Looking back, there is one thing that I wish I had done differently when I first started my design business. But now that I’m thinking of it, this is just a good rule to live by in general. To put it simply.. stop caring what other people think. I didn’t realize how much taking things personally affected both my business and my personal confidence.
When I was first starting out I had so many negative thoughts running around in my head, no one will like my work, no one cares what I do, people will think I charge too much etc. But the common thread between all that negativity was “other people.” Not once did I tell myself I think my work is great, that my prices are just right, or even took a step back and looked at how much I had accomplished even if everything wasn’t perfect. After all, it is a learning process.
Here’s a little personal story. I opened my first Etsy shop early 2012. I was making handmade jewelry and was selling consistently. After around 200 successful sales something happened and to me and it felt like the end of the world….. I got a negative feedback from a customer. I immediately thought, my life is over, everything I’ve made is terrible, no one will ever buy from me again, my reputation is ruined. (Okay maybe that sounds a little dramatic but that’s honestly how I felt) Did it matter that all the other feedback I had received was positive? Nope. So what did self conscious me do? Totally shut down that Etsy shop because I was so upset about that one comment. So now I had deleted all my items which had bunches of likes, favorites, and shares all because of what?
What I wish I had done is simply tell myself, that was one bad review. Don’t take it personally. Acknowledge what they had to say and MOVE ON. Instead of letting it bother me and upset me for way too long, I wish I had brushed it off and kept going.
People aren’t always going to like what you do, they’re not always going to like you. But frankly, trying to be perfect is pretty impossible, and no fun whatsoever. Just do the best you can and value yourself.
If you don’t value yourself and your time, no one else will.
Trust me, I know how hard it can be to not let your work affect your personal life, especially when you’re building your own business. But seriously, it’s not worth it. Take everything with a grain of salt. You don’t know what other people are going though all the time. Maybe that person that left me a negative comment had a bad day themselves and was just in a bad mood. Maybe they really were unhappy with my product. Either way, I had to learn to not let everything affect me so deeply.
Life is too short to be worried about what other people think all the time. If you have good intentions I really believe that everything will work out for the best. Take everything that happens good or bad, as an opportunity to learn something and grow from it.
As cliche as it sounds, what you think of you is a whole lot more important than what anyone else does.