Are you consuming too much and creating too little?

This is a discussion taking place in many entrepreneurial circles today, but not among Merch By Amazon sellers, perhaps where it’s needed most.

These days, the tug-of-war between consumption and creation has a clear winner.

For Merchers, especially those new to the platform, struggling to re-gain their momentum, or trying to reach higher tiers, “consumption” has been the paramount goal to a fault.

They are consuming so much information that they are becoming overwhelmed by information — a situation that hampers creation through the injection of self-doubt, second-guesses, and conflicting ideas.

To be clear, you should definitely consume information, guidance, and ideas about everything from niches to compliance. But this consumption must be in moderation, and never to a degree that clogs or clouds efforts to create.

In my opinion, many Merchers make the mistake of viewing their MBA businesses as real-world factories. To succeed and not go under, these factories must make money, right?

But that’s not how we should view Merch By Amazon. Our businesses are not factories at all. They are research and development laboratories. The vast majority of designs we create will not sell. And that’s OK! In fact, it’s normal, healthy, and instructive.

What’s imperative is that we keep creating and allowing the lessons of personal successes and failures to inform our future creation decisions and efforts. In other words, our creations give us invaluable knowledge and experience to consume. And we need to consume more of that kind of knowledge.

I see Merchers on a daily basis who aren’t having fun any more. They are treating MBA like a job, or a position they have to endlessly “study for” in order to succeed. They approach MBA like a pressure-filled chore. Most people who put themselves in this position either don’t succeed or burn out quickly. And I don’t want to see that happen to you.

So what’s my point?

  • Consume all of your favorite sources of knowledge, guidance and inspiration… but in moderation. When you feel overwhelmed, stop reading, watching or listening.
  • Never allow the successes, failures, or examples of other sellers fill your head with doubt or anxiety. You have your own race to run.
  • Have fun experimenting with new niches, messaging ideas, and targeted audiences.
  • Make yourself laugh or feel inspired by your tshirt messages. Chances are these works will have the same effect on others.
  • Don’t take failures personally or seriously. There’s a lesson in every upload — winner or loser.
  • Remember that by creating you are learning. And the self-taught Merchers among us tend to be the most successful.

So as we head into the home stretch of the 2020 holiday shopping season, don’t allow yourself to become overwhelmed or stymied by all the balls you feel pressured to juggle.

You will succeed by having more fun, doubting yourself less, creating more designs, and eliminating distractions and “deadlines for success” from your research and development lab.

So in this final week of October, I urge you to tackle the week ahead with clarity, creativity, confidence, and a commitment to enjoying your efforts. It just might make a big difference in your Merch business for the remainder of Q4.