Secrets to Success: Rule #1


It’s not always easy to start a business, build a blog readership, or quit your desk job to pursue your hand sewn line of women’s clothing full-time. In fact, it’s almost always quite challenging at times. So, if you’re up for it, I’m starting a series that tells it like it is…the good, the bad, and the completely ‘Girl, I can’t believe you went there.” Secrets to success that have been learned along the way…

Do you ever end your day feeling like you couldn’t possibly do ________ , whatever _____ may be (reach 10,000 followers, get paid for your writing, reach 2,000 sales by the end of your first year in business, quit your desk job to pursue your passion, etc)?

I’m here to tell you that I’ve been there too. And one thing I’ve learned is this..if you simply give it a try anyway, sometimes you’ll surprise yourself. You might just realize that you actually can do that thing that you didn’t think was possible. BUT there’s a catch: it will take time, some trial and error, and a whole lot of drive.

I’ll be completely honest with you – I don’t always know what the next ‘right’ step is and there is a lot of ‘making it up as I go’. But you know what? I’m willing to bet that a fair portion of your favorite bloggers are exactly the same way. We just decide we want something and go after it, whether we know exactly how we are going to get there or not.

Over the last four and half years that I’ve been running papernstitch, I’ve spoken with a whole lot of successful bloggers and business owners through email and skype and in person and on the phone. And I can promise you that this is true for a heck of a lot of people.

So what happens when your favorite blogger or the shop owner you most admire doesn’t know what to do next or where to go from here? They hop on the phone or shoot out an email to their peers, who may be able to help. And if that doesn’t result in an answer, those colleagues and friends recommend someone else to try or a podcast to listen to. And if that doesn’t help, the tinkering and troubleshooting, and ‘making it up as we go’ comes into play. Those successful ladies that you dream of one day being, work their butts off until they figure it out. Whatever it takes.

And that drive and motivation to keep going, not knowing what’s on the other side, is what will separate the success stories from those that throw up their hands, toss in the towel, and never find out what they could have been.

Secrets to Success Rule #1:

Move beyond the fear of failure and give it your best shot, with all that you have to give. You might not win the game, but one thing is certain: You’ll never win the game that you don’t play.

Nothing could be worse than the fear that one had given up too soon, and left one unexpended effort that might have saved the world.“ -Jane Addams

Will you challenge yourself to give it all that you have to give?

image: I can’t do this but…

53 comments | Click here to reply

Thank you for your very personal and honest post! I’m doing my best, but I think I’m very far from quiting my day job.
Kristina recently posted..See you at ARTish?

Kristina | October 23rd, 2012 at 10:38 am

Keep at it Kristina. Baby steps still get you places in time. 🙂

papernstitch | October 23rd, 2012 at 10:40 am

RT @papernstitch: Secrets to Success: Rule #1: It’s not always easy to start a business, build a blog…

Amy Connolly (@CSSpectrum) | October 23rd, 2012 at 11:16 am

Love the post and LOVE the photo too. Such great style…

Haven’t we ALL thought about giving up? Especially now when the bloggy market is soooo saturated. Does the world NEED another blog? Well, it needs you and it needs me and that person over there too. Our own unique take on things.

Hanging in there. Sometimes inspired, sometimes discouraged but hanging in there.

Looking forward to the rest of the series!
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Sandra | October 23rd, 2012 at 11:34 am

Don’t forget about me, Sandra. It needs me too. ME TOO! 🙂

Brittni, this column is going to be awesome. I love this post and can’t wait for the next one. xo
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Melanie | October 23rd, 2012 at 11:41 am

Thank you for this honest post. It is true, it is hard sometimes to keep going but it will all be worth it in the end. Blogging is a sort of therapy for me and I dont know what I would do without it!!
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McKenna Ryan | October 23rd, 2012 at 12:27 pm

Really great post… I think there’s a moment when it gets just tough enough to give up or push through and see what’s waiting for you. Sometimes its the situation and sometimes its ourselves. Looking forward to reading this series and to keep “pushing through”. Saving those quotes at the end and pinning them on my inspiration board!
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Ryan | October 23rd, 2012 at 1:41 pm

“You’ll never win the game that you don’t play” – I needed this post today RT @papernstitch

(@sheri_silver) (@sheri_silver) | October 23rd, 2012 at 1:53 pm

Love this, Brittni. I agree, this is going to be one awesome column. Thanks for being so honest, and for the inspiration to give it all we’ve got 🙂

Audrey - This Little Street | October 23rd, 2012 at 2:07 pm

Thanks for all the love in the comments ladies. You all are amazing!

papernstitch | October 23rd, 2012 at 3:18 pm

You can never win the game if you don’t play — Secrets to Success: Rule #1 via @sharethis

Tressa Campbell (@thestitcherati) | October 23rd, 2012 at 3:40 pm

Great post and your timing is impeccable! I’m preparing my “second act” — this is awesome. Looking forward to more posts in the series.
Tressa recently posted..DIY Stenciled Gothic Raven Mug

Tressa | October 23rd, 2012 at 3:44 pm

I love this post from @papernstitch about perseverance. And the photo sums up everything.

(@abbyglassenberg) (@abbyglassenberg) | October 23rd, 2012 at 4:34 pm

This is exactly what I needed to read today! Thank you.

Karyn | October 23rd, 2012 at 5:07 pm

RT @papernstitch: Secrets to Success: Rule #1: It’s not always easy to start a business, build a blog…

(@CreateHype) (@CreateHype) | October 23rd, 2012 at 5:50 pm

Secrets to Success: Rule #1

(@Laura_C_George) (@Laura_C_George) | October 23rd, 2012 at 9:47 pm

This really speaks to me. I always wanted a blog … forever and ever, but was scared to take the leap. I finally decided, why not jump and go for it? I have nothing to lose.

In terms of blogging, I have good days and not so good days, triumphs and insecurities, but I’m learning a lot and have made so many great bloggy friends and I can’t wait to see where this journey leads. Thanks so much for the inspiration and nudge to keep on the path…

Erica | October 23rd, 2012 at 10:20 pm

I love this post, and needed to hear it after a day of playing for hours trying to get images on my menu buttons. It’s always the little things that seem to make me question all the big things. I can’t wait to hear more, thanks for the much needed pick me up.
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Carson | October 24th, 2012 at 12:46 am

Very thoughtful. RT Secrets to Success: Rule #1 via @sharethis

Ninoushka (@littlendotnet) | October 24th, 2012 at 4:59 am

loved your post! i would say, that you have to stick with it….sometimes, it has taken me 3-4 times before i get something and it actually clicks and then it may work. drive and persistence is key- thanks for your post!
kristin recently my garden is still growing- a painting

kristin | October 24th, 2012 at 7:45 am

I thank you for this post. Humbling honesty and inspiration. I believe what you’re saying though. Just need to keep pushing forward. I look forward to some more tips.
aspiring blogger

miss coco lima | October 24th, 2012 at 8:25 am

Give It Your Best Shot…paper n stitch’s Secrets to Success

Karyn (@den10studio) | October 24th, 2012 at 9:51 am

Words of encouragement for artists & bloggers who want to quit their day job, but can’t just yet 🙂 via @papernstitch

alignbetween (@alignbetween) | October 24th, 2012 at 2:36 pm

Loving this from Paper and Stitch. Secrets to Success: Rule #1 via @sharethis @papernstitch

Creating Space (@creatingspacesf) | October 24th, 2012 at 2:44 pm

Thanks Brittni, I was having a moment over here! 🙂 Still overwhelmed and not feeling good enough, but I’ve made some small changes. I’m hoping those small changes will add up over time

Melissa Lund | October 24th, 2012 at 2:48 pm

RT @alignbetween: Words of encouragement for artists & bloggers who want to quit their day job, but can’t just yet 🙂 via @papernstitch

BRIKA (@ShopBrika) | October 24th, 2012 at 2:55 pm

RT @alignbetween: Words of encouragement for artists & bloggers who want to quit their day job, but can’t just yet 🙂 via @papernstitch

(@kdmarsden) (@kdmarsden) | October 24th, 2012 at 2:56 pm

RT @alignbetween: Words of encouragement for artists & bloggers who want to quit their day job, but can’t just yet 🙂 via @papernstitch

the vintage bazaar (@vintagebazaar) | October 24th, 2012 at 2:57 pm

You are in my head! RT @papernstitch Secrets to Success Rule #1: It’s not always easy to start a business, build a blog

Kathryn Stevens (@atlasandelia) | October 24th, 2012 at 3:02 pm

Brittni, This feels exactly like what I’m going through…it’s like you’re in my head right now! It feels good to know that there are others who are going through/have gone through what you are… Thank you for sharing!!

Kathryn Denelle Stevens | October 24th, 2012 at 3:07 pm

I needed to hear this yesterday. Just keep on keepin’ on!
Secrets to Success: Rule #1 | papernstitch

Carson Riutta (@bluebuttonpress) | October 24th, 2012 at 3:08 pm

RT @alignbetween: Words of encouragement for artists & bloggers who want to quit their day job, but can’t just yet 🙂 via @papernstitch

angelia florensia (@Paperpleased) | October 24th, 2012 at 3:15 pm

RT @alignbetween: Words of encouragement for artists & bloggers who want to quit their day job, but can’t just yet 🙂 via @papernstitch

Rachel Vater (@rvartistmaker) | October 24th, 2012 at 3:29 pm

I’m already excited about this series.
This post is exactly what I needed. I made it my goal to do two craft shows this year; I’m frantically preparing for my second one right now (yay!). I’m completely freaked out about it because it’s a huge show – I almost didn’t apply. But I know that if it scares me a little bit then it’s probably exactly what I need to do.
I’m FAR from quitting my day job – I haven’t even made a profit yet.
But I will, because I can.
Julia A. recently posted..Crochet Inspiration

Julia A. | October 24th, 2012 at 4:13 pm

What if you know you want to quit your day job, but have no idea what to do instead (and for income)? I don’t even know what to go back to school for. *sigh*
zeghsy recently posted..Upromise | Make the Pledge

zeghsy | October 24th, 2012 at 4:22 pm

Great post, Brittne – I shared it with my readers too!

Stefani Tadio | October 24th, 2012 at 5:38 pm

This post from @papernstitch today couldn’t be more true. Secrets to success… Rule #1

leah duncan (@leahduncanisme) | October 25th, 2012 at 12:01 am

Thank you for your inspiring post. It gives me hope.

Kimberly | October 25th, 2012 at 12:32 am

Yay! Great post, thank you! Just what I need at the moment so I’m excited to read more, thanks 🙂

Mini Malone | October 25th, 2012 at 2:55 am

thank you for you advises! It’s always cool to read people that in a way or another they made it!
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Ale | October 25th, 2012 at 3:34 am

RT”@leahduncanisme:This post from @papernstitch today couldn’t be more true.Secrets to success…Rule #1” perked me up!

Amanda (@a_grayland) | October 25th, 2012 at 4:24 am

RT @papernstitch: Secrets to Success: Rule #1: It’s not always easy to start a business, build a blog…

Joy Johnston (@joyfuljohnston) | October 25th, 2012 at 8:57 am

RT @leahduncanisme: This post from @papernstitch today couldn’t be more true. Secrets to success… Rule #1

Gingiber (@ShopGingiber) | October 25th, 2012 at 9:26 am

I always search for an inspiration. Thank you so much, this series will definitely help me out with my daily questions and difficulties (business days). The start of the series is itself a great boost. Thank you once again.
Shilpa Nair recently posted..Fair+well Collectibles

Shilpa Nair | October 25th, 2012 at 2:11 pm

I always love your posts, especially this ones. I’ve just started this year with my business and however it’s just the beginning, sometimes I think: What am I doing?!

Then I read posts like yours and I think, oh yeah, that’s why! 🙂
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ktrn | October 25th, 2012 at 4:31 pm

Rule #1 in secrets to success! Thank you, @papernstitch for your words of wisom !

(@IndieMade) (@IndieMade) | October 26th, 2012 at 1:05 pm

Secrets to Success: Rule #1 via @sharethis

(@RobinLNorgren) (@RobinLNorgren) | October 28th, 2012 at 9:37 am

Thanks!!! I’m exactly living that momento. Quit job, new baby (new mom!), new blog, same husband (and soooooo!!! happy!), same house, new routine, new fears, same humor, same old friends, new friends also!… and so…

Felicitas | November 5th, 2012 at 7:58 pm

Secrets to success:

(@savvyjulie) (@savvyjulie) | November 6th, 2012 at 10:08 am

Secrets to Success: Rule #1

Samantha Macy (@Froomla) | November 12th, 2012 at 11:50 pm

Catching up on reading Secrets to Success from @papernstitch | Rule #1

Valerie Madison (@LilyEmme) | November 14th, 2012 at 5:00 pm

Useful, timely insights which are really helpful to those of us teetering on the brink, thank you 🙂
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Kat | April 24th, 2013 at 3:41 pm

Great words of wisdom, especially how I’m feeling about my blog this week. You need a pick-me-up some times as blogging can feel overwhelming. Thanks for sharing
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Cate Holst | April 25th, 2013 at 12:50 am
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