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269: Be Yourself (rebroadcast)

Being yourself isn’t always easy, but it is always possible. Learn how to be yourself even when you’re a nervous wreck at TaraSwiger.com/podcast269

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In today’s rebroadcast I share the biggest lesson of my biggest gig to date – I taught a three day class at CreativeLive, about creating your best marketing plan. I completely forgot to mention how to GET that class, so here’s the link! Oh, and the lesson I learned: How to be myself.

In today's episode, I'll share how the heck I figured out how to Be Myself, and how it totally changed the way I think about things.

How to Be Yourself (even when you're a nervous wreck.)

  1. Get clear on what you love.
  2. Show up and be present.
  3. Decide connection matters.

How are you being yourself in your business (and life?) How are you hiding yourself?

Links mentioned in today's podcast

Be sure to share that you’re listening by using the hashtag #exploreyourenthusiasm on Instagram and follow my Stories and vlog for the most up-to-date info during my hiatus!

How to listen

  • You can subscribe to it on iTunes (If you do, leave a review!)
  • You can listen to it using the player above or download it.
  • Subscribe or listen via Stitcher (or subscribe in whatever you use for podcasts – just search “Explore Your Enthusiasm” and it should pop up!).

Find all the podcast episodes here.

259: How to be unapologetic

“Apologizing is keeping you small!” Learn more about how (and why!) to be your unapologetic self at TaraSwiger.com/podcast259

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Are you apologizing for following your dream, for taking the time away from your family + friends, for taking selfies or for following your own path? Are you apologizing out loud “sorry for another post but…” or are you apologizing with your actions and attitude (trying to physically to shrink yourself – sorry for taking up space!). If you wanna move forward with your business or even your life, it’s time to identify your apologies and move to being unapologetically YOURSELF.

I have been thinking and writing about the need to be unapologetic for a very long time. And I have been working on being unapologetic about who I am, for even longer.

Now, before we dive into this week’s episode, I want to share that I have been working on a new e-course about self-care and you can get it, for free, at TaraSwiger.com/takecare. If you’re struggling with confidence, motivation, and focus, it may very well because you need to take care of yourself. The course focuses on my favorite tools for taking care of myself, which in turn helps me manage my mental health, which is the biggest impact on my business. So whether you’re running a business, you’re a new mom (like me!) or you’re just struggling to follow your enthusiasm, check out the new e-course at TaraSwiger.com/takecare

I have been thinking about apologizing for my dreams, for my ambition, for who I am for a looong time. When I started writing about business, I titled the site (for a very brief period of time!) Unapolgetically Wonky.

At the time I said: “I don’t just acknowledge that yeah, we’re all a little wonky, I think it’s imperative to embrace it, to love our wonky bits, to be who we are without apologizing. Unapologetically wonky is a way of being that influences my teaching and creating. Embracing the imperfections in my student’s work and helping them accept it as a natural part of learning.

Avoiding holding up any one standard of awesomeness.”

Friends, what was true in 2010 is even MORE important today. With Instagram perfection, and Facebook humblebragging, and all of the ways we are surrounded with pictures of lives that seem better than ours, it is more important than ever to acknowledge and embrace our own wonkiness, and to move forward unapologetically ourselves.

Quick shout out to the book that got me thinking and talking about this recently: Rachel Hollis’ Girl, Stop Apologizing. I read the intro and immediately sat down to have a convo about it in my Instagram Stories and that inspired this episode. I’m liking the book so far, but I wanted to write this episode before I read any more of it.

What does being unapologetic even mean?

It means not apologizing for really, I mean REALLY wanting something.

It means not apologizing for not wanting what other people want.

It means not apologizing for spending hours working on what lights you up.

It means not apologizing for spending hours not working, for napping, for reading, for snuggling, for watching TV.

It means not apologizing for wanting more. More customers, more money, more house, more friends, more kids, more more more.

It means not apologizing for wanting less. Less waste, less stuff, less debt, less expectations, less work, less inequality, less conflict, less less less.

It means not apologizing for standing your ground, for living by your values, for choosing something that other people aren’t choosing, for parenting the way you want to parent.

It means not apologizing for your body, for the size it is, for the color it is, for what it can do, for what it can’t do, for what it doesn’t want to do, for what it craves, for what turns it on.

It means not apologizing for completely and totally accepting yourself, for loving yourself, for taking care of yourself. And also for not being there yet. For not feeling acceptance yet.

It means not apologizing for loving and accepting others, for creating healthy boundaries, for saying yes when you want to and for saying no when you want to.

It means not apologizing to the world, and not apologizing to yourself, in words, in actions, or in attitudes for who you are and the life you want.

Why? Apologizing is keeping you small.

It keeps you from following your dreams. It makes you feel like you’re not allowed to want what you want. And that means you won’t actually do what it takes to get what you want.

I’ve experience this so often in my own life and business – I want something, but I feel kinda wishy washy for wanting it, because I think either it’s going to inconvenience someone else, or it’s going to be weird…and so I don’t follow through on figuring out how to get it (let alone for doing the work to get it!) until I can feel awesome about it. Until I’m unapologetic about wanting it and for the work it’ll take to get it.

If you’re stuck in not following through on a dream, I want you stop and think: What are you apologizing for? What makes you feel like you shouldn’t want it?

Apologizing for what makes you different, is what keeps your business stuck.

Here’s the crazy thing: the stuff that makes you different? The way you want to live, communicate, make, market – that will be what makes your business stand out. That is what will lead to your business success! If you follow the path others have blazed, if you do what everyone else expects you to do… your business will be boring. If you have a business just like everyone else’s…no one will buy from you. We buy from and keep coming back to businesses  that are different.

And hey, if you’ve been telling yourself (the lie) that your field is already really crowded? That too many other people do it? The solution is not to give up, the solution is to do it your own way. To be different. So whether you sell knitting designs, or handmade products, or someone else’s products, even if you have a direct selling business – yes, hundreds of thousands of people probably sell the same thing  – but none of them can be you. None of them can do it how you do it.

Being apologetic for your own weird, offbeat ways will keep you from seeing the success of being your own weird, offbeat self.

Being in a state of apology is setting a bad example.

Here’s the thing: I want you to accept what you want for YOU, but I know that often we make a change because it’s good for others. So here’s the altruistic reason for not apologizing: it conveys your values. Maybe I’m thinking about impact and examples (which I talked about in the last episode) so much because all my foster babes have been girls, so I’ve been thinking hard about being an example to younger women and girls.

Or maybe it’s because I have woken up to the fact that often  we only believe it’s possible and permissible when we see other people do it. Running a 10k – possible to me only after I saw my college roommate doing it. Being a mom of 4 and running an amazing business – possible and permissible only when I got up close and saw the family life of my friends Liz and Dave.

So when you feel like you have to apologize for taking care of yourself? Or when you apologize for being dedicated to your business? You are telling those around you, both little people and big people, that it is not permissible for them either.

Ok, so now that I’ve convinced you to stop being so apologetic…how do you do it?

  1. Recognize what you’re apologizing for. Maybe you need to listen again and pay closer attention to the examples I give, but I am sure that if you are feeling low confidence about something, or telling yourself that some of your dreams aren’t possible, you are feeling like it’s not quite permissible for you, or you feel apologetic for wanting it.
  2. Ask yourself: what are the beliefs you have about that area? What are the beliefs you have about yourself and who you are supposed to be?
  3. Envision your most badass self, the one who is unapologetic about wanting what she wants. What does she do that you’re not doing? What does she believe that you don’t believe? My favorite thing to do is to write a letter as this Future You (because this unapologetic gal IS a possible Future You) about what you learned and did to make your dreams happen. Or if that’s not your jam, write a list.
  4. Catch yourself (and others, gently) when you start to apologize for something you want. For me it sounds something like: “Sorry, but I really want to…wait, no not sorry. Lemme start over. I would like to X. I would like you to Z.” Here’s the crazy thing. Every single time I’ve done that, the person has said, “That’s awesome! Thanks so much for letting me know!” Because those who love you want to know what you want! They want to know how to support you! And you being honest and straightforward (and not whiny or cranky) allows them to be honest and straightforward about how they can support you and what they don’t want to do.

I hope this helps you live unapologetically. As a reminder, get the new e-course, at TaraSwiger.com/takecare.

How to listen

  • You can subscribe to it on iTunes (If you do, leave a review!)
  • You can listen to it using the player above or download it.
  • Subscribe or listen via Stitcher (or subscribe in whatever you use for podcasts – just search “Explore Your Enthusiasm” and it should pop up!).

Find all the podcast episodes here.

 

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?

 

 

Play Your Own Game

playyourowngame

Last week I was talking to Jay about the other comic book shop in town. He was said, “They are really good at X. Maybe my shop should get better at X.”

And I said, “But is that the game you want to play? Do you want to get good at selling X, or do something completely different? When you talk about what you love about the shop, you talk about making it inclusive, having the friendliest customer service, making it a place to spend time and feel like you belong no matter who you are. That's just a totally different game than what the other shop is doing.”

“Oh, you're right.”

(I love hearing that.)

 

I hear this from the makers I work with, all the time.

“She started classes and made a lot of money.”

Do you want to teach?

“Uh, no. “

 

“He said Periscope has done wonders for his business.”

Do you like to be on video?

“Uh, no.”

 

You see, when you look at what other people are doing and compete on their grounds, you're playing their game.

And you're always going to lose someone else's game, because THEY set the rules. They are currently holding the world record for that game. (Or else you wouldn't be checking it out, right?)

 

Instead, play your OWN game.

Make your own rules of what success is.

Play the game you care about.

Get as awesome as possible at what YOU love, not at what other people have success with.

 

This is one of the keys to standing out in your industry – do something that you most care about, in the way you really want to, no matter what is bringing other people success.

I shared a bit of this on Periscope the other day, and a viewer said, “But people might not like you, if you do your own thing.”

I want to challenge that.

For starters, your people, the people you're serving and providing awesomeness for, they are LONGING for what you alone can offer. If you give them something no one else is doing, they are going to LOVE you. Adore you. Buy everything you make.

When you step up to being the best at your OWN game, there are going to be customers who love it.

Will everyone love it? Nope! But “everyone” doesn't love what you're doing now! “Everyone” will never all love the same thing. (See: Coke vs Pepsi.)

 

Your industry, your “competitors”, the people in your life who don't get it … they might not like it. They might not get it. They might think it's super strange, fringe, or inexplicable.

But that doesn't mean they don't like YOU.

 

Beyond that, it doesn't matter. Your business is not counting on everyone approving of it. It IS relying on some people to be so passionately enthusiastic about it that they can't wait to buy.

And that's only going to happen when you start offering something YOU are enthusiastic about, that shines out something only you could do.

 

So please, don't be troubled by anyone else. Play your own game.

 

What is your own game?

I don't know! But here are some places to ask to yourself: Am I doing this because everyone else is? or because this is what I want to be great at?

Products you offer

  • How you offer it (subscriptions, one-offs, exclusives)
  • How you launch it
  • How you describe it
  • How you photograph it
  • Where it's sold
  • How much it costs
  • Who you serve

 

What do you think? What's the game you are playing?

P.S. The game I'm playing: providing you with enthusiasm and encouragement to become  the best business expert in your own business. If you know someone who needs to hear this, share it with them.

 

The Adventures

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

The view

I got one great shot...before my phone died. Leaving me 2 mi from home with no way to get directions or call a car.  So grateful to the gal at @raredevice who downloaded Uber so I could log in and order one.  #taralovesadventure #butnotthatmuch
Who wants pesto? #basil #mygarden
Reason One Zillion I love @storiedyarns: she sent me the BEST card, right to the studio. Ah-mazing. #swigerlive
When life gives you a broken refrigerator and sad blueberries, make blueberry crumb bars.    (And then enjoy with a big mug of coffee  while waiting for the repair man.)  #taralovesmornings

I am so grateful for…

It's been a full July. I taught live, in front of over 5,000 students. I traveled across the country. My cat died. I didn't sleep for over 40 hours. Then I slept for 13 hours, three nights in a row. I took time off. I got a lot of work done. I had a zillion conversations with a bajillion interesting people. Jess sent me an awesomely encouraging card. Karen made me a beautiful dress. And I am grateful, for all of it.

The Finds:

I’m reading:

I’m eating: 

In case you missed it: 

What adventures have you had?

Be Yourself

Be Yourself. Here's how, on TaraSwiger.com

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The number one piece of advice I received before doing the (scariest project of my life) CreativeLIVE class? “Be Myself”
Which is ironic, since that's exactly the advice I give to crafters who are struggling to talk about their business and work. In fact, a whole section of my workshop includes pages of questions for you to figure out what that really means, for you. But how do you do it? How do you “be yourself” in your business?

In today's episode, I'll share how the heck I figured out how to Be Myself, and how it totally changed the way I think about things.

How to Be Yourself (Even when you're a nervous wreck.)

  1. Get clear on what you love.
  2. Show up and be present.
  3. Decide connection matters.

How are you being yourself in your business (and life?) How are you hiding yourself?

Links mentioned in today's podcast:

How to listen

  • You can subscribe to it on iTunes (If you do, leave a review!)
  • You can listen to it using the player above or download it.
  • Subscribe or listen via Stitcher (or subscribe in whatever you use for podcasts – just search “Explore Your Enthusiasm” and it should pop up!).

Find all the podcast episodes here.