Weekly-ish notes on navigating big change

Month: November 2015

Enjoy the end of the year in your creative business

How to enjoy the end of the year in your business. You CAN have the kind of holiday season you want, from life + biz. It just takes a little planning! On TaraSwiger.com.

How can you enjoy the end of the year and the holidays, while maintaining your business and your sanity?

This question was asked a few weeks ago on Periscope, and I wanted to dive into a more thorough answer and share it with you here. You can follow me on Periscope to get the podcast episodes a full week before they come out; I'm TaraSwiger on Periscope or you can catch broadcasts at Katch.me/TaraSwiger.

It's the week of American Thanksgiving, which kicks off the holiday season here in the States, with Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Solstice and the New Year. If you celebrate even one of those holidays, and you're running a business, this can become a hectic time of year and soon it's already the new year, with all its new projects and excitement.

But I want you to have a sane and happy holiday season. I want you to both have the kind of time with your family or friends that you want AND see the kind of business growth you want. I don't want you to stumble into 2016 feeling fried from the last month of 2015. So here's how we do that.

  1. Decide what you want.
  2. Determine what it will require.
  3. Commit to it.
  4. Do what it takes.
  5. Review and readjust weekly.

Listen in to learn exactly how to enjoy this time and end the year strong and profitable in your business!

How to listen

  • You can subscribe to it on iTunes (If you do, leave a review!)
  • You can listen to it using the player above or download it.
  • Subscribe or listen via Stitcher (or subscribe in whatever you use for podcasts – just search “Explore Your Enthusiasm” and it should pop up!).

Find all the podcast episodes here.

Fear + Success: Not Mutually Exclusive

We think that we need to wait to feel fearless + confident before we can pursue our goals + be successful - but that just isn't true. At TaraSwiger.com.


Inspired by your replies to the #BizConfidenceChallenge, today we're exploring the intersection of Fear and Success. We think they're mutually exclusive. We think that we need to wait until we have confidence before we take action. We think that if we feel fear, we definitely won't be successful.


How to listen

Find all the podcast episodes here.

#BizConfidenceChallenge update!

How much would your business grow if you stopped letting self-doubt hold you back from doing what you most want to do? Join me for a FREE 6-week ecourse to build your confidence, crush self-doubt, and grow your business. At TaraSwiger.com/bizconfidence

Are you following along the #BizConfidenceChallenge? I have been blown away by the depth and brilliance of the replies so far. I wanted to celebrate this Confidence Journey we've started together, by highlighting a few of the replies here. You can find more on Instagram here. (If you can't see photos below, you might need to click through!)

If you haven't joined in yet, it's not too late! Just sign up here and reply to one of the past challenges (below) or start with the very next challenge! (You'll get the next lesson on Thursday and the next challenge on Monday.)


Challenge #1 of the BizConfidenceChallenge


Week 2:

Last week’s reaction to the #BizConfidenceChallenge blew me away. YOU have so much to be proud of, you have so much to build your confidence on! So…what’s up with the self-doubt? Why do you doubt you can do awesome things when you’ve already done SO MUCH? Often self-doubt (or lack of confidence) is tied to fear – we hold ourselves back (or think we're not good enough), not because we have any proof, but because we're afraid of … something. When I ask my clients and students what they're afraid of, the answer usually surprises them. (It's easy to let the fear rule you, without ever even knowing it's there!) And yet their answer never surprises me – I’ve either felt it myself, or talked to MANY makers who have! But once they identify the fear, we can work with it. We can question it, challenge it, or just allow it to hang around. (@Elizabeth_Gilbert_writer talks about letting your fear ride with your creativity in #bigmagic). That's your challenge this week: Look at WHAT lack-of-confidence is holding you back from. (Sharing your work? Social media? Sending a newsletter? Hiring help? Taking the next step?) Then ask: What am I afraid of? If I did the thing now, what am I afraid of happening? Finally ask: What's the WORST that can happen if that fear comes true? Could I survive it? And what's the REALISTIC outcome? This isn't (necessarily) going to dispel this fear forever, and that's not our goal. Our aim is to see it for what it is and RECOGNIZE THAT YOU CAN SURVIVE IT. You see, even the most confident, brave people feel fear (of being “found out”, of being judged, etc.). The difference is, they feel confident that they can handle it, and so the fear doesn’t keep them from doing what they need to do. ✨To take part in the challenge: Share a photo inspired by either *What your fear holds you back from doing in your biz *What you're afraid of *Your worst case scenario and tag it #BizConfidenceChallenge! New to the challenge? Learn more and sign up for free lessons in profile!

A photo posted by Tara Swiger (@taraswiger) on

Know some friends who could use a confidence boost?

Share the challenge!

The Advetnures

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 love this time of day! Hope you're having a gorgeous day! ✨????????#widn: drinking coffee, answering emails, writing my next book, and wearing my #bluesandcardigan for the first time EVER (with my #coloraffection shawl). I'll be showing it off on #Periscope in just a minute! Follow me (TaraSwiger) or catch it here: katch

Happy Friday! Today I'm so grateful for: ????leaves and blue skies ???? the awesome replies to #bizconfidencechallenge ☕️ coffee & a good breakfast (tofu scramble) What are you grateful for this week? In about an hour we'll be s
Oh, puppy. 2 seconds alone with my knitting and ????. Over 45 min to untangle. Life's not all neon rainbows, but there's a lot to be grateful for: ????great yarn ???? puppy snuggles clean home ???? plenty of deliciousness How abou
#tbt to the gorgeous bouquets I found at a random gas station with @mcgeeandme in Seattle. Grateful for the short, but awesome visit. #taralovesadventure

I am so grateful for…

  • Warm woollen knits
  • Fantastic conversations with friends and peers
  • Fall leaves
  • The awesome response to the #BizConfidenceChallenge. 


The Finds:

I’m reading:

I’m eating: 

Nothing exciting, but I'm starting to pin recipe ideas for the holidays here. (I've recently become waaaay more active on Pinterest. Follow me more lots of creative biz, marketing, and knitting goodness.

In case you missed it: 

  • The #BizConfidenceChallenge is rocking people's businesses and causing massive transformation. Sign up here! 
  • I'm totally reworking the Starship to even better serve members. You can get on the list to find out more here.
  • I finnnnally put all my info together, for those who want to invite me to teach. Find it here! 

What adventures have you had?

How to be “authentic” without being a hot mess

In today's episode, we'll talk about how to be authentic in your marketing without coming across like a hot mess. On TaraSwiger.com

How can you be a real person  and not be a hot mess, on social media?

In this episode, inspired by something Caitlin Bacher said at Schoolhouse Craft, I'm going to give you three questions to answer, so you can figure it out once and for all. These questions will help you develop your strategy and connect with your customers, without sounding like either a robot (boring!) or oversharing (ew!). 

How to listen

Find all the podcast episodes here.

Bring more authenticity into YOUR marketing messages with my free e-course! Sign up below to get it!

What I’m Reading: November 2015

follow my enthusiasm by reading…a lot. And once a month, I share (some of) the books I read last month and the books I intend to read this month. You can join the informal book club by sharing your own list in the comments and find all the posts here.
"The last of human freedoms- to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way." -Victor Frankl #whatimreading #airplanemode

What I read

  • Big Magic, by Elizabeth Gilbert. This is this quarter’s Starship Book Club pick. I LOVED it. I highlighted it like crazy. If you're a creative, get it and read it. Please.
  • Steal the Show, by Michael Port – Pre-ordered it on my Kindle, to read before my teaching gigs, and I learned a few things I implemented in my recent classes.
  • Why Not Me, by Mindy Kaling. Funny + quick!
  • You're Never Weird on the Internet, by Felicia Day. Super encouraging autobiography, for internet-nerd gals.
  • The Confidence Code by Katty Kay. This book is inspiring my current #BizConfidenceChallenge! I learned a lot, and it cleared up a lot that I've experienced with my clients (and myself)!
  • Man's Search for Meaning, by Victor Frankl. This is part of my #greatbooksproject (reading all the books I missed in high school and college) and it was just beyond description. It begins as the story of Frankl's experiences in the concentration camps during WWII. But it's somehow not dark, but completely hopeful. As the book continues, he begins to tease apart what pushed some people to survive and find peace during the atrocities.

The quote that will stick with me:

“The last of human freedoms – to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.”

-Victor Frankl

What I’m reading


What I read last November
And the November before that

What are you reading?



The usual disclaimery disclaimer applies! 


Laureen Marchand, artist: an interview

Today I'm interviewing Laureen Marchand, full-time artist and Starship Captain. She shares her biz journey with us at TaraSwiger.com.

Today I'm delighted to be talking to Laureen Marchand, a painter and a Starship Captain. She shares a great resource for Canadian artists (Carfac), how she keeps the faith when she feels disappointed and how she built a gallery on her back porch. You can her beautiful art on her website.

How to listen

  • You can subscribe to it on iTunes (If you do, leave a review!)
  • You can listen to it using the player above or download it.
  • Subscribe or listen via Stitcher (or subscribe in whatever you use for podcasts – just search “Explore Your Enthusiasm” and it should pop up!).

Find all the podcast episodes here.

The Power of Confidence + your invitation to a free e-course

What would you do in your biz if self doubt weren't holding you back? Join me for a FREE 6-week e-course to build your biz confidence, at TaraSwiger.com.


This week on the podcast, I'm talking about how to Defeat Self Doubt. This is a question that comes up for so many makers:

How do I keep my self-doubt from holding me back?

How do I move forward even when I don't feel like it?

The answer is: Confidence.

Not “just force yourself to do it.” Not “just wait until you feel ready.”

The answer is: Identify the doubt, build your confidence in that area, and then move forward, bit by bit.

Oh, I know, it's more fun to focus on the tactical stuff, like growing your Instagram followers or learning Periscope, but remember, none of the tactics (and no amount of followers) will matter if you don't know where your business is going….and beyond that, none of the tactics in the world matter if you don't DO them.

When I talk to makers about their businesses (and when I look at my own), what I discover 99% of the time is that we all know a BUNCH of stuff we COULD do, but we feel held back from actually DOING it.

To be totally honest, I know about a million things I could be doing for my business, but I don't do them because … I don't have the confidence. An example: Last week a friend (who is in the industry and knows a lot of great people) sent me a request from a journalist looking for an expert in exactly what I teach. And I hesitated to reply to it, for over an hour, because I thought: I'm not an expert enough.

I finally did it, but afterward I realized how much a lack of confidence could have cost me in that moment, and how much it's cost me over the life of my business.

I bet, if I asked you to, you could tell me a similar story in your own business, from just this month.

So I ask: What would less self-doubt and more confidence do for your business? How would you act? What would change?

In the podcast episode, I lay out 7 ways to defeat self-doubt (and build your confidence), but just knowing these things is different than DOING them. Doing them takes time, and focus, and dedication.


So let's do it, eh?

Let's take the actions, together (because, yeah, I need it too).

Over the next 6 weeks, I'm going to challenge us both to take one action, each week, to move forward, build our biz confidence, and step into our own awesomeness. And I’ll be playing along too, and sharing my own progress.

Here's how it'll work:

Each Monday, I'll post a challenge on Instagram. (Be sure you're following me!) This will be one action you can take during the week, that will build your confidence. When you complete the challenge, snap a picture and share it with the hashtag #bizconfidencechallenge

Each Thursday,I'll send a lesson (you must be signed up here to get it) to build on the challenge and explore it deeper.

I'll post a discussion thread on the Facebook page (be sure you've liked it, and that you like a few posts, so Facebook actually shows it to you!), so that after you've read the lesson, we can discuss your experience with the challenge and what you've learned.


Are you in?

Ok! Here are the steps you need to take:

  1. Sign up for the weekly lessons here
  2. Be sure you're following me on Instagram
  3. Share this page with your friends
  4. Like the Facebook page and join the discussion. Answer the question here: What specific action has self-doubt kept you from taking, in just the last month?
  5. Take a picture that represents something you'd do in your biz, if you had more confidence. Share it on Instagram and tag it #bizconfidencechallenge.