How I made my first $1000 on Etsy selling printables


Some of the links in this post are affiliate links which means if you click and decide to purchase the product, I’ll receive a commission at no extra cost to you. My promise to you: I’ll only post what I whole-heartedly use & believe in! 🙂

Growing my Etsy Printables business has been my passion since May last year and I’ve absolutely loved the process! Creating, making mistakes, learning, and eventually making income doing something FUN!

And now my inbox is full of messages every week asking for advice on how to build an Etsy printables store…

About time I got my act together and reposted this recording to share with you what I did to get to this point.

I wrote this post a few months ago for Michelle Rohr at Secret Owl Society. She taught me how to get off my butt and build my store with her Passive Income with Printables course.

Have a listen if you’d like to hear all about the mindset stuff that gets in our way when we’re building our businesses. And more importantly how to overcome them! 🙂


Ahem. The real title: I worked out how to stop sabotaging myself and finally ‘just did it’ by hacking away at my negative patterns and creating better ones in their place.

At the beginning of 2017, I was back at square one. I’d just trashed yet another business idea. I felt like I was drowning, and had no clue what to do next.

I picked up a copy of She Means Business by Carrie Green, and it was then that I learned about Michelle. Her story struck me. Living the same mediocre year twice? That was me…

I’m about to share with you the 5 habit hacks that helped me move out of one of my lowest moments to launching my first business and making $1000 on Etsy in under 6 months.

‘Just do it.’ A love-hate thing.

I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with the phrase “Just do it”.

If it were really that simple to succeed, wouldn’t we all be millionaires now? I think there’s a critical piece missing.

It sounds good, you want to just do it, but then…

It’s like there’s some mysterious, invisible force in your way, which feels impossible to break through. Not to mention, tricky to explain.

Sometimes, it’s tempting to chalk that mysterious force up to one or more of the common culprits:


  1. Time escaping you
  2. Money running dry
  3. Ideas aren’t flowing…or
  4. …the worst. I’m not good enough!

Any of those sound familiar to you?! Yeah. I used to use ALL of these!

But can I tell you the truth? Turns out, none of those excuses were actually holding me back from making the progress I dreamed of. None!


So what was really going on?

When I learned about Michelle and how she’s creating an amazing life for herself, I stepped back and took an honest look at myself.

I realised: if I’m going to achieve what she’s achieved I need to face what has REALLY been holding me back before now.

She built a thriving online business creating printables to help others change their lives. She’s helping people, doing what she loves, AND her business is making money!

“I cannot let this opportunity pass me by…” I thought.

Now, normally I’d beat myself up for not just doing it. But this time, I knew I had to do things differently.

I bought her Passive Income with Printables course and committed to doing everything Michelle told me to do. No matter what! No guesswork or believing in myself necessary.

And along the way, I began spotting all these moments where I’d pull the breaks on my own progress, for no reason!

A-ha! That was the missing piece between me and my success! Why I never managed to just do it

I was practicing negative patterns to stop myself from reaching the next level.

But this time, I was determined to overcome them.

Once I began paying attention to these, I broke my own cycle of sabotage (5 frustrating years) and got my store to $1000 in under 6 months.

Now, maybe that seems small to some, but what could an extra $1000 mean for you in the next few months?

So here are the 5 habit hacks I used to get out of my own way and grow my business.


5 negative patterns that slow your progress, and how to hack them for success


  1. Not finishing things

    I’m a great starter.

    But I have to force myself to finish things.

    Particularly my own projects. The same story would repeat itself again and again: I’d get a fabulous idea and do all the groundwork. Then reach an uncomfortable moment, right on the edge of releasing a product or launching a business and I’d find some excuse to trash it. At the 90% mark!

    Ohhh it was a bad idea anyway. Then I’d find something new and shiny to do or someone else’s work would take priority.

    Does any of that sound familiar to you?

    How to hack it:

    Commit to take each task to completion.

    Then, to get through those tough moments ask: what’s the very next thing I need to do? Not everything, just the very next.

    Often you may find you’re just a handful of those very next steps away from finishing.

  2. Allowing fearful feelings to stop you making progress

    I heard there’d be lots of up and down days when building a business, but I didn’t realise it would feel like this!

    Some days I wake up so excited and happy to work on it, and others I wake up feeling completely doomed. Like what was I thinking?!

    If we’re not careful, those down days could mean the end of a great business…

    How to hack it:

    Pre-agree with yourself that you aren’t throwing in the towel. So that when you reach a tough moment, quitting is not even an option.

    To all my fellow feelers out there: sometimes to make progress, you’ve just got to honour the plan you made when you were feeling positive. Even if fear is lurking in the background.

    Accept that doubt may pay you a visit, but it doesn’t get to edit the bigger plan.

  3. Perfectionism – is it good or bad?

    The bad: you dream of something wonderful but the product never quite reaches your golden standards, so you tweak and tweak and scrap and revise in secret. Endlessly.

    The good: your high standards can become one of your superpowers that propels you forward, creating, honing and releasing amazing things…

    How to hack it:

    Publish! Release! Build a habit of shipping it before you feel comfortable and ready!


    Horrifying I know.

    I forced myself to do this with my printables in the beginning. Release something, even though it could be better. My inner perfectionist would start freaking out, which then triggered a tonne of ideas to improve the products fast!

    Not only will you release more goodness into the world, you’ll rapidly find ways to make them even more awesome!

  4. Getting excited about too many things

    If I’m not really careful, my morning could very much end up looking like this: wake up, brush teeth, check email, sign up for 50 webinars, forget what I was meant to do, feel overwhelmed and drink a lot of tea.

    I have 50 notebooks bursting with business ideas, clothing I want to make and artworks I want to create.

    Oh you too? We creatives must be careful. Chasing a lot of ideas at once can leave us drained, with not a finished project in sight.

    How to hack it:

    One project built at a time, one part of a project built at a time.

    Identify exactly what could distract you and decide not to engage with it.

    Permission to let the rest go for later. Phew.

  5. Constantly feeling like you’re not far enough

    There are a lot more moments in-between starting and success than I realised. The whole journey actually!

    In any one of those moments we could be tempted to throw it all away, if we don’t feel we’re making enough progress.

    But! If you start with the knowledge that this is going to come up for you, you can prepare to overcome it.

    How to hack it:

    I’m learning it’s critical to acknowledge your own progress and find proof that you are growing.

    To do this, you could take monthly screenshots of your shop as you see the sales go up.

    Or log your income in a tracker.

    Or acknowledge every freakin’ sale in the beginning!

    This might sound weird…but I love doing this. When my phone pings to tell me Sarah has placed an order, I smile and say out loud: “Thanks Sarah, I appreciate you. I hope you love your printables and they help you with your next steps!”

    Yes really. 281 times in counting.

Rise to the challenge every day

If you’ve been wanting to get something off the ground with no luck yet, it’s probably time to take an honest look at your habits and patterns.

Become aware of the behaviours you may be using to block your own progress and plan to overcome them every day!

It could change everything for you! Certainly has for me.

Because the fact is, habits aside, Michelle’s advice works.

It took her 3 years of learning to get to $50,000 in sales and she’s condensed that knowledge into one course for us. She makes it so simple so all we have to do is learn, apply and get out of our own way.

This is truthfully how I managed to get unstuck and make that first $1000. And it’s just the beginning! For me AND for you…

So what next?

Now you’ve got 5 habit hacks to help you get unstuck and grow your business:


  1. Finish what you started
  2. That plan you made when you were feeling positive? Stick to it!
  3. Release your stuff before your inner perfectionist feels ready
  4. One project at a time, one part of a project at a time.
  5. Celebrate every little win on your way to success!


As you can see, I have all these habits that I’m working around every single day! But I still managed to do it, in spite of all these and you can too!

What about you, which habits can you hack to fast track your progress? Let me know in the comments below.

P.S. You can get $50 off Passive Income with Printables until end of March 2018! I know. Crazy. If you want to learn how to do what I’ve done with my little store then click on the image below!

Can’t wait to chat with you in the Facebook group once you’re in 🙂

You may also like