What is the measure of success? Many of us wonder this. We ponder it in our lives, with our families, with our shops. How do you know you've 'made it'?
Well thank your lucky stars that I'm here because I'm going to reveal the answer to one of those timeless questions- How do you know you've really made it on Etsy? I'm not going to claim that I'm successful just because I may meet some of these criteria. And I certainly won't claim that you're successful either. But we all need goals to keep going, things to shoot for if you will. I've compiled those here.
1) You are on a first name basis with Etsy admin (hey Rob. HeyMichelle). See, we're tight because not only do I know their first names, I get to call them that.
2) People no longer just refer to you by your whole shop name, but by a shortened, cooler version. I'm no longer 'knotworkshop'. I'm 'knot'. It's sort of like Cher or Bono. We are so uniquely awesome we can only be known by a single syllable because anything longer would detract from our success. If your shop name is already one syllable, maybe get your friends to start calling you by the first letter so you seem 'cooler'.
3) You throw around terms like SEO or B&M, maybe even IRS. And not only do you know what these letters stand for, you know their real meanings. SEO doesn't stand for 'seriously etsy, owls?'. Oh no, to those who are successful, it means something much more horrifying. If you don't know what these or similar terms mean, have no fear. It will come in time, along with your success.
4) You make lots of lists in your forum posts. You're successful. And anyone who disagrees with those lists or questions why you're making so many, well, they probably aren't. Remember that.
5) Your number of sales is more than 0. Yes, I know in a world where valedictorians no longer exist, and every kid gets a trophy, nobody wants to hear that 0 sales isn't successful. But it isn't. Truth hurts, eh? Don't worry though, we've all been there. Everyone started with 0. Some of us are now at 1, 2, 10, 1000. We're successful. Aim to be like us. Don't hate on the number. It could show 000 instead of just one little 0. Or Etsy could start having a 'spleen' count in addition to a 'heart' count for those who specifically dislike your shop. So remember that it could be worse.
6) Your sales have slowed down. This may seem counterintuitive. After all, how could a success have slow sales? Well, you had to have sales for them to slow down. You probably even had a decent number of sales in quick succession for you to even be aware of a slow down. It's the yin and yang of things. Could we have freedom without tyranny? Black without white? Business without Etc.? Negative without Positive? Admin without asshat? I don't think so.
7) People question your motives in everything you do. Wait, you're here on the forum because you want to sell things? You don't just want to be my friend and tell me how great I am all the time? Hmm, suspicious. See, they probably wouldn't question you if you were a failure. They'd just ignore you. But people are drawn to success like a moth to moth food. So if people are pointing things out like 'this thread is simply self-promotion' or even the cherished, 'you've photoshopped my item and are selling it as your own' take it as proof of your success.
8) Your threads routinely get moved to Etc. Yes, you would think only failures get banished to the basement. But no, not in this case. Etsy doesn't want to make new shop owners feel intimidated by the donald trump of handmade treasures (that's you). Your success might frighten off others because they feel 'how can I dominate the asshat market when so and so already clearly has?' So if your advice gets moved, think of it as a pat on the back from the powers that be.
I think I'll conclude by saying these are certainly not the only measures of success on Etsy. I would suppose your accountant may have some advice too.
But sometimes things aren't as simple as numbers on a page. They are much darker and more convoluted and need to be figured out by someone such as knot (number 9 is 'you refer to yourself in the third person either because you're so successful you're in awe of yourself, or you have so many assistants that have access to your etsy account, they routinely forget to masquerade as you').
If you read this list and think 'hey, thanks! I now know I'm a success!' then my work here is done. If you read it and think, 'oh no, I'm a dismal failure' well, you have a list of goals now, right? One day you too can look at others and say 'dismal failure'. Until then, just practice by looking in the mirror while repeating it.