Secrets to Success: Rule #3

Its not always easy to start a business, build a blog readership, or quit your desk job to pursue your hand sewn line of womens clothing full-time. In fact, its almost always quite challenging at times. So, I started a series that tells it like it is”¦the good, the bad, and the completely “˜Girl, I cant believe you went there.” Secrets to success that have been learned along the way. This is where we left off last week”¦

Sometimes we get so wound up in what other people will think of what we do, or if this piece will sell more than that one, or be retweeted 100+ times, that we stop trusting our own voice and start relying on other people’s opinions for the answers. This is not the secret to success.

Let me start with a quick story… A while back, I made something that I was really pleased with. The photos were exactly what I imagined; the styling was just what I pictured. Everything. I posted it, super excited – thinking that readers would love it and it would get shared a lot. But to my surprise, the response was basically crickets. Just a few comments and a (tiny) sprinkling of shares – no cheering crowd, no pat on the back.

I was pretty bummed about it, actually. And a little confused too.

But the next day, after a good night’s sleep, I was reminded of something. I didn’t need someone else’s approval to decide that what I had been working on was ‘worthy’ or ‘good’.

I could decide that on my own. And so I did.

Even if no one was looking, reading, or responding, I would still be making things, stock-piling washi tape, and buying scissors ‘because they look cool in photos’ as opposed to just cutting really well.

I don’t need other people to give me a pat on the back to be deemed ‘a success’. And neither do you. Which brings me to success rule #3…

Don’t wait for someone else to dictate your future. This is your journey. You lead the way.

If you’re still not convinced, watch this talk from Jonathan Adler about being true to your vision and keeping other people’s opinions out of your creative process (found via Grace Bonney). His message is one that you might need to hear today.

*image by Sean Sutherland (similar print by Sean here)

32 comments | Click here to reply

RT @papernstitch: Secrets to Success: Rule #3: It’s not always easy to start a business, build a blog… http://t.co/G6TlTf3D

(@inhonorofdesign) (@inhonorofdesign)

RT @papernstitch: Secrets to Success: Rule #3: It’s not always easy to start a business, build a blog… http://t.co/G6TlTf3D

(@atlasandelia) (@atlasandelia)

RT @papernstitch: Secrets to Success: Rule #3: It’s not always easy to start a business, build a blog… http://t.co/G6TlTf3D

Libertad Leal (@libertadleal)

This is such a great post! Thank you for sharing! 🙂 I can relate to this a lot, and I think as artists and creators we have to be intentional about focusing on our own creative journeys, rather than comparing where we are with where others are. During a time in my own creative journey that I was questioning the kind of content I was sharing on my blog and through my writing and artwork, I came up with this personal creative mantra: Create honestly + joyfully. I realized if I was listening to my own voice and creating from the heart — honestly and joyfully — then what I shared would bring my own unique perspective, and that was what mattered. 🙂

Katie

RT: @papernstitch: Secrets to Success: Rule #3: It’s not always easy to start a business, build a blog… http://t.co/k7vejJ3P

Katie (@letterbirdart)

Glad to hear that Katie. I love that you came up with a mantra that you stick to. Good for you!

papernstitch

Was in a funk yesterday for pretty much the same reasons you mentioned above, and thankfully I came to the same conclusion. Creating something because you think it’s what people will want will only lead to feeling unfulfilled. I’ve decided to keep doing me, because hey, it’s what I do best.

Thanks for sharing this, Brittni. I know it’s what a lot of us need to hear!

Caroline Winegeart

RT @papernstitch: Secrets to Success: Rule #3: It’s not always easy to start a business, build a blog… http://t.co/G6TlTf3D

(@a_grayland) (@a_grayland)

I think that is excellent advice. How many times do we get caught up when what we think others want? I’m guilty of it myself. But I agree that the true test of “success” is knowing that you yourself are satisfied with the outcome. I’ve found that once you find self-satisfaction in something, the “outside praise” will eventually follow.

Keep up the great work! Love the site!

[email protected]

RT @papernstitch: Secrets to Success: Rule #3: It’s not always easy to start a business, build a blog… http://t.co/G6TlTf3D

(@AndreeaAyers) (@AndreeaAyers)

RT @papernstitch: Secrets to Success: Rule #3: It’s not always easy to start a business, build a blog… http://t.co/Jq4mkMNb

(@CreateHype) (@CreateHype)

RT @papernstitch: “Don’t wait for someone else to dictate your future. This is your journey. You lead the way.” http://t.co/57P2a69R

Mums on Top (@mumsontop)

I’m loving these ‘Secrets to Success’ posts. You’re capturing everything that goes through my mind on a daily/weekly basis… thanks so much for these bits of advice, they’re like a mini dose of therapy each time 🙂 x

Lucy

RT @papernstitch: “Don’t wait for someone else to dictate your future. This is your journey. You lead the way.” http://t.co/57P2a69R

Vickie Rutter (@VickieStitchMad)

This is so true! I am cleary doing what i love with my illustrations and i also have a clear vision in my head. Sometimes, i would like to have more sales but at the end of the day, i am proud and love of my production and this is the most important thing. As they say “If you build it they will come” Thanks for this great post!

veronique godbout

Thank you for this rule. I am one of the ones who depend on others approval.

marcia

Thanks for your wise words. My audience seems to only be crickets but I have to keep reminding myself that I am doing something for my own soul and fulfillment. That is the only thing that should matter ( even though I am constantly seeking approval or acknowledgement). Good to get this reminder!

Kristine

Absolutely love this blog post from @papernstitch: Secrets to Success. Great advice to keep you going! http://t.co/CuZKcMp5

(@AFTCRA) (@AFTCRA)

Yes! I am very inspired. I love this series, it’s really helping me.

Thanks <3

Ashley Rae

RT @AFTCRA: Absolutely love this blog post from @papernstitch: Secrets to Success. Great advice to keep you going! http://t.co/CuZKcMp5

(@discoverpaper) (@discoverpaper)

RT @AFTCRA: Absolutely love this blog post from @papernstitch: Secrets to Success. Great advice to keep you going! http://t.co/CuZKcMp5

Bec Gilray (@doyoupunctuate)

Great read for creative bloggers: http://t.co/2HDbKlwN via @papernstitch

leah (@leahmichon)

RT @leahmichon: Great read for creative bloggers: http://t.co/2HDbKlwN via @papernstitch

Clare Lewis (@Lottieoflondon)

Just what I needed this evening! @papernstitch http://t.co/9JWgumXg

(@kdmarsden) (@kdmarsden)

thanks!

I started reading this post without any idea what i was reading.. then i was like “hold on.. this is interesting!” so i started from rule 1 🙂
and now i at least know that it’s normal to be this confused about what i want for my life 🙂
it’s like you said.. i want to do something bigger.. just don’t know what it is yet.

Elin

thank you! sometimes i think we just need to hear (or read) this and remember….as long as i like it- it IS good!

thank you!! love this post!

kristin

“Don’t wait for someone else to dictate your future. This is your journey. You lead the way.” // http://t.co/5qdiyg2o

(@EtsyAU) (@EtsyAU)

Yes!!! “@EtsyAU: “Don’t wait for someone else to dictate your future. This is your journey. You lead the way.” // http://t.co/sfAfQ9fr”

Justine Goss (@JustineGoss)

Secrets to Success! Paper n stitch’s Rule #3 : http://t.co/gtwThGyB http://t.co/e0EA52Cq

(@IndieMade) (@IndieMade)

Secrets to Success: Rule #3 via papernstitch http://t.co/UkjbZrBf Don’t wait for someone else to dictate your future. This is your journey.

(@Laura_C_George) (@Laura_C_George)

I found that wonderful quote in this blog post on @papernstitch: Secrets to Success: Rule # 3 http://t.co/4tWVl3dg

(@tiffanygholar) (@tiffanygholar)

So important to remember!
Secrets to Success: Rule #3 http://t.co/IflIXpQr via @sharethis

Joyeaux (@joyboardman)
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