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Month: January 2014

The Adventures

Every day is an adventure. I share the view, the gratitude and the news  on Fridays – you’re invited to join in. You can find all my adventures here, or follow along via email here.

 

Announcement:
For this weekend only, shipping on a signed copy of my book is $5, no matter where you live. I'm gonna change it on Monday (it's a mistake! Shipping Priority to Europe costs  $20+!), but until then, grab it here. (Note that this doesn't apply if you buy it from my publisher or Amazon…because I'm not in charge of their shipping!)

The View

This is the give-me-your-dinner look. Seriously, yet sleepy.
Because it's a snow day (again). Because it's my mom's birthday (hi mom!) & I wish she was here to have a cup with me. Because it's also my roomie's birthday & I miss  her. Coffee break with #Vegan coffee cake in the middle of a workday. #yearofmaking 29/
Turning row for the bottom hem. Yay! #yearofmaking 27/365
From breakfast: fluffy, amazing pancakes. After a week without sugar they were PERFECT. (@isachandra's recipe, from theppk.com) #yearofmaking 26/365
As much as I LOVE snow, this is keeping from my pal's bridal shower. Not loving that. (This was taken about 15 minutes before I tried to drive up my driveway. Where my car got stuck.) #snowedin

I am so grateful for…

 

The Finds

I just love these “Rules for Living Online” from Grace Bonney of Design*Sponge.

Don’t Share What You’re Not Ready to Hear Feedback On

The internet is a two-sided street. You’re not talking in a vacuum and you’re not talking only to people who agree with you. So if you want to rant about something, be prepared to hear from people who disagree. If you want to expose something you’re deeply sensitive or unsure about, be prepared to have people challenge you on it. If you’re not ready for that, it’s not the right time to share that thought.”

 

I spent the first part of the week obsessing over creating my own DIY planner (I just can't find one to suit me, and while I love my journal for weekly planning/daily to-do lists…I need some place to track future plans.) iHanna's pages look perfect. As do the (many) downloads from AhhDesigns. I'm going to experiment (of course!) and report back.

 

Quilts! I'm back to geeking out over them. Especially this St. Louis 16 patch, Quilt Improv (I really really want it!), and everything at Red Pepper Quilts + Stitched in Color. And my mom texted me (again!) to thank her for the Christmas gift of Quilting Happiness (here's why I loved it).

 

Recipes we tried this week: 

 

How was your week? 

 

An Exploration into Self-care

Pesto soup, with gnocchi, beans & greens. Yum. #vegan recipe by @Isachandra, of course

Let's start with some honesty: I have a hate-hate relationship with the phrase “self-care” (or even worse “self-love”). I am completely resistant to it. Not because I think we shouldn't take care of ourselves, but because it sounds so…selfish. And self-centered. And terribly, awfully, horrendously self-indulgent.

 

And I gotta admit, up until last year, I secretly believed the act of self-care was all those self-involved things too. Oh, and lazy. I thought of my brain (& heart) to be the important thing. I took care of my brain through lots of reading, writing and long deep conversations. I took care of my heart with friends and family and my sweet marriage.

But bodily self-care was just…not something that seemed necessary or important. I didn't really know how to start.

 


But that changed.

As I shared here, I had a pretty awful moment of truth last January. Something about that experience woke me up and all of a sudden, I was open to paying attention to my physical home, that thing that was carrying around my big brain all these years, my body.

I noticed I never ate when I was hungry, preferring to keep working through the signs. (Not in some desire to be thin, but because I truly didn't pay attention.) I noticed that I felt actually, measurably better when I moved around and pushed myself. I noticed that I loved feeling physically strong.


As an explorer, I paid attention to what I noticed. I used it to shape my decisions, my day, my actions.

And all of this, somehow, led me to actually take care of my self. It's not a big deal and it's not something I label “self-care”…but it's there now – in eating breakfast, in running, in buying clothes that fit, in breathing deep.


The best part: this shift, into paying more attention (instead of ignoring) spreads to other areas: I have an easier job paying attention to what works in my business. I have the energy to write longer. I don't become fried at 2pm everyday (and when I do, I trust myself to take a break.)

By reframing “self-care” into an act of exploration, I shifted my relationship to my body and to my brain (and to food, clothes, other women, my role in relationships, my business, my finances…the list is endless because changing one thing changes everything.)

 

To start your own exploration: Pay attention, and then work with what's working. That's it. It's not about being luxurious or indulgent or fancy (although you certainly can be), it's about noticing + shifting, in tiny ways, until things feel a little better.

You can use this exploration method to take care of your self, your business, your kids. You can use it to change your life, your business, or your eating habits. (You can learn more about how to be an explorer in my free e-course here.)

 

This post is part of the Unencumbered Sharing Circle, a gathering of honest first-hand stories about self-loathing, self-love, and the journey between the two. Read more stories, and share your own, right here.

 

Adventures in Fiction Writing with SJ Pajonas

sj pajonasI made the mistake of reading SJ Pajonas' new novel, Released, during my flight last Saturday. Sitting in between two strangers, 2 hours into a 4 hour flight, I started bawling my eyes out. And snuffling. And generally being the kind of person you avoid sitting next to. But despite the personal embarrassment (or perhaps because of it), I heartily recommend SJ's Nogiku series. It's funny, action-packed and so full of real dialogue that I cried on a crowded plane. So yeah, I LOVE it.

I'm delighted that SJ agreed to answer some of my questions about the writing + marketing of her novels.

People have this fantasy of what it’s like to be a novelist. But what’s a normal day for you really like?

I’m a stay-at-home mom, so typically, my day is: get up at 5am so I have 1.5 to 2 hours of time to write or get other writing-related work done before my kids get up, get kids to school, either run errands or write while they’re at school (they’re not at school all day yet), then the rest of my day is completely normal. I can sometimes get in a few hundred words here and there when they’re home but it’s difficult. When I need a long stretch of time for working, I save it for the weekend when my husband can cover for me.

I've found that getting things done (like writing so proficiently and getting it all published) is about having daily (or weekly) habits and practices to keep working on your project. So tell us about your writing rituals – what do you do to get in the flow for writing?

You know all that time in the previous question when I’m taking care of the kids and the house? I’m brainstorming that whole time. I brainstorm while loading and unloading the dishwasher, while I’m making dinner, while I’m sitting and waiting for school to be dismissed, etc. Because when I actually have the time to sit down and write, I want to get words on the page immediately. I honestly don’t have the time to stare at a blank page in front of me! I also do a lot of writing on my phone in Evernote. If I’m working in the kitchen and I have a great idea for some dialogue that I just know I’ll forget before I get up at 5am the next morning, I open Evernote and write it all down quickly. I have a folder for each book and I just keep adding notes when I have the chance. This way I always have material when I sit down to write.

What's your favorite apps or tools? What do you use to write, edit, etc?

My favorite app for writing is definitely Scrivener. It’s a $45 application from Literature & Latte and I would say the best money I’ve ever spent. You can use it to organize your work or novel like a file system, and it allows you to write in snippets and then move them around.* If you do this in Word, you have to highlight, copy, cut, and paste, and it’s annoyingly clunky. Once you’re done with a novel, you can export to a range of formats for ebooks. Since I self-publish, it’s all I use. Calibre is another piece of helpful software. Sometimes I export a book from Scrivener to HTML format, I tweak the HTML and then use Calibre to convert it to ebook formats. And Evernote is the other software I can’t live without. I can access it on all my devices so I keep a lot in it from notes about each book to information and links I gather on self-publishing to recipes for those dinners that fuel me!

*Tara's note: I agree! I used Scrivener to write my book!

As you've self-published books, I have loved watching your marketing unfold (which is so rare!). What is the most effective thing you've done to share the book with more people?

Thank you! There are several things I’ve done that I think work for books in general. I give away a lot of copies in the hopes that they garner reviews. I make a lot of multimedia items to promote the book like teaser images that I post on my blog, twitter, and Goodreads, and I had a book trailer made. I have a presence on most of the social media networks where I am, most importantly, MYSELF. I don’t try to project that I’m an expert in anything or give advice that I know nothing about. If you find me online, I’m usually talking about random things from my life or sharing tidbits of information that have been coming my way. I keep the ranting to a minimum and I usually reply if you want to chat. I do let people know when I’m excited about my work because I hope that, if you know me, you’ll be excited too.

released

 What's your most-favorite (enjoyable) thing you've done to share your work?

I really enjoy making the teaser images that I reveal in the weeks before a book is published. I love choosing an iconic image and pairing it with a quote from the books. I find them really exciting probably because I come from a film background. I love that pairing of images and words. It works for me everytime.

What resources did you find helpful in learning how to share your work?

I’ve been self-publishing for about six months now (from the time I decided to self-publish which was last June 2013) but I spent a few ramp-up months before my first book was published watching other authors publish as well. I’m the quiet scientist in the corner. I sit and observe what other people are doing first, determine what is or is not working for them, and then write it down for use later. To get started, I went to Hugh Howey’s blog and searched for “self-publishing” because I had read his books and knew he was a self-publishing advocate. I read all of his posts and they led me to the Kindle Boards and from there I just gathered information when I could. I haven’t read any books specifically on self-publishing though a lot of my author friends recommend Write, Publish, Repeat which was written by authors who also have a very helpful podcast. I plan on reading it soon as well to see if there’s anything I’m missing!

 What are you exploring now?

I’m trying my best right now to have a more balanced life. Sometimes marketing my books can take over my life! And really the best marketing for current books is to put more books on the shelves. Very few writers can make a career on just one book. So I’m working on a schedule to publish four books plus short stories over the next two years. It’s big for me, to plan so far ahead. I know that something can happen in the next week or month to send that schedule into a tailspin but I’m going to try it anyway. In writing, I’m exploring writing outside of my genre. I like writing science fiction and I’m going to continue writing in the Nogiku world that I’ve built and love, but I also want to write contemporary romance. I’ve been working on a book for a year that I’ll be publishing in the late Spring. It’s an adult contemporary romance called FACE TIME and it’s different from what I’ve already published. I want to continue writing ideas and taking risks with my work and exploring stories outside of my norm is how I’ll do that.

What’s your definition of success in your writing business?

Success has been hard for me to define! And it has changed over the course of the last six months. At first, my definition relied on sales. Was I selling books? How many? And how much money was I making to offset my initial costs? But sometime in the past month, my definition has changed and now my idea of success is just publishing more books. Each book I work on and move it towards publication is another success. The ultimate goal is to have a dedicated audience for my work and with each book published, I gain more readers. Success and its definition will probably change over time for me as new doors are opened and I’m able to do more with my work. For now, writing and gaining my audience is my primary goal.

What’s the next destination you’re working towards?

So I have this set of long-term goals for the next two years concerning what I’d like to publish but the next stop on the self-publishing road trip is to publish my contemporary romance, FACE TIME. There are several steps to get there including: a reveal of the cover online, teaser images, designing a paperback layout of the book, possibly make a book trailer, a companion website, and several other things. But I also have a writing journey that runs parallel to self-publishing, and after I’m done with revisions on FACE TIME, I will be starting revisions of the Nogiku Series Book 3. There’s lots to be done! And I’m looking forward to it all.

Thanks for having me, Tara!

Thanks for sharing so much! I've learned tons! 

Disclaimer-y Disclaimer: SJ is a Twitter friend and she sent me an advanced copy of both of her books, but PEOPLE, after reading the first one, I would have gladly paid for all subsequent books. Buy your copy of Released here. Now. For more from SJ, check her site here, her blog tour schedule here, and befriend her on Twitter!

 

 

 

 

The Adventures

Every day is an adventure. I share the view, the gratitude and the news  on Fridays – you’re invited to join in. You can find all my adventures here, or follow along via email here.

The View

I insisted on continuing to type, so we came to a compromise.
House to myself after a long, cold day = #vegan (cashew& red pepper) mac&cheese. #yearofmaking 23/365
This morning's pre-writing reading. @neilhimself's Make Good Art. #yearofmaking 21/365
Today's office, piled with hand knits, aka Survival Gear. (That's a Malabrigo beret, crocheted handwarmers in @mercedesknits yarn, and my own hand spun in @_leethal_'s Betiko.)

 

I am so grateful…

  •  to be home!
  • for the handknits necessary to survive the unnaturally cold winter!
  • for cups of coffee with my favorite creamer.
  • for a lovely, refreshing trip.
  • Super-exciting new project! (hint: a retreat! To be the first to hear about it, sign up here)

 

 

The Finds

 

 

Recipes we tried this week:

  • The above (vegan) mac+cheese is an adapted version of Isa's (I just add more garlic/lemon/nootch to taste).
  • Vegan Reubans = YUM (PS. This is more work than I'd ever do, but Jay loves it so he makes it)
  • Bindi Masala, from Isa Does It
  • Lentil Quinoa soup, from Isa Does It
  • The AMAZING tempeh meatballs + spicy marinara from…Isa Does It! Friends, we have a new favorite meatball.

(Yes, we're addicted to our new book. And yes, you should buy it, vegan or not! My mom did + loves it!)

 

 

 

 

Addition vs. Subtraction to transform your business

More from my goodbye to the Oceanside Pier yesterday, because pretty. (& running though CLT requires pretty).

Whenever we want to make a change, whether it's at the beginning of the year or just in the regular review of our business, it's tempting to focus on all the things we want to STOP doing. Wasting time on Twitter, eating so much cheese, obsessing over a Facebook status update. And even when you want to ADD something to your workday (regular writing habit, eating more greens, making more products), it's easy to turn your attention to what you'd need to give up in order to have more space for the new.

But here's what I learned while going vegan: It's easier to add than to subtract.
I know, it seems like being a vegan is all about what you don't eat: no meat, no cheese, no dairy, no eggs. Nothing that comes from an animal.

But that's not at all what the experience of being vegan is like – I never think about what I “can't” have (because I still have free will, I can eat whatever I want!) I instead plan my meals about what we do eat (and what we want to eat more of): greens, vegetables, whole grains, interesting flavors.

While we were making the shift, it was obvious to focus on what we didn't eat (we were already vegetarians for years (Jay since High School, I have been since reading this book) so all we were “giving up” is cheese + dairy) and try to replace that with soy cheeses, almond milk, and flax eggs. But we found it all became so much easier when we instead found meals that were naturally vegan: spaghetti! burritos! soups! The PPK (and Isa's glorious cookbooks) are full of recipes that don't try to mimic meaty, cheesy meals, but instead revel in the deliciousness of veggies, beans, grains, nuts and spices.

In other words, it's all about focus.

In your business this doubly true – you could focus on where you're “wasting” your time, or you could focus on spending your time on effective, transformative actions. There are definitely things you can (and maybe need to) stop doing – but the easiest way to spot them and stop doing them is to fill up your time with more potent actions. So instead of restricting your time on Twitter, focus on filling up that time with a new experiment. Add the new thing to your daily schedule and just work on making it a habit, instead of trying to get rid of “bad” habits.

It's a heckova lot more fun to add in good stuff than it is to limit the “bad” stuff. Instead of trying to clamp down on what you shouldn't do, you'll be focused on the change you're making with the stuff you WANT to do. It's also a lot more sustainable. You see, we have a finite amount of will to use each day – so don't use it on trying not to “waste time”. Instead, make the new thing you want to add a HABIT, so you don't have to think about it each time. How? Zen Habits has a great path for turning any new thing into a habit.

So what should you add?
Experiment!

Look for the areas of your business that can use improvement (like your marketing system) and figure out what you can ADD to make it more effective. It doesn't matter if you're just guessing – if you experiment with it for 1-3 months, you'll know for sure. And no experiment is a time waster, if you learn more about what works and doesn't work in your business. To learn from the experiment, be sure to follow up with a review and assessment...and then experiment with the next thing!

 

What do you want to add to your business? To your life? 

 

 

 

Are you exceptional?

Are you exceptional?

 

I have a theory* that any one can build a thriving business.  
Anyone. Seriously. Even you. 

And it's simple (NOT EASY, but simple).

 

1. Start.
Start big, start little. Start with $100 or $1000 or with someone else's supplies (that's what I did.) You haven't started until you've offered something to a define market. (ie, Dyeing yarn is not a start. Making it available for sale is.)

2. Commit yourself wholly. This doesn't mean you have to commit yourself full-time..but that you are completely and totally dedicated with all of your heart to making this work. You are in love, married for life and hopelessly devoted. Nothing else (no day job, no scheme, no one else's success) can turn your head or shake your focus.

3. Try things. Experiment. Take the specific actions that will get you closer to your own destination (ie, Don't try random, unconnected things. Try things that are on the path to where you want to go.)

4. Ruthlessly review. What's working? What's not?
4a. The thing you tried (from your product to your messaging to your photographs) not working? Try something new.
4b. Whatever part of it is  working (and there's always something) KEEP THAT. Build on it. Shift your entire focus to what is working, even if it's far different than what you imagined you'd do.

5. Repeat. For years.

The above answers 98% of all questions I receive.

What should I do first?
START.

I can't figure out what to do next?
Pay attention to what's working, and stop doing what's not.

I don't know what's working?
Have a regular system of review. And do it.

Why aren't I seeing results?
A. How long has it been? Are you being reasonable about your expectations?
B. Are you truly spending your time focusing on the things that will have most impact towards reaching a specific goal? Or are you spinning?
C. Are you measuring by your own definition of success? Or someone else's?

What this means is that while anyone can build a business, not EVERY business idea is a good one. So while you're fully committed to making some business work, you are flexible about how it's going to go down (and build up).

 

cross_stitches

 

 

I wrote this all out a few months ago and it's been sitting in Evernote, while I considered if it was missing anything.
But it came up this week while I was having a (friendly) debate with Srini, who has met and talked to hundreds of successful entrepreneurs. Is it true that ANY one can do what we do (Start, Commit, Review, Repeat) and reach their own definition of success (which might be totally different than our own)?
He posits that there's something inherently exceptional about the people that take the action. I argue that anyone is capable is taking the action, some people just won't (because of fear, risk, or the culture they buy into to). There's nothing exceptional about the people that do it except that they do it. 
But we both agree: the people who start something + who take action towards it, are exceptional.

So now it's up to you:

Are you going to be exceptional?

 

 

PS. Most people will never start. Many will start, fewer commit themselves, and still fewer are dedicated to exploring their business and letting it change, in order to have something sustainable. If you've started and committed and you aren't seeing the results you want (within your own definition of success, not someone else's) – the question is: Are you reviewing and ruthlessly editing? Or are you married to your One Idea?

If you are one of the few who stick with it, you are truly exceptional.

 

 

 

*This theory is informed my experience of working with makers for a year at a time, (1/4 of which I've been with for  3+ years) plus my consulting with retail tech start-ups and the bricks + mortar businesses I've managed.

 

 

 

 

 

Open to adventure

Stay foggy, San Diego. #latergram #tnna

A few months ago my publisher sent me an email that said something like, “Just wanted to forward this in case you missed it, I think you'd be great.” Attached to her message was an email from The National Needlearts Association inviting teachers to apply to teach at their national conference in San Diego.

I immediately thought: that's not really what I do. This isn't for me.

But I left the email in my inbox (which is uncommon – I ruthlessly delete or file or boomerang) because the idea of it appealed to me. Half my family lives in Oceanside and I visit them every year or two anyhow…wouldn't it be nice to get paid to do that?

The email sat there, waiting, until I opened it again to see if it had expired, if it was already too late to apply (I assumed and kinda hoped it was). No, I still had a week left. So even though this still seemed like absolutely the kind of thing I wouldn't do, I put it on my calendar, to remind me when applications closed, and I boomeranged the message to come back on that day.

It's a seriously gorgeous day for #TNNA

On the very last day, both my calendar and inbox both reminded me to apply. And I thought: What's the harm? I'd already developed classes that could serve the needs of TNNA attendees (shops, designers, dyers), so I had material ready. In fact, at the last TNNA conference, several Starship Captains attended…and if I was already helping them online, why not help them live?

So official! #tnna

So I applied. And...I got accepted!
And I worked super hard rewriting the classes (and workbooks) for this particular audience.
Things went all wrong (flight delays meant I didn't land in time to print workbooks so I had sprint across town at 11pm to print + collate…) and yet, it was great.

A fabulous (blurry) night with  @quaternityknits @knitterotica @picnicknits @YarnoverTruck @thedahliascene and more!

I met smart, generous, interesting shop owners and clever, ambitious, talented designers. I got to hug two Starship Captains in person. I got recognized in an elevator, which made me feel like a rock star (it was Corrina and we had a great time hanging out…because I'm not actually a rock star.)

Yesterday's Social Media for Yarn Shops workshop was filled with smart & generous shop owners! Here are two of them, @woolandgrace & @colors91711 #tnna

And it was awesome.

This morning, while I was in Introvert Recovery,  I was thinking  that I almost didn't do this. All because I had an image of what I do and what I'm building with my work and I wasn't open to something new.

This is something we all struggle with – so many people (perhaps well-meaning family members?) give us suggestions for what we should do with our business, that we get into a default mode of No-Saying.
“No, that's not really what I do.”
“No, I'm too busy with other projects.”
“No, I'm not that kind of X (teacher, writer, artist, maker)”

And that's smart. You don't want to do everything. Everything isn't for you. No one knows your work better than you do.

But what if you changed your default position from No to Open?

You might still say no, but you'll first take a moment to consider it. You'll be open to possibility. Open to opportunity. Open to connecting to disparate ideas into something new.

Here. And after a  sprint (.7 miles) through downtown San Diego to  Kinkos before they closed at 11 pm (tomorrow morning's class workbooks!), I'm finally ready. For bed.

This is different from saying an indiscriminate YES to everything, because it comes from a different place. Instead of feeling desperate and needy (for approval, for validation, for acknowledgement), you're coming from a place of willingness and curiosity. What if you DID say yes? What if you took a moment to explore the idea and see if it might work?

This is exactly what I'll be asking myself this year, as I explore my new word of the year: Open.
It's about opening to opportunity, opening to ideas, opening to flow.
Being open in expression, in enthusiasm, in my own power.

What do you want to be open to?

The Adventures

Every day is an adventure. I share the view, the gratitude and the news  on Fridays – you’re invited to join in. You can find all my adventures here, or follow along via email here.

The View

In preparation for two live classes,  countless face-to-face meetings , and cross-country travel, I have braved the snowy mountain pass in search of that one evasive necessity...a haircut.
And this is what 0* looks like on me. #longlivehandknits #nofilter
This what 0* looks like on my mountain.
Paper piecing under a cozy crocheted blanket. #yearofmaking 6/375

This weather has me longing to finish a sweater! #yearofmaking 7/365  (#staccatokal under my #scrappytrip quilt, with Beau)

 

The News

I'm in San Diego! And if you are too, I'd love to meet you!
You can come to dinner here (totally casual, everyone is welcome!) or take one of my classes at TNNA.

Not in San Diego? I still want to meet you! Invite me to your town here.

 

 

 

 

What I’m reading

Posting about this month's reads on TaraSwiger.com. What are YOU reading?

Last year, after writing about reading 100 books in one year, I started sharing what I was reading each month (see them all here). I love that the project brought a lot more conversations about books (and books I never would have discovered) into my life, and I'd like to continue it into the new year, but maybe with a few changes.

Do you have suggestions? Do you want me to review my favorite book of the last month (like this)?  Share more business books?
I'm open to all ideas! Leave a comment here.

Now, for this months' reads:

I'm going to be in and around airplanes a lot (TNNA!) so I'm mostly planning to read from my Kindle. I hope to get to:

Everything I Know, by Paul Jarvis
Platform, by Micheal Hyatt
Released, S.J. Pajonas (I'm interviewing her later this month!)
Your First 1,000 Copies, by Tim Grahl

I'm also hoping to read:
The Desire Map, by Danielle LaPorte
How to Deliver a TED Talk, by Jeremy Donovan
Give and Take, by Adam Grant
The Signature of All Things, by Elizabeth Gilbert

 

What are you reading? 

 

 

 

Dedicate + Release: the balance of map-making

dedicate

This week we're map-making – breaking down a destination (place we want to get to) into doable to-dos, and I'm sensing the tension between single-minded focus and going-with-the-flow. So let's talk about how to hold the tension, without falling into the what-about-this? swirl.

Once you have a destination + a map:

Commit yourself.
Be dedicated.
Go all in.
Do everything it takes to figure out how, specifically, you could get there.
Be willing to do whatever it takes (with integrity) to get there.

If you can't imagine giving it your all, take a break, step back. Locate your enthusiasm. And create a destination around THAT.

(If you can't find any enthusiasm, honey, you need to take a break. Rest, read, sip tea, snuggle…and then when you feel energized come back to this.)

 

From your whole-hearted dedicated space, remember:

The destination does not define you.
It doesn't indicate your worth.
Reaching it will not (necessarily) make you better, smarter, richer.
Reaching it or not reaching it doesn't matter nearly as much as dedicating yourself to a direction and then moving with intentional action to it, day after day.

It's not about the destination, it's about identifying what you want and how you could get there.*

*Tweet this 

 

As Danielle LaPorte puts it, “Want it with all your heart, but don't be attached to getting it.”

So why bother?
Because you'll never get anywhere without a dedicated, doable plan. It's not that you have to complete the map, exactly as you imagine it. It's that you learn as you go…and a map tells you how to start going.

 

The power of your own map is twofold:

1. It forces you to prioritize. Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest? No,that's no longer the question. The question is: what actions will get you closer to your destination?
2. You learn by doing. Your map provides a list of things for you to try and experiment with.

And that's where all the learning, growing (even making money) happens:

Do something towards the destination.
Pay attention to what works.
Adjust.
Note what doesn't work (or feels bad/exhausting/overwhelming).
Adjust.

Without the destination in mind, you wouldn't know what to try. But if you stay too attached to getting it, you don't learn the lessons that come with adjusting.*

It's true! All that adjusting might result in:

Not reaching your destination.
Deciding you don't want to go to that destination.
Bypassing that destination in pursuit of a new, better-suited-to-you destination.

“A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at.”
-Bruce Lee

 

 

What's your destination for this quarter? What has it taught you about getting there?

 

*It can be hard to take a break to reassess and adjust. That's why I built it into the Solo Mission – so you don't have to remember it on your own. 

 

 

 

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