Need to convince your partner, spouse or Inner Spock that joining the Starship is a good idea?

Here are some answers for you to use on their most-asked questions (from Captains, their partners, and  my own Inner Spock.)

How does this it fit into your short term goals?

[Insert your business goal for the next three months here].

The thing about the Starship is that it's a system for focusing on my specific goal. When I join, we go through this workshop of identifying the next goal and fleshing out all the steps to get there. And then, the rest of the quarter, I'm supported in pursuing that goal. I can ask questions in the forum, I'll check-in (accountability) in the weekly chats, and there's even monthly review worksheets to make sure I'm learning from what I'm working on. So even if I realize halfway through that the goal isn't a good fit, or just isn't going to happen, I'm learning why and I can apply that to the next goal and the next level. It gives me lots of support to get things done, but also plenty of wiggle room to learn what really has to happen (which is always different from what I thought)

How does this fit into your long term plan?

My goal is to have a sustainable business that I actually enjoy working on. The Starship helps me break that into doable chunks, supports me while I work through it, and it reminds me to check-in on what I really want, and whether some new idea is going to get me to my ideal. It doesn't impose anyone else's idea of what my biz should look like, so I'll be sure to build what I actually want.

How do you plan on fitting it into your life?

(Pick from the options below – you get all these, but you can choose which ones suit you best!)

  • There are weekly check-ins, so I'll be going to those, or checking in on the forum (if I have to miss the live chat for some reason), every Wednesday.
  • I'll review my progress and my lessons with the Monthly worksheets.
  • I'm going to meet with Tara for a solo-session every quarter and ask her any questions or bounce ideas off of her.
  • I'm going to take part in the quarterly map-making to set new goals and map out a path for getting there.
  • There's a class each quarter, aimed at my kind of creative business, so I'll make sure to take part in that live – which includes watching the lessons, doing the worksheets, and taking part of the discussion.
  • There's a library with over a dozen classes that I can take at any time. So whether it's getting my first wholesale order, improving my profit margin or finding more customers, I can get the education to do it.

What's the return on investment? How do you anticipate it improving your bottom line?

This is one of the goals I can set. For example, I want to increase my sales by {x} over the next year, and that's {y} per quarter. I've got a few ideas on how to do that, and the Map Making I'll do when I join will force me to really break this down into actions that will directly affect my sales. When I share my map with the Starship, Tara and the others give me feedback, helping me focus on what will actually make a difference.

Honestly, this is kind of hard for me to answer because I haven't even been tracking what actually improves my numbers. I mean, obviously – more sales. But what's brining in those sales? That's why I think this year-long adventure would be good – Tara's method of growing a business is about building on what's working. The monthly check-ins force me to actually notice what's worked, what didn't, and then focus me in on doing more of what works. Having those extra eyes (Tara's + the community of small biz creatives) will make this so much easier to spot. Right now, I'm just so in it, I'm not sure.
Also, Tara just taught a class on Profit, that has the math to identify where there's already profit in my busienss (and where I'm losing it). Once I go through that class, I'll be able to focus on the products + services that have the best track record and identify what has the most potential.

Who's flying this thing?

Tara Swiger is the architect + Commodore of the Starship, which began in April 2011. She's the author of Market Yourself, published by Cooperative Press, on the subject of marketing for your creative business. She specifically works with my kind of business: small, creative-based, in the “middle”, after you've already started up. She's been a Community Manager for a tech start-up in the retail sector and a marketing consultant for fashion designers, copywriters, and her local pizza place. She  also managed a paint-your-own-pottery studio, opened + owned a local yarn shop, started a handmade yarn business and grew it until she quit her dayjob and support her family with yarn + consulting.

What makes you think this will work?

Well, it's worked for other Starship captains! Just this quarter Heather tripled her email list for her book launch, Ana surpassed her income goal, Vanessa scheduled her first speaking gig, Kristen put together her first workshop. (You can hear from the captains, in their own words in an email series here).

Need a specific example from someone with a similar business? Email me and I'll introduce you to someone.