My not-so-new year's resolution
I try not to think of myself as a pessimist, but let’s just say that I don’t often veer to the optimist side of the scale. That said, I try not to write anything when I am in a place of anxiety or despair, because I am well aware that I can dig myself much further in without a lot of effort, and prefer not to start down that road.
All this to say, that at the beginning of the year, I was feeling rather blue and beaten, and couldn’t see how I could move forward with this jewellery business and start growing it in the way I dreamed, but I wanted to share a little of that journey now since I did not have the foresight to write any of it down then.
January rolled around, a new year, a new opportunity for all those resolutions, but also a reminder that another year had passed and my business had barely grown, and, being honest, had barely kept its head above water. Actually that’s not a good example… It’s probably still quite far under water even at this point. I won’t kid you into thinking it’s a business I profit from, I’m still on the journey from hobby to proper business. But you get the idea.
And since this is reality not Hollywood, I did not actually get anything together until February. After some helpful doses of constructive criticism I made the leap to register as a company (yay, taxes!) and went ahead and ordered business cards, a stamp and started working on my website in earnest.
“In earnest” is a great phrase, always reminds me of Oscar Wilde… which I do not object to, and I hope you don’t either.
Ugh. Tea’s cold.
So that was my little leap of faith. Believe me, it felt like a rather large jump; even the small amounts I had to lay out to purchase office supplies, pay the online fees, register for receiving credit payments etc. seemed like a risk that I just really hoped would pay off - as in, really hoped that someone would buy some jewellery next month so that I could cover my credit cards…
During this time, along with those great heart-to-hearts with my constructive criticisers, perhaps the most encouraging thing to me during this time was receiving an email from an Instagram Influencer offering to collaborate and promote Etz Life. This was the stuff of dreams! Obviously I had been (gradually) figuring out that I needed to up my promotion game and get better at advertising online (which is difficult when trying to do it for free) and I had considered approaching several influencers about promoting, but knew that I didn’t have the platform for it yet - namely the website.
This email boosted my confidence no end though - here was someone from another country with no prior connection to me or the company, who liked my jewellery enough to want to promote it! She offered a paid package including a feature on her blog, and I couldn’t afford it, so I wrote back a thank you and figured that was that; even though it came to nothing at least I know that I’m a “proper” business, worthy of Instagram attention. But then she wrote me back offering to promote for free if I sent her some products, and I was so excited I probably told everyone in the house three times over! I still did not have my website online yet, so I told her I would send her some once it was up and running (and to be honest I though that she might not even remember me by then).
Fast forward three months, and not only has she promoted Etz Life several times on her Instagram and blog, but she continues to encourage me and inspire me on my way to success.
Check her out on Instagram - @mariana_nichifor
And if you are ever in the mood, shoot a message to any small business you follow on instagram, even just to say keep it up. It makes all the difference!