Seller Handbook

Advice and inspiration for successfully running your Etsy shop

Seller Handbook

What's Your Biggest Strength?

Constructive criticism gets all the credit for development and improvement, but your small business has lots to learn from what you're doing right.

By Danielle Maveal Mar 31, 2011
Photo by WAIQ

Would you guess that in my off-time I'm also drawn to hanging out with scrappy entrepreneurs? Most of my friends have Etsy shops, small businesses or some kind of creative career and when we get together (especially if a few glasses of wine are involved) we end up spilling our guts about the difficulties of staying inspired, managing a mini-enterprise and how the heck to file our taxes properly. I recently met up with a handful of my whip-smart friends and, before we headed down that path of frustration (and before we opened that bottle of wine), I said, "Let's do something different tonight! Let's go around the table and talk about the things we are great at." This request was greeted with blinking eyes and silence; quite a feat for this group! But once we got started, the accomplishments and virtues started to flow. If one of us was stuck, someone else at the table would chirp up and remind them of their greatest strength.

I wanted to share this experience with the rest of you. There's some aspect of running your small online business that you, too, are really, really good at. Do you ever acknowledge it?

So here's the challenge, brainstorm a list of what you know you are doing right with your business. Ruminate on each strength and decide which three you are the best at.

Now, turn the page of your sketchbook and brainstorm how you can expand those skills/abilities/efforts. Get creative! Here are a few examples from the Etsy Success team to get the wheels turning:

Sketch by Michelle Cavigliano of My Zoetrope.
Sketch by April Starr of Flourish Cafe.
Sketch by Allisa Jacobs of Allisa Jacobs.

Ready to take on the challenge? Awesome! Be sure to share your homework by taking a photo or scanning your work, then blog about it or share the link with us in the comments below.


Danielle Maveal from daniellexo

Before working for Etsy, Danielle also managed two jewelry studios/shops in Toronto and Detroit, and even had her own gallery in Brooklyn. Then she found a really cool website that allowed her to sell her own work. Within 3 months, she quit her job and ran an Etsy shop full time (she almost hit 1,000 sales before Etsy hired her!).


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