How to Positively Compare Yourself to Others

Those of us in the art and handmade business are bound to feel inadequate from time to time. Or, to be more accurate, a lot of the time. One of the chief reasons we feel this way can be because there is someone out there who we deem to be BETTER than us. This other seller/artist is selling more (and more often), takes better pictures, is friendlier and smoother with customers at craft shows, AND makes incredibly awesome crap. Some of us can’t help but look at our own crap, sitting there, collecting dust, and see it mocking our ambitions of success.

I’m not going to tell you to stop looking at the competition and “focus on your own damn shop!” (…as may be the common thread of advice floating around in the Etsy forums.) But I will tell you to try to look at these other sellers differently. First of all: successful sellers mean that IT IS POSSIBLE. They are a token to the reality of one’s ability to live off of one’s handmade creations. Knowing that someone has done something before makes it a little less scary to try it yourself. Let the existence of these sellers inspire you to push harder and keep trying. If they can do it, SO CAN YOU!

Another great thing about having other sellers out there who you think are “better” by comparison is you have shops you can learn from. (Oh, and by learn I do NOT mean copy. Of all people, artists should have to the ability be creative and make their own damn crap, so don’t be mimicking anyone else’s!) What strategies are these successful sellers using to promote their shop? Do they doing any off-site advertising? Do they blog? Are they big into Facebook and/or Twitter? How often do these sellers list new items? Do they renew sold items or are most of their items OOAK? Do they write lengthy, flowery descriptions or ones that are short and to the point?

You get the idea. The fact that there are “bigger and better” sellers out there should not be a source of discouragement, but encouragement. Let these sellers motivate and teach you to being more productive, make smarter business decisions, and trudge on. Keep creating my crafty friends!

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20 thoughts on “How to Positively Compare Yourself to Others

  1. Karen D'Andrea April 11, 2012 at 8:23 am Reply

    I love this Megan! As a matter of fact, you and your blog are an inspiration to me.

    • MegansBeadedDesigns April 11, 2012 at 8:59 am Reply

      Awww, that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside! Thank you Karen!!

  2. Kanelstrand April 11, 2012 at 8:37 am Reply

    It is not always easy to keep being encouraged when you compare yourself to better crafters but that is the way to go. Comparing to those far behind you doesn’t lead anywhere… Great post!
    http://blog.kanelstrand.com/

  3. resonanteye April 11, 2012 at 9:20 am Reply

    love this. totally the right way to look at the competitors- as inspiration and people to learn from.

  4. Heather April 11, 2012 at 9:34 am Reply

    Great advice!

  5. Kim @justByou April 11, 2012 at 10:21 am Reply

    Awesome post today! You’re right…Let it be a motivator. Don’t get discouraged. Stay positive. Thanks for your words of advice. You’re awesome!
    ~Kim
    Visiting today from Blogging Buddies.

  6. elsielight April 11, 2012 at 10:51 am Reply

    Well said! Thanks for the encouragement!!

  7. thebeadden April 11, 2012 at 6:19 pm Reply

    I had never been to your etsy shop before. Your stuff is awesome! And it would do you well to remember there are probably people out there thinking the very thing about you and your designs. They are beautiful!

  8. JennasRedRhino April 11, 2012 at 9:04 pm Reply

    Sometimes I don’t know if I should poke myself with a stick or thrash myself with it. In either case, I really like your trio of eyeballs barrette. It is clever, well balanced, and creepy-beautiful!

  9. Dawn April 12, 2012 at 4:31 am Reply

    Thanks for the good advice. I always get frustrated when I see shops selling TONS of things that everyone else is making.

  10. designeddecor April 12, 2012 at 5:15 am Reply

    Great advice, we all need to remember even the successful shops have been where we are. We all need to look to others for inspiration and use it to have determination!

    • MegansBeadedDesigns April 12, 2012 at 8:07 am Reply

      Exactly! “We all start small” is a good thing to keep in mind!

  11. Mesha April 19, 2012 at 1:39 pm Reply

    What an encouraging post! I love it! It can be a little discouraging sometimes to look at those successful shops, but you’ve definitely left me with a new outlook! I wll stay positive ^__^

  12. wishingwellstudio May 3, 2012 at 9:54 am Reply

    Love the switch to a possitive spin.
    Peferable take on envy.!

  13. […] This post originally appeared in Megan’s Creative Blog on April 11, 2012. […]

  14. […] This post originally appeared in Megan’s Creative Blog on April 11, 2012. […]

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