The Crystal Waddell Show: Episode 2

Don't Quit Your Dream Business Just Yet!

Hey guys! Thanks so much for joining me today! My name is Crystal Waddell, aka The Social Solopreneur. I own a company called Collage and Wood where I make and sell wooden letters, numbers, and collages. My goal with this podcast is to help women who are overwhelmed by their growing Etsy shop or small business.

 Get clear on your company covenants with my free worksheet:


If that’s you, awesome! I want to help you learn how to . Leverage the bazillion free marketing resources out there - like blogs, social media and email as a total SYSTEM and not just piecemeal strategies.


In today’s show I want to offer you 2 pieces of encouragement.


I want to start off today by telling you something.


I want you to know that I believe in you. I believe in your ideas. And if you want to give up and quit at any point in this journey, I want you to know that is a COMPLETELY normal thought to have.


But I want to encourage you to keep going. When I worked at the YMCA in Kansas City back in 2005, I burned myself out. I LOVE working, I always have. But a situation happened that hurt my feelings and I realized I didn’t want to do the job anymore. The CEO at the time gave me some advice: “Don’t quit, Crystal. What you need is a break.”


Fast forward 15 years and I finally understand what he meant. Just because you work hard doesn’t mean you will be successful. There will be bumps and bruises and hurts and failures along the way - and if you walk away from your work, you can only take the lessons with you. If you’re lucky.


But it you take a break, you can reset. You can assess. You can evaluate objectively, and not subjectively. You can take a look and what works, what didn’t, and WHY. And then you can try again.


So the next time things start to get rough, remember this: it’s not the time to quit. I want you to take a deep breath. If you’re selling on Etsy, put your shop on vacation. Take a few days for yourself to reset and get caught up or make a plan for the upcoming weeks. Your shop will survive a break. And you will keep your sanity!


The second piece of encouragement I want to share with you is this: Trust your gut.


LISTEN to your own voice. Consider other people’s opinions, but filter everything through what you want to be known for, your company covenants.


When I was coaching high school volleyball, I really struggled with this. I wanted to let everyone have a say in how the show was going to run, which COULD have worked I guess if I had a stronger inner voice.


But my inner voice got drowned out by the external ones. I made decisions that didn’t feel right to me but sounded right to others. Have you ever done that? It’s like you KNOW that something isn’t the best but it’s like a form of adult peer pressure and you go along with it anyway!


Oh, not you? Just me? Ok, then!


Anyway, my point is this: having a business has helped me refine my ability to listen and trust my inner voice. If you FEEL like you should try something in your business, and it’s not going to destroy your family or hurt someone, go for it! What’s the worst that could happen? You fail? No - actually the worst that could happen is that you don’t LEARN from the failure and that is the true failure!

And guess what? Something amazing could come from it! Now, on the flip side, and just as important, if you get an icky feeling in your stomach or just a lack of peace about a choice, don’t force yourself to make it. Or walk away from the deal.


NOTHING is worth your peace. Even if you have to slow down your growth or pivot or change businesses completely, make sure you always stay true to yourself! And staying true to yourself is the takeaway from today - how do you build and maintain a culture that you can thrive in?


I learned about this concept from Proactive Coaching when I was coaching volleyball. They called it “Core Covenants.” I’m going to tweak it here and rename it: “Company Covenants: What You want to be known For”.


Think about that. Who are you? What do you do? What do you want people to think of (a product or service) and then immediately recommend you? And why? How do you make the experience so special that they immediately think of you and refer others to you?


Those are your company covenants. Everything you do online and offline for your business should point back to the 1-3 things that you want to be known for. Every problem should be looked at through the lens of each covenant.


For example, do you have a demanding client who is unreasonable (and clueless about it?) In the future, hopefully you’ll be able to avoid working with that person. But if they are already a client and you promised to deliver a product AND customer service is one of your core covenants: you’ve got to find a way to deliver beyond their expectations.


Two wins from this scenario that undoubtedly makes us all cringe!! 1. You learn who your perfect client is, and who she is not. The sooner you learn this, the faster you will start working with more people you like! 2. Sometimes (not always) the most demanding clients leave the BEST reviews. And their praises make the stress ALMOST worth it!


Anyway, I’ve created a freebie for you to brainstorm what you’re naturally good at in your business and how you can create covenants around your strengths. You can find this download on my website,


Feel free to leave any questions or comments on the blog!


Well, I hope you have enjoyed this episode! I am so excited to be back with you next time! Remember, don’t quit. Take a break if you need it, but stick with your dream. That’s the real secret to success: not giving up :)


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Bye for now!