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Good Shtuff

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?

What I’m reading: January 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 I read

  • Emma, by Jane Austen
  • A Curious Mind, by Brian Grazer. So good! Brian has spent his life holding “curiosity conversations” – once a week he talks to someone interesting and is just curious about them. I love the idea and the book inspired me to be more curious with everyone I meet.
  • Knit Wear Love, by Amy Herzog. I enjoyed this book about changing your sweater pattern to match your personal style.
  • Design Mom, by Gabrielle Blair. A gorgeous book, that gave me some ideas for our new place. But I couldn’t get over how she always refers to her husband by his full name (Ben Blair). Every. Time. Distracting, but beautiful!

What I’m reading

What I read last January.
And in January 2014.

What are you reading?

50 Things I loved in 2015

50things2015

Last year I shared a list of everything I loved in 2014 and it was so much fun that I decided to do it again, as part of my yearly review. It’s so much fun to think back through the tools I discovered or the experiences I had that are particular to this year. What are your favorite parts of the last year?

(This is no particular order, I just started listing as things came to me.)

  1. By far the most favorite part of my year, of every year, is getting to work with amazing, inspiring, clever, curious makers and artists. I am honored to be part of their journey. All of the stuff on this list can’t compare to the joy my job brings me.
  2. Periscope. If you asked me to name one tool that changed my business the most in 2015, I’d have to say Periscope. Through it, I connected deeper to my current students and (quite a surprise to me!) I found and connected with many brand-new-to-me people who became Starship Captains this year. (You can watch all recent episodes here.)
  3. Jess. She makes my entire life better with her feedback, editing, and smarts.
  4. Working with Jay (my husband) as a team member in my company. Sure, we had a lot of adjusting to do, but it’s not only improved our all-the-time communication, it also built our confidence for our next business undertaking. Plus, getting his insight and skillz into my projects makes everything better! (If you like the blog images, or the visual prompts of the Biz Confidence Challenge, or the fact that I now put podcast recordings on YouTube – that’s all him!)
  5. Asana! This project-management tool has streamlined all of the many pieces of my biz, and cuts down on back-and-forth that comes from having three hands in just about every project.
  6. Finally finding a planner-system that works for me, that isn’t just a notebook. I’ve been using Filofax + Get to Workbook.
    Tara Swiger's planner
  7. Grants Pass + visiting my parents. For the first time in my LIFE I was able to visit my dad + second-mom three times in the same year. This is by far the best perk of my job, and the highlight of my personal life.
  8. The Biz Confidence Challenge! The idea came to me and I sketched it out in 10 minutes and it started the very next Monday. The reactions + results have been fantastic. The #bizconfidencechallenge hashtag is an inspiration.
  9. Pad Thai. Still my most-favorite dinner.
  10. The entire CreativeLIVE experience. I loved working with their team, and getting the chance to grab a bite with both Abby and Megan.
  11. My galaxy sneakers. There is nothing like having a pair of shoes that you just adore.
    Tara's galaxy sneakers
  12. Craftcation! This was such a fun experience, it totally cured my fear of conferences. And of course having days to talk about life with Kim Werker is always a good thing. Plus Abby! And Blair!
  13. My neon green maxi skirt. And my giant neon pink paper-thin scarf. The perfect traveling clothes!
  14. Raylan! He came into our life in January and almost left us in December (scary!). He was a hot mess of excitement and energy, but through patience and playdates, he’s become a snuggly, sweet (still super-curious) member of the family.
    Raylan and Beau on TaraSwiger.com
  15. Charleston! I took a quick 2 day trip there at the last minute, with my mom and her friends, and it was lovely!
  16. Daiya Mac + Cheese and brussel sprouts! I ate this meal about 500 times this year.
  17. TNNA + teaching in Columbus. I got to see so many Starship Captains
  18. School House Craft. The entire conference was fun, but the highlight was getting to know Isaac and Caitlin and Sharon better (and more Kim and Marlo!). In other words, as always, the best part of anything is the people, and I’m thrilled to get to work alongside such lovely people.
    Isaac Watson, Kim Werker and TaraSwiger
  19. Honore Bakery is within walking distance of my friend’s house in Seattle. YUM.
  20. Finishing the first draft of my book proposal. And then sending to an agent. It took way longer than I planned, it was super scary, I have no idea what’s going to happen… and yet I’m so glad I did it.
  21. Discovering the perfect writing spot! There’s a bookstore inside a coffe shop! I ONLY work on the book here, so it’s easy for me to snap into focus when I sit down.
    word in the willows
  22. Being on other podcasts. I shared my secret inner warrior (She-Ra, Princess of Power!) with Jeffrey Shaw and talked about launching and confidence with Tiffany Han.
  23. Writing for Yarn Market News.
  24. Red hair! I thought about it for over 3 months and finally pulled the trigger at the very end of the year. It’s an ongoing symbol of following my gut instead of focusing on what other people will think.
    Tara Swiger

  25. Inside Out. By far one of the best movies I’ve watched in years. It’s sparked conversations with everyone I’ve talked to about it.
  26. Comics! Especially Jem, Unbeatable Squirrel Girl (her roommate is a knitter!), B*tch Planet, and Ms. Marvel. If you don’t read comics, I highly recommend getting any of these in paperback at your library and diving in.
  27. Knitting! I finished more knitting this year than I have in years. Mom’s sweater, my Blue Sand, Boxy, mittens, Jay’s hat, Mom’s Pendulum.
    yarn on TaraSwiger.com
  28. Knitting along to the Gilmore Girls. I re-watched it all this year.
  29. Going to afternoon matinees on Friday. The local movie theater does an extra-cheap movie between 4 and 5 pm. We took advantage of it at least once a month, which feels like sneaking out of work early. There were a lot of great movies this year!
  30. Some Starship Captains got buttons made, so they can find each other at events! I was so flabbergasted that they love the community enough to do this on their own!
    TaraSwiger buttons
  31. Les Mis!! For our anniversary Jay took me to see the local community theater production. I cried throughout (and I met a podcast listener, which was amazing).
  32. My new morning routine: Water, quiet time, reading (a book, not my phone), and working out. It’s made my mornings so much calmer and more fun. I look forward to getting up!
  33. Taking a full week off at the end of December. I stressed about this a lot, but I knew I needed to recover from the awesomeness (and hard work) of the Lift Off launch. It didn’t turn out how I imagined, but I’m glad I did it.
    knitting and coffee
  34. Reading about fitness with the goal of loving yourself and becoming stronger, from Neghar, Jill, and Jen. I cannot recommend their programs and blogs strongly enough.
  35. My library. It’s beautiful, has a great view, and is staffed by people I’m becoming friends with!
  36. The CSA – this is the first time in years that we subscribed and it was fantastic.
  37. Writing and recording Explore Your Enthusiasm podcast each week is still my favorite work. And connecting with the listeners via  #exploreyourenthusiasm is a delight.
  38. Reading! I read some of my favorite books ever this year: Big Magic, Man’s Search for Meaning, The Confidence Code and dozens more.
    Books on Tara Swiger
  39. My mastermind group. It is full of women I respect and our deepening friendships (and ongoing idea-generation) has been a huge blessing this year.
  40. Finally figuring out Pinterest. Caitlin said about 3 sentences at School House Craft that just shifted the whole thing for me.
  41. Tailwind, for scheduling my blog posts on Pinterest!
  42. CoSchedule for scheduling social media directly from WordPress.
  43. Buffer for scheduling social media from anywhere.
  44. Hiking! We went on a great hike through a new-to-us local mountain with friends, and then went on an amazing hike with my dad in Oregon. After every hike I remember how much I want to spend more time outdoors!
    hiking
  45. The new Starship site is AMAZING. I LOVE IT.
  46. Hiring Wendy was the best decision I made. The project would never have come together without her. (Plus, she’s hilarious.)
  47. This is the first year since I started my biz that my focus wasn’t on making new stuff. Instead, I focused on going deeper for my current students and on improving everything. I became more consistent, created a new platform for the Starship, improved and refreshed every single piece of every class, and really nailed the launch of Lift Off.
  48. This was the best year of sales in my business ever. I can’t believe I almost completely forgot that. It’s just one sign of how much my biz is growing into something I love.
  49. Making plans for 2016! I’ll be teaching nearly every month: in San Diego, Columbus, Cleveland, Atlanta, Maryland, and Western Mass. (Want to get updates when I nail down the dates and places? Sign up here!)

What were your favorite parts of 2015?

What I’m reading: December 2015

follow my enthusiasm by reading…a lot. And once a month, I share (some of) the books I read last month and the books I intend to read this month. You can join the informal book club by sharing your own list in the comments and find all the posts here.

 

What I'm reading in December 2015

What I read

  • The Big Leap, by Gay Hendricks – Oh, this book! It had been on my list forever, but when a Starship Captain started a discussion about “Upper Limit Problems”, I decided to finally read it. I’m so glad I did. If your business is growing but you feel like you struggle to keep up, or you’re holding it back, read this!
  • The Little Spark, by Carrie Bloomston – Perfect for re-sparking your flagging enthusiasm or creativity.
  • The Ultimate Webinar Marketing Guide, by Lewis Howes – Read this in preparation for today’s webinar.
  • The Uncommon Reader, by Alan Bennet – I saw this slim novella at my library and picked up. So glad I did – it resulted in a very happy afternoon of reading.

What I’m reading

 

What I read last December
And the December before that

What are you reading?

 

 

The Definitive Holiday Survival Guide for Creative Businesses

A guide to everything I've written on how to balance life, work, + family during the holidays. On TaraSwiger.com

 

Over the last six years of leading Holiday Sanity (now only available aboard the Starship or Lift Off), I’ve written quite a bit on surviving – even thriving – during the holiday season. With the beginning of the season, I wanted to share a bit of what works for me.

If you’re spending the holiday season planning for the new year, be sure to sign up here to learn more about my program that will guide you to the best year ever in your biz!

As we leap into Hanukkah, Solstice and Christmas, I hope this collection saves a bit of your own sanity.

On other sites:

I gather all my favorite sanity-saving posts on this Pinterest board (new articles are added all the time!).

 

The Advetnures

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

The view

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

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

I am so grateful for…

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

 

The Finds:

I’m reading:

I’m eating: 

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

In case you missed it: 

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

What adventures have you had?

What I’m Reading: October 2015

image

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.

 

Because I’m thinking so much about my own next book, I find myself avoiding other business-y non-fiction, and instead reading more fiction and books in a totally different genre than what I normally pick.

What I read

  • Creativity, Inc, by Ed Catmull – So GOOD. Aimed at business owners who want to create a culture of creativity and innovation, the insights into how Pixar was built and runs are totally fascinating, even if you’re not managing thousands of artists.
  • Essentialism, by Greg McKeon – Eh. I strongly agree with the message of this book, and I think I live by it (as explained here!)…but after a while it felt a bit long and all of his examples are exceedingly impractical for the average person (I.e., taking time off work to heal from a disease).
  • My Brilliant Friend, by Elena Ferrante – Ignore the cover. This book is much darker than it looks. It had been recommended by just about every podcast I listen to, so I decided to try it. The author does a great job of exploring the kind of love/obsession/jealousy relationship between girls in childhood. I’m not so in love that I’m diving into the second one, though.
  • The Secret Place, by Tana French – I’m kinda crushed that I’ve now read all the books in this murder mystery series. I would LOVE a recommendation of something similarly well-written.
  • Y: The Last Man, by Brian K Vaughn – Super fascinating graphic novel about the, well, last man. After an unknown event wipes all men from the planet except for this one, ordinary 20 year old dude….he has adventures as the only survivors (women!) have to figure out how to run the world. This one’s not for kids (in case the premise didn’t inform you!), and is well-written and gripping.

 

What I’m reading

 

What I read last October

What are you reading?

 

 

 

The usual disclaimery disclaimer applies! 

 

The Adventures

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

It’s been FOREVER since I’ve done an Adventures post! I’ve been sharing most of this on Periscope + Instagram lately, but I miss sharing them with you, so it’s back!

The view

LOVE the colors in this shot by my producer Justin. Today I am back to work after the whirlwind wonderfulness of @creativelive filming (followed by family-visiting) & I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for your sweet notes, comments and posts oMaking (public) gratitude a regular practice with #churchofgratitude. So grateful for: The CSA box 🍑 peach & berry season 🌟 snuggling pups 🌟 Sunday drives & long talks about the future🌟 reading a novel in PJs 🌟 being HOME :s
Impromptu coffee with @iamknitbrit & @knitgrrl, on their way to Purl's in Asheville! If you're in the area, go to the trunk show Saturday at 6pm! #avl #ashevilleDon't forget to look up. #sanfrancisco #taralovesadventure
A seriously beautiful day!

#WhatIlearned in August is that I love a challenge to break me out of what I think is possible. I'm all about #consistency & #everyday, and just STICKING WITH IT is the goal most days....but sometimes you need to commit to something bigger and crazier to

I am so grateful for…

  • Fall + cooler weather!
  • The great time I’m having on Periscope
  • My CSA box is so inspiring our cooking!
  • Super exciting teaching opportunities for the next 6 months!

The Finds:

I’m reading:

I’m eating: 

In case you missed it: 

  • I’m sharing a (free!) mini-course on reaching your goals here. Sign up to get it!
  • I’m teaching in Seattle next month at the School House Craft Conference! Join us here!
  • I’m Periscoping a few times a week and I’d LOVE to hang out with you there! To join, just download the Periscope app to your phone, search for TaraSwiger and then follow me. You’ll be notified when I’m live (and you can watch my broadcasts for up to 24 hours!)

What adventures have you had?

The Adventures

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

The view

A pronunciation guide to my name, courtesy the barista. It's Tar-ah (like star-ah).
???SUCCESS! Now! What would YOU do with a gallon of strawberries?
What I did with some of those strawberries: Smitten Kitchen's #vegan crumb bars. ? #whatveganseat
It's just a lazy Sunday. (Beau is yawning)

I am so grateful for…

  • STRAWBERRIES!!
  • The fantastic people I get to work with. They inspire me more than anything.
  • Coffee.
  • A last-minute chance to go to the beach for 2 days.

The Finds:

I’m loving:

I’m eating: 

In case you missed it: 

What adventures have you had?

What I’m Reading: May 2015

What I'm Reading May 2015

 I 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 I’m reading

First of, let’s just get this out of the way – I finished very little in April. I made good progress through some dense books, but so much of my month was spent in non-reading situations (you know, those in which you’re face to face with a real! live! person!), that I really never had a full-on reading binge like I normally do at least once a month. So, here are the books I’ve either just finished or am in the middle of:

  • Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo and Me, by Ellen Forney. Oh man, this was an amazing graphic memoir. If you know and love anyone who suffers from, well, any mental illness, read this. Her graphic representations of both mania and depression were the best, most human, caring, most understandable anything, I’ve ever read about it. This page, in particular, cracked me up.
    (If this book was a movie it would have an R rating for some bits about her sex life. If that’ll offend you, skip it. But if it won’t, READ THIS.)
  • Are You My Mother?: A Comic Drama, by Alison Bechdel. This memoir-ish look at the comic’s relationship with her mother (and therapists) doesn’t have the same coherence as her first, Fun Home (which I read last month), but I enjoyed it.
  • Playing Big, by Tara Mohr. I’m in the last chapter, and I’m gathering my thoughts about it.
  • War and Peace, by Leo Tolstoy. Is there any way to tell you that I found this for $2  at a used book store in Carlsbad and since it’s on my Great Books  list, I immediately started reading it and I’m halfway through and finding it surprisingly enjoyable, without sounding completely pretentious? No? I thought not.
  • The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century. Only a chapter in, because it’s not a read-before-bed read. Definitely requires some brain cells to process. (That said, it’s probably already made me a better writer. Can’t ya tell?)
  • I also read a lot of comics I LOVE this month: Thor*, Saga, Jem (!) and this one (our new favorite!). (If you don’t want comics piling up, but want to try some of these, get ’em digitally at Comixology.)

*In case you don’t keep up with comics, Thor is a lady now! And she’s not Lady Thor or Thor Girl – she’s full-on Thor, goddess of Thunder and she’s bringing it.

 

What are you reading?

 

 

PS. What I was reading last year.

The usual disclaimery disclaimer applies! 

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