Why I left Instagram - And knowing I am Blessed
Quite a few of you have been SO very good to reach out to me through email and ask where I have disappeared to. Many of us have connected through IG and for a while, Instagram was a blessing in my life. Without it, I wouldn't have "met" many of you.
After a while though, being on IG became more of a burden than a blessing. It's true that business success may be a result of heavily marketing oneself there. But it became such a heart-drain to see the many give-aways with requirements like, "Leave your favorite quilt shop and why you shop there," "Tag your favorite quilt shop," or "Recommend a quilt shop for me to check out and tell me why." It was the absolute worst things about high school all laid out to be witnessed by everyone.
Can you imagine how you'd feel if your daughter came home from school and said the teacher asked everyone to stand up and announce who the best girl in the classroom was and explain why? What if her name hadn't ever been mentioned? What if her "closest" friends named another gal rather than proudly proclaiming your daughter "the best?"
That's how it felt to see those posts and rarely see your own shop name. By gals who shop your shop. Time and time again.
Luckily, I graduated high school years ago. And, as an adult, I was in control of whether or not I wanted the advertising that IG offered as a trade off for growing my business. I decided that I wasn't mentally mature enough to handle the hurt feelings I experienced too often. It's not worth one sale (or 20) for me to try to ignore the feelings of being left out or forgotten or not worthy.
I don't harbor any ill will to those people who pursue thousands of followers. I don't want to make it seem that those people are doing something wrong. They're doing what they feel good doing. That's awesome. It's just not me.
So, I quit IG. I quit the competition. I quit the trying to have the lowest prices and racing my fellow small business quilt shops to the bottom of the barrel. Plenty of quilters shop at Fat Quarter Shop and don't seem to complain about their prices so why should a smaller shop (say, those with one or two employees, like my little shop) charge less than FQS? We smaller shops have to hussle and do the jobs of many while trying to balance home life with making customers feel cherished and valued. We shouldn't apologize and feel bad. The world is big enough for the Wal Mart shops as well as the Mom & Pop shops.
There you go. The reason I quit IG. But, in case you're not getting the Bottom Line from my words: I am feeling Blessed in my life. May we all be so lucky as to reach that point!