this, so today, let’s talk about my fears and those .
My fears, in general
I’ve always been afraid, in all different ways, at least subconsciously. My fear is mostly based in pain: “Will this hurt me physically or emotionally?” If the answer could be ‘yes’ at least half the time, I’m going to say no thank you. A good example is horror movies. Will this scary movie give me emotional terror? 100% yes, and therefore, no thank you.
As an adult, I’ve had to adjust the question. Many times, the answer to my question will be ‘yes’ but I will not have a choice in the matter. Like, will it hurt to go to the dentist? 100% yes, but it is unavoidable, and it will hurt less to go today, compared to skipping a year, so you might as well get it over with quickly. When it comes to fear, another question I’ve needed to add as a adult has been: “Will this hurt me financially? And by how much?” This helps me a lot in terms of overspending, especially on things I may or may not need. Like, do I really need a whole 9″ cheesecake for myself? Or do I really need this really pretty notebook that’s on sale? No, we need a new bookcase because we need more storage!
Another one of my biggest fears is the unknown. I hate not knowing something, and this presents itself in horror movies again, as not knowing what is going to happen. This fear most recently presented itself in escape rooms, because I don’t know what’s going to happen, especially if there will be actors in the room with us. Not too long ago, I did an escape room with actors; I was assured that there will be some actors, but it will mostly be a “team” leading you to the room. Unfortunately, there was also some creepy actors, making creepy noises, and wearing creepy masks, and I simply cannot tell you how much I hated it. I definitely do not trust escape rooms with actors anymore, I will not do them ever again.
Obviously, I have some fears when it comes to work-related issues as well. When it comes to interviewing and sending out resumes, I’m not really afraid here; over the years, I’ve definitely tried to look at this like I’m one in one-thousand applying and interviewing for the job, so my questions of fear don’t really apply. Will this hurt me me physically or emotionally? No, but maybe some stressful hours writing cover letters and revising my resume. Will this hurt me financially? Definitely not; the opposite, in fact, since this is a job that will bring me money. Is there an unknown here that is scary? A bit, yes, but not enough for me to get my guard up.
My fears, in starting an online store
However, it is an entirely different story when it comes to starting your own business. The fear level for me here is high, because not only is the unknown almost everything, but there is the financial and emotional fears as well. So here we go, some of my fears in starting an online store:
- Will this hurt me physically?
- Most likely no (thank goodness)
- If I decide to make my own physical items with my cutting machine(s), I could run the risk of furthering injury to my back (happened when I was making other stuff for fun) or my wrist (during weeding)
- Will this hurt me emotionally?
- Running the shop could be stressful, partly in a good, spiritually-fulfilling way, partly in a scary, I-don’t-like-doing-this-anymore way.
- Running the shop could have me breaking down mentally.
- I could receive negative comments and reviews, and those would affect me negatively.
- The shop could fail, affecting me negatively emotionally.
- Will this hurt me financially?
- Start-up costs for a small business are usually a lot.
- I don’t know how taxes work for small businesses, and I could get penalized for this (this also works well for fear of the unknown, below).
- The shop could fail, affecting me negatively financially.
- Are there unknowns that are scary?
- I don’t know how taxes work for small businesses, and I could get penalized for this financially (listed above, but works here too).
- In the future, if I decide to do physical items, there are a ton of issues with printing and shipping that I may come across. A lot of unknowns!
- Other scary thoughts I have?
- How do I market myself and my shop?
- How do I brainstorm new items?
- Do I want to do stickers of my drawings or paintings? If so, do I have to learn how to draw and paint?
- If I do fan art for something, what happens if I get hit with a cease-and-desist?
- What if somehow one of my designs looks like another creator’s designs?
How I am trying to overcome
I think about these fears a lot when people tell me “You should open a store” like doing that is simple as saying so, like I don’t have these fears keeping me from doing all of that. The ultimate question is: Is opening a store something I still want to do? Was I the one who wanted to open a store in the first place, or am I just opening a store to prove that opening a store is ultimately a failure, and after its failed, people can stop bugging me about it?
Sometimes, these fears keep me from working on my blog and my Etsy. Sometimes, I take a hard look at these fears, and journal about them, examining why I feel that way, especially the emotional fears. I try to break down that they’re all just in my head, that it’s true that you can’t go anywhere if you don’t step out of your comfort zone. Most of the time, though, I work on my blog and Etsy store, in defiance of these fears, as if telling these fears they don’t run my life, I do. You know what, I think as I type out these words, I am going to be a blogger, and I am going to be an artist, and I might just open up that online store and show you I can do it.
That’s how I’m sure I do still want to open a shop, and I think this long, awful year has taught me I’m allowed to take my time doing something that scares the hell out of me. I’m still setting goals for myself, but I’m definitely okay now with taking my time and easing myself out of my comfort zone.