Cogs & Gears: Things You Can’t Do In a Day

The phrase “Rome wasn’t built in a day” refers to the empire, of course: But what if it referred to the city itself? If, at the height of the Roman Empire, everyone in its domain came along and built with gusto – Rome still wouldn’t be done in a day; cement and mortar and things need time to dry, after all.

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Such complex beauty!

 

I’ve been thinking about this lately; there are a lot of things in life that need more time than a day to finish – distressing as that is to someone as optimistically ambitious as I am. I always thought it would be cool to tackle something and solve, construct, or master it all at once. A few things like this:

  • Languages. Seriously, you only learn French in a week in ads.
  • Fitness. Did those Olympic athletes decide to become amazing at what they do, and then do it? No – it took years of training!
  • Writing. Interestingly, some books work better if you work on them slowly.
  • Any Skill or Art. I probably should have put this first! But first projects in cooking, sewing, woodworking, mechanics, and so on are always almost terrible. You have to keep at it!
  • Breaking Bad Habits, and Building Good Personality.

Some clever scientists have even recently decided that procrastination can be a good thing, because it allows you time to work things through rather than forcing a quick decision!

The same principle of steady but prolonged effort applies to Etsy, too:

  • Much as I would love it if my shop became a roaring overnight success, honestly that would be really overwhelming. It’s been much better for me to slowly build a foundation – learn my way around the site, figure out how the business works, become an expert in listing. So when I start selling at a regular pace, the shipping and billing side won’t come as another straw on the camel’s back.
  • Making lovely little items to fill my shelves takes longer than I’d like – after all, I’m not a machine, and my hands have other things to do. But that’s ok; producing things steadily has built up a good inventory, and I’ve had time to find designs that will last for many seasons.
  • Taking time to think about the layout and look for my shop has allowed me to see what other people are doing, and think about what I really want, and come up with some fun ideas.
  • I admit it; I’m terrible at promotion! But going slow on that has let me get a little more comfortable with pushing my things out there, as I get a feel for the market and the community.

As you may guess, we’ve been focusing a lot on Etsy! And sometimes neglecting other things (oops!). But the nice thing about doing things slowly is that gradually one task becomes easier and you can add in a little more – just like a weightlifter starts at 20 pounds and works his way up!

Every journey, after all, begins with a single bite of elephant!

Next week, I’ll have to post about the opposite problem – which Sarah has reminded me of; sometimes it’s possible to take too little of a bite!

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What all my small incremental projects look like after a while!

 

-Abigail-

p.s. Did I mention that I sold something? YAY!

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4 thoughts on “Cogs & Gears: Things You Can’t Do In a Day

    1. Why, thank you, our new favorite reader (it’s really a joy to see your comments all over the place)! And, I wish there was a little blushing emoji… 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Good post! I love the picture at the end – totally fits with how my Etsy shop – and life in general – looks like! 🙂
    But it is encouraging to step back and realize it can’t be all done in one day, and some things work better if you slowly, carefully work at it.

    Liked by 1 person

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