Notes from the BOOK is a weeklyish peek into how the BOOK is taking shape. Lessons learned, moments of bing, and excerpts.

Last week I wrote this for the book:

“Get clear on YOUR strengths and your product's unique awesomeness before you start thinking about your customers. If you do it the other way around, you'll create something bland and not-you. Your you-ness is the main selling point when you make something by hand, so we're going to do everything we can to make sure we don't dilute it.”


And then I got stuck.

I couldn't write another word.

I outlined my next few points, the rest of the chapter…but I couldn't seem to turn my outline into coherent sentences (even the above sentences are a little murky for me, they're sure to go through a rigorous editing before they end up in the book).


A few days later (3 days of no writing! The world was caving in around me!), I recognized something else lurking, some un-book-related stuckness. I've been feeling a bit drifty about what I want to do next (I know, I know, the BOOK should be project enough). This sense of unease seeped into every other aspect of my work.

I didn't feel like my Work has a Mission. It seemed random, piece-meal and unfocused.

 So I went in search of a Mission.

Many journal pages, and days, later I talked to Jay about it.

His first, uncluttered response: Isn't your Mission to Be Tara?

 Oh, yeah.

 I spent another few days trying to figure out what this meant for my business.
Obviously, it's not a business model. It's not a marketing plan. It might be my personal mission, but how could it lead the business?


Uh, what did I write up there?

The first job, when you're selling something so very YOU, is to get clear on what that YOU is and then make all decisions from that. Your strengths, your vision, your you-ness guides everything (in fact, my whole BOOK is about HOW you make smart marketing decisions based on your you-ness).


The drifty, unfocused feeling came because I lost sight of that.

I've been making decisions based on what I thought I should be doing.

On other people's definitions of my business.

And other people kept thinking I was a consultant.
So I had to set up my site like a consultant.
I had to market and make offers and products like a Consultant.

 Except I'm NOT a consultant. I'm not a person-who-knows-better.
And I'm so totally not a coach (unless it's napping. I could totally be a napping coach).


 I'm Tara.

(my own Tara, not other people's versions of Tara)

An explorer.
A writer.
A sharer.
A big-sister (a smidge more experienced, a little bossy, mostly goofy).
I share that here.
I create tools and spaces for you to do YOUR OWN exploring.

In those tools and spaces, I'm a silly, friendly, encouraging fellow traveler. I share my path and help you figure out yours, all while protecting and respecting YOUR experience.

Knowing that, respecting that and paying attention to that Tara-ness IS a mission.

It is a business model.
It is a marketing plan.
It guides my decisions.
It helps me focus.
It keeps everything coherent and heading the right direction.


And back to the BOOK…

The last week of not-writing, it was my own good sense trying to fight through the what-everyone-else-says clutter to assert itself in my life. To bring me and this place and everything I do in alignment with what I was writing.


(why yes, it is a little frustrating that I didn't recognize it before spending a week gnashing my teeth)


What's your mission? How does it want to assert itself in your business?

9 Comments on Notes from the BOOK: A spoonful of my own medicine.

  1. Rhiannon Laurie
    September 1, 2011 at 8:15 pm (13 years ago)

    Oh this is so much like the process I am in the middle of. I’ve got someone helping me with my marketing and I’ve been trying to talk like they want me to (or I project that they want me to, or whatever), trying to set up things they think are smart. But I lost sight of me in all of it. Working on getting that back.

    Yay for your book! May it continue to be an illuminating process. The way you’re going about this is totally an inspiration for me.

  2. Nathalie Lussier
    September 1, 2011 at 8:18 pm (13 years ago)

    Ooh Tara… thank you for writing this (and hanging in there with the book writing process, oy!) and for sharing it with us. It’s so helpful to see what other people go through… I often find myself re-evaluating my mission and my big why. It’s nice to know it doesn’t need to be that complicated. 😉

  3. Tara Swiger
    September 1, 2011 at 8:31 pm (13 years ago)

    Ah, Rhannon, that’s the trickiest thing about hiring someone to help with any aspect of your business – you’ve got to find a way to take their good stuff, but make it YOU.
    Also, don’t be afraid to tell them, “This just sound like me, and ME is what they’re paying for.”

    It’s a hard thing to remember and even harder thing to implement when confronted with Experts.

    Thanks so very much for the encouragement!

  4. Tara Swiger
    September 1, 2011 at 8:31 pm (13 years ago)

    Ack! I butchered your name! Curse you AutoCorrect!

  5. Tara Swiger
    September 1, 2011 at 8:32 pm (13 years ago)

    Thanks, Nathalie, for letting me you like it. When I write stuff like this I always pause…is it helpful? Is it self-involved?

    So glad to know I’m not alone in the constant reassessment of my path! Thanks!

  6. Andrea Lewicki
    September 1, 2011 at 8:37 pm (13 years ago)

    Hi Tara! Thanks for sharing this. Definitely helpful. 😉

  7. Tara Swiger
    September 1, 2011 at 8:48 pm (13 years ago)

    Thanks so much, Andrea!