How do you define success?

Don't aim for success if you want it;

I have been have discordant feelings about my business.

One the one hand, I had a really incredible (and unexpected) month sales-wise for my business in June and early July, including a few sales on Etsy, some commissioned pieces (including my largest commission to date), a big sale at one of the shop where I consign, and a surprise check from another shop.

This may have been my best period as far as my sales are considered. The craziest part is I had not put much effort into actually marketing my jewelry.

On the other hand, I have been busting my ass marketing my blog. I’ve been linking up posts on multiple blog hops and dutifully commenting on other blogs, I have been writing thoughtful posts on Google+ (well, minus last week), fixing links on old posts and including Pin-worthy images, and pinning and following and fixing my Pinterest boards. I have been writing heart-felt (and genuine) posts and helpful how-to’s. Only to be met with a ever-so-slight increase in traffic and left wondering what I’m doing wrong.

If I were to look solely at sales for June, I would say I had a very successful month. But if I looked at growth in my blog, then I would say that June was a bit of a flop. Instead of being over the moon about sales, I’m frustrated that despite all my effort I have been met with very little return on investment on growing my blog.

For so long, it was the jewelry that was my business, and blogging was more of a side thing, a way to enhance my business overall. But as I have started to get more involved in the blogging community and attending blog conferences, I have become more invested in my blog. Blogging is no longer a side thing, it is part of what I do.

Like so many things, I have the ability to choose how I look at this experience. I can continue to be frustrated that despite my best efforts my blog is not growing the way I would like and see June as a failure. Or I can look at the fact that jewelry sales have been up during a time when many people see a drop in sales, that I have been accepted into some competitive shows for this upcoming holidays season, and there is the promise that for the first time I may end the year with a profit.

I can also choose to look at the fact that I have built so many wonderful relationships through blogging and even got to meet a blogging friend in person this year (and hopefully more in the next two weekends), that compared to last year at this time I have actually seen an increase in traffic to my blog, that I have actually made some jewelry sales through blogging (even if it wasn’t this month), and I have had the opportunity to do some cool things because of my blogging (like having an excuse to fly to other side of the country to attend a blogging conference and learning about wine).

And like Robert Frost stated so beautiful above, I can continue to blog because I love it and I believe in the community that surrounds it. Truly, if that’s what comes of my blogging, then I’m pretty damn lucky.

[Tweet “I blog because I love it #success”]

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