After I started my Etsy shop, I discovered that the internet if full of information about how to be successful. Much of it is very helpful. For someone like me who had no real plan going in, I have learned a tremendous amount about how to run an art shop and blog. It’s really kind of an amazing age we live in where you can learn almost anything with the help of the internet.
But there’s something a little deceptive about a lot of the advice out there. The internet has a lovely way of editing out all the failures and condensing everything into quick little sound bites of information. Most of the advice you get about how to start a blog, business, or anything really, makes it seems like you will find success overnight.
I’m calling their bluff. I don’t buy it.
The one thing no one tells you about starting a business (or anything new for that matter) is that it will take time. As a self-proclaimed hater of waiting, I don’t want to hear this advice. I want to believe that the next big break will happen overnight and I won’t have to do anything to make it happen. But the truth is, it’s more than a few updated strategies, tweaks to a blog, or promotional posts that will build a successful business. Sometimes it’s years of hard work and perfecting techniques and learning and growing.
To be perfectly candid, pretty much all of last year was a big experiment for me. I really had no idea what I was doing as an artist and blogger and I tried a lot of things that didn’t work so well. And I’m still trying to embrace the little victories, because it’s slow going.
I realize a lot of people are more set up than I was to be successful. They had connections, were seen by the right people, had a really solid business plan from the beginning. But even with the best practices, it takes time to create something that has real staying power.
This is true for any area of life. Sure, some of us have the natural ability to be successful at certain things right off the bat, but I bet even those people have things they have to work on. If it’s not small business, it’s parenting. If not blogging, job performance. There’s this false image that makes it seem like we can do it all and have it all. But it’s just that: tightly edited images that show one small snapshot of reality, but not the whole picture. Life is messier than that and takes a heck of a lot more work and patience.
In an instant gratification culture, it’s really easy to give up when you don’t see immediate results. But whatever happened to words like “persistence”, “diligence”, and “endurance”? These qualities require time to develop.
I still haven’t seen the kind of success I’d like, but I’ve seen growth, and right now that’s more important than success. And I trust that God is using all the small progress along the way to teach me patience and persistence.
Take heart. If there is something you are trying to master but you just don’t see the results, keep at it. Keep working and trust that in time you will see the fruits of your labor. Whatever work God has given you to do today, give it everything you have for this day. You may not see the big picture or get there as fast as you want, but be faithful with today. Sometimes the slow process is just as important as the end result.