Weekly-ish notes on navigating big change

Searching for "say no"

How to Say NO to Anything

Tired of saying “yes” when you want to say no? We're replaying a popular episode from the past, because it's always a good reminder that you have permission to say no - to anything! In today’s episode you’ll learn: How to get comfortable saying no. 4 ways to say say no My exact scripts for getting more time, avoiding aggressive askers, and saying no. This is the second part of a three-part (free!) mini-class on Saying No (for fun + profit). Part 1 is here, Part 2 is today’s podcast, and Part 3 is a worksheet (to apply this to your own business), only available if you sign up at TaraSwiger.com/podcast121/

Get more goodness and support the podcast: http://patreon.com/taraswiger

Tired of saying “yes” when you want to say no?

We're replaying a popular episode from the past, because it's always a good reminder that you have permission to say no – to anything!

In today’s episode you’ll learn:

  • How to get comfortable saying no.
  • 4 ways to say no
  • My exact scripts for getting more time, avoiding aggressive askers, and saying no.

This is the second part of a three-part (free!) mini-class on Saying No (for fun + profit). Part 1 is here, Part 2 is today’s podcast, and Part 3 is a worksheet (to apply this to your own business), only available if you sign up below.

Links I mention:

      The FREE worksheet is available if you sign up below!

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.

Just Say No: How to say it {PODCAST}

Just say no

Tired of saying “yes” when you want to say no?

In today's episode you'll learn:

  • How to get comfortable saying no.
  • 4 ways to say say no
  • My exact scripts for getting more time, avoiding aggressive askers, and saying no.

This is the second part of a three-part (free!) mini-class on Saying No (for fun + profit). Part 1 is here, Part 2 is today's podcast, and Part 3 is a worksheet (to apply this to your own business), only available if you sign up below.

Links I mention:

      The FREE worksheet is available if you sign up below!


How to listen





Just Say No: Why your business needs you to say no

Just say no

This is the first part of a three-part (free!) mini-class on Saying No (for fun + profit). Part 2 will be in tomorrow's podcast, and part three will be worksheet (to apply this to your own business), only available if you are signed up here.


I'm about to drop a bomb on you. Ready?

You have a limited amount of time and energy. Everyone does.

I work with many makers who are either recovering from or living with a chronic illness. I also work with mothers, many of which have 3 or more kids. And/or who homeschool.
All while building their handmade business.

Every one of my clients, students, and Captains struggle with limited time and energy – either because they are too sick, or they spend hours each week at the doctor's office, or they spend hours each week with childcare, education, and general taking-care-of-life. Every situation is unique and every single situation gets my sympathy and support.

But they also get a dose of reality – they've got to work within their time + energy limits. So do you.

You – whether you home-school 5 children or you have Chronic Fatigue or you are a healthy, childless 24 year old – you have limitations on your time or energy. Fighting against these limitations will leave you frustrated, angry, and burnt out. Trying to hold yourself to a standard of what you see “other people” do will make you crazy. (Not to mention, awesome isn't always what it seems.)

You'll begin to build a business that you truly love when you not only acknowledge the limitations of space and time, but when you truly start working with in them.

When you explore your own world, what works for you, and what doesn't. When you get crystal clear on your definition of success…and then you go towards it with a realistic plan, based on your REAL LIFE. That's the first step: Getting real, getting clear, and making a plan of what YOU want to do. The second step is Saying No to everything that isn't in line with that.

Say no to everything you don't have the energy for.
Say no to everything that isn't in line with your definition of success.
Say no to every show, shop, and buyer that isn't the right fit for your work.
Say no to every “oppurtunity” that doesn't fit in with your plan for profitability, or your bigger goals.


So that you can spend your limited time and energy on the things that matter on your business. So you can take consistent, meaningful action towards your dreams.

So that you can create a business you'll love, without getting worn out, frustrated or burnt out.

So that you can say YES to a business (life) you do want – the opportunities you want to take, the work you want to do and the people who will most love your work.

What do you need to say no to?

In tomorrow's podcast, I'll share my best scripts for saying no, and on Thursday I'll send you a worksheet to apply this to your own business (if you're subscribed here.) Go on and ask your question about Saying No in the comments and I'll answer it in the podcast!

276: Q+A: promotion, saying no, and balancing multiple businesses 

“Email is still the most effective place to make a sale.” -Tara Swiger Listen in at TaraSwiger.com/podcast276

What is the BEST tool to promote your business? How do you say NO without losing customers? How do you balance multiple businesses?

Today I am answering YOUR questions in this Q+A episode!

Thank you to my Patrons

Most weeks I teach a lesson to help your creative business, but today I am answering YOUR questions! I gathered questions from my community of supporters on Patreon, and my Instagram comment section. I am going to answer your questions about the BEST tool to use right now to promote your business, how to balance multiple businesses and how to say NO.

And if you want to learn how to avoid the three mistakes I see most creatives making, come to my workshop THIS week: TaraSwiger.com/foundations.

Before we get into answering these questions, I want to thank Sarah Schira of Imagined Landscapes for her support of the show! Sarah makes best Gnome puns around! If you need more gnomes in your knitting, check her out!

Thank you to Kim Werker, longtime friend, colleague and fellow Enthusiast. She’s starting a free community, that you should definitely take a look at.

The Questions:

A patron asks:

I would be interested in hearing ideas about how to balance multiple small businesses.  I have a vintage clothing business in a brick and mortar antique store, an etsy shop selling vintage sewing patterns (both of these are very established, but small volume), and a much newer fine art business making art toys.  I also freelance as a filmmaker and event photographer (my main source of income). I feel like if I picked only one of these, doubled down and really ran with it, I would get further, but I like the variety and I like having multiple sources of income.  So all of them kind of poke along slowly. Thoughts?

This is a lot of businesses! I think your intuition is right – the way to build fast would be to focus on one… but if that leads to a life you don’t want, why do it?

Why do you need them to get any further? Growth is not the highest good – your own wellbeing, enjoyment and the business doing what it needs to do is the goal.

So DO they need to grow faster? What gives you the most joy?

What do you need your businesses to do financially? What would that look like? How could they work together to do what they need to do?

Then divide up your time accordingly.

Kristina asks: 

How to say no to a potential or current client without being mean or burning bridges. Do I always need to give a reason or excuse? 

I have a whole series of articles and podcast episodes, on how to say NO, with scripts!

The first thing is that you need to reframe this! Saying no, especially when you simply can’t take on a job at all, is not mean, it’s a part of business. In fact, someone reaching out to see if you can take a job is probably expecting that you may say no. That doesn’t mean they won’t come to you with their next project. They may even appreciate that you are so in-demand, and book ahead next time.

Now it’s slightly different if you’re not just turning down a job, but you are saying no to a current client on a current job. Like no, I can’t ALSO do X, the scope of this project is Y. But you have to remember: that’s why they’re asking. You have the choice to say no.

In most cases I would NOT give a detailed reason or excuse, the other person doesn’t want to hear it! Also, the more you say, the more they have to argue with. They can delegitimize your reasons.

For example, I have had conferences ask me to do more than we had contracted for, “oh, could also be available during this time? Could you also sit on this panel?” Quite often I say yes, because I like getting chances to talk to more people. But if it doesn’t sound fun or it will exhaust me, I say “Oh, our agreement was X, so that’s all I’m going to be able to do.”

It’s hard, but don’t give any more explanation.

You can have a standard reply, like “Thank you so much for reaching out, I would love to work with you. However, I’m booked up with projects and my timeline is X weeks out, so unless that works for you, I’m going to have to say no.” And if they’re asking for more once you’ve started working together, quote a policy. “My policy is to not….” or even, “Our initial agreement is…”

Before I answer the last question, which is quite a doozy, I want to thank Brenda, who makes gorgeous knitting patterns. I’ve linked up to a blog post she wrote on her site about the experience getting her website made, because it’s really great!

Thank you to Erin, who designs beautiful shawls.

On Instagram someone asked:

What is the best tool to promote your creative business these days? When you are just starting and don’t have time to be on every platform and do email, blogging, in-person promotion, etc? 

My answer is the same as it was 5 years ago when I wrote my first book, Market Yourself, and I’ve seen newer data that shows it is still the right answer: Email is the most effective place to make a sale. So if you want to increase sales, and you want to REACH the people who want to hear from you, email is the answer. Email reaches those who have said they want to hear from you, and people take action from emails. It doesn’t take much time at all to set it all up, so the hardest part is getting people ON the list (who are you sending these emails TO?!) and then actually SENDING the emails.

The good news is – once you have decided what you’re going to regularly send, it doesn’t actually take that long to put it together each month or each week. If it is taking a really long time (because you’ve made your emails complex), then simplify it. Simplify it down to whatever you can consistently do. That can be as simple as hooking up Mailchimp to Etsy and having it populate your 5 most recent products.

So hook it up in an afternoon and decide what you’re going to send. Every email software generates a form that you can either link to or embed, so the “where do these people come from” question is simple – anywhere you already are. Put the form on your site. Link it in your etsy profile and your Etsy thank you messages. Link to it on Facebook and in your Instagram profile. Every time you send an email, do a post WHEREVER YOU ALREADY HAVE ANY CONNECTIONS about what will be in the email and share the link to sign up.

It could be that you have a personal facebook page, and you think your family and high school friends aren’t going to want your emails? Link it up anyhow, you may be surprised! They may be super into whatever you’re selling or they may have a sister or cousin who is. My husband’s uncle shares links to my work sometimes, and I’m surprised by how many people who he knows who sign up to hear from me.

So, you may be thinking, but Tara, it sounds like you’re saying we have to be everywhere to get people on our lists! And the truth is – you do need to be somewhere other than just in your shop and in your emails. You have to GO somewhere and meet new people. For you it may be having a booth at the local farmer’s market (one of my Starship Captains has absolutely CRUSHED her local markets and doubled her sales), or it may be a FB group with local moms, or it may be talking to your local yarn shop about carrying your work. But your work (and you) have to show up somewhere where people can encounter you. And when they do, invite them to sign up for your emails because that’s going to be the most effective way to make sales.

I hope that answers your questions! If you want to learn more about how emails fit in with everything else you have to do in your business and how to focus ONLY on what matters, join me in a LIVE workshop this week! Sign up at TaraSwiger.com/foundations.

Before I go I want to thank Marianne Weber of MWsDesigns , who makes notecards and greeting cards! And the artist Rowena Roberts, who does beautiful paper-cutting!


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.

Know what to say

Know what say in your marketing, on TaraSwiger.com
Last week we talked about the struggle to know what to DO with your marketing, so today let's handle it's twin: what to SAY when marketing your business.

Do you remember when you first joined Twitter, Facebook or Instagram and you wondered: What do I write? What do I put on here? If you're using the tools for your personal life, it's simple – you share what you want to share, with the people you want to share it with.

But if you're using social media as a tool for your business, the issue requires a bit more thought and planning. You'll still say what you want…but what DO you want to say? What do you want these specific people (your followers) to know about your work or about you? What do they need to know? 

Everything you share online builds a relationship with the reader and it establishes who you are, as a business and a human (in the same way that everything you say in real life to someone builds a relationship and communicates who you are.)
It's easy to get stuck in a swirl over this (what should I saaaaay?) or to avoid the question all together and just default to the easiest thing (tweeting your Etsy listings with no personality). It bums me out when I see creatives with amazing work doing either, because it's not too hard find the solution.

Start with these two questions:

  • What is my message and how do I communicate that here?
  • Where is this reader on my Customer Path and what would she need to know to move forward (closer to buying or connecting)?

What is my message?

You'll learn exactly how to craft your message (and convert it to all possible situations)  in my book, but you can start by asking yourself:

  • What do I stand for?
  • What do I provide to my customer? (ie, it's more than art or jewlery – it's beauty, belonging, joy, etc)

Now, how can you communicate that on this particular tool? What would you share to bring more of that quality into your reader's lives?

Where is the reader on my Customer Path?

You see, what you say depends on who you're saying it to. Is she following you on Twitter because she wants to remember to buy in the future? Does she love your writing and want to keep up to date? Or is she just discovering you via someone else's retweet?
This might seem overwhelming, but it helps to put it in a framework: everyone who is reading, following, “liking” you on your blog, newsletter, social media is connecting with you – and over time, they're coming closer and closer. In other words, they're on a Customer Path.
What you say moves them down the path, and the more you understand their needs at each point at the path, the easier time you'll have figuring out what to say.

If you want to know what to say, and feel confident it's effective in connecting with potential customers, join me to Craft Your Customer Path. Registration closes Friday!

What are you saying? What are you communicating in your marketing?


I don’t know what to say!

Wearing a few hundred bright colors for my #brothersisteradventure.
If I hear one sentiment more than any other, from makers, artists and writers, when we talk about marketing, it is this:

I can't stand to talk about myself!

I just don't know what to say!

Oh, honey, I hear you.
This is the hardest part about taking your art into the world – being brave enough to talk about, doing the work to find the words to communicate all that it means to you.

But here's the hard truth – makers who take the time to figure out how to talk about their work do the best. They make sales, get press, get accepted into that show.

Being able to talk clearly and passionately talk about your work and why you do it is a gift to the world.

It gives your work handles, so that anyone can pick it up and carry it along. It empowers your fans to tell their friends. It gives editors the words to write about you. It becomes retweetable.

The easier your work is to talk about (because you've found the words and communicated them) the more your work will be talked about. I've seen this happen again and again with my students. As soon as they settle down on one description of their work, people take notice.

This is so important and yet so hard to do on our own (we're just too close to it!), so Diane and I created a class where we'll walk you through a process of finding the words and crafting a description. Even better, we're providing you with a community to talk it over with peers, so you can get feedback and ideas on what you're too close to see.

Class begins June 10th (no, we're not holding it again) and you can read more and join here.

284: You have more than enough time

If you run a creative business (or even if you have a full life) time management is critical, because the secret is you always have time for the things that are important to you (you just don’t have time for the things that aren’t). Learn more about finding time for the things that matter to you and your biz at TaraSwiger.com/podcast284

You have more than enough time. Yeah, I know, it feels like you don’t have any time. But today we’re going to talk about why you believe that and how you can change it.

Today we’re going right into tough love territory

I know it feels like there's never enough time. With kids and work and starting your business, it can all be super-overwhelming. Since becoming a parent, I have learned that it can be shockingly hard to even find time to take a shower. I get that.

You believe you don’t have time because it FEELS like you don’t…

  • You don’t have time to work on your business.
  • You don’t have time to invest in learning how to make your business profitable.
  • You don’t have time for marketing.

You believe you don’t have time because:

  1. You haven't already made time for it.
  2. You have never done anything like building a business before – so how could you possibly have time for it?
  3. You may not know anyone who is doing it. In fact, everyone around you is probably saying they don't have time to do anything.

But are you them? Do you spend your time in EXACTLY the same way?
Surely you know people who tell you they don’t have time to cook, but maybe you always do find time. Or you have friends who don’t have time to read, but you do find time.

You are not them and that is why you can find the time, even if they can’t.

You’re right, you want to be realistic and honest with yourself.

But let’s also be honest with yourself about the reality:
You KNOW you don't have more time than anyone else. You KNOW don't have time to waste.
Your belief that you don’t have enough time is distracting you from seeing the time you do have, and using it effectively.

Is it true that no one, in your exact situation, has never found the time to build their business?  No, of course not. We both can think of dozens of examples of women who have.

And hey, kids aren't the only thing that make you busy. When I started my business, I worked 40+ hours per week at two jobs, I managed a paint-your-own-pottery studio and worked at the local yarn shop.

When I built my business, I worked as a barista 40 hours a week AND as an office temp 40 hours a week.

And when my business grew to the point I quit my job, I was working 40 hours a week AND taking MBA classes during the evenings.

But, I can hear you, Tara, you didn’t have children back then!

Are you a mom with toddlers? So was Susan of Freshly Picked when she started her baby shoe empire.

Are you a homeschooling mom? So is Katie of Yarn Love and she’s built a six figure yarn business while homeschooling her five kids.

Yes, if you give time to this, to learning and growing, you will be balancing a lot. But balancing a growing business and your life (whether it's a dayjob or kids or whatever) isn't too hard. Having your entire money situation tied to one single employer is to hard.

Wasting the time you spend on your business doing the WRONG things in your business is hard and painful.

But here’s the thing: YOU are in the BEST position to find the time for this. Yes, YOU. Why? Because you are a creative. That means you’re a great problem solver, you can hold lots of stuff in your head at once. You are willing and open to learn (you’re listening to this podcast right now). YOU want more for your business and your life.

That is the PERFECT person who will FIND the time to grow their business. That is the person who will find the time to learn and build healthy foundations.

And hey, maybe you don’t feel like that person. Maybe you don’t feel like you’ve lived up to that potential, and that’s why you are SURE you don’t have enough time to work a program dedicated to growing your business.

But there’s another way to look at it: You don't need more time, you need more focus. You need more follow-through. You didn’t do it before, not because you didn’t have the time, but because you didn’t have the follow-through.

But what if you committed to following through? What if you found resources that helped you follow-through, that took into account your personality and provided the accountability and support you needed?

Could you do it then?

What if you knew that you could learn a few new tools and it would shift how time worked for you and how capable you are of following through?

Here’s a way to shift time:

List all the steps in any project on paper (don’t keep it in your head)
Break it down. Then break it down even more than that.
PICK ONE PRIORITY.  Each week, each day, each hour. JUST ONE.

If you did this, how would impact your year? Your family over the next five years?

What would you be teaching the people around you about what was possible for them? About how they could approach time?

If you don’t change this belief that you don’t have enough time for learning and being effective, how will that impact those around you? How will you see that play out in the next year or five years or decades?

What’s going to happen if you don’t change?

Things are going to stay the same.

You will hear your kids and your friends adopt this belief. They will think they don’t have time to invest in themselves, to follow their dreams, to put in the effort to improve and get better – whether it’s related to business, to practicing the violin, to putting in effort to learn a new art form or medicine or whatever they’re into.

Do you want to keep operating like this, or are you ready to make the time for growing your business, for learning and improving?

If you’re ready to let go of the belief then come tell me over on Instagram and then join me to learn more about the foundations of your business at TaraSwiger.com/foundations

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.

256: Time: there’s never enough

Between running a business and having a life, it feels like there’s never enough time for all the things you want to do. But what do when that’s the case? Learn how I handle having a list of things to do that is far too long to get done at TaraSwiger.com/podcast256

When I asked on Instagram what the most-pressing issue in your business was, I got one answer over and over and over: TIME. Time to do everything you want, time to grow your business, time for a business after the day job, time to post regularly, there's just not enough time.

This week we're going to talk about how to have enough time, no matter the season of life you're in.

Before we get into today’s lesson, I want to tell you that I’m doing a free workshop answering your questions on how to use my favorite tool for motivation and productivity and feeling better: essential oils. You can sign up at TaraSwiger.com/eo.

If you are like most of my Instagram friends, you constantly feel there's never enough time. Just not enough! Between life, and family and maybe a day job, and growing a business, let alone adding the things you want to do – like exercise and reading and going out with friends – there's just never enough time!

And girl, I feel you. When we had the 2 year old and she was home with me 24/7 for a month with doctor appointments and social worker appointments, or after that, when we had to go to 3 visitations a week and getting her to school 3 days a week, it felt like I never had enough time. Especially to rest, take care of myself AND to get work done.

So, unlike naive Tara of the past, I'm not going to tell you it's just about prioritizing and finding the time for the things you really want to. I'm going to tell you that it's hard and that there's no easy answer.

I mean, I feel like I could end the podcast here. It's hard and there's no easy answer.

But… there are ways to work with the time that you have, to be MORE effective with the time you have. And there is a way to reframe the issue, that makes it all a little less hopeless. So let's dive in, knowing that there's no easy answer.

Start with honesty

The first thing we gotta do is a little tough love: Are you really being honest about the situation, you priorities, and your capabilities?

For example, for the first month Honey was with us, my priority was settling her into our life, it wasn't really working on my business. So that priority got my time and energy. And if I'm being honest about my capabilities and the situation, the fact is the first MONTH of being someone's mom is not really the time to try to be productive at work. In the US the average maternity leave is 6 weeks, but in Europe it's 6 months to 2 years. So I truly don't have the capability to figure out how to be effective with my time during my first months of motherhood, but it's not because I suck, it's because that's just how it works, for many women – we need the time to adjust.

Will I need the same amount of time to adjust to our next placement? I have no idea. Become someone's mother and getting them settled in your house, is the same no matter how many kids you've had, but maybe I'll be better at it because I'm more experienced? I have no idea! What I do know is that I need to give myself grace for not being immediately effective, and not instantaneously working out the perfect schedule that balances motherhood and work.

Your situation is different, but you also need to look at it honestly – what is TRULY your priority right now? If you have a sick partner or parent or you are struggling to heal, it's likely that your business isn't a priority. And that is OK. Go back and listen to episode 245 about Seasons in Your Business. It's ok to be in a season where you just can't spend as much time as you like on your business.

If you're feeling frustrated that you don't have the time to work on your business because you need and want to prioritize something else right now, I want to encourage you that you don't need more time, you need a mindset shift. You need to realize that you are CHOOSING something else right now and that it is the RIGHT thing for you. You are not being tossed about by the winds of fate, you are choosing. Just recognizing your own choice can be empowering, and can make you feel more capable of spending the time you do have more effectively.

Now, you might be wanting to argue and say – no, I didn't choose this situation! I didn't choose this! No, you might not have chosen the situation, but you are choosing to spend your time on it. You could choose NOT to spend time with a loved one that needs you. You could choose to cut people out of your lives, instead of allowing them to take up your precious life. But instead you're choosing love and kindness or care.

Or maybe you feel stuck in a situation you don't want to choose. Perhaps it a day job you hate, or your stuck doing things that someone else asked you to do, but you do not want to prioritize them. You have two options:

  1. You can choose to the see the reasons why this is the right decision for right now (ex. you need the day job money to fund the startup for your business. Elizabeth Gilbert calls this being your own patron. I did this for years as I started up and I highly recommend it. Having another income takes the stress of your business)
  2. You can say no and stop doing the things. If you truly don't want to be doing them, stop doing them. Sure, this might be a complicated process to extract yourself from, but you absolutely can.

You see, when we say we don't have enough time, I think what we really mean is “I don't like my choices and the necessary sacrifices”.

I get that, but…we have to live in reality.

Because of the space/time continuum you simply can't do everything all at once. So every decision to spend time on one thing means your sacrificing something else. That is just a fact. The sooner you come to embrace this and accept it and make decisions accordingly, the better you're going to feel. Will you be happy all the time with the available choices? No! But studies show that just by recognizing that you DO have choices, you'll be more empowered and will make better decisions.

That's the framework you need, the lens you need to be wearing when you look at your situation.

I want you to look at your situation again. Ask yourself the tough question:

What is my real, desired priority in this season?
What is my capability?
What choices am I actually making in each day?

This shows you your real-time priority – the things you actually do prioritize.

How do you spend your day? Is it on what matters to you?

Maybe you need to stop doing some things, maybe you need to quit some commitments.

And maybe you need to accept that right now, in this point in your life, you only have 2 hours a week to work on your business. Or you have 30 minute on your lunch break each day. That's not a bad thing. There isn't a “perfect” answer here.

If you feel like that's not enough, then you need to stop comparing yourself to what other people are doing. Stop looking at the girl who has 10 hours a day to style her instagram. Spend your time doing you work, not comparing it to other people.

So the first step is honesty, the second step is a reality-check (where are you actually spending your time) and the third step is acceptance and effectiveness.

You see, you can't focus on being more effective if you don't first accept your real life situation. If you keep making plans and lists for a 8 hr workday and you have a 1 hour workday while the kids nap, you're always going to end up disappointed and you'll feel behind and like you're never doing enough.

So accept the real workday you have and then work to be effective within that.

Use the time you have effectively

Now, I could talk for hours on how to be effective with your time, and guess what? I have already done that! I put my best tips for effectiveness, with a big workbook to apply to your own workday,  with 6 hours of professionally produced class on CreativeLIVE exactly on this topic! Go to TaraSwiger.com/time to take that class. It'll help you apply it to your own workday, to become more effective and productive with whatever size workday you have.

And if you’re issue is balancing the time you have? We’ll talk about that in next week’s episode.

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.

232: What I’m Reading: November 2018

I explore my enthusiasm by reading… a lot. Learn all about the books I’ve been enjoying over the last month at TaraSwiger.com/podcast232

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 with me on Facebook and find all the posts here.

(The usual disclaimer applies.)

What I read this month:

You can hear more about Body Positive Power on Take Care of Yourself, my book + self-care conversation podcast with Joeli! 

What I was reading in November in 2016, in 2015, in 2014 and 2013!

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.

Lift Off is closed (for now)

Lift Off is currently closed. Sign up to be notified when it reopens this December!

Defeat Overwhelm. Focus ONLY on what matters.

There is so much you can work on for your business – social media, pricing, craft shows – how do you know what you should be working on, what will actually make a difference in your profitability and your happiness?

If you feel overwhelmed or scattered, you’re not alone. 

If you try to do everything and follow all  of the advice, you’ll wear yourself out, without seeing any real improvement. And you’re not alone: there are thousands of other creative business owners doing exactly this – running in circles, trying everything, getting nowhere.

The answer is to focus in on what matters. 

  • Your own definition of success
  • Profitability
  • A marketing plan you’ll stick with
  • Effectively using your time

These are the four foundations of a thriving business. Without one of them, the others don’t matter. Everything you could be doing either fits into one of these, or you don’t need to worry about it.

In Lift Off, you won't just learn about these foundations, you'll build your own.

karen“I was completely scattered. I was being pulled into 50 million (or so it seemed) directions because everyone out there had a thing “I should be doing”  . Lift off made me realize, through consistent well thought out weekly lessons, that it's OK to do what I want to be doing, and to start to form a plan to get my business to be what I want it to be and to do only the things that work for me. And it is working!”

-Karen Whooley

In Lift Off, you'll get clear on where you want to go (what are your bigger dreams and plans?).
Then, we’ll make it do-able by breaking it down to specific to-dos (and you’ll stay flexible by revisiting these plans regularly).
Finally, you’ll reinforce (or build) the very foundations of your business:

Pricing + Profitability (How does your business make money? How could it make even more, easily?)
Marketing (Who are you talking to and how can you reach them?)
Effectiveness (What do you need to get done and when will you do it?)

Lift Off is a guided tour of the foundations of pricing and marketing, for businesses owners who are ready to soar.

In this 6 month program, you will create the foundations that prepare your business for sustainability, longevity, and ease. You’ll do the math for your Right Price, discover your profitability points, learn how to talk about your work, create a marketing plan, and explore the systems that work best for the business you have.

Lift Off is currently closed. Sign up to be notified when Lift Off reopens

Lift Off is delivered via email, every week, for 26 weeks.
Each email will contain a new lesson that builds on the previous week, along with worksheets, audio or video lessons, and written transcripts – so that you don’t just learn, you apply it to YOUR business.
These lessons will guide you through the process of turning your shop into a thriving business. You will receive:

  1. Chart Your Stars – In this business-orienting, week-long course, you'll get oriented in where you are now, and where you wanna go. Get clear about your big vision for your business and the North Stars that will guide your adventure.
  2. Map Making – Set a goal for the next three months and then make a map to get you there. (You’ll do this twice!)
  3. Pricing 101 – In this 2-day course, do the math on your actual products and make sure your price is in alignment with what you need.
  4. Pay Yourself – In this 4-week course, get clear about the entire money picture of your business. Discover your own Break-Even Point, where you’re most profitable, and exactly what you’ll need to do to reach your own profit goals.
  5. Craft Your Marketing – You will get a signed, printed copy of my book, mailed right to your house. The accompanying email lessons will help you communicate:
    1. Your message
    2. Your people
    3. The tools you'll use to reach your people
    4. At the end of this course, you’ll create your own marketing plan, to start using right away.
  6. Wrangle Your Time – Learn when you work best, and develop your own system for being as productive (and creative) as you can be.
  7. Final Implementation – Take the lessons you've learned during Lift Off and apply them to any situation life (or business) throws at you.

At the end of every month, you’ll pause from new lessons for an Energize Week: you’ll review the last month in your business and reflect on the lessons you’ve learned. You’ll also pause at the halfway mark (April) to make another map that encompasses what you’ve learned, your new goals, and where you wanna go next. And you can ask me any of your questions during the 2 live group coaching calls (new for 2016!). 

Get (free!) Defeat Overwhelm training + be notified when Lift Off reopens

 I was so discouraged. I was crushed. I thought more than once about closing Yarn Love just so I wouldn’t have to deal with disappointing myself and my husband.

But I didn’t. I found you.

I dug your book off my shelf and got started. I gave myself 6 months to turn things around. Along the way I purchased your Map Making guide to help me with a tidy, executable plan, because I can work a plan like nobody’s business.

I’m 6 weeks into my first quarterly map.


Katie of Yarn Love

In 6 weeks, I have made more than $5000 of profit. I have streamlined my business processes. I have spent half of every other day at the pool with my kids. (In other words, I’m rocking family life and having fun, too.)

So thank you, Tara. You were just what I needed. There aren’t enough words in the English language to express my gratitude for your help and insights.”

-Katie, of YarnLove


What, exactly, you’re getting:

  • 26 weeks of emailed lessons, which will include written lessons, PDF worksheets, audio and video instruction. (Because several weeks have daily emails, you get over 59 individual emailed lessons.) This includes classes that aren’t available anywhere else.
  • A signed, printed copy of my book, sent directly to your house.
  • Access to 2 live Q+A calls, where you can ask me any of your questions. (You'll also get recordings of these calls)
  • $50 off a Flight Plan (one-on-one) session.
  • $100 off the Starship, if you choose to join after Lift Off.

Week 1: Lift Off! Begin the Chart Your Stars Guide, and over the next week work through learning from the last year in your business and preparing for the future.

Week 2: Map Making

Week 3: Pay Yourself Lesson 1

Week 4: Energize! With the Monthly Reassessment worksheet, look back at the previous month, take note of your numbers + lessons and get ready to move on!

Week 5: Pay Yourself Lesson 2

Week 6: Pay Yourself Lesson 3

Week 7: Pay Yourself  Lesson 4

Week 8: Energize! With the Monthly Reassessment worksheet, look back at the previous month, take note of your numbers + lessons and get ready to move on!

Week 9: Pay Yourself Lesson 5 + 6

Week 10: Pricing 101 #1

Week 11: Pricing 101 #2

Week 12: Energize! With the Monthly Reassessment worksheet, look back at the previous month, take note of your numbers + lessons and get ready to move on!

Week 13: Craft Your Marketing: Your Sparkle

Week 14: Craft Your Marketing: Your People

Week 15: Craft Your Marketing: Tools

Week 16: Energize! With the Monthly Reassessment worksheet, look back at the previous month, take note of your numbers + lessons and get ready to move on!

Week 17: Map Making 

Week 18: Craft Your Marketing:Your Marketing Plan

Week 19:  Craft Your Marketing: Using email newsletters to soar.

Week 20: Energize!

Week 21: Wrangle Your Time: Lesson 1

Week 22: Wrangle Your Time: Lesson 2

Week 23: Wrangle Your Time: Lesson 3

Week 24: Energize!

Week 25: Wrangle Your Time: Final Lesson

Week 26: Final Implementation Lesson 1

Week 27: Final Implementation lesson 2

Week 28: Final Energize and wrap up.


“I was blown away– and kept very busy– by the amount of detail in the course, the nitty-gritty and the how, mixed in with the why and the why we resist this stuff.  So not only do we feel great, but we've been able to improve and build upon our 15 years' experience to immediately reap the benefits of what we're learning.”
Erica B, 

Who this is for:

  • You know what you sell, and you’ve opened your shop (or very nearly)…but you don’t know what to do next. How do you turn a collection of items into a real, thriving business?
  • You’re not sure how to talk about your work, where you should share it, or what you should say. The whole “marketing” thing feels overwhelming.
  • You’re not entirely sure this is all “going to work out”. You need to know some specifics about your money, your marketing, your path.

This is not for you if:

  • You are still in the “planning” stage of business. There is a big difference between “thinking” and “doing” and these lessons are for business owners who are taking action, trying things, and learning from experience. (More on the difference here.) You won’t be able to fill in many of these worksheets if you haven’t determined what you sell, where you sell it, and what you charge for it.
  • You want personalized help with your business. Join the Starship to get everything listed here + a weekly group chat with me + 2 one-on-one sessions with me per year. (If you just want the one-on-one help, as a Lift Off-er, you’ll save $50 on a session.)

Lift Off is currently closed. Sign up to be notified when Lift Off reopens

What happens next…

When you click the buy link, you'll see a pop-up where you enter your information. After you complete payment, you'll be whisked to a Thank You page with my gratitude. You'll also immediately receive a welcome email. Within a few days, you'll receive two pre-course emails with tips and strategies on making Lift Off work for you. YOU get to decide when Lift Off lessons begin – you'll just click a button in the second email to start your weekly lessons!

 lisacheck“When I found Tara, my business was about 6 years old. It was growing steadily, but slowly. I had an idea of what I thought I needed to do and I tried to do those things. But in my efforts to follow what I thought others in my creative area were doing, I didn't get very good results.  I was starting to doubt my business, my skills and my vision.

Tara totally gets my business and me.  By the end of class, I had a map of what I needed to do.  No longer was I flailing about, trying to figure it all out on my own.  Now I had steps and direction.  It's been a couple of months since I've been working on my to-do list. My website and Etsy store are in sync with each other. My newsletters are more focused and my website traffic is busy every day!

Thank you, Tara,  for helping me feel in control of my business and less overwhelmed about it!

I look forward to big things this year as I let my sparkle out to meet my customers.”

-Lisa Check, Flying Goat Farms

Because everyone deserves a strong foundation…

For every new member of Lift Off, I'm adding $5 to my monthly donation to Feeding America, an organization that provides food for hungry families. A single dollar feeds ten families, so your Lift Off Membership will feed 50 families, every MONTH. That's 300 families fed by you, during your six month program.

What if I change my mind? 

Lift Off is a resource for those who are ready to work on their business. Before you buy, please read the above page carefully and thoroughly. If you have questions, email me. Don’t buy until you’re ready to commit.

I begin to invest in your business from the moment you board. My team and I are here to answer all of your questions. There will be no refunds. When you invest in yourself with Lift Off, your purchase is final. If life gets in the way of using the classes immediately, don't worry – you will have life-time access. By purchasing Lift Off, you take responsibility for your progress and results.

How long do I have to make a decision if I want to join Lift Off? 

Lift Off only runs twice a year (Jan-June, July-December). The open enrollment period lasts for 10 days in June and December. The next enrollment period will be the first weeks of December 2015.

How will materials be delivered? 

These courses are all delivered digitally. You'll receive an email each Monday with that week's lesson, which will include a link to a page with the full lesson, worksheets, audio and video lessons.

When does it start?

It's up to YOU! You'll receive a Welcome email (with Holiday Sanity) IMMEDIATELY, to the email address you put in when you purchased (if you don't, shoot us an email!). You'll recieve two pre-course emails to help you prepare. When you're ready for the lessons to begin, you MUST push the button in the second email to start the lessons. (We'll also be checking in on you, so you don't forget!)

How much time will this take? 

It depends on you and how much you already know about your business! The earlier weeks will take more time (around 30 minutes per day), as you get clear about the direction you want your business to go. After Chart Your Stars and Map Making, most lessons will take about 1 hour per week.

I'm not a maker or designer, will Lift Off still work for me? 

Absolutely! If you are building a business based on your own passion and skills (writer, maker, fine artist, yarn or comic book shop, farmer), Lift Off will help you define your goals, create a do-able plan, get profitable and share it (marketing!) in a way that fits with your life. If you sell services (coach or consultant), everything but Pay Yourself will still apply. (Pay Yourself is specifically written for finding the profitability of a product, even art!)

During the last round of Lift Off, students said:

Posted in |

1 2 3 34