Weekly-ish notes on navigating big change


296: Fix your mindset

Now that you’ve worked on your fear, what about your other beliefs that are holding you back? What do you need to believe in order to move towards your goals?

Over the last few weeks we’ve been talking about what’s holding you back.

We’ve talked about how a lot of you say what’s holding you back is… YOU. Fear is at the heart of a lot of it. Another aspect of what’s holding you back is what you believe – about yourself, your business, and how the world works. This is your mindset, the set of beliefs that form your frame that you look at the world through.

Now, before you think, “yeah, yeah, I gotta have the right mindset. But what I really need is 5 steps to grow my Instagram!”…let’s take a minute, just like 10 minutes, to go deeper on this.

If your mindset and your beliefs are holding you back, it won’t matter how many tactics and tricks you learn for Instagram or Etsy or craft shows. It won’t matter because YOU will keep holding YOU back.


We’re going to talk about a few different ways your beliefs can hold you back. The first one is your mindset – what you believe you are capable of and how the world works. Over the years you’ve heard me talk about the research in the book Mindset, by Carol Dweck. As a researcher she looked across areas – school, business, sports – and found that people think of themselves and their challenges in one of two ways – with a growth mindset or a fixed mindset.

Fixed mindset = believing that you are the way you are and you’re not going to change.
Growth mindset = believing that you can grow and improve and learn to reach your challenges.

You’ve probably heard this before. And you’ve probably decided, I wanna have a growth mindset.

But this is actually WAY harder than a one time decision and it comes up again and again.

Here’s what I’ve noticed in the last few years of thinking about this and talking with makers about it:

  1. You probably have different mindsets in different areas.
    You might have a very growth mindset when it comes to your relationship (We can figure it out!) but a very fixed mindset when it comes to your finances (we’ll never figure it out!)
  2. Time and experiences can change your mindset.
    I’ve found that the more you become experienced in an area, the easier it is to become fixed in the belief that you’ve learned everything and figured it out. This is when you start to say “That won’t work for me.” “I tried that, it never works.”
    Those are actually the two phrases that are red alarms when I’m talking to a business owner. I know that they’re coming at it from a fixed mindset and there’s not much I can help them with unless they shift their mindset from “I already know what I know” to “I can learn and keep trying”

But I’m guilty of this too! I started out my business with a growth mindset – I knew there was so much I didn’t know and I knew I could learn it.

Over time, I learned more, and my mindset became more fixed. I think I know what works, what doesn’t and what is worth my time. My challenge, all the time, is to try new things with the mindset of: I can learn how this works for me. I do this through trying new tools (TikTok!), trying new strategies (webinars) and even trying new business models.

So when we’re talking about how you’re in your way – the question is: Do you believe you can grow or change? What areas feel really “fixed” or stuck? What areas do you feel really open to learning?

To learn more: 


Another aspect of your belief that affects your business is your expectations and flexibility – what do you expect will happen? In what timeline? Or else…what?

I am so surprised when people tell me that they’re quitting their business because it didn’t reach a really outsize goal in a short time frame.

It makes me wonder: did you really want a business (which is doing the work every day forever) or did you just want that goal (probably money)?

I’m going to say this really clearly – having a business is doing the work day in and day out, whether you reach one particular goal or not. It is learning, changing, experimenting and being flexible. If you don’t want to do that, you don’t want a business.

And hey – that’s ok!

If you want a for-sure amount of money for your amount of work, you’re going to need to get a job where you are paid a specific amount of money for a specific amount of work.

Owning a business is not like a job. AT ALL.

So what are your expectations of your business?

As you know if you’ve been listening for a while, I don’t believe in lowering your expectations – I believe in setting big goals and working hard towards them. But I believe in expecting your business to behave as a business – to need tending and changing and flexibility. And to adjust your expectations as you learn more about what your business is.

Having the wrong expectations of your business can hold you back from appreciating it for what it is and for putting in the work you’ll need to, to reach your goals.

Belief in yourself

So this last point is a little bit about growth mindset, but it’s also about confidence. The most important belief you hold in your business is your belief about yourself. The number one indicator of what your business will do is what you think is possible.

Yes, YOUR belief in what you think YOU can do is going to shape how far or fast your business goes.

Why? Because if you don’t think you can do it, you won’t. If you don’t think it’s possible, you won’t do the work.

Wait, what about realistic expectations? Yeah, you need to expect your business to act like a business. But how big you dream and what you think YOU are capable of is going to determine how hard you work at making it happen. So EXPECT that your business is going to have ups and downs, that it will take work and growth and challenge you. But BELIEVE that you can do it. You are capable. You can learn.

Here’s what I can tell you for sure: if you believe that you aren’t capable enough to make this happen, it won’t. NOT because you aren’t capable, but because you won’t do the work. You won’t put in the time to learn and grow.

This isn’t some “believe it and it will happen” stuff… this is the hard fact that if you don’t believe it, it won’t happen.

And listen, maintaining that belief is NOT easy. I shifted how my business works about six months ago and I believe it is absolutely the right thing and that it is absolutely going to allow my business to grow more than it would have… but it’s taking some time to see that change, as dollar bills. It is taking me learning and growing in a bunch of ways. If that belief wavers, I’m going to stop moving forward. I’m going to stop midway and try something else, which will kill my momentum and confuse customers and cost me money and sales.

But if I maintain the belief and keep moving forward (while being flexible), I’m going to see results because I believe in what I have to share is valuable, it transforms businesses and I want it to help as many people as possible.

Maintaining belief in yourself and your business direction is not going to be easy. But giving up or stopping halfway isn’t a better option. It may be easier to stop or to try something else, but when you do that too often, you start to feel scattered and confused and unfocused.

And hey, that’s where a LOT of makers are today. They have tried so many different directions, so many different marketing strategies, that they’re all turned around and confused. If that’s you, I’ve got a workshop that will help focus you. You can find it at TaraSwiger.com/foundations.

I hope this series about what’s standing in your own way and how to move past these blocks have helped you reach your goals! Next week I’m sharing my quarterly round-up of favorite books and in 4 weeks we’ll have the 300th episode SPECTACULAR. It’s going to involve YOU and YOUR questions, so be sure you’ve joined our private FB group to get all the details and be involved, at FB.com/groups/taraswiger

Have a confident, enthusiastic week.

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.

224: How I dramatically simplified my business

If you’ve been in business for awhile, it might be time to do a spring (or autumn) cleaning. Learn how I simplified my business at TaraSwiger.com/podcast224

I dramatically simplified my business this summer. Today I'm going to share what I did and more importantly, how you can simplify your business in just a few questions (but a lot of heavy thinking).

As you know if you’ve been listening for awhile, we’re getting ready to become foster parents and one way we’re preparing is by getting very clear about what our priorities are.

Now, before you start worrying, my business is a big priority. Not only because it pays 100% of our bills, but because I LOVE IT. I love the podcast, I love helping you guys, and I love what I do.

But, over the 8 years since I started creating my courses and books, my site has just kept expanding and expanding and I have kept added new stuff (something every 6 months or so!) without editing anything down and looking at it all in one go. So if you’ve been business in a while, your business might need a spring (or autumn) cleaning as well! I’ll share what I simplified my business into and will suggest some questions that can help you simplify if you need to.

My mission: Help women make empowering decisions in their income, their enthusiasm, and their emotional help.

First, I identified my favorite bits + my long term goals:

My mission means I really just want to do two things:

  • Helping people build businesses (Starship and mentoring through my doTERRA business)
  • Helping people take care of themselves via emotional wellness.

I most like to:

  • Write
  • Talk
  • Create community and culture that encourages support and friendliness.

Second, I got  clear on what are the BEST ways I can do those things:

(I did this with the help of Joeli, of JoeliCreates.com, who does 1:1 sessions if you need some clarity.)

  1. Podcasts allow me to communicate important, helpful stuff clearly
  2. Instagram gives me interaction and connection and allows me to provide daily bits of encouragement.
  3. My classes are MOST helpful when they build on each other, when you're focusing on what matters, as opposed to one-by-one, so I put them together in the Starship Program.
  4. Community is my favorite place to be and let's me go deeper with clients. I have the Starship Community to help makers and artists and students in the Program, and the Enthusiasm Builders community to help people who have wellness based businesses with doTERRA.
  5. I'm still working on the best way I can help people take care of themselves, via essential oils (ie, in-person classes, webinars, FB groups, etc). I'm measuring the impact, both in the moment and ongoing. So far in-person classes and video consultations are the best, but I'm still experimenting around this.

Third, I stripped all my offerings down to the work that does the two things I want to be doing (helping women build businesses, and take care of their emotional wellness):

  1. The podcasts encourage people, for free. Explore Your Enthusiasm helps you in your business, Take Care of Yourself does it in your self-care. So I do them and then have a system for sharing them (on iTunes, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram)
  2. You can get my classes and my help via group coaching inside the Starship (not open now), and that's it – you can't buy my classes separately anymore (because I'm stripping down to what's most effective)
  3. I don't sell books from my website anymore. My books are the easiest way to get started working on your goals or your marketing, but ME shipping them is the least effective way to get them to you. Amazon is super efficient.
  4. Only 1:1 consultations (which are free!) to help you make a daily plan for self-care and emotional wellness, using essential oils.
  5. Workshops and group coaching for people building a doterra business.

The even more boiled down version is this: I just do a few things now: Podcast, IG, consult with people about self-care and help people build businesses via group coaching – either in SS or for their doterra business.

Questions to ask yourself to simplify, re-calculate your path, or just get some clarity:

  • What is your mission? (Who are you here to help? How do you do that?) (Learn more about your Mission here)
  • What do you long term want to be doing?
  • What actions do you most like?
  • What are the specific ways you do that?
  • What are the most EFFECTIVE ways you do that?
  • What can you let go of to focus more that?
  • Is this guiding you towards where you want to go?

I hope these questions help you simplify your business and I hope you enjoy all that I’ve got here at TaraSwiger.com.

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.

187: How to plan for what you really want in 2018

New Years resolutions are always tricky, especially when you have a creative business. Listen to this episode of Explore Your Enthusiasm to learn how to plan for what you really, really want out of the next year at TaraSwiger.com/podcast187

New Years resolutions are always tricky, so in this episode we'll be talking about how to plan for what you really (like, REALLY, REALLY) want out of the new year.

Previous New Years Episodes:

Learn more about WHY planning matters in your business in this Free masterclass. Click here to join! 

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.

183: How Emotions are Made (and how that impacts your business)

Feelings, both positive and negative, are part of being human. But when we try to deny or ignore what we’re feeling, our feelings can really mess up our creative businesses. Learn all about how to not let what you’re feeling mess with your creative biz on this episode of #ExploreYourEnthusiasm! Listen in at TaraSwiger.com/podcast183

Think about all the decisions that are impacted by your emotions:
Doing a scary thing, you feel fear – is this a sign you shouldn't do it? Getting a grumpy email from a customer – do you react with anger? Or with shame? How does that impact the email you send in response?

Emotions are part of a healthy life, and I'm a big believer in FEELING your feelings, not just shoving them down or ignoring them. They can shine a light on what's going on and what you need to do or stop doing.

Because when they're ignored, or when you act on them unthinkingly, you can really mess up your business! You can lash out or hide or give up entirely, depending on what your emotions tell you.

Links I mentioned:

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.

Coffeeshop Clarity

I'm sitting in the coffeeshop.
(Really, right now, this isn't a metaphor)

The barista, the who actually gets what I do, comes up and starts talking to me about work. His wife is a knitter.

I see the guy next to us keeps looking up, interested.

When the barista walks away, John introduces himself. His wife wants to start selling her self-designed handbags…where should she start?

We talk for nearly an hour, I point him towards some resources. I walk him through the steps.
We both turn back to our laptops feeling excited, exhilarated, happy to have made a connection.

And I started writing this, not sure where it was leading.

But I know that this experience, this moment of helping someone, of bringing hope and independence and direction is My Truth.

It is what I love.
It is what I love to do.
It is clarity, purpose, truth.

And I wanted to remember it.
For when I feel uncertain.
And I get wobbly.
And I wonder why in the world did I take this on?

I want to remember this moment. And all those little moments I have with my clients and in my classes and just anyone who asks for help.

I bet we all have these moments, these perfect distillations of why I do this clarity. A moment where everything feels on and right and clear.

Remembering these moments and sharing them can be a powerful motivation to keep going.

So I'd like to know: what was your most recent moment?