Breakfast. (For now.) #augustbreak2013
In the last 2 weeks we've been exploring support. This was inspired by the lessons I've been learning about what kind of bra my business needs, and questions from Starship Captains. As usual, it wasn't just enough to read what other people say about support, I had to explore what it meant for, and to, me. I explored what I need, the different options, getting support at home, and thinking about my entire support network – the the books I read, the classes I take, the Starship (both accountability + encouragement), and my daily schedule.

After all this exploration, I decided to make two big decisions in my business. I want to share them with you today, not because I've got it figured out, but so that you can see what explorations lead to in my own business.

1. I hired my first ever person.

Well, she's actually not the first person I've ever hired (I used to hire + fire + manage a staff of 12-20 at the pottery studio)…but she's the first person I've ever hired to work in my OWN business.

Please welcome Jess, my new Number One!
So how did I come to hire Jess? Part of my exploration involved listing absolutely everything I do in my business – the daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, even yearly tasks, along with everything that goes into a class, a collaboration, a book. And from that big list I could spot a bunch of things that:

a. I put off because I hate, which slows down the momentum of a project I love.
b. I don't actually have to do.

And now Jess is going to do them! Happily, because she actually doesn't hate them! (Also, as she pointed out in the first week, her relationship to the tasks is totally different when it's in someone else's business. Everything is a lot less loaded with fear and apprehension and ohmygoshwhatifnoonebuysit?)

In case you're wondering…

  • I love my inbox. I love the emails you send me. If you hit reply to one of my emails, to share your joys or sorrows, I will be delighted to get to know you. I reply to every email, so don't be shy!
  • I do not love figuring out tech glitches. So if you sign up for a class and have problems logging in, downloading or dealing with the technology involved, your email will go to and Jess will help you find the answer!
  • When it comes to money, I'm still dealing with all of it, for your privacy's sake. So if you request a special payment plan for the Starship or you buy 100 signed books, I'm the only one that knows. I want to make sure you never feel embarrassed to ask for what you need.
  • I write everything. Writing is my #1 favorite activity (and the heart of my entire business), so the blog, emails, and tweets are all written by me, forever and always.
  • I desperately need editing help. I did a quick tally and this week alone (with only 1 blog post, 2 newsletters, and 2 transcripts for the new class), she caught over TWENTY typos and just-plain-weird sentences. I am deciding not to be embarrassed about this and instead be delighted that I'm only embarrassing myself in front of one person, instead of a thousand.

2. I need in-person connection.

The second lesson I learned about support is that I'm getting ALL of it in just two places: online + my family.

It's so easy for me to get emotional support from you, my dear online friends. And while that has served me well, and you have kept me inspired and challenged, I find myself craving some in-person connections. With people I'm not related to. (In my defense, we are related to over 40 people in a 20 mile radius. So that's quite a lot of people.)

This week Jay got a new job (yay!) which means I need to finally shelve my fantasies of moving to Asheville and meeting Patti + Matt and becoming best friends. It means I need to really settle in here (after, um, 6 years?) and make friends. (Phew! This is so hard for me to write! I'm afraid you'll think I'm a friendless freak!)

My solution is two-fold: I'm going to go to every vegan and knitting and book meet-up and roller derby and…{I could use some ideas for where else to meet my kind of people?} AND I'm going to move this Exlorer party into the offline world.

After hearing that so many of you also have trouble meeting local people, I realized I'm not alone in needing a little help with this. And although most of you aren't close to me…you are close to each other. If we're all on the same page of being more introverted while also being explorers of our own handmade businesses, then it's likely (and I've certainly found this to be true when I've met you in person), you'll like each other (or at least have more in common than the people at your chamber of commerce's networking event!)

This (meeting local people) can be an adventure we go on together! I can (maybe) make it easier for you!

I created a map where you – wherever you are – can join!
You can use the map to meet explorers in your area. You don't have to wait for me to come to your town to organize a meet-up and find fellow adventurers. Just join here.
And of course, when I come to town, I can let you know and we can have a coffee date with everyone in your area!

All you have to do to start the process of forming a meetup is to say that you’re interested in having one near you. You can join a city that is already created or add your own. If enough folks are interested, you can choose a location and meet. It’s that simple.

I've already started on for my upcoming trip to Boston, which you can find here.

(I'm totally new to this map thing, so I'm not sure how it's going to end up working! If you're the first person in your town, just click “start a new community in {your town}”)


So! Those are my two big changes in business (life)!

Do you have any questions about either?


How about you?

Where are you finding support?





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