Passion Pays

don't give up too soon

This past week I received an order on my Etsy shop that came to me through Etsy’s offsite ad program. Basically, they run an ad for your product on places like Google, Facebook, and Pinterest. This is the first time I have received an order this way and it was exciting! The program is not free. I’m a small shop, so Etsy charges me 15% for any order placed through offsite ads. However, I don’t mind. The trick is to price your products appropriately, so all your costs and time are accounted for. Here’s the thing. I’ve stayed a small shop basically because it can be discouraging not to get orders. This gave me a boost of confidence that was well worth the $4.95 charge. The order was for a personalized wedding garter set. I have made several of these now. Apparently, brides love them.

Why Passion Matters

I believe you can do any job well if you commit yourself to it. Yet doing a job well and enjoying the job are not the same thing. Finding activities you can passionately immerse yourself in is important to your overall mental health and happiness. The activity doesn’t have to be something you do for pay. It can be a hobby. The podcast series I’m starting is all about passion. I have enough material gathered up to fill at least 6 months of episodes!

Gardening as a Passion

April 14 is National Gardening Day. Of course, spring is a full gardening season. I love spring flowers and seeing all the new growth on trees. I also enjoy wandering around the garden center picking out new plants for the garden. This year we planted a new redbud to replace the one that was destroyed in a storm two years ago. We also had to replace a large rose bush that succumbed to rose rosette disease. We replaced it with a type of maple I had not heard of: Flame Amur Maple. It stays fairly compact and is more shrubby than tree-like. It is supposed to have small flowers in the spring, but it was past bloom time when we bought it; I’m excited to see those next spring.

Even if you don’t have an outdoor garden, you can enjoy gardening in a sunny window indoors or on a patio or balcony. I plant a container garden each year, and, honestly, those containers are a lot easier to care for than a full lawn and garden.

Did you know exposure to nature is linked to happiness, contentment, and a positive mental outlook? I encourage you to get out and enjoy a garden, even if it is a local park or botanical garden.

A Passion for Creating Content

This weekend I split my art and sewing passions from my original YouTube channel. As I studied the analytics of my original channel, I discovered that all my views were coming from my bird and garden related videos. Seriously, I have an old video about eye colors in roller pigeons that has more than 17,000 views. That channel is now called OKC Birds, and I will keep it bird and garden related. The new channel is Amy Jo Art & Sewing Studio. I moved all my sewing and craft videos over to that channel. So, if you subscribed to my original channel but aren’t interested in birds or gardening, you can subscribe to the new channel.

Amy Jo Art & Sewing Studio on YouTube

Amy Jo Garner - OKC Birds on YouTube

I was hesitant to split the channel because I didn’t want extra work. But you know what? I felt relieved and gained a since of clarity. My passion for birds and gardening isn’t something tied to a monetary value. Art and sewing are things I am passionate about and earn money from. When you are looking at your own passions, you may find that doing something for money makes you less passionate about it. For example, I like to sew my own clothes and am often asked if I sew for others or do alterations. The answer is always a resounding NO! Although I enjoy the process for myself, it would be a burden to sew for others. Keep this in mind as you explore you own passions.

Thank you all for your continued support!