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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!

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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.

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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!

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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!

How do YOU get stuff done? Find a way that works for you.

How do you actually get done the things you need to do for your business? Are you more likely to do something if you "owe" it to someone else, or if it's something you personally want to do? Or, maybe, do you rebel against the idea of a To Do list altogether? Learn more about your own tendency and how you can use it to get more done - including a FREE resource guide! More on TaraSwiger.com

 

How do you actually DO what you want to do in your business?

 

Do you need to understand WHY you’re doing it?

Do you need to be held accountable?

Or do you rebel against anyone telling you to do anything (even when you really want to do it)?

This question fascinates me, because it’s at the heart of why some people build their business quickly and others struggle along without ever taking much action.

When I talk to makers and artists who are frustrated that their business hasn’t grown, it’s very rare that they have NO idea what they should do. Instead, it’s that they aren’t taking the actions they feel they need to take, they aren’t doing what they want to do.

The best explanation I’ve ever found for WHY some people struggle to get stuff done, is in Gretchen Rubin’s book Better Than Before (it’s all about habit change, and working on your business really is about habits). She defines the Four Tendencies, as a reason for why some people get stuff done (or change their habits, or work on their biz) and others don’t.

I’ve talked about this more on the podcast (listen in here), but this comes up so often, I wanted to revisit it.

According to Gretchen (and backed up by my own experience working with hundreds of makers and artists), we react to expectations (ie, people telling us to do something), in one of four ways. The way you react to expectations tends to be consistent across your life.

Upholders:

These people do everything that’s expected of them, easily. They both meet external expectations (other people telling you what you should do) and internal expectations (things YOU want to do). I have met very few Upholders, and I think it’s because they don’t seek out biz support – once they know what to do, they just do it.

Questioners:

These people (uh, myself included) don’t care to meet external expectations unless they understand WHY. But they have an easy time meeting internal expectations… if those expectations are built on understanding the rationale behind them. In other words, we questioners can do anything if we can turn it from external expectation (you telling me to do something) into an internal expectation (I understand why, and now WANT to do it, because it makes logical sense to me).
These people need to know WHY they are doing anything in their business (“because experts say so” isn’t enough). Because I’m a Questioner, I create all of my classes and books for Questioners – I don’t tell you what to do, I tell you why something will benefit your biz, then I give you a bunch of questions related to your business, so you can see how to do it in your OWN way. This is why I’ve built the Starship experience to start with you getting clear on your goals and your path – so that you decide what you want to learn and what you want to do next, and feel motivated to do the work because you can see how it fits into the bigger picture.(According my unscientific study, about 1/3 of the Starship members are Questioners)

Obligers:

These people (maybe you?) have a pretty easy time fulfilling external expectations (if someone asks you to do something, you will), but have a tough time fulfilling internal expectations (say, working on your business, just because you want to). In fact you may fill your days doing things others care about more. So you feel frustrated that you never seem to make the time to work on what matters to YOU. Ugh, this is frustrating.

The solution?
Get someone to ask you about what you really care about.
In other words, externalize those internal expectations.
You can do this with a group (like the Starship), where you tell us your goal and then check in as you work through it (this is why we have the weekly live check-in and forums) or with a single person (an accountability partner). After learning that about 2/3 of the Starship members were Obligers, I upped our accountability-providing, by creating the Accountability Partner Program – you just fill out a short form, and I match you with a partner. The two of you work together to decide when to check-in and then you simply tell the person: This is what I’m working on, I’m going to be done with it by X date. That, alone, can suddenly make you feel like you “owe” someone and so you work harder on your business!

Rebels:

These people tend to feel constrained by any kind of expectation. They tell me (we have a handful in the Starship) that “As soon as I write something down, like a goal or to do list, I suddenly do NOT want to do it.” In fact, creating a schedule or a must-do list is going to ensure that a Rebel never does anything.

The solution?
I’ll be honest, I have been thinking about this for over a year and quizzing any rebels I meet. Gretchen doesn’t offer any solution in her book, and I had a hard time coming up with one. Joeli is a self-described Rebel who has made MASSIVE momentum in the last year of her Starship membership (you can get her full story if you sign up here) and she says what works best is making a big list and then picking, each day, what feels fun (instead of telling yourself you HAVE to do something that day), and setting goals that are more about paying attention and learning, than about measuring. (For example, set a goal of “noticing what already works in my business.”) In other words, for Rebels, taking the pressure OFF is often a good motivator for working harder (but if you already feel bad about how little you get done, this might feel REALLY scary). This is why we focus, in the Starship, on finding what works for YOU and giving yourself permission to not do what other people tell you “have” to do.

So how do you get stuff done?

I hope you see that the answer lies not in forcing yourself to work in ONE way, but in finding what works best for you. No one of the above is better than the others (although I think we all secretly wish we could be Upholders!) – the key to productivity is acknowledging your tendency and then setting up your work day and expectations in a way that works for you.

If you think that more accountability, question-answering and a community of encouragers would help you in your business, check out the Starship – it’s open now! The Starship opens only a few times a year and will close again on 3/25, so head here now to learn more about it!

 

Why you sell your art

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A few weeks ago, when I taught at Midwest Craft Con, I spent the day in handmade clothes and accessories. From the beautiful dress Karen + Kelly, of Gentle Clothing made me, to the viola-wood necklace given to me by the Hang Ups in KC. As you might guess, I felt absolutely amazing all day. Beautiful. Loved.

And that’s WHY we make, isn’t it?
Of course we make stuff because it feels good, but that expands when we give it away, when we sell it, when we allow someone else express themselves through our art.

We make more dresses, necklaces, yarn, patterns, paintings, sculptures that we will ever need. We, as artists and makers in business, make more because we want our work to go OUT to be in the world, to adorn someone’s body or walls and to become someone else’s expression, someone else’s joy. We want to know our work is bringing color into more lives.

The necklace, the dress, the art in my house – it  has become a part of my life, a part of what I’m doing in the world.

So when you feel shy about marketing (ie, telling other people about the awesomeness of your work), remember this. Remember that it’s not about selling YOUR thing, it’s about giving your buyers the opportunity to be part of what you’re doing, to take what you’re doing and make it part of THEIR lives.

Not every maker and artist chooses to sell their work (or make more than they want for their own home). But you do. You want to not just make your art, but share it with others. You want someone to take your work and build their own meaning, their own message with it.

In order to do this, you need to continue to work on your business, to grow your own skills, to refine your message, and to do the work of building the business you want.

If you’d like support, encouragement and accountability during this journey, The Starship may be the community you need. It only opens once a quarter and it’s opening again TODAY. If you’re not sure if it’s for you, or you’d like to ask questions about it (or just chat with me more), you are cordially invited to a Q+A today, March 15th.

Sign up here to learn more, get access to the Q+A (and the recording!) and meet a few of the Captains who already aboard.

(No idea what I’m talking about? Read more about the Starship here.)

If The Starship isn’t for you right now – that’s totally fine! Stick around and I’ll keep posting weekly lessons to help you build your creative business.

 

Don’t be afraid to be a real person

When you try to market your products online, do you struggle to find a way to sound like a real person? Do you worry about sounding too casual, or turning into a robot in your quest to sound professional? Let's talk about the ways to avoid that and sound like a real person in your online interactions. More at TaraSwiger.com.

This weekend I’m teaching about marketing, so I’ve been thinking about a lot (even more than usual, and I wrote a whole book on it…so it’s a LOT).

As I say in my book: Marketing is simply communication with a purpose – the purpose is to help people who will love your thing understand that they will, in fact, love your thing.

But speaking with that purpose, sharing with that with that purpose, can make us feel awkward and stilted. So we either skip it all together (and no one knows we sell anything! And no one buys it!) or we get weird and sound like a robot.

This week on the podcast, we dove deep into how to fix this, how to sound (and feel!) like a real person online. It’s not easy. I know. It’s easy to feel like you have to be formal, or fancy (“professional”), or that you’re NOT being genuine if you’re also trying to sell something.

But I’ve overcome this struggle myself and worked with hundreds of makers and artists as they’ve overcome it. It just takes practice (lots of practice) and intention (paying attention to what you’re doing and why).

If this is something you struggle with, you can listen in to the full episode (and learn the 4 steps to sounding more like a person) or you can watch my live recording here. You can also find it on iTunes, Stitcher, or just search for “Explore Your Enthusiasm” in whatever app you use for podcasts!

 

How about you? Do you struggle to sound like yourself online? Or do you feel good about it?

 

 

How to fit all of your marketing pieces together

Blog. Twitter. Instagram. Facebook. It can be overwhelming to figure out how to fit all these little pieces together into one cohesive marketing puzzle. Let's talk about how to do that, on TaraSwiger.com.

Blog.
Twitter.
Facebook.
Instagram.
Pinterest.
Emails.

How are you spreading the word about your work? How are you connecting with possible customers? If you’re like nearly everyone I work with, you’re using quite a few tools, but you feel like you should be using EVEN MORE – like you can never do enough or be in enough places.

This week on the podcast I’m sharing the story of how I helped one of the Starship Captains fit her marketing puzzle together. While I was broadcasting it on Periscope (I record and broadcast these a whole week early – follow me there to catch it early!), I got comments saying: OMG, I need to do this for my own business! I need to piece it all together.

So I’m super happy to announce that I am teaching exactly this, tomorrow! In a webinar with TNNA (The National NeedleArts Association), we’ll cover your newsletter, blog and social media and come up with a plan for fitting them all together. (Webinar = online workshop, that you can attend wherever you are!)

If you’re in the yarn world (you have a yarn shop, you make yarn, you design with yarn), this webinar is for you. We’re going to address how to fit your blog, newsletter, and social media together into one EFFECTIVE puzzle, that brings customers to your door.

You can register here:

http://www.tnna.org/events/EventDetails.aspx?id=773927

Once you register, tweet me and tell me your questions – what do you hope we cover?

Build your business, grow your confidence.

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How do I keep my self-doubt from holding me back?
How do I move forward even when I don’t feel like it?

These are the questions we all come up against, especially as we start to do something new and challenging, like starting or growing a business based on our creativity.

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: Recently 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 a recent 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 (I’ll also email you this challenge, as I know you may not be on Instagram!)

Each Friday, I’ll send a lesson to build on the challenge and explore it deeper. Sign  up here to get them!

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.

These confidence-building lessons + stories will only be available to email subscribers, so if you’d like to share it with friends, please tell them to sign up here! (And don’t forget to sign up for yourself, too!)

Are you in?

Ok! Here are the steps you need to take:

  • Be sure you’re following me on Instagram
  • Share this page with your friends
  • 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?
  • 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.

Get Realistic (while dreaming big)

It is possible to dream big and still set realistic goals for yourself. Allow yourself the time to make a big, huge dream - and then take the all-important step of boiling it down into what's most important and how you're going to accomplish that important thing next. More at TaraSwiger.com.

I confessed a few weeks ago that I hadn’t really started planning yet, because the start of the year was crazy-busy for me.  Well, I finally got around to it! I looked at all I wanted to do this year (I use Leonie’s workbooks to spark a LOT of ideas for this!) and I started to plan out the next year – what I’m going to implement behind-the-scenes (yay systems!) and what I’m going to launch and offer (yay classes!).  After listing it all, I looked at the calendar (this is a key step! don’t forget this): When would I do it all?

It’s at this point that I had a realization. I mentioned this epiphany on Periscope Monday and got a lot of “OMG! Me too!“, so I bet it applies to you, too.

I can realistically do about half of what I “planned” to, if I want to do it well and enjoy my life.

Due to the unrelenting limits of time and space… I just don’t have time to do everything I want to do, right now.

Now, let’s be clear, I CAN DO IT ALL… just not all at once. (You too, by the way.)

So I added some space in. I stripped my list down to what I really want to do first, and added IN a bunch more writing time (which is both what I want to be doing with my time, and the thing that helps the most people, most effectively.)

I wanted to share this revelation and subsequent adjustments with you for two reasons:

  1. I bet your plan for the year (if you haven’t made one yet, that’s ok, there’s still time!) could use a second look. Have you tried to shove too many things in too small of a time period? How could you make your plan more doable? (The more doable your plan is, the more likely you are to DO it, and accomplishing a plan builds confidence and momentum which makes the NEXT plan even easier!)Maybe you need to break the big goal down into the next three months. Maybe you need to remove the not-as-important things and just focus on what lights you up AND is most directly related to the Mission of your business. Maybe you need to just get to work.
  1. I wanted to be honest with you – THIS is what it looks like to build a business you actually love. It involves planning and work and always paying attention to how you’re spending your time. Are you planning to do things you’re THRILLED about? Are you spending time on the most VALUABLE projects? Are you in alignment with your Mission? It’s OK if you fall out of alignment sometimes, as long as you readjust when you notice.

Your turn!

What are you planning for the new year? Have you taken time to  map out each step and put it on your calendar? Do you need to revise your plan to make it more do-able?

If so, that’s OK! Don’t let that hold you back from doing the work and moving forward!

 

 

How to read over 100 books in a year

In 2015, I read 100 books - everything from comics to classic lit to business & home decor how-tos. If you want to set a big reading goal for yourself, in this post I'll help you do that. More at TaraSwiger.com.

 

In 2015, I read over 100 books. Books ranging from The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl comic to War & Peace. I read Louise Hay and Jane Austen. Business books, creativity books, a big handful of novels and even more graphic novels. I finally got caught up on Buffy. I discovered and read everything by Rainbow Rowell. (You can see all the books I read in 2015 here. Only one rule: No judgement.)

And this isn’t the first time. In 2012 I read 100 books and shared my experience here.

If you’ve been reading my blog, this is no surprise to you. I post my reading lists every month (you can find them all here) and the question I always get is “How do you do it? How do you read so much?” So that’s what I’d like to share with you today: How I read 100 books in 2015 (and how you can read more, if this is one of your New Year goals!).

 

Before we dive in, I don’t have to convince you of the value of reading, do I?

It’s not just fun and relaxing, it also teaches you a new way to look at the world and introduces you to ideas, characters, and ways of living you never would have encountered. Yes, even novels and comics.

Business and creativity books can give you insights into your own business and inspire you to grow and experiment. They can also just straight up teach you something you don’t know (that’s why I read a book on webinars). Fiction can open up your worldview – what do other people think? How do they live? What are you assuming is “normal”?

This helps your business too. It’s easy for us to believe that everyone is like us, and therefore, the thing we do isn’t special. This mistake is the #1 reason people undervalue their work. Everyone is NOT like you. Their brain works in totally different ways. They have different values. They live in different worlds. Fiction can open you up to this. (Also, and I can’t stress this enough: FUN. Your business needs you to relax and refill the well of your creativity. Reading someone else’s creativity is a great way to do this.)

With that in mind, here’s how to read more this year:

Know your why.

Do NOT resolve to read more just because I do. Read more because you want to, because you have your own awesome reasons. Your reason can be anything, but before you pick your number, think (or write) about why you want to read more. My reasons have shifted over the years. In 2012 I wrote: “The real reason I set the goal is that I love to read. Love it! But I often tell myself not to. Instead, I should be working. Or I should be reading something better (catching up on blogs, news, the latest marketing advice). But after an intense 3 months of non-stop writing to finish the book,  I decided to give myself permission to just read. As much as I wanted!”
In 2015 my reasons were a little different. I love to read (that’s reason #1) and I found myself doing a lot more blog reading and Pinterest-surfing at night in bed. That just keeps me awake. Instead, I want to be reading something then (this is when I read fiction, because my brain is too tired from the day to read something think-y). And in the mornings, with my coffee, I was scrolling through Instagram, but that distracts me and gets my day focused on other people instead of my own priorities. So instead, I read (this is where the business-y, creative, and self-helpy books go).

The numbers don’t matter.

Forget about the “100 books in a year” thing and focus on what YOU can do. How much did you read last year? Can you increase that by 5 books? Can you double it? (That’s how I hit on 100 books – in 2011 I read 52 and I wanted to double it.)

But setting a number helps.

It doesn’t matter WHAT your number is, it only matters that, if this is one of your goals, you quantify it. This will make it easier for you to celebrate your successes and make you more likely to read.

Turning simple permission (you’re allowed to read!) into a big crazy goal, lifted my passion into something important. It suddenly mattered that I get to read every day, it was a priority! If I hadn’t committed to the big number, I would have continued to question each reading session: shouldn’t I be doing something else?

Track your reading

Keep track of what you read. You’ll find it comes in handy when someone asks you for a recommendation and it’ll inspire you to read more. Seeing the list grow is weirdly satisfying. Also, it’s the only way to know if you’re meeting your goal or not! I use Goodreads for tracking my books. I only occasionally write a review or use any of the social features, I just use it to remember what I want to read (anytime I hear about a book I like, I go to GoodReads and mark it “to read”), and mark what I am reading, then move it to “read” when I finish it. And this brings us to the next tip:

Have a long To Read list.

Track what you want to read (I use GoodReads, but you could use a note on your phone or your notebook, as long as you can easily find it and add to it) and add to the list constantly. Every time you hear a great interview on a podcast, mark the book to read. Every time you hear a recommendation (next week on the podcast I’m sharing the 9 best biz books!), add it your list! Every time you come across a mention of a book in the book you’re reading, at it to your list. This is why I’ve read so many random or woo-woo books – when more than 5 people I respect recommended a book, I read it (or at least start it). If I want to understand how smart people think, I gotta read the books they read!

(This, by the way, has led me to  some really amazing insights in books with terrible titles that I wouldn’t be caught dead reading. This has also led me to discover that a lot of male entrepreneurs recommend books filled with war or sports metaphors that are utter drivel.)

Have enough books

The biggest thing that slows down my reading is not having enough books in the house. It doesn’t matter if I’m into what I’m reading, if I don’t know what I’m reading NEXT I drag my feet. (Never mind all those books on my Kindle.) This is where the library is a beautiful thing – I take home about twice as many books as I actually read. But that gives me variety and choices.

Read short books

Ha! This isn’t a real piece of advice, but it came up when I was talking to Ruth and Joeli on Twitter. Obviously, you’re going to read fewer big books… but what matters is that you READ WHAT YOU WANT. If I hadn’t read so many graphic novels (which take between 2-10 hours to read, depending on the book), I’m sure my numbers would be lower. That said, it’s YOUR reading, it’s YOUR fun. Any book you choose “counts”. If I hadn’t read War & Peace and Emma, I’m sure to have read more. (I have a shelf called “comics count”, to remind myself that i’m allowed to read whatever I want. There is no reading police.)

Give yourself permission to read what you want. And stop when you want.

There are no awards for reading the right books. Or for finishing a book.
Read what you want, when you want, and quit when you want.
There’s no guilt, no pressure. Reading is something I love to do. So if I don’t love reading this book, I remember that it’s not me, it’s the book. So I stop.

This applies to everything.

These lessons aren’t just for reading, they apply to every area of your business. Set goals, track them, have lots of options at the ready, and above all, give yourself permission to focus on what you enjoy and what’s working, and stop doing all the stuff you think you “should” be doing.

How can you apply these lessons to your own goal this year?

If you want to read more, what tip are you going to start applying now?

Why you should follow your next crazy idea: my story

yourcrazyidea

One year ago, I had a crazy idea.

I’m going to share the story with you today, in hopes that it will inspire you to follow your own crazy ideas.

*cue flashback music*

I had spent the day working with clients, answering questions in the Starship, and replying to listeners questions via email. I told my husband, “I feel like everyone has the same questions, and they are all about the same 3-4 things. If they worked through just those things, and found the answers for their own business, they’d be able to answer 90% of their own conundrums. Then they could use something like the Starship or a business mentor to figure out the super-personalized stuff.

It’s just so ineffective to talk about this foundational stuff in a personal session. Stuff like, your profit math, finding your right person, how you’re using your time. It’s vital stuff, but not personalized. I mean, I can ask you 5 questions and YOU come up with the answers, based on your biz.

If people could get a handle on these few things, that would make them feel a zillion times better about their business and prepare them to deal with nearly everything they’re ever going to need to do in their business.”

And he said, “Ok, so…you should teach that.”

Well, I kinda already do. I have Pay Yourself, Map Making, Market Yourself….the problem is people jump into, say, marketing, before they know if they’re profitable. And it’s pretty detrimental to start selling MORE work if you don’t even know it’ll make more money. And if you do any of it before you know where you wanna go, you’re going to go in circles.

And he said, “So put it together, in order. You could do that, right? You’ve got the technology?”

….I guess…I could figure it out… (This is the start of any business idea. You just decide to see if you could figure it out.)

So I did.

Last December I launched Lift Off, which is 6 months of weekly business lessons, delivered to your inbox.

The lessons walk you through the foundations of your business, in an order that makes sense. You get clear on your Vision and Mission, set goals, get profitable, start sharing your work, and create your own best time management system. It’s not (just) facts, it’s built on (your) action. You find YOUR goals, YOUR profit margins, YOUR Right People, YOUR most effective workday.

Over the last year, I have been DELIGHTED by the impact Lift Off has had in creative businesses:

I have been following the Lift Off emails and have been doing the homeworks. I wanted to let you know, I have been learning and practicing what you have been teaching, at my pace and it’s helping me a lot!  It’s great to have this guidance, it helps to confirm some things I already knew, but wasn’t sure if they were right or wrong for my business. It feels like walking the path and seeing the sun coming up on the horizon….because I am already having good results!
-Rossana Aponte

“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

Spending some time this morning on TSLiftOff. It just started and it’s already making me feel better about my business!”
-Jen Lucas, on Twitter

Took me a few hours to realize I already have the tools to de-stress, regroup & reorganize around my work thanks to #TSLiftOff!”
-Jennifer Lindroos, on Twitter

(Check out other tweets from the course here and Instagram photos here)

 

Lift Off is open again, right here: http://tarasiwger.com/lift
It closes tomorrow at 7pm EST.

 

If you would like to make 2016 the year of your business, the year when you are profitable (and know it!), the year when you not only decide on your direction and goals, but go boldly towards them, then be sure to join Lift Off, before it closes.

 

Your Invitation to a free workshop

Join me on Friday, December 11 at 1pm EST for a FREE live online workshop on how to Defeat Overwhelm in your creative business and get your most important work done. Learn the only 4 things you need to focus on in your biz, and get rid of everything else that overwhelms you. Learn more at TaraSwiger.com/defeatoverwhelm

This Friday, at 1pm (EDT), I’m holding a live webinar (online video class) – for free! Usually these online workshops start at $99, but this one is entirely free.

Register for the webinar here.

In this hour-long workshop, you’ll learn:

  • How to avoid overwhelm in your creative business
  • The only 4 things that need your focus in your business
  • How to build the foundations of your business, no matter how new (or old!) it is.

You see, I talk to creatives every day who are just completely overwhelmed. They don’t know if they should do X or Y. They don’t know where to spend their time and energy. They don’t know what will make a difference.

And this breaks my heart. Because I know what leads to growth in a small business: Focused, consistent action. But you can’t take focused, consistent action until you decide what action to take, and then really commit your focus to it. But if you’re overwhelmed and unsure, you’re hesitant to really commit to one action. So you do a whole bunch of stuff, all over the place, and then feel frustrated that you don’t see results from anything.

If this is what you’re struggling with, please join me for this webinar, on December 11th. To join in (and ask me any of your questions!), register here. 

Invite your friends and take it together to hold each other accountable: 

 

defeatoverwhelm

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