If your new year's resolution for 2012 is to start your own business, you need to do this: get your own website. Sure, you'll get some 'free' traffic to a shop on Artfire or Etsy or Folksy. But you do not control these sites. They might not be around forever. What would happen to your business if suddenly your shop didn't exist any more? Or if they decided that you couldn't use their services any longer?
Having a blog hosted by someone else, like a blogspot.com address is a little bit better. But not much, because you're still bound by their rules. And they might not be around forever either. You can buy a domain through Blogger, but don't do that. You won't have access to the engine room of that domain. You can only add what Blogger will let you. That's not a good deal.
So buy your own domain, they don't cost a lot. And if you want to start a business, or have more control over your current business, that's money well spent. Even if you're not quite ready to set up business on your own website, buy the domain. Claim your stake so to speak.
Setting up a shop is easy, a lot easier than it was just a few years ago. Yes, you may have to do a bit of research to find the solution you want. And getting the shop into shape will require some work, which you may find a bit boring, but that's just the way it is. Putting the effort into Your Own Thing is time well spent.
I know it's easy to just set up a shop on any of those sites I mentioned above, and by all means do that to try out Running Your Own Business. But the moment you know that you're serious about this, that you're in it for the long haul, go get that domain, set up your own shop. And most importantly: put your marketing efforts into pointing people to this site, not everywhere else.
And to change topic slightly-
Rome wasn't built in a day, it will take time to build something that wasn't there before. It may be disheartening to see people with less talent, who do less work, who undercharge etc and so on, have more success than you. But if you believe in Your Thing and put in a solid effort, then you will succeed in the end.
And here are two things to remember: success doesn't necessarily look like you imagined and achieving the success you see in someone else's business may not be a the right thing for you. :-)
Edit: I just thought I'd add a little snippet from one of the comments below:
I would like to add that age is not a restriction. Whenever that creative urge hits, be it 20, 30, 40, 50 or even older, follow your dream. The next 20 or 30 years are going to happen regardless and there is a so much you have to offer and a dream to fulfill. Begin it now.So very, very true! Thank you, Bonnie!
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