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Doubting Yourself?

It's normal.

I feel like I could stop there - just validate that you're not doing the wrong thing just because you're doubting yourself. It really is normal - especially if things aren't going how you want. Or, more likely, how you need.

If you're like me, it's easy to imagine I'm doing something wrong if I have something that isn't selling - especially if I've been trying different prices, changing how it's displayed to bring more attention to it, etc. That's how I've been feeling for a couple of weeks now - and I've been reminding myself that feelings aren't fact.

It helps that I've been very intentional in making choices - and I'm actually on track for where I thought I'd be (even if it's not where I hoped I'd be). So when this happens, I go back to basics and remind myself of the facts.

Fact: My prices are solid.

 Could I charge less? Yes - I could. A lot of people also charge more for the same things.

This is a harder thing to be confident bout when you're starting out, or adding a new item, that you are deciding about how to price. I always hit Google and search "artist made . . . whatever item." This will pull up the items from other artists that are similar to what you're selling. A lot are on Etsy, and you can search there directly. But artists are now selling on their own sites (hello!) and even on Amazon and other marketplaces so I try not to limit myself to just one source. Even if your price is too high for that customer - it doesn't mean your price isn't right for that item. Another person will be thrilled to buy it at that price.

Fact: I have no control over the weather

None of us do. Unless you are doing only inside venues, you're going to be at the mercy of the weather. We are experiencing record heat here and yesterday I was setting up in temperatures that were over 110 degrees. Even after the sun went down it was hot. It was 9 or 10 o'clock that my husband burst out, "It's 104!" Over the last month I have been out in record heat, a flash monsoon, and high winds that sent things flying. Extreme weather impacts who is willing to go out in it. Adjust! For instance, I'm signed up to do Friday and Saturday evening next week, even though it will still be super hot! But I'm taking very specific items, and smaller amounts, so that I can arrive later and set up faster. I don't expect large crowds, and I've gotten to know the type of buyer in that area, so I'm going to be smarter about it.

Fact: I'm doing something new and there is a learning curve

I knew this going in. I just have to remind myself of this fact when I'm feeling discouraged. I'm doing well - I'm doing what I expected when I sat and looked forward and considered whether I could do this or not. I'm on target! And when next summer comes I will know more, and I will be established. I will have further developed myself, my art, and my audience for this path I'm taking.

Anytime you're doing something brave, you're going to have those moments of doubt. In fact, those moments of doubt are a way to know you're doing something brave! It can be easier to go back to what you know, but like an ex, there's a reason you left.

This is your dream - and it's brave to pursue it. If you're missing some skill, or find you run up against an issue you don't know how to deal with multiple times, it just means you need to seek out the information you need so you can deal with it like a pro. Ask other artists, turn to google for resources, and be kind to yourself.

I used to think there was something wrong with me if I didn't know something - until I realized it's just part of being. human. Maybe that will be a helpful bit of info for you too.

I'd love to hear about the facts you go back to when you're feeling doubt. Or the things you've realized are more likely to cause the doubt to creep up. I am sure you aren't alone!

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