My husband will have been officially retired a year ago September 1st. I retired right along with him. (Not hard to do as I was a self-employed tax preparer.) I had people warn me that it might be an adjustment for my husband and I to be around each other 24/7. It wasn’t; we love it. I had people ask my husband if he might have trouble giving up the identity he had connected to his former career. Not a problem! Retirement is going exceedingly well. And if we aren’t careful, we can fill up everyday with something to do – and then need to schedule a vacation from retirement!
What I hadn’t realized is how much being self-employed, and the connected underlying anxiety, (some call it drive) had affected my psyche. There has been a rather constant mantra in my head of, “I need to…..” or “I have to….,” fill in the blank. And the reality is there is very little that I have to do relatively speaking.
For example, I started learning to make jewelry because I could never find pieces I liked in the mass market, and I just like making things. However, with retirement looming, the mantra of, “I need to…,” began. I felt that I at least needed to recoup the costs of my hobby. I tried Etsy (it was a bust), sold some things on Poshmark, worked with a boutique that bought pieces and hired me to make others, and set up my own online shop. I’ve learned a lot through this process, and got some much needed validation. I don’t regret it. But mostly what I’ve learned is that I don’t like selling. It has taken me awhile to admit that, and even longer to have it sink in that I don’t have to. That requirement was totally self-imposed – motivated by the drive I had when self-employed. It’s taken me the better part of a year to make these realizations.
What led me to this awareness, was the reality that selling was negatively impacting my creativity. Selling is a black hole. It’s an activity you can do 24/7. Selling was taking time away from creating. It can also affect what you create as you try to guess what someone else may like.
Now I am reviewing the mechanisms I put in place for selling. There are the above mentioned selling venues, and then there is the related social media. What do I truly enjoy? And what needs to go?
My Etsy has been gone for a long time. It was never much help to me. I still enjoy purchasing some items from other Etsy sellers. Poshmark? Gone. I did enjoy it for awhile, and managed to clear out my closets of some clothes I no longer wear in addition to healthy jewelry sales. I’m looking at my own shop. I have sold absolutely nothing through the shop – except for one item purchased by a supportive friend. As such, the shop is not much bother. But this blog is sitting on a WordPress platform, and I really prefer Blogger. I may be wrong, but I’ve been under the impression that there is no platform for selling on Blogger. My thinking is if I dumped my shop, I could move this blog to Blogger. Thoughts? Or maybe a different WP theme….
Then there is the social media aspect. I love interacting with other bloggers and that is how I spend most of my online time. Facebook business page? Useless. It may work well if one is buying a lot of ads – I just bought some sea glass via a Facebook ad. But as for building an organic following? I am being followed by sweet, supportive friends and other business owners who hope to convert me into a sale for them.
Instagram. I don’t hate it. There are some wonderfully creative people showing their work. I will probably keep visiting it and posting my creative endeavors.
Twitter was something that I didn’t do for long. I don’t enjoy it. So except for a brief trial period, I’ve spent little time there.
And I never got the hang of trying to utilize Pinterest as a selling venue. Don’t get me wrong, I love it! But I love it as a convenience for storing all the fabulous ideas I’ve found.
This is what has been crowding my mind lately. So if you’ve made through my ramblings here. I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Other perspectives can be so helpful.