Ever wonder what people do when they’re just straight up unemployable?
If you have a physical or mental condition that prevents the traditional 9-5 from working for you, then welcome to the club!
Nice to meet you! I’ve personally been a member of the “unemloyables” since 2015…but honestly I KNEW that a regular job wasn’t gonna work from me before I finished college.
So, after a few *attempts* at being a corporate cog in the machine, I decided to take matters into my own hands and figure out how to work from home.
This isn’t going to be a whiny “I have anxiety, my life is so hard” article. So get that shit out of your head now. If there’s one thing people with anxiety hate being, it’s self-indulgent. Our brains do enough of that as it is.
Yes, I have anxiety. Yes, it fucks me up sometimes. No, it will probably never completely go away.
But that’s ok. I’ve learned to adjust. And as it turns out, my anxiety has become a phenomenal asset to my business. It allowed me to get an Etsy business off the ground, make a 6-figure salary, and create my own hours.
Related Post: What does it REALLY take to make 6-figure sales on Etsy?
How I Started Making Money from Home with Etsy
When I first started on Etsy, back in March 2015, I was 99% positive that NO ONE could make a living working from home.
Sure, I’d seen the stories about vintage sellers who cleaned out whole houses and miraculously made $10k one month…but that wasn’t ME.
I’m a skeptic with skeptic filling, and it’s my nature to ROLL MY EYES at all those “I made $30k in 30 days!” stories that are plastered all over the internet.
Yeah yeah, I’d think, and you’re the ONLY ONE.
(Did you ever notice that they never share their EXPENSES in these stories?? I’m not sure how I feel about spending $20k in the HOPES that I can skim a couple thousand profit…😒)
I think I’ll skip that step, thank you!
I’m a REAL person. I can’t just take a month off work to sell on Etsy. or Ebay. Or whatever.
And I couldn’t invest $1000’s in a business I hadn’t even started yet.
⇡ Your rules don’t work here. ⇡
So there I was, a first time Etsy seller…and the truth was bleak:
I was only doing this because I wanted OUT of my nightmare day job.
“Corporate” is NOT my color. I hated every MORNING I had to wake up and go to work. I was just desperate enough to try literally ANYTHING to GTFO.
At the time, I never told anyone this…
But my intention was never to SUCCEED on Etsy in any way.
My plan was WAY simpler than that:
Pad my (non-existent) savings, so I could quit for a few months and find a new career.
That was it.
All I REALLY expected out of Etsy was a few thousand dollars.
And I thought it would take me at least a year to achieve my goal.
⇡ Fighting my way through a year of corporate misery ⇡
As you probably know by now, things DID NOT go how I expected.
You can read the whole story here…but long story short:
I was beating my corporate salary just six months later.
No one was MORE surprised than I was.
And even then, I was waking up at 5am, fulfilling orders until 8am, then going off to work.
Every morning was a (SUPER ANNOYING) reminder that I could make the SAME amount of money in THREE hours instead of spending an entire workday in an office.
Boo office job. 👎👎👎
So if you’re wondering how long it takes to make an Etsy shop succeed, the answer is pretty simple:
How miserable are you?
Because the worse it is, the MORE likely you are to make an Etsy shop succeed faster.
And the fact is, it’s not all fun:
- You might need to spend a few months making new products.
- You WILL have to use social media, and you CAN make sales with it if you actually interact.
- Running an Etsy shop is NOT crafts all the time…you need to LEARN skills you might not have yet. (And some of them suck. Like taxes.)
- New sellers always complain about spending $20 here and there…But success REQUIRES that you invest in your own talent. Get over it. You DO need to invest sometimes.
Some of those things might SUCK, but if your job is making you MORE miserable that all the stuff I mentioned ⇡up there⇡, tending to your Etsy shop will seem fun in comparison.
In fact, that shitty job (with shitty filling) was the #1 BEST thing that ever happened to me.
Without it, I never would be BRAVE enough to start my own business. I’d never be DESPERATE enough to try ANYTHING.
And the words “I’ve got nothing to lose” would ALWAYS be too big and scary for me.
But when you’re so miserable that you secretly WISH your boss would fire you…that’s when things that *used to be* scary suddenly become possible.
(And sometimes you can make shit happen FAST).
Wanna see how I made Etsy start kicking ass for me after just Six Months? The whole story is waiting for you here.
OR if you wanna read a bit more about how my anxiety actually HELPS me run a business, keep going ⇣ THIS direction ⇣
How Anxiety Helped Me Succeed On Etsy
Let’s start from the beginning.
I’m lying on the floor of a restaurant, legs in the air. Trying desperately not to faint. There are about six men standing over me, arguing over how to deal with this crazy bitch that walked into their restaurant and promptly fell over.
(Did you know restaurant owners WON’T call ambulances? Turns out food establishments and ambulances don’t make for repeat business).
That was one of many massive panic attacks I’d have that year, so it was hardly special. What made it worth remembering was the paramedic who showed up shortly after.
He used the words “panic attack”.
Bullshit. I thought. Panic attacks are about as real as alternative facts.
I firmly believed that panic attacks were “for the weak”…or “dramatic people who wanted attention”. I never thought they could happen to me.
And holy f*cking shit was I wrong.
The next seven years was a blur of panic attacks, constant health anxiety, and agoraphobia (aka this bitch got gold stars for leaving the house once a week).
Things like driving, travel, and even grocery shopping were my greatest adversaries.
When I started my business 5 years ago, my anxiety was worse than it had ever been. I was about 101lbs (aka terrified of choking on all my food), constantly worried that I was going to die, and I could turn literally anything into a full-blown panic attack.
I remember telling my therapist that I WISHED my anxiety only bothered me every hour, or every minute. Those 59 seconds of freedom would be such amazing relief from what I was actually experiencing…I’d literally cherish every second.
Yes, I started a business in that mental state.
In case you haven’t noticed, I’m a tad berserk.
Working Two Jobs and Embracing the #Hustle…
So here I am, trying to sell on Etsy, working a full-time job, and trying not to have a panic attack every 5 seconds.
And as time went on (and I got a bit better), I started to realize that my anxiety actually had a few redeeming qualities.
Mainly, whenever I felt anxiety about some part of my business, it served as an excellent barometer for something that needed to be fixed.
When I got my first negative review on Etsy, I realized I could just fix the problem by upgrading my supplies. My brain wouldn’t let it go until I fixed it. And once I fixed it, I never had to worry about it again. Hell yeah.
Point 1: Anxiety.
How Do You Juggle Anxiety and the Stress of Owning a Business??
Don’t forget: even the shitty parts of life can be turned into little moments of kickass. Use your anxiety to cast a critical eye over your business, NOT yourself.
Those little moments of discomfort are an indicator that you know you can improve. Acknowledge them, make a game plan, and let go.
They served a purpose, tell them thanks and send them on their way!
For those of you who are wondering, I’m much better now. I haven’t had a panic attack in 3 years, and I leave the house as I please.
It took 12 months of mindfulness-based CBT to get me where I am now. (Leaving my horrific day job to work for myself didn’t hurt either!)
If you have anxiety too, I strongly encourage you to talk about it and find someone who can help you.
I would not be sitting here, successful business and all, if it weren’t for my therapist, my husband, and all the people who were patient with me these last few years. (My therapist is here. If you’re not in the UK, have a look at https://www.talkspace.com/).
Thanks for Reading!
Hi there, my name is Jenni. You’re reading about the Etsy shop that freed me from the worst job I’ve ever had (and a lifetime of working for somebody else).
Find out what went down here.
Hey guess what? The exact tricks that got me 6-figures sales are waiting for you in the Ultimate Guide to Etsy. This is a 40-page, step-by-step MEGA tutorial that will help you strategize your way to more sales.