Crafting for fun vs. Crafting for pay

As I have stated before, I have a little etsy shop where I sell bottle cap accessories(keychains, necklaces, etc.) and various other items.  I loved making these accessories when I first started… and then I began selling them.  After some time the excitement of making these keychains wore off and I was stuck trying to figure out why.  I used to drop whatever I was doing whenever an order came in and rush right over to make it, but now… even though I still have a quicker turn around than most other sellers, I am not as excited to begin the creation process.  It wasn’t until I took Sports Psychology this semester that I realized what the difference is.  I learned through the course of this class that I still love designing and making these keychains and necklaces but now that I am being paid to do so, the freedom of my craft is gone.  I am not working on these whenever I want to, creating whatever I want… instead I am designing and constructing based on what someone else wants. 

A study was done by a psychologist when some neighborhood kids wouldn’t stop playing on his lawn which was tearing apart his flower garden.  The psychologist tried putting up signs, asking the kids to leave and various other methods but nothing worked.  Then he changed his approach….  He started PAYING the children to play IN HIS YARD!  Doesn’t make too much sense, right?  He is paying them to do something that he does not want them doing.  But then, after some time, he stopped paying the children.  Once the children stopped being paid, they didn’t want to play on the man’s yard anymore.  Keep in mind, these kids were playing in this yard BEFORE they were being paid.  This is very interesting to me.  Obviously the kids enjoyed playing in this man’s yard or they wouldn’t have been doing it in the first place… so what is it about having been paid to do something that they enjoyed that changed their feelings towards it?? 


It is little tidbits like this– that I can apply to my real life, that make my psychology major so interesting to me.  Learning more about myself through the classes that I am taking has helped me to adjust how I run my shop.  I still customize all of my keychains for each individual order, but as far as my birthday boards… I make them ahead of time, at my own leisure and convenience before placing them up to be sold.  Before, I would list birthday boards that I had done in the past and made them individually once ordered, but this system made me start to HATE making birthday boards!  I am so glad that I have figured out a way to continue making them, I truly do enjoy it again :)


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