Monday, November 22, 2010

What's Life Worth ?

Photo above ... The Meditation Pond at Our Lady of the Angels church.  A place I perhaps need to visit again as I've much to think about.

Not long ago I began visiting a website that touted they had great SEO advice and by utilizing this information one could excel to top pages in searches.  With sagging sales at my etsy shop, lack of new followers to my blog and a need to acquire more in-depth knowledge on the care and feeding of SEO, I bit upon the opportunity.  The information was good though not any well kept secret known only to privy insiders.  I'd seen most of it before, just in a different context and in different words.

Today I revisited the site and a question was asked about what our pain-point was and so I commented:
"I think my biggest pain point is that it all takes far too much time to constantly be promoting and getting backlinks and keeping everything up-to-date and current … from blogging to facebook to websites. It leaves me with little time to create and even less time to just have a LIFE ! Maybe nothing truly worthwhile is easy but does one really have to sacrifice their life in order to be a success on the internet?"
The reply by the author of the website :

"Does one really have to sacrifice their life in order to be a success on the internet?


I'm having a difficult time with this summation and am questioning if the end really justify the means.  The whole idea of being a success on the Internet is to achieve a better lifestyle so  this contradiction has me torn.  Does the end truly justify the means?  Is it really worth the sacrifices of time, the forfeiture of one's life to gain monetary advantages?  I suppose that all businesses require an inordinate amount of time, devotion and self-sacrifice to grasp and sustain success.  Am I willing to sacrifice so much?  Life is far too short!  So what's the answer?

How do you feel about this and how much are you willing to do for and give up to be a success?


  1. OK, so maybe it's because I've been reading a lot of tidbits from the Dalai Lama lately or maybe because everything is getting away from me and I have to have some perspective, but I'd rather have a life! If I drop dead tomorrow, will my life have been any more fulfilled because I was an internet success? Probably not. In fact, I'd probably kick myself for the things I wasn't doing while I was trying to get everyone online to love me. Being validated is one thing, but of everything being online has done for me, the biggest thing I appreciate it for is the awesome friends I've made that I might not have otherwise. In doing so, it hasn't made my Etsy store or my blog any more successful. It HAS brought some pretty cool peeps into my universe though!

  2. Great post. The same things have been on my mind. A few weeks ago I was pushing myself so hard to make jewelry that it wasn't fun anymore. I was literally sick and tired of feeling like I needed to be beading or on the computer. I decided it was time to cut back, even though it would mean less money for holiday gifts. My little hobby is successful if it enriches my life. When it starts to interfere with my life, then it's no longer a success. Good luck on your journey and please share it with us.

  3. Aly - I agree that through blogging I too have met some truly wonderful people and they have enriched my life.

    Lanyardlady - It does get to be demanding and I find myself wondering how much to cut back or even cut out of my online schedule.

    Your words about when one's hobby or craft begins to interfere with one's life rather than being an enrichment to it, are very astute. It is a tough balancing act, with happiness on end of the teeter-totter and success at the other end.

  4. Anna, this is a wonderful post and something that has been very much on my mind recently as the year draws to an end. I have decided to clear out a lot of things from my life in the coming weeks. Namely the participation in my local art guild gallery, a big waste of my time and energy. ETsy in general is a big time sink, so I am ditching all but one store. I am going to back off blogging and I am going to spend more time travelling.

    Sounds like my new years res. list (HE! HE!)

    You are right and I have had some major discussions about this time sink, it is truly not worth the energy.

    My blogger buddies are awesome and I am going to continue blogging because (you and they) are wonderful :)

    Have a lovely day, T. :)

  5. Since I am not a seller my opinion may not be what you need but here it goes anyway. If you love what you are creating to sell and you want to spread the word then a little more is needed but as I have been a follower for quite some time I also know you have a beautiful life that you would hate to miss just to boost your sales a few more dollars. All I can say is that life is more important and that is what makes your art special. Clear as mud right?


  6. I'm willing to do whatever it takes to make business successful, but if it means giving up everything, then well, I may have to reconsider.

  7. Excellent question. It makes one want to create some little scripts to automate all this interwebs stuff to a greater or lesser degree. I think that the lagging etsy sales probably has to do with the economy as much as anything at all. Real people have to keep up with real life too, so we don't have the fun time to just blog creep all the time, if we did that we wouldn't have any money to buy anything at etsy.

  8. that would depend on how one defines success.
    If you mean how many $$$ are you making,then I'd have to say I wouldn't trade a precious moment with friends and family just for an extra $.
    However,if you are trying to determine what you might be gaining over all,then my inter-net business is well worth every moment of time spent. Trying to understand and utilize various computer tools stretch my brain .My mother did crosswords...I do SEOs ! My time spent researching competition and trends gives me a constant source of inspiration and knowledge of new techniques. Best of all ,my my buyers,team members and fellow bloggers have become friends! Time spent building a business has allowed me to interact with friends all over the world!!! What I have gained from time spent are some amazing gifts that add immense enjoyment to my life .So my time spent has certainly been worth every moment!
    m.e. :)

  9. This has really been weighing heavy on me recently too. Especially this month where I'm taking most of my focus away from my social networking to actually write my book. Funny thing is there is only one thing I find myself wishing I could make time for and it has nothing to do with status updating or tweeting. I miss my blog. Plain and simple it is the one place I get to go and vent and write anything I want and whether people read it or not its really just for me. I no longer try to even promote it after I changed the url to something more appropriate to its content.

    The things I'm ready to give up at the drop of a hat -- 2 online article sites I occassionally post on, 3 additional email accounts, my company page for FB & twitter, my memberships on freelance sites, and as sad as I am to say it, Etsy. I barely even remember if that's all I've signed up for.

    And just as a little side note...if I had been the one to answer that question I would have said a resounding NO! Why give up a life for the internet. Seems pointless to me since there is so little life to live!

  10. It's all about balance, isn't it?

    We must admit in the last few weeks we have started a blog and promoted like crazy on forums and facebook, that we gained perspiration at the cost of inspiration, and any sales - not a jot!

    It must take a je ne sais quoi that we have no control over, so maybe we just need to take our foot off the pedal for abit - webwise.

    We need to go back to the art!

    But great musings by everyone - thanks for sharing!

  11. m.e. - Granted, success can be defined in varied ways depending upon the person and the situation. However when one opens an online shop it is generally not for the purpose of networking and making online friends as there are other more appropriate avenues in which one can achieve this, such as facebook, myspace, flikkr etc. The opening of an online shop usually indicates the desire to sell one's wares and success in this particular framework is measured by the actual selling of these items.

    Most artists and crafters begin with a passion. They love what their doing and the very process of creating these items brings them pleasure and satisfaction. (Satisfaction in itself can be a measure of success.) It's when we turn this passion into a business that we begin to enter into a tug-of-war; the tug of being able to create when and what we are inspired to and the opposite tug from the demands of the internet. Some, such as yourself, find the techno babble and complexities of website design, HTML, SEO, analytics, et. al, as easy as walking and chewing gum; others find it confusing, time consuming and very often aggravating. One has to be able to talk and understand the language of the computer in order get the results that they are searching for and need. You are fortunate that this procedure is so easy and natural to you. Many of us are not that lucky.

    Once the tug of the technical side and the heavy demands of maintaining a constant online presence begins to out weight the pleasure we received from the act of creating, we then begin to question the worth of it. I would love to be able to just create art and let someone, such as you, do all the technical online aspects of it ... researching my competition, studying website analytics, building up a strong online presence with multiple websites and links to facebook, myspace, tweeter, flikkr, multiple blogs and the never ending constant job of keeping them fresh and current. It would be a dream come true, like being able to afford a full time maid to clean my house, do laundry, cook meals while I create jewelry, sew, paint, write, dance, sing to my heart's content and also have time to spend with my family and friends. :)

  12. Great post!

    To me, if you lose the "fun" aspect of creating...especially for an "art" based business, it would be hard to appreciate the success if all the "life" was gone out of creating.

    Thankfully for me, I just sew for "fun", it's not my income...I have a day job that pays the bills. I work with special needs preschoolers and it's a job that I love going to everyday and I'm so thankful for that.

    I think I would not enjoy creating as much as I do if it became stressful. We all have enough stress in our lives, and time is precious.

    Just my two cents...for what it's worth.

    Have a Happy Thanksgiving week!

  13. Yes I hear ( and think this alot) it is very hard to find a balance. There are some bloggers I see everywhere and have to wonder HOW they do it.I do however also love the community of people that visit every day.Life is full of those balancing acts we have to adjust everyday.Here's to finding balance!

  14. Your post really struck a chord with me. Here's what I discovered in my life. I had hoped to make money too and I spent a year glued to the computer visiting other blogs, leaving tons of comments and always marketing my blog. I did have quite a few readers and comments but I had no life beyond the computer. I just couldn't take it any more and I stopped spending my day promoting my blog and blog visiting. As a result, my visitors and comments dropped way down but I regained my life and perspective. In the end is it worth it for an "I'll visit you only if you visit me?" It's a question only we can answer for ourselves. But now I'm working on a book at long last and it seems as though I enjoy life more as well. I really sympathize with all you are going through.


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