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Inspiring Yourself: 7 Ways to Find Your Creativity


Creativity is essential for anyone looking to succeed in any field. It doesn’t matter if you’re a writer, an artist, a programmer or anything else. Creativity can take you places you never thought you could go. 

However, it’s also something that many people struggle with. Since so many people struggle to find their creativity on demand, we’ve put together a list of the seven best ways to inspire and find your creativity. 

If you have been struggling to tap into your creative side, keep reading to learn more about the benefits of being creative and some ways that you can begin unlocking your inner muse again.


Get out and explore

Creativity generally stems from curiosity. If you become interested in something or get out and explore new things, you’ll automatically become more curious. This curiosity can then help you find new creative inspiration. 

To help you get creative, you need to explore new things, go new places and meet new people. That’s one of the main reasons why you see artists traveling so much and networking with other creators. It’s because they know that exploring and meeting new people can lead to creative inspiration. 

If you’re struggling to find creative inspiration, consider getting out and exploring. Explore new places and new activities. When you do this, you’ll get that sense of curiosity that can lead to more creative inspiration.


Read a Book

In addition to getting out and exploring, you should also consider reading a book. Reading is a great way to spark creativity. It can help you access different ideas and concepts that you can use when you write or want to do something else creative. 

When you read a book, you can tap into the author’s creativity. You can explore the world that they have created. You can also delve into their thoughts and opinions about things. Reading a book can help you spark your creativity and find new ways to create that you otherwise wouldn’t have been able to find. 

Additionally, reading a book can also help you learn new concepts and skills that you can use in your own creative ventures.


Doodle and play

At the heart of creativity is play. When we’re children, we’re very creative because we’re playing all the time. As we get older, we often lose the playfulness and creativity that we had as children. 

However, if you want to start being more creative, you need to get back to that child-like state of playfulness. That’s where creativity comes from. So, how can you get back to being playful and creative? 

One simple way to do it is to grab a sketchbook and a set of colorful pencils. Then, start doodling anything and everything. Doodle your thoughts. Doodle your dreams and goals. Doodle your inspirations and ideas. 

When you do this, you’ll tap into your playful side and find the creativity hidden within you.


Go for a walk

One of the best ways to get inspired is to go for a walk. When you go for a walk, you can’t help but get lost in your own thoughts. You have nothing else to do but walk, which means that your mind can wander as far as it wants. As your mind wanders, it will often lead you to new places and new ideas. 

This is perfect for those who want to get creative. When you go for a walk, you let your mind wander and come up with creative ideas and thoughts. You don’t have any other distractions to deal with and no one is going to interrupt you. 

When you go for a walk, you’ll be able to come up with new ideas and things to do on the fly. You’ll be able to tap into your creative side and find inspiration wherever you walk.


Go window shopping

If you want to get inspired, you need to get out of your comfort zone. You need to do things that make you uncomfortable because it’s in that discomfort that you find inspiration. One way to get out of your comfort zone and get inspired is to go window shopping. 

When you go window shopping, you’re essentially looking around at things that you want but can’t currently afford. This will help you get inspired because you’ll want the things that you see and you’ll want to create them. 

You’ll want to make your own versions of these things and come up with creative ways to do it. When you go window shopping, you get inspiration by seeing what’s possible.


Take a breather

Sometimes all you need to do to get inspired is to take a breather. In the midst of your day-to-day life, you might not feel like you have the time or energy to be creative. In those moments, it can be difficult to tap into your creative side. 

Sometimes all you need to do is take a breather. This could mean a number of things. It could mean taking a break from work and doing something completely unrelated. It could mean taking a 10-minute break to do something you love. It could mean taking a long bath or even meditating and clearing your mind. 

No matter what form it takes, taking a breather can help you get creative again. It can help you get into that creative headspace again so that you can come up with new ideas and be creative once more.


Spend quality time with yourself

Lastly, you can also get inspired by spending quality time with yourself. When you spend time with yourself, you allow your mind to wander and think freely. You let your thoughts go where they want and come up with whatever they want. This is perfect for creativity. 

When you spend time with yourself, you let go of all your obligations and distractions and let your thoughts wander wherever they want. This can help you tap into your creativity once again allowing you to come up with new ideas and the wanting to create new things. 

Whether you spend that time meditating, writing or just sitting and thinking, you can tap into your creativity and find new inspiration.




Change Your Mindset: From Hobby to Business Owner


Starting your own business or side gig can be an exciting endeavor. But it’s also hard work. In order for your business to thrive, you need to have a clear mindset and the right set of beliefs from the very beginning. After all, your success hinges on how you think and what you believe about yourself, your business, and the industry in general. 

If you’re thinking about starting a side gig or launching your own business but aren’t sure if that’s the right move for you, read on for some advice about changing your mindset for the better.


Know Your Why

If you don’t know why you’re doing something, chances are you’ll fail. Even if you are successful (financially or otherwise) in the short-term, you’ll almost certainly fail over the long haul. So before you start your side gig or launch your own business, you need to have a clear and concise “why” in place. 

Your why needs to be something that drives you and motivates you to keep going when things get tough. It won't always be smooth sailing, there will likely be bumps and setbacks along the way. You might find yourself discouraged or overwhelmed sometimes so having goals in place that motivate you to keep going will help you push through.  

But, it needs to be something that grounds you and provides a sense of purpose for why you’re doing what you’re doing. Your why needs to be strong enough to carry you through the tough times.


Keep Focused on the End Goal

Starting a new business or launching a side gig requires a lot of hard work. You’ll likely experience some initial failures and setbacks. This is perfectly normal, but you'll need to be prepared for that and keep focused on the long-term end goal. 

Why are you doing this in the first place? What prompted you to start this side gig or launch your own business? What’s your ultimate goal? 

Getting sidetracked is very easy to do when you’re working on something new. But you need to keep focused on the end goal at all times. Otherwise, you risk falling down a rabbit hole of frustration and despair. By keeping your long-term goal in mind at all times it’ll help you stay focused and driven no matter how tough things get.


Negativity is Good — But Don’t Let It Define You

Starting a new business or launching a side gig is hard. It’s also risky. You’ll likely face some degree of criticism or negativity from family members, friends, and strangers. You need to be prepared for that and not take it too personally. 

Not everyone will want to see you succeed. That’s just the way life goes sometimes. But you need to keep that negativity from defining you. Instead, convert that negativity into fuel and motivation. Use that negativity as extra motivation to prove naysayers wrong and succeed against all odds.


Your Skills are Appreciated and Valued

A positive mindset is critical to success, you need to always remember that your skills and abilities are appreciated and valued. There are millions of people out there who desperately want what you have to offer. 

That doesn’t mean it’ll be easy, but it does mean that people are out there waiting for what you have to give. Your customers are out there and they appreciate what you have to offer. Your skills and abilities are appreciated. You just have to find the right people who appreciate and value your work.


Your Business is a Reflection of You

Your business should be a reflection of you and your personality. That doesn’t mean you have to start a business that’s purely based on your hobbies, though that may be a good starting point. 

Instead, your business should reflect your personality and be something that you’re proud of. Something that reflects your values and morals. Sinve your business is a reflection of you, that means you need to stay authentic and genuine at all times. Don’t try to be something you’re not or do something you don’t believe in. You’ll end up hurting yourself and your business in the long run.


You Have the Right to Make a Living

If you truly love what you’re doing, all of the above is worth it. You have a right to make a living doing work you love. If you have a hobby or side gig that you truly love, it could become your full-time gig one day. All it takes is a little bit of hard work, patience, and perseverance.

By working hard, working consistently, pushing through fears, doubts and hard times and still be true to yourself, it's possible to build a successful business that thrives for the long term. On your terms.




An Overlooked Mistake that New Etsy Sellers Often Make


More and more I'm noticing a trend amongst new Etsy sellers... they're not fully setting up their shops as they open for business.

I'm seeing a lot of newbie sellers in the forums asking for help, and most of the time, they haven't set up the framework for their Etsy store, focusing instead only on the listings, and then at a bare minimum.

This is problematic for a few reasons. The first of which are legal obligations that any seller needs to be aware of. This will depend on the product type, where you live and where you sell to. There are consumer laws in most jurisdictions, not only do you have to be aware of what those are in your own backyard, but you also need to be aware of any international selling issues.

The EU for example requires any retailer selling any type of products to it's citizens to have a privacy policy on their shopping page as well as visible contact info. Every Etsy shop selling to Europe needs to comply with this, if you don't, any and all disputes you have with a customer will automatically be decided in their favor.

The second problem has to do with trust. Etsy gives us specific slots to fill out in our shops, the framework, and each of these works to build trust with our customers. Not filling out these basic pieces of information puts a seller in the same league as a scammer or con artist. 

There are a lot of bad players on Etsy looking to take advantage of unsuspecting buyers, and they generally do the least amount of work possible in their efforts. In order to stand out and be seen as a legit and honest seller, you need to make the effort and build that trust with potential shoppers.

And third, Etsy uses much of this information as part of your shop's quality score, which is used in part for search rankings. Want to rank a little higher in search? Fill out your policies and about section!

So many new shops I have visited this year have skipped over all these shop info pieces. Things like a shop banner, shop button, profile pic may seem un-necessary - and there's an argument to be made that these don't increase sales per say. But they do build trust. Your about section and policies though are a must have. So while on the surface it doesn't seem like these would necessarily be important or essential, it does in fact help in long term by building that trust, building a brand and building a following.

To illustrate my point I looked at the current top 100 selling Etsy shops to calculate how many were making use of certain shop features. Here are the results:

Shop Banner: 95% of top sellers had a shop banner

Shop Button: 100% had a shop button

Profile Pic: 99% filled this out with something

Shop Tagline: 93% made use of this for their branding

Shop Announcement: 86% were using this space

About Section: 85% had filled out at least part of this area

Policies: 100% had their policies filled in

This is how successful shops set themselves up. You can see from the numbers where the priorities lie. 

The shop button and profile pic are used throughout the site and on various communications, these are key trust points and the most successful sellers know this. It aids in brand recognition.

The shop tagline should convey what your business is about, and it's searchable by external search engines like Google. So it's helpful all around to write this up well.

Policies have legal implications. Simply put, you have to have them.

The about section is really for your own benefit, Etsy counts it in your shop's quality score, it can nudge you up slightly in search and it's an awesome tool to communicate with buyers and let them know more about you or your business. You can also add your social links here. Really, why wouldn't you make use of this even in part?

The shop announcement is useful for communication, but doesn't otherwise have specific benefits. Successful sellers use this to convey all kinds of different things depending on their needs and the vast majority found something to add here.


Do the work, sell well

Is Branding Your Etsy Shop Neccessary?


Branding is often thought of as just a logo and some pretty colors. But in actuality it is so much more.Your shop IS your brand. You might not see it that way right now, but trust me—you have a brand.Even a non-brand, is a brand. Because what branding really is, is the impression you leave on other people.

Even if you don’t know it, or aren’t aware of all the things you stand for and how they align with who you are as a person, your brand is still there, waiting to be discovered. It doesn’t matter how much time or money you spend trying to come up with ways to create a brand for yourself—if you don’t know what makes you unique and special, neither will anyone else.

If you want people to take notice of your creations and buy from you instead of googling around for another retailer who has the same exact thing, then branding is essential for new Etsy sellers.

But even if that’s not something that scares you off right now (and I hope it isn’t), I highly recommend taking the time to figure out what makes your shop unique so that others will get excited about having their own little piece of whatever you sell in their lives too.


So what is Branding exactly?

A brand is the combination of all the things that make your business a differentiator in the marketplace.

It’s the essence of who you are as a person and your general style and tone. It’s what you stand for and how you represent yourself to the world. If you want to draw customers to your Etsy shop, the first thing you need to do is find out what makes your business unique and different from everyone else in the marketplace.

Once you identify that, you can leverage that to create a brand for your business that resonates with your ideal customers and makes them want to buy from you.


Why is Branding Important for Etsy Sellers?

If you want people to buy from you, you need to be found by as many people as possible. In order to be found, you need to have a presence online, which includes having a unique brand for your Etsy shop.

Even if you don’t sell a single thing online—if you are an artist, you need to have an online presence. You need a website and a blog or portfolio on which to display your work and your branding needs to be taken seriously. Branding is what ties everything about you and your work together.


6 Things You Should Know About Branding Your Shop

1. You are not branding your products. You are branding your business.

2. You are branding your shop’s name.What does your shop name say about your business?

3. You are branding your shop’s tagline. How are you explaining yourself to others?

4.  You are branding your shop’s image. How will your image be perceived by others?

5. You are branding your shop’s description. Are you conveying yourself clearly and positively?

6. You are branding your shop’s information. Do others understand what your business is all about?


3 Strategies for Finding Your Unique Selling Proposition

- What are you passionate about?

- Who are your ideal customers?

- What are you most proud of?

- What are the main reasons people buy from your Etsy shop?


Wrapping Up

When you first start out as an Etsy seller, you might feel overwhelmed by the idea of trying to come up with a unique selling proposition (USP) for your business. Don’t worry—it doesn’t have to be perfect right away, and it will get easier as you go.

The first thing to do is to identify what makes your business different from others in your marketplace.

Once you have your answer, you can leverage that to create a brand for your business that resonates with your ideal customers and makes them want to buy from you.

There are a few things you should keep in mind when branding your Etsy shop. First, you need to remember that you aren’t just branding your shop’s products—you are branding your business.

Second, remember that the visual elements of branding are just as important as the written ones—if not more so.

And finally, keep in mind that while you are branding your shop, you should be branding yourself as well.

Is Etsy Safe from Cyber Criminals?


More importantly, is Etsy doing enough to protect it's users from cyber criminals? From what I'm witnessing in 2022, the answer to that is a resounding no.

Over roughly the past two years organized groups of scammers have prolifically setup shop on Etsy. We've seen an increase of all users on the site, so this isn't surprising. Some of it Etsy is dealing with appropriately, and some of it they are either ignoring or taking a rather lax approach.

While there are quite a few scams, cons and crimes taking place on the Etsy marketplace every day (as there are all across the web), I've been closely following one particular issue for a few months now, one that I know Etsy knows about and yet appears to be blatantly allowing to prosper.

Here's the situation:

An organized group, likely spearheaded by a single organising individual, probably being run out of Asia or North Africa, are setting up new Etsy shops by the hundreds (thousands?) per week. These shops "sell" bundles of digital graphics made up entirely of trademarked and stolen copyright material. All of these shops have notifications all over their listings not to buy the item on Etsy, but to visit an independent website to make the purchase instead. And customers are incentivized to do so with seemingly huge discounts.

I've personally found approx 30-35 such independent websites being advertised on Etsy via these shops. 

All of these websites look to match up in registration details and all of them contain false contact info to make them look like bonafide american owned businesses. But if you dig deeper, this falls apart quite quickly.

Aside from the blatant Etsy fee avoidance policy violation there is also an element of data theft and hacking going on with this group, both on and off of Etsy.

Not all the shops used by this group however are 'new' Etsy shops. Some of the shops have been hacked into and are pre-existing but currently inactive Etsy shops opened by well-intentioned sellers. Which raises a whole other set of questions, namely, how?

Etsy recently sent out an email reminding sellers to keep their accounts safe and provided a list of helpful tips on how to do so. But is this actually enough? Is Etsy doing everything possible to keep the site secure? Personally I don't think so. I think they could, and should be, doing a LOT more than they are.

Further to this is that all the customers being funneled off of Etsy to these independent websites are probably having their data harvested during checkout. I say probably, because I don't have hard proof for certain...

But this is a group of individuals who are clearly working in an organized fashion with each other, who have no problem violating Etsy's policies, no qualms about selling content they don't have a legal right to, and are presenting false information about who they are on these websites. I'd say chances are pretty good that they would also steal customer data for other nefarious activities. Even possibly as a way to get into their customer's Etsy accounts. All they need is a matching email and password.

So what is Etsy doing about all these shops violating their fee avoidance policy? And we're talking about thousands of accounts here, it's not some small little issue. Well, they are actually removing a lot of these shops. But for some reason the crooks are able to create more accounts than Etsy is able to remove with a manual reporting and investigation system.

I monitored the situation quite closely for two full months and in a six week period I reported and saw removed just over 1,100 shops. Another 150 shops that I have reported however still remain open today. 

Two months on and there are just as many of these shops in existence as there was when I started looking at this, possibly more. No matter how many of these shops Etsy closes down, the same number or more are opened up immediately.

On the surface you might be inclined to think, well, Etsy has an impossible job then. If they can't keep up with it then it's a losing battle. But is it?

I have to wonder why Etsy hasn't deployed a bot to instantly remove these shops. It would be entirely possible to do, they all use roughly the same worded listings. They all have very clear identifiers to immediately separate them from legitimate shops. And why do some of the shops remain open even when they've been reported multiple times?

I have a few theories on both points but it all seemingly comes back to revenue. Sure, maybe Etsy really is just this inept. But, it just so happens that these cyber criminals are paying for advertising on all the shops they open. That's thousands of listings bringing in ad revenue on what appears to be very popular content. 

Is that a coincidence or an incentive to look the other way?

If you haven't seen what this looks like, here is a screenshot on the type of listing I'm referring to:


I think we need to start asking some hard questions about how Etsy is working to protect its users both while on the platform and where and how they are directed off the site. But we also need to take a serious look at what Etsy is willing to allow on the site for the sake of a few dollars and to hold them accountable in areas where they are clearly failing.

This type of listing has no business being on the site in the first place, but to allow it and thousands of others like it to remain, to proliferate and prosper, is utterly outrageous.



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