At the beginning of 2019, I was lost. Trying not to drown in a heap of debt. You see, for most of my adult life, I did not receive financial education. At age 16 when I got my first credit card, I didn’t really think about paying off what I put on it.
I know it sounds crazy but sometimes you have a very naive and ignorant view of money when you don’t know how it works.
Years later, when I already realized I’m in trouble, I told myself that everything would be alright when I finished my Computer Science degree and started working for hi-tech salaries. Boy was I wrong. I tried writing in Medium’s Partner Program for a while to make some side-hustle money until I realized I’m sacrificing my creativity for the sake of survival.
It didn’t work. I wasn’t fast enough and writing there only covered my monthly coffee.
Now, after three years in the hi-tech industry, more than 18 months on Medium, and a smaller but still kicking debt, I decided I need a different path. I need more than one income stream to make my dreams come true.
But, in today’s world, any income stream I would pick should have people in mind. I don’t get money in a void — there is a person behind the payment who seeks value for their money.
I tried many paths. And then I found Etsy.
Etsy always seemed vintage and a lot of work. I never knew I could open a shop here with minimal effort. If I knew I would have done that years ago.
So, without further ado, here are five reasons why I decided to open a shop on Etsy.
1. Express My Ideas
A shop like this makes my ideas a reality. As I’m writing stories and creating fantasy worlds, some of those creations will deserve merch.
This shop becomes the perfect place to share those creations and in every sense of the word make my dreams a reality. I have already bought a notebook that I designed straight from my provider.
Next will be some mugs and even face masks.
2. Serve My Audience
My blog has attracted a few hundred people that now receive emails from me. These people also have desires and needs and in fact, some of the products that you will see in this shop would be designed specifically for them.
They have been with me from the beginning and it is for them and the people who will join them that I’m making my creations. They decided to be the audience of those ideas.
3. Learn About Making Money
In the age of the Pandemic, people are looking for salvation. They lost their job, they fear for their future. They seek help.
I want to be that help. Through this journey, I hope to learn enough to be able to explain these lessons to other people.
But, aside from that, I also want to learn for myself how life can look like when money works for you and not against you.
4. Teach Others to Walk The Same Path
For me, learning how to pay off my debt by building a business from scratch, would only be a victory if I can teach that to other people.
So that’s one of the goals of this journey. I not only want to learn how business works and perhaps how to serve people better, but I also want to know enough to explain to people how to start this journey on their own.
I’ve always had educational tendencies. I’m an instructor for a course I opened on Udemy a while ago, I wrote a short course about how to write fantasy from what I learned so far among other educational products.
I always teach because if you don’t then what good is your success? I’m a firm believer in the sentence — success is only good if you can share it.
Perhaps before long, I will be able to share mine.
5. Pay Off My Debt
The holy grail. I used to owe $70k. My debt has taught me many things in life, but it had also made it a lot more difficult. I had countless sleepless nights where I would worry about how to finish the month. I had to lie to friends to avoid telling them about it. For a long time, I also kept it hidden from my parents.
Now things are different. But my burning desire to pay my debt remains.
So, in this store, I intend to express my ideas and serve my audience with those ideas, and also with theirs. It will allow me to learn how money works until I can explain it to other people. And lastly, it will allow me to tackle and hopefully overcome my debt.
Thank you for reading this story! Please feel free to always reach out with new design ideas and I’ll do my best to make them a reality for you.