Never Give In {Etsy Business}

{This post is by my husband, Tim, who writes for Etsy sellers at}

Never give in–never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. – Sir Winston Churchill

Why do businesses fail? At the heart of the matter there are only two reasons.

First, since businesses run on money, they can reach a point where there simply isn’t enough money to meet the immediate needs. No money to pay the bills usually means failure.

The second circumstance isn’t really failure inasmuch as it is “shutting down”. You can shut a business down the same way you shut your computer down. You decide to quit and turn it off. End of story.

One of the most amazing and inspiring facts about so many (most) Etsy seller business models is that the first core danger, running out of money, isn’t really an actual danger at all. That leaves only one way for your business to fail… you decide you’ve had enough and shut it down.

Lack of Money Won’t Kill Your Business

When I say to you that money isn’t the problem, you might be thinking, um, I think it kinda is. Sure enough, we all need money. That is a nearly universal fact that’s spanned cultures and centuries. Even the cavemen had to pay the light bill, right? And then there’s Netflix, and the unlimited texting plan, and…

So, yes, you need money. But does your business? For most Etsy sellers the answer is not so much. That’s not to say your business wouldn’t benefit from an investment because it probably would. There’s always room for better business cards, an improved blog or website, or some marketing. (If you’re in the investing mood, check out our resources page for what has worked for us and others)

But that’s you. Your online business, on the other hand, is a lean mean no-overhead machine. It’s such a tight ship that, like a camel crossing a barren desert, it can make do for a very long time on very little investment.

And lucky for you it’s not picky about the investments it does get. It’s just as happy with a few hours of sweat equity as it is with a cash money infusion. In other words your work, and no money (to speak of), will keep it going for as long as you wish.

I know there are arguments. There’s the massive listing fees to contend with, then there’s the cost of hosting a blog, then there’s the advertising. Blah, blah, blah… Just excuses. All of them.

Don’t Give Up

So if my assessment so far is accurate then that only leaves one way for your business to fail.

You quit.

So don’t quit and you can’t fail! It’s really that simple!

Even if you slow down, don’t stop. Let me ask you something… If you’ve got an Etsy shop online and you have legitimate product in that shop for sale, are you in business? Yes!

Just because you’re not making any sales right at the moment doesn’t mean you’re not in business. Are you thinking about your business? Are you trying to learn better ways to do things? Are you looking at what is working for others and considering how you can apply that to your own shop? Are you dreaming of what the future might hold?

Yes, yes, yes, yes! All of these are part of running a business. Tiny, almost immeasurable progress is not the same as no progress at all and it is certainly not the same as quitting. It is progress!

One caveat… nobody lives forever. I’ve only known a couple of people who have lived to be more than 100. So there is a clock. You can’t always inch along at a snail’s pace and expect to get somewhere. It won’t happen. You do have to pull out all the stops every now and again if you want to get somewhere in this lifetime.

Yet the fact remains, at this point undisputed, the only way you can fail in an online business is if you quit. Simple as that. So don’t quit.


Want more? Try this post – Success on Etsy {It’s a Sure Thing}


  1. says

    I really needed this right now. I have taken a full time job after 2 years of selling vintage on Etsy. It’s taken a toll on me and I haven’t listed anything new in months. I just keep renewing my current listings. I know I just need to take the time and get back into the groove of things to make a come back. Thanks again!

  2. says

    Hi Nancy,

    I’m glad to hear this post gives you a little encouragement! While Kim and I have been inspired by the fact that success online is TOTALLY doable and really is a sure thing if you don’t give-up, we’ve also found that it usually takes longer than you think and the biggest boosts sometimes come right where you least expect them. And often when you feel like you’re at the end of your rope. You keep moving and watch what’s working for others. Maybe your full-time job will give you just the financial relief you needed to re-energize.

    Thanks for your comment.


  3. says

    I won’t quit!!! Thanks Kim.

    All good points, all things I have or am currently struggling with. I am in business, my shop is growing and I am investing my time until I can invest money…


  4. Carey Clapp says

    A very good post Tim thanks! I just opened my shop a few weeks ago and am trying to learn something new everyday about how to improve it so I am ready for mega sales! Yeah I’m still waiting for my first one but I am hopeful! I am following a few people I admire, Kim is one and another is katwise, and am trying to see what they do and have done to make themselves so very successful. I read this blog and to help me learn, thanks Kim and Tim for sharing your experise with us!

  5. says

    Wow, thank you so much for this post; it is exactly the thing I needed to run across tonight. I am a pretty determined person when it comes to all things in life, and I have been determined about my relatively new Etsy shop. But even I have become discouraged. Not as many sales as I’d like, not as much stead growth, etc. You know. My fingers are itching to pour out my Etsy story, but I won’t do that to you. I really appreciate this, especially because you didn’t sugar coat the truth. You are very right, it does not good to wallow in “excuses land.” Thank you again. I really appreciate your wisdom.

    My shop WILL succeed.


  6. says

    This is a great post!

    I especially agree with the statement about even if you slow down, don’t quit.
    I have slowed down but it is really ok with Etsy. I still have my little shop. I recently listed two new items and they sold within a few days, so I do feel a new burst of inspiration.
    Slow down if you feel like it..yes…then later pick up the pace again…it works for me!!

  7. says

    Very well put. I have not been on here for awhile because actually, my little Etsy shop has led to an offline venture as well. I m now being featured in a local shop that opened up near me so I have been VERY busy! I have let my Etsy shop go a little bit to be able to stock the store, but as soon as I catch up I will be putting new listings on there as well. To all the new Etsy shop owners out there – hang in there! Keep moving forward and you never know what will happen! :)

  8. says

    This is fantastic. I was on a roll with my shop, and then took a time out to rebrand. Since then, things have been at a standstill. It’s hard sometimes to not be discouraged, but you are absolutely right about not giving up. It’s just the advice I needed to hear. Thank you!


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