This is the 7th part in a series of discussions about topics pertinent to Etsy shop owners (and other online operators of small business, I like to hope). And when I say “discussion” I mean “sweetie, you are still standing there and my drink hand is empty…that ‘s just basic math.”
Thoughts on Being an Independent Business Operator.
You run your own business – even if it’s just a small concern. In that business, you are independent, your own boss, maker of your destiny. You have struck out alone, away from the security of someone paying you, telling you what to do and calling the shots for you.
So why is it that every time you stumble upon something even somewhat new, instead of saying “Oh ho, I run my own business, I create things, I market them and I am intelligent, so let me tackle this new thing!” what you actually say is “Oohhh noooo…google analytics*…eeeewhat’s that?” and flick it with your finger, like it’s some sort of repulsive bug that crawled across your screen. And you follow this up with “Can someone please explain this for me?”
Can someone explain it for you?
Sure. Sure I can, I mean, I’m only working a day job, running my own thing on the side, marketing myself, blogging, producing, making dinner, cleaning the house AND somehow figuring out google analytics on my own.
It’s not that I don’t want to be helpful, but at what point between deciding to set up your own online shop and the moment you said ”heeeelp me” did you lose the ability to learn for yourself? To investigate things and at least try to solve them on your own before turning to others?
Yes Etsy has a great online community who like to help each other – but let’s help those who help themselves. I’m not a big acronym user, however one of the best I have ever been introduced to is RTFM….read the fucking manual. Before you get on a forum and ask others to do the work for you, read the fucking manual. (Also handy are STFW and JFGI – and in the spirit of the message today, I’ll let you figure those out yourself. One cockpunch to the first person to post here looking for an answer to this.)
Google analytics, for example, has a help section that walks you through the basics of using and understanding their service. Should you decide to ignore this, attempt to use it without assistance and then get frustrated, how is the response to this situation ask others to solve the problem?
Buck up and be the independent business operator you are. Take half an hour, go through the help, learn for yourself. Things you learn this way will stay with you better than anything else.
But more importantly, take experiences like this as lessons for life and your business – do not wait or expect others to give you’re the keys to things on a platter. Go out and get them yourself. Learn for yourself, think for yourself!
Of course, I am not saying to never come to the forums looking for help. But before you do, ask yourself if you have really tried to solve the problem for yourself. Are you going to be that kid in 6th grade who never did the work and just asked the kid who did the reading? Is that who you want to be? Because I will tell you that nature is rarely kind to those who do not fend for themselves. When hard times kick in, any of you still clinging to the teat will be left in the dust of those who unstuck themselves from Mother and struck out on their own.
*As Etsy has only recently introduced this ability to us this feature on their site, and as it seems that every third thread in the Etsy forums site or business help sections is about this, it is today’s whipping boy.