The One Essential Step That Could Be Costing You When Starting an Online Business

**Updated October 4th, 2019: We have updated and revised this post. We also added an audio podcast. Enjoy!**

t’s easy to look at other businesses and think “That looks fun, I want to do that!” without really putting much thought into whether that’s the best option for us to take. All of the sudden we’re all in - buying whatever equipment, start-up kits or tools we need to get our business started and running successfully. It’s great to be motivated.  If this is the right path for you then, definitely! But for someone who never wears makeup, suddenly signing on to sell Mary Kay, is probably not a great fit. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in this situation.  

Fast forward several months we realize ...this isn’t as enjoyable as we thought it would be.  The initial glamour has faded. We find that it is more complicated than we thought it would be.  Then, for most, comes the downward spiral to negative self talk. We all know it well…. “I am not good or smart or creative enough.  I don’t have what it takes. I gave it my all and it didn’t work. I’m just not cut out for this.” And on and on and on. Many give up and stop searching.  Others move on to something else, forever chasing after that one thing that usually leads to nowhere, aka the shiny object syndrome. 

“Hello my name is Kasey and I have been there, done that!”  But wait! Before you go grab a spoon and a gallon of ice cream, there’s still hope.  I have figured out why this happens and what we can do to change it. Learn how I solved this problem in today’s post, just keep reading!

Why do businesses fail?

Before we try to fix the problem, we need to identify what is broken.  There are many reasons businesses fail. One big reason for me was that I lost interest or became interested in something really quickly. I’m not joking guys, this was me. Not just with one thing, but several. I would get bored working my current job, go looking for something that I was better at, or more interesting. I worked just about every job within the marketing realm possible. Event planning, Internet Marketing, Marketing, Sales and SEO. I worked at Agencies, Retail Stores and Dealerships. You name it, and I had done it when it came to marketing.

What about startup businesses?

 Oh boy! **eyeroll**  You name it, I tried it.  From selling garage sale “finds” on eBay to refinishing furniture, I’ve tried it ALL.  Funny story: Anyone who knows me, knows that I am NOT good at working with my hands. I am not very coordinated, either.  However, I had this GREAT idea to create furniture overlays by cutting intricate patterns to apply to furniture. I even bought a scroll saw.  **laughing so hard I am crying** Don’t get me wrong, this would be a good opportunity for someone, but not me.

Another business adventure (I mean disaster)...

Fruit Bouquets. **shudder**  Also, a very legitimate business venture, for someone else.  Really, not kidding...I barely even make breakfast for my kids. I also avoid buying that isn’t immediately ready to eat because I don’t like peeling and slicing and dicing.  I break out a sweat just thinking about it. So, why in the world would I ever, ever, ever, think I would enjoy making fruit bouquets?  **facepalm** Needless to say, fruit bouquets ...NOPE!  Guys, I even tried different areas of design, (fliers, invitations, web design etc.) and found it just wasn’t for me.  I was beginning to wonder if there was something for me. I knew that I loved design. I just wasn’t in the right AREA of design. What was that one essential step for online business success that I had missed? What big monumental thing changed in my life and pointed me in the right direction? What actually “stuck” with me, led me to the success and why I am where I am today? - Designing and Selling Cut Files!  

The Essential Step

Many of you have already heard my story about quitting my day job and finding my cut file design dream job.  What many of you don’t know is the ‘how’ behind it all. I love being a SAHM. However, I have always been a natural “busy body” so I kept trying everything to stay as busy as possible. As if a SAHM and wife wasn’t busy enough, **eyeroll** I needed something more than just mom life.  I yearned to accomplish something like I did in the corporate marketing world--planning an event for 5,000 people or running a promotion that results in a 20% increase in sales.  Stopping completely, after doing this for 10 years was a hard transition to get used to. I loved being able to check off an accomplishment and see the return results immediately. I am happiest when I am busy.  

My AH HA Moment …

To help me in my search for my “IT”, I began listening to podcasts.  One particular episode from the podcast, “Smart Passive Income by Pat Flynn” stood out from all the rest.   Pat and his guest (can’t remember their name) were discussing online businesses when they posed the following questions….

  • If you were to ask those closest to you what you are good at, what would they say?
  • What would they say your hobbies are?

It was like a light went off in my head.  This was my “AH HA” moment! It was so simple and right in front of me, but I didn’t see it.  Basically, their point was to identify and hone in on the area(s) that you enjoy and/or are good at then move forward from there.  THIS IS IT! The one essential step for online business success that I had been missing this entire time ...Do what you love, you’re good at, what you gravitate to and you’ll have something with longevity.  Something that you stick with for years to come! I attribute this to ALL of my online success and happiness. By utilizing this essential step, you can find success too. Some possible questions to ask yourself and those closest to you…..

What am I known for?
  • What am I known for?
  • What defines me?
  • What do I enjoy doing?
  • What am I good at?
Design was my answer. 

When I asked my family these questions, one common word was said over and over...DESIGN.  They said I was good at designing things. Specifically designing cut files wasn’t even brought up.  I didn’t even know what a cut file was. My family was right, though, I had always gravitated towards designing (fliers, websites, posters etc.) over the years.  Personally, I did NOT think I was good at design but my family and friends DID. I always had an excuse to why I couldn’t create a business in design. The main excuse-- because I didn’t believe I was a good enough designer.

The RICHES are in the NICHES! 

There are so many amazing graphic designers out there, It’s hard not to doubt your abilities.  Remember that you have to FIND YOUR NICHE. It’s YOUR thing, not theirs. The possibilities are endless.  Think of all the ways you could start a business. Even if you cannot see yourself doing it, still look into it. And most importantly, look for a need! Find a problem people are having and solve it.  Back when I worked at a dealership they’d say “Find out what the customer wants and give it to them.” This has always stuck with me. How simple of a concept and yet how difficult this is sometimes….

Find out what the people want and give it to them.



So What Led Me To Designing SVG Cut Files?

I had not used SVGs personally, but my sister told me I should try to make her some for her Silhouette.  At first I brushed her off (like most sisters do sometimes). After some research, I found out how popular these SVGs were and how many people wanted to buy them on Etsy.  So, I gave in and made my first cut file for my sister. It took some troubleshooting but I eventually figured it out and it actually worked in her program. So, I decided to make the leap.  I made a few more designs and posted them on Etsy. Then, I watched my computer and anxiously waited for my first sale. **screen refresh** **pray** **screen refresh**

Then, it happened. 

Someone actually bought one of my designs!  My excitement was short lived, however…What if the file doesn’t work?  What if they don’t like it? Or worse...What if they think I don’t know what I am doing?  So, I started waiting again…**screen refresh** **wince** **pray** **screen refresh**

The message never came.

Not to say there weren't any hiccups along the way.  As the number of files increased, some people did contact me (as to be expected) and I worked through each issue and took it as an opportunity to improve the quality of my cut files. The point is that it wasn’t as big of a deal to launch my shop and post those first products as I had made it out to be.

$0.99 Represents Potential For Success.

That first little $0.99 sale during the first week I launched my Etsy business was enough to lite a FIRE under me.  Sale after sale made me realize that “this could be something”. Each $0.99 sale was potential! Potential to create more.  Potential to do something I loved. Potential to succeed with this business. I had never experienced something like this before.  I was actually doing something I enjoyed doing! It didn’t even feel like work. Looking at the measly $0.99 would have been limiting to me.  Instead I started doing the math. If I currently had 5 listings and made $10.00 that first week, what would happen if I made 10, 30, 40 more?  I began pumping out new designs like crazy! The door was opened to a new passive income world and NOTHING was going to hold me back.

Looking back now ...

When I think about all the hard work and effort I put into searching for my “THING” jumping from one job (business idea) to another, I realize that I could have started down this road a lot sooner.  I was just looking in all the wrong areas. All the effort wasted on a ton of possibilities, when I could have been putting it all toward ONE business idea, ONE goal, ONE objective. I hope you can learn from my journey.  Don’t waste time seeking your niche in the wrong areas. Seek out help from your family and friends. They know who you are and unlike you, aren’t being held back by the negative thoughts and doubt you have of yourself.


YOU are something grand. YOU have something that YOU can be better at than anybody else. There is NO other YOU in the world. Only YOU can help people in your own unique way. I truly believe this.  All you need now is to use this one essential step for your online business to be a success!

You’ve got what it takes!

No matter what you do, sell, create, design etc.  Whether you choose Etsy, another platform or no platform at all.  I just want you to be inspired to look for your WHY in life and FIND it.  Then, identify a NEED people have within your interests that you can meet.  Verify this is a valid need by doing your research. NOW YOU ARE READY TO DIVE IN! Immerse yourself in it.  Love what you do. If sales aren’t amazing at first, so what? Don’t Give Up! Keep improving your process. See your small wins for what they TRULY are...a sign for What Is To Become!  See your failures as true opportunities to grow and learn, THEN MOVE ON.  Failures will happen.  When they do, envision yourself 5-10 years from now living your goal, your dream life.  Do this enough and you will automatically start believing that life you envision.  

Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again,

this time more intelligently.

-Henry Ford 

**Message From Kasey**  I truly believe that You Can Do This!  I believe each one of us has something in us that we are better at than anyone else.  A talent/gift we were made for in this life. Just like your DNA, this gift is uniquely yours.  It is your choice how you use this talent. Whatever you do, do it happily. Use it to live the life you dream of living.  It’s yours for the taking.

Did you apply what we talked about? Did you ask your loved ones any of the questions I suggested?  What was their response? What was your opinion about what they said? What is holding you back from moving forward?  I want to hear from you. Please respond in the comment section below.

I hope I have inspired you to start identifying your niche and how you can use it to live your dream life.  Have an amazing week. 





Thank you Amy, so glad I could help. Good luck in your search! 👏


Wow! Thank you for this inspiring article. YOU made an impact, as I can relate so much to your story. Time for me to find my one thing!

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