It’s almost 4 years to the day that I’ve been working for the lovely ecommerce firm, Shopify. I joined it when there was just a handful of people there and the CEO made just as much money as everyone else. Now it’s a 160+ person corporation with offices in 3 different cities, that gives employees free house cleaning, gym memberships, a yearly allowance for sports, free conferences, etc.
I’ve come close to opening up my own Shopify store a few times now, even “launched” a few, but I’ve never actually made a “real” sale. It’s something that’s always bothered me professionally. Whenever I go to a conference or give advice to our customers I feel like I’m half lying to them since I’ve never actually put my advice into action. Sure I’ve set up stores for big names like Angry Birds and even The Oatmeal still uses my design I made 3 years ago.
The final straw was when one of my best friends asked me for some advice on getting started selling things online. I told him to just ship and see what happens, don’t worry about what your store looks like – just get some products up and tweet it out and see what happens. After I blessed him with my wise words and showered him with further axioms, I left the conversation with that sinking feeling that I always have – why am I giving advice on how to open up a store when I’ve never really set one up all by myself.
My friend heeded my “advice” and opened up an Underwater Hockey clothing store and stunned me when he received 5 orders in the first 2 weeks. This was incredibly inspiring, since he sells condos in Ottawa for a living and has no experience with ecommerce whats so ever. Amazing.
After a month after my friend launched his store I launched mine: Silk Artificial, specializing in artificial flowers, plants and trees. I don’t know if it’s going to work, but maybe if my friend can sell a handful of “Underwater” hockey t-shirts, then maybe I can sell a few bouquets of artificial flowers.
I did a 5 minute lightning talk on dating “advice”.
Some things I should probably clarify:
- When I say “Stop apologizing”, I mean don’t overuse the word.
- About the chocolate joke – this sort of comment is designed to elicit a playful reaction, I’m not intentionally being condescending.