If you want to be successful in life, it’s imperative to focus on your own self first. You have to learn to treat yourself well and not be too hard. If you want to keep yourself motivated, give yourself something to look forward to. No matter how passionate you are about what you’re doing, do give yourself a time out!
Our next conversation with a small business owner will show you how! Meet Nicole from Paper Game Co, who makes it a point to plan treats for herself to stay motivated. A little goes a long way. And the results are in front of you! Read on.
That’s a great number of sales in mere 2 years! You have done amazingly well!
Congratulations. Please tell us what your shop is about.
Thank you! Paper Game Co is a stationery shop that offers an array of unique, artist-made paper goods. It’s my happy place, an outlet through which I can share the things I love with the world.
How was it like when you started off your business? Please share your initial experience.
Oh boy, the beginning was definitely rough! However, my struggles had more to do with family acceptance than it did with my business. I had been fresh out of college when I started Paper Game Co, and opting out of a socio-normative corporate job in favor of starting my own business did not garner my parents’ approval (and I don’t blame them)! But after a while, I think they have come to terms with my decision. They are actually quite supportive of me now, after seeing how hard I am working to reach my dreams.
Let’s look at the bigger picture. Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
Living somewhere in a secluded cabin in rural New Zealand! In all honesty, though, I have no idea. I would like to be in a position where I am financially sound and location independent enough to pursue my other passions, such as traveling. Personal freedom has always been the end goal I had hoped to achieve.
How do you push yourself through low times? We’d love some advice on this!
Plan a treat for yourself. No matter how much you love what you do, you will inevitably have down times. I personally find having something to look forward to is the best way to keep me motivated. For example, I might plan a vacation for myself a few months into the future while I push through the grueling months that lay ahead.
I believe the one thing that keeps us from success is complacency. This can go both ways. If there’s something you want to set out to do, complacency can keep you from going after it. If you are already on track to doing something, complacency can keep you from seeking change and improving.
Please give us some tips on how to manage time better. We could really use them!
Setting up a schedule and limiting distractions have worked wonders for me. Oftentimes, it’s not that we don’t have enough time in the day. We are just constantly distracted. Psychology studies have shown that, on average, it takes 25 minutes to get back on task after derailing. To minimize distractions and task-switching, I block certain periods of time exclusively for specific tasks. I only check my emails twice a day, and I have all my social media notifications turned off. There is rarely anything so dire that I must attend to it right away. If there is, they can always give me a call.
Is there a quote you like, that motivates you? What is it?
“Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford
What are some key lessons that you think other entrepreneurs should try to learn on how to make a customer happy?
I think the Golden Rule applies here – treat others the way you would like to be treated. This can extend to everything from product packaging to customer service. Think of the way your products are presented; would it make you happy to receive something like that in the mail? Get back to your customers in a timely and friendly manner. Handle things professionally when you receive a problem or complain. Even if a customer is only messaging you to thank you for their order, be sure to reply and acknowledge their gratitude. This is the best way we can distinguish ourselves as small businesses – we can make the shopping experience feel personal.
Plan a treat for yourself. No matter how much you love what you do, you will inevitably have down times. I personally find having something to look forward to is the best way to keep me motivated.
Tell us something about yourself. How would you describe yourself as a person?
I like to refer to myself as a multipod. A multipod, or multipotentialite, is someone who has many different interests across various domains. I was always known to pick up new hobbies very quickly, but troubling enough, lose interest in some just as quickly. At first, I thought this was my greatest downfall. The most successful people of our time have always attributed their success to one key element – focus. So what was I, someone who seemingly can’t commit to one thing for more than a year, to do? In time, I have learned that I am not alone. There are whole communities of multipods just like myself who have built livelihoods for themselves by incorporating many (if not all) of their interests into their work. If any of this sounds relatable to you, I would suggest this amazing Ted Talk by Emily Wapnick (Why Some of Us Don’t Have One True Calling): https://www.ted.com/talks/emilie_wapnick_why_some_of_us_don_t_have_one_true_calling
Who knows? It may just awaken the closeted multipod inside of you!
What, according to you, is that one thing that people are doing, and one thing they aren’t doing which are the reasons why they don’t succeed?
I believe the one thing that keeps us from success is complacency. This can go both ways. If there’s something you want to set out to do, complacency can keep you from going after it. If you are already on track to doing something, complacency can keep you from seeking change and improving. We don’t even notice it most of the time. That’s why it’s important to have someone else there to give you a push once in a while. Having an accountability partner helps.
Lastly, one advice that you’d like to give to our readers. What would it be?
Stay true to yourself! We all have different people in our lives, each with different expectations for us. But at the end of the day, no one knows you better than you do. Be the one to define your own projectile in life.
Loved the post? Check out our previous conversation with another successful Etsy seller here. Let us know what you think about this shop in the comments below! We’d love to know your opinions.