Four Habits For Long Term Success on Etsy


Why do people stop trying? What causes us to be discouraged? What happens to the dream that starts out so bright? More revealing: Why do some experience such great success doing the exact same thing that seemed impossible to another?

There is one very important act that every single successful entrepreneur (Etsypreneur) has done over and over again.

They took the next step. However small. However difficult. They kept putting one foot in front of the other and did not quit.

Add Patience to Persistence

One of the reasons people quit is because things are taking longer than they expected.

How many of these hard-headed, keep-on-moving-no-matter-how-tired, people experienced overnight success? Pretty much none. It usually takes awhile.

But does that make it any less possible? Does having to wait for your dream make it less worthwhile? Less fulfilling when it arrives? Or does it make it even better? Does it make you even better?

I read a post yesterday on the inspiring blog of that shared “The Case for Slow Miracles”. In his post, he shared a neat story about a King who didn’t believe in miracles. Here it is:

There once was an king who didn’t believe in miracles. One day, while he was seated in a garden, one of his closest counselors began speaking of the wonderful works of God. He went on and on about how God was constantly at work—in the little things and the big.”

Initially the king listened politely. Finally, however, he had had enough. “Show me a sign,” said the king, “and I will believe.”

The sage thought for a moment. He then pulled something out of his pocket.

“Here are four acorns,” said the counselor. “Please, your Majesty, plant them in the ground. When you are finished, stoop down for a moment and look into this clear pool of water?”

The king did so.

“Now,” said the sage, “look up.” The king looked up and saw four enormous oak trees where he had planted the acorns.

“Wonderful!” the king exclaimed, “this is indeed a miracle—the work of God.”

“How long were you looking into the water?” asked the sage.

“Only a second,” said the king.”

“Eighty years have passed as a second,” said the counselor.

Skeptically, the king looked at his garments; they were threadbare. He then looked at his reflection in the water; he had become an old man. His skin was wrinkled and his beard was white.

“There is no miracle here, then,” he said angrily.

“Yes,” said the sage, “but it is God’s work nonetheless, whether he did it in one second or in eighty years.”

Courtesy – Michael Hyatt – The Case For Slow Miracles

Add patience to persistence and you’ll have the two most important ingredients to success selling on Etsy, or in anything else you want to accomplish.

Remember: One Step At A Time!

Another wicked scourge that makes us throw our hands up feeling frustrated and defeated is an emotion described with one word:


I call it an emotion not to dismiss the fact that it is possible to have more to do than you can do, but to call attention to the fact that it’s usually the “feeling” of being overwhelmed that makes us quit, not the to-do list itself.

Just a few days ago, I read another post on the subject of the “Small-Scale Approach to Achieving Great Things” at

One of the ideas of this post was to pick out some habit you want to develop or improve on and focus, steadily, on one habit at a time.

For an Etsypreneur, that might be the habit of consistent product creation, making a new product once a week. It might be in developing a community by reaching out and commenting on blogs every day. it could be anything at all.

The idea of working on one habit at a time forces you to focus, and it can greatly reduce the feeling that you have to change everything about the way you do everything, right now! I can tell you for sure, no matter how far you get, or how successful you become, you won’t ever run out of things you wish you were doing better.

Developing a habit now of improving one area at a time is a great way to grow steadily, like that oak tree!

When Something Works, Do It Again! {The Same Way}

The first three habits are:

  1. Persistence – Never Quit
  2. Patience – Allow it to Grow
  3. Focus – One Step At A Time

The fourth habit is “Follow A Recipe”

I first started really thinking about this idea years ago when reading a classic business book on systems called “The E-Myth” by Michael Gerber ( link). It’s a great book that I need to dig out and read again!

It wasn’t until just today, though, that I heard the analogy of “following a recipe”. I really think that’s a great analogy, especially for those of us who love to cook!

Check out some of our cooking posts on our personal and very neglected blog,

When I cook, I often follow a recipe. If I want the exact same results as I had the last time I made this meal, I always follow a recipe.

It’s the same thing in business. Once you figure out that something works, stick with it! Do it over and over again, in the exact same way with just a tweak here and there until it’s totally perfect.

Figure out the steps. Write it down. Do it again and again. The results will take care of themselves.

(more on this at the post on Handmadeology which opened my eyes to the “recipe” thought process… thanks!)

So once again for good measure… Four Habits For Long Term Success on Etsy

  1. Persistence – Never Quit
  2. Patience – Allow it to Grow
  3. Focus – One Step At A Time
  4. Follow a Recipe!

Everybody knows that there are at least seven habits to success, so we would love to hear what habits you find to be critical to keeping your head on straight, your chin-up, and your business growing for long-term success! Tell us in the comments!

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  1. says

    Outstanding post Kim! I love the part about following a recipe. I LOVE to cook and have a ridiculously large collection of cookbooks…don’t know why I didn’t think of that for my etsy business!!

    Love your new hairstyle in your avatar too :)

    aka AudreyGardenLady on etsy

  2. says

    This article couldn’t have come at a more perfect time! I have been in a bit of a slump for about 2 months. I want to do everything BUT focus on my etsy shops, my facebook pages, my websites. I don’t want to do it. I’m feeling super overwhelmed with it all (and have been saying so frequently – so to see that word in bold red text really hit me hard) and I think this will help me get over that feeling. I know I need to keep going – I’ve been doing it for too long to not. But sometimes, the baby steps are the hardest!

  3. says

    Thank you for reminding me that it will all happen with patience and persistence and focus and a recipe for success. One thing that I add to that formula is kindness … when the ‘overwhelming’ feeling hits (and it does hit:) I try to remember to be kind to myself … to allow myself to feel the feelings with no guilt. Each time it makes me stronger and the clarity that it brings is worth the break.

    Happy cooking fellow etsy members!!

  4. says

    Thank you!! Inspiring post. Just the pep talk I needed! I have carved out “Etsy Days” when I will commit to make new inventory for my fledgling shop. I need to focus on filling my shop. THEN I will focus on adding FB and a blog. Ther permission to FOCUS helps me feel a little less overwhelmed. Thank you so much!!

  5. says

    When I realized that my job would be ending, I knew that I would but my all into my pottery business – until I got a new job. While the job was winding down, I did one thing, everyday. I read blog post, posted info on facebook, took photos, did rewrites on etsy and of course made pots. I just told myself I had to do one thing. So, everyday, I felt I was walking tall on my path. I’ve been a potter for a year now and I’m seeing happy results. So, yes, patience is also needed.
    Great blog post. Thanks.
    Sally Anne

  6. says

    I think the hardest part is to continue to work just as hard when the results aren’t coming and all that’s left to do is be patient and keep plowing forward. That’s where I’ve given up before…this time though is going to be different! Thanks for that post to help remind me :)

  7. says

    This is an awesome post. I need to remember to focus – one step at a time. There are so many things I want to do to improve my business. I can get somewhat scattered in my approach. Also, I need to look back through my successes. I’ll bet I can find a couple of recipes!

  8. says

    I’ve never had the pleasure to meet you, but you hit it right on the money for me. Now I know I’m not the only one out there that feels overwhelmed and discouraged. Being new to the Etsy community can be a bit much at first, but your formula is sure to help me stay focused. Thanks a bunch!

  9. termica harris says

    The hardest part is the beginning when you’re new at owning a business. It takes time and that’s easier said than done because I have been feeling very overwhelmed lately in my own business. I haven’t had a sale in two months but before reading this I said to myself I’m wasting time not really money because I do all free advertising by volunteering my services, etc but after reading this I’m gonna keep on striving! We’re all going to make it!

  10. says

    Just found your blog today and found this post inspiring. Lately life has gotten in the way of my business and I often feel “overwhelmed”. Your advice has certainly given me a place to start over and regroup. Thanks.

  11. says

    Thanks for a great article. As a new seller with one sale, it is easy to get discouraged or feel overwhelmed. I have had good success selling my earrings outside of Etsy in person, so I am hoping if I keep plugging I will start to pick up more business on Etsy!

  12. says

    I read this just at the right time. I am a new seller on etsy and although I had a bit of success at the Holidays, it has been real slow ever since and I was feeling really discouraged. I have never thought that it would be a “success overnight” type business, but I guess I had high hopes. I have tried and failed at more than one thing in my life and I believe that this is what I was always meant to do so I guess I want it to succeed. Thanks for this post.

  13. says

    Great Post! These four habits are a great recipe for success. Like Albert Einstein stated, the most powerful force in the Universe is compounding, these four steps blended together will help anyone achieve their goals faster.

  14. says

    Good post! I like the part about following a recipe, I find it funny because I almost never follow recipes. I just throw together a little of this and a little of that, whatever I feel like at the time. The food usually turns out good but this probably isn’t the best approach for my business, lol!

  15. says

    Thank you for the great article! I started my business and right now I feel overwhelmed and stuck. I have set up an Etsy store, but have not gone “live” with it. I felt afraid. I have a website, but have not spent much time on it lately because it seems overwhelming with all the information that needs to be added. I recently asked God to give me some direction and it feels like He told me to go forward with my Etsy shop and then I found your FB page today. it was on someone else’s FB page and I’m so glad I found it!
    Another thing that happens is I see so many other people doing DIY projects and trying to sell them and I start thinking, “I’m not as good as they are. I’m not that creative. I’ll never be as good as they are. So many people are doing this, why would they want to buy from me?” Ugh, the mind talk our brain comes up with is frustrating!
    I’m going to go with gut and God and go forth with Etsy. Thank you for your encouragement!

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