Today I returned to Instagram after being away for over six months. Before I forget about my time away, I want to reflect on what I've learned.
1. Competition in business can take many forms. There isn't one right way to compete and get your name out there.
2. Small businesses like mine do not need to be held to the same standards as huge corporations. Small businesses can be personal and unique. My particular business may not be right for everyone. And since I can't possibly dye yarn for everyone anyways...this is totally fine!
3. Being away from IG and most social media has really made me re-think my "style" and wardrobe. I know this might sound silly, but it's been a huge revelation to me. Since I'm no longer influenced by all the images on IG, I've reverted back to my natural style, which is mostly 1940s-inspired. Unfortunately, this means that a large portion of what I have sewn and purchased in the last couple years no longer appeals to me. Ugh. One of these days I'll have my wardrobe figured out....
4. I'm not a minimalist! Yes, after years trying to get rid of all my possessions and live the picture-perfect Instagrammable life, I have realized I like my pretty things and the memories and feelings attached to them. Especially my books. A few years ago I parted with the majority of my books, and I really do regret this now. It used to make me so happy to just look at them and be able to pick one from the shelf and read it right there. Fortunately, I did keep all my antique books, which I knew I would never be able to replace.
5. My family is pretty amazing. These are the people I should be focusing on more than anyone else. They've been there for me my whole life, and continue to cheer me on through thick and thin.
6. No matter how many followers you have or how "in" you are with the popular kids on IG, in the end it's your product that will make or break your business.
7. Before returning, I went through and unfollowed nearly every other yarny person apart from some customers. I do my best to dye beautiful colors. I don't need to be influenced by what others are doing. I'm inspired by history, fashion, nature, movies etc., not by my competition. My feed is now mostly cats, dogs, and vintage fashion.
6. It's been oddly therapeutic to watch YouTube videos from ex-cult members. I actually feel like I was part of some weird knitting cult for years and didn't know it. There are so many similarities, with the shunning aspect probably being the most obvious one. One of my favorite YouTube channels is called Bravely Taylor. She's been my "therapy" through these last six months.
7. Listen to your gut. Don't give in to peer pressure. It's tough, but you'll feel so much better about yourself in the end.