Like a lot of creative types in the business of selling their wares, I have a hard time saying no. Someone asks me if I will design their business cards for them, or take a look at their web site to offer a quick critique, I commit instantly. If a potential customer asks for a special custom order, I immediately agree. Lately I’ve had several of my Etsy teams ask me to take over the ropes of the team blog, since I seem to be the most frequent blogger. It’s just one of those things: once you become good at something, there will be lines of people asking you to do that something. So it goes.
Now the dilemma: with more and more favors and tasks building up, I have a lot of commitments to keep. Plus, there is only so much time in each day, on top of a full-time “regular” job. It could be this exact scenario that has causes what we know as the “flaky artist” stereo-type. This kind of artist is rumored to make a lot of promises on what he or she will do with his or her talent, only to not follow through in the end. I am determined to defy this classification for as long as I can help it.
Sometimes there simply isn’t enough time, enough starting capital, enough energy. Especially for those favors in which others are going to ask me to perform for free. I’m all for lending a helping hand, but I do have a business to run and I need to keep that in mind.
This also means turning down requests to become a team leader on every Etsy team that asks me to. Also refraining from accepting every Etsy team member invitation I receive. (In order to be an active, quality member, I can only handle so many at once.)
If I have accepted a request, be it a volunteer position, paid position, or request for a custom order, then I need to realize the full gravity of that acceptance. If I have offered to do something, or make something, then it is absolutely my personal responsibility to follow through in a timely manner. The flaky-artist stereo-type is a result of too many creative-types shrugging off the hard stuff so they can work on what they feel like. Commitments need to come first, even if you aren’t feeling “inspired’ to work on them at the moment.