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Month: April 2016

The Adventures: April 2016

Every day is an adventure. I share the view, the gratitude and the news at the end of each month – you’re invited to join in. You can find all my adventures here.

The Adventures of my creative business: TaraSwiger.com
It's been a while since I did an Adventures post! I've decided to change it up and do them every month and wrap up what happened, what I've learned and the best stuff I read online, heard, and ate.

The News:

The BIG news this month is that Craft Your Marketing is open! And there are all kinds of new bonuses. If you join by April 29th, you'll get a free signed copy of my book, mailed right to you. And if you join by May 5th, you'll get access to an exclusive Q+A, where you can ask me your marketing questions.

I also worked on a lot of live teaching events this month! I taught in Atlanta (at the Yarn Market News Conference) and in a few days I'll be teaching in Maryland (details here). And some of my teaching gigs in the UK are now open for registration! You'll find all the live teaching gigs here.

The view

My business in April 2016, on TaraSwiger.com My business in April 2016, on TaraSwiger.com My business in April 2016, on TaraSwiger.com My business in April 2016, on TaraSwiger.com My business in April 2016, on TaraSwiger.com My business in April 2016, on TaraSwiger.com
My business in April 2016, on TaraSwiger.com

My business in April 2016, on TaraSwiger.com My business in April 2016, on TaraSwiger.com
My business in April 2016, on TaraSwiger.com

I am so grateful for…

  • Spring flowers
  • Lovely yarn
  • Fantastic students

The Finds:

I’m reading:

In case you missed it: 

What adventures have you had?

How to make time for marketing

You're busy making products, photographing, listing, and (hopefully) shipping orders - how do you find the time to also do marketing? In today's episode, we tackle the problem of never having time for marketing. We cover: How you know if you're doing "enough" marketing How a plan saves time Batching your tasks Using what you already have

You're busy making products, photographing, listing, and (hopefully) shipping orders – how do you find the time to also do marketing? In today's episode, we tackle the problem of never having time for marketing.

We cover:

  • How you know if you're doing “enough” marketing
  • How a plan saves time
  • Batching your tasks
  • Using what you already have

Links mentioned:

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.

Sign up below to get a FREE e-course on making your marketing more effective! No matter how much time you have for marketing, it's important to focus on improving its effectiveness.

 

How to stop feeling weird talking about your work

How do I describe what it is I do? How do I talk about my work? This is the question we nearly all have. Here's what you need to do to talk about your work effectively AND the key to feeling more comfortable. Click through for your free worksheet!

How do I describe what it is I do? How do I talk about my work?

This is the question we nearly all have. (If you've figured this out and feel 100% confident talking about your work, email me immediately and tell me your secret sauce).

Even though I've been doing this for 6 years (and have been running my own business for over 10 years!), I struggle with how to talk about my work every day. In every sales page I write, in every conversation I have, and in every byline I submit to a magazine or book.

I don't know that this question ever goes away, but you certainly can get better at talking about your work. In this episode we'll cover what you need to do to talk about your work effectively AND the key to feeling more comfortable. 

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.

To apply this to your own business, fill out this worksheet and stop feeling weird talking about your work today!

Stop Creating (Marketing) Distractions – a free worksheet to help you focus your marketing

You can make your marketing more effective with making one easy switch: Chose one thing, and plan all your marketing around it, for 2-4 weeks. It sounds easy, but it's also easy to get distracted! So how do you pick your focus and avoid distractions? And how does this make your marketing more effective? Listen in to learn more, and get the FREE worksheet, at TaraSwiger.com/podcast102/.

You can make your marketing more effective with making one easy switch: Chose one thing, and plan all your marketing around it, for 2-4 weeks.

It sounds easy, but it's also easy to get distracted! So how do you pick your focus and avoid distractions? And how does this make your marketing more effective?

Listen in to learn more, and click here for your free worksheet: How To Avoid Marketing Distraction (You'll also get the podcast transcript!)

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.

Interview with Starship Captain + Graphic Designer Linda Tieu

Today I'm chatting with full time graphic designer Linda Tieu about how she balances her work with two small kiddos, on TaraSwiger.com.

Today I'm happy to be sharing an interview with Starship Captain and graphic designer Linda Tieu. Linda is the creator of HappyPrintClub.com – a library of digital printables for paper lovers, snail mailers and crafters. You can follow her creative adventures on tortagialla.com where she shares printable downloads and fun crafty tutorials.

People have this fantasy of what it's like to be a full-time maker. But what's a normal day for you really like?

A normal day starts with getting my kids up and ready for the morning and getting my toddler to nursery school while my younger baby stays with me. The work day is a lot of back and forth, juggling time between mom duties, household duties and work duties. If you compare to a regular 9-5 job, it's like having a whole of meetings throughout the day, cutting your time into little chunks. I have to prioritize my tasks and try to utilize every small chunk of time I get. Often, I do catch up at the end of the day, late at night. It's not really glamorous at all – it's just real life!

LTieu-3

There are so many ways to make a living as a maker – how are you doing it? What have you combined and how has that changed through the years?

I used to work in tech startup environments so it was very fast paced with long hours. Now that I'm on my own, it's still hard work but it's on my own terms for my own ventures. I've taken my experience in business, project management and design and turned it all into a freelance lifestyle that matches up with the season of my life, being a mom of young kids right now. I used to work more hours before I had responsibility of kids. Now, I've had to cut back on my hours and build passive streams of income to make ends meet. Ultimately, it's about creating a lifestyle that I want and having the freedom and control to change with the times.

What new thing are you exploring now?

I'm working on building up HappyPrintClub.com which is a library of digital printables for paper lovers. Members sign up to get access to the entire library of printables that I continually post to every week. Instead of selling each item separately, I'm putting it all together and letting it grow to offer my members the best value. This is one of my projects that brings me income while doing something I love – which is creating printable designs. In my mind, it's a win-win because I get to create continually and members get a HUGE deal. There's nothing more satisfying than seeing my work out there in the world, giving people enjoyment and satisfaction.

HappyPrintClub01

What's your definition of success in your business?

I used to think success meant an income number or certain recognition, but over the years I've realized that success is actually how I feel at the end of the day. What's most important to me is feeling fulfilled, productive and good about what I do. If I feel good about what I've done when heading off to bed, it means I'm doing it right and all the other pieces are fitting together properly. Sure, we might all have off days, but the core feeling is what I'm getting at. When you are happy, it means success!

LTieu-4

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

I'm hoping to build up the membership on HappyPrintClub.com even more and will continue to add more projects to my design portfolio because ultimately, I love creating and sharing my work with others. I have a huge list of ideas, so it's just a matter of taking one step at a time. The next project on deck has to do with sheep – for all my fiber lovers out there!

Want to hear from more Starship Captains like Linda and learn how they balance life + work as creative entrepreneurs? Sign up below to get the inside track on their stories!

Why your goal failed (and a free worksheet for setting better goals!)

What do you do when you don't reach your goal? How do you identify what went wrong (if anything) and set a better goal next time? This week we'll cover the 6 reasons your goal might have failed, and how to set a better goal next time. I created a free worksheet so that you can set reachable, do-able goals every time! Just click on the image, put in your email address and you'll get it in your inbox (along with the full transcript of this episode!).

What do you do when you don't reach your goal? How do you identify what went wrong (if anything) and set a better goal next time? 

This week we'll cover the 6 reasons your goal might have failed, and how to set a better goal next time.

I created a free worksheet so that you can set reachable, do-able goals every time!

Just scroll down, put in your email address and you'll get it in your inbox (along with the full transcript of this episode!).

Links mentioned:

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.

What I’m Reading: April 2016

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.

What are YOU reading this month? I'm sharing my list of April reads on the blog, at TaraSwiger.com. Come and read my mini-reviews and leave recommendations of YOUR favorite books!

 

What I read

  • Presence, by Amy Cuddy – I really liked this! I recommend it for everyone who gets nervous and feels frozen or awkward in… any situation! If you don't read the book (which you totally should!), you can watch her TED talk.
  • The Secret History, by Donna Tartt – I'm like a decade after everyone else, but this book was great – I love the way the mystery unfolded. You know who did it, but you don't get why until the very end.
  • Year of Cozy, by Adrianna Adarme – so pretty! Totally inspired me to make my own candles.

What I’m reading

What I read last March.
And in April 2014.

What are you reading?

I could use some recommendations! What are you reading and loving right now?