Comparison is the Thief of Joy

Publish date: 3.6.2020

A common benchmark for success within the handmade community is that a business is generating six-figures in revenue a year. I’m not sure how this became the standard goal or why, but I want to discuss why this doesn’t need to be the way everyone measures success or a reason to feel like you aren’t measuring up as a handmade entrepreneur. In fact, $100,000 is such an arbitrary number that it’s nonsense for it to be consistently thrown around as the success metric for handmade businesses.

The first thing I want you to think about is how much that could vary between business owner to business owner. A person selling a product that cost $250 to make is going to have a whole lot less money left over at the end of the year than a person selling a product that costs $10 to make. That $250 per item business owner is going to eat through that $100,000 revenue much faster.  This is the difference in gross sales versus net sales.

Now, let’s look at it in regards to cost of living, that $100,000 is also not going to pay as many bills for a person in California as it will for a person living in rural Oklahoma.

You see what I’m getting at here? It’s all relative. Our personal definition of success needs to be just that, personal.

What will it take for you to feel successful? What will it take for you to feel like you can breathe in your business? Only you know the costs involved in making your products. You are the one who knows exactly what it will take to pay your bills and what extras you would like to have to feel a sense of stability and freedom in your life.

Don’t allow the arbitrary numbers posted on the forums or spouted by other sellers in the groups to define your success. It’s  disheartening to see handmade sellers working their tails off, meeting milestones, and still not feeling like they are measuring up because of this $100,000 metric that has been set within the community. It’s time that collectively as a community, we acknowledge that our goals and success are individual experiences based on our personal needs, lifestyles, wants, and desires. When we spend time looking at others, it takes the light from our own accomplishments and prevents us from celebrating the milestones along the way.

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