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Get More Done: a sneak peak at the CreativeLive class

getmoredone

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If you are listening to this episode as it’s released, on August 19th 2015 – first of all, thank you! You’re awesome. Secondly, if it’s between 9am and 4pm PST, go to CreativeLIVE.com right now and click “watch live!” and you’ll be able to watch me teach! Live!

If you’re not listening RIGHT at that moment, I wanted to give you a sneak peek at what I’m teaching, so that you can start to have a more productive day RIGHT NOW. If you like what you hear, you can purchase the class here and get anytime access to over 5 hours of videos, the full 20+ page workbook, and a discount to Lift Off!

Imagine that it’s the end of your workday. You close your computer, walk away from your sewing machine, put away your supplies. You take a moment to look back at what you just got done. Instead of feeling frustration, or that it’s never enough, you feel calm. You feel GOOD. You’re proud of what you got done, and you know that it matters – that it is moving you, bit by bit, towards your goal.

That is what I want for you, and that is the aim of this class. So that soon, maybe tomorrow, maybe next week, you’ll get done working, and you’ll feel GOOD.

In this episode I share the Three Keys to Getting More Done. 

 

How to listen

Find all the podcast episodes here.

You’re invited to Get More Done! Live + Free on CreativeLIVE

Tara_Swiger_How_To_Get_More_Done_Instagram_612x612

I'll be honest with you, ALL I can think about this week is “Getting More Done”, both the class I'm about to teach with CreativeLIVE AND the act of getting more done. If you follow me on Periscope, then you know I've been asking you: What keeps you from getting more done?

I've taken all the responses (and all the questions my readers have sent me for the past 5 years!) and put together a solution, that will work for YOU, whether you've got 30 minutes a week or 30 hours a week to work on your creative business.

Along with the questions I’ll answer in the class (like “How do I balance admin time and studio time?,“ “How can I build my business with SUPER limited time?”, “How do I decide what's important and impactful for my business?“), I've also been asked some questions I'd like to answer NOW.

How does this work?

Go here and click “RSVP”. You’ll get both the bonus Holiday Sales Calculator worksheet right away (along with bonuses from Tara Gentile, Abby Glassenberg, Lisa Jacobs, and Megan Auman), so you’ll be ready to start class Wednesday morning. At 9am PST (Noon EST) on Wednesday, August 19th, class will begin! You’ll get a reminder email to log on and when you do you’ll see me teaching, in real time! There’s a chat room for you to ask your questions (the hosts will be lobbing your questions at me on the regular) and a hashtag (#CraftWeek2015) so you can connect with your fellow students.

What’s the schedule of the class?

Note: Times are in PST!

9:00-10:30AM What do you NEED to get done?

10:45-12:00PM What's in your way?

12:45-2:15PM Find the Time (no matter how little you have

2:30-4:00PM Make Your Plan

 

Who is this class for?

This class is aimed at makers who sell their work and want to get more (of what matters) DONE each day.

This class is for you if…

  • You struggle to find time to work on your creative business.
  • You’re frustrated with trying to balance all the aspects of your business: making, marketing and admin.
  • You have a list of things you really want to do, but find yourself NOT doing them.
  • You don’t know where to find the time to work on exciting new projects (like a new product, book, marketing plan)
  • You’re a curious explorer. You’d love for this to be a fascinating adventure, not a boring slog. You’re ready to learn + move forward, not judge or guilt-ify the past.

 

What's up with the Holiday Sales Bootcamp?

My class, Get More Done, is part of a weeklong series of classes aimed at making your crafty shop ROCK the holiday summer.

On Monday, Tara Gentile will cover pricing and value.

On Tuesday, Abby Glassenberg will teach you how to write and send an effective email newsletter.

On Wednesday, I'll help you get more productive.

On Thursday, Lisa Jacobs will improve your copywriting (ie, your product descriptions!)

On Friday, Megan Auman will walk you through putting together your marketing plan!

By the end of it, you'll be ready to have a fantastic holiday season in your shop!

 

What if I can’t watch live?

Watching live is free, but you can purchase anytime access. You can get my class here for $79 (the price will go up after class, so jump on it!) or you can buy the entire 5 day bootcamp. Each Day’s page tells you what we’ll cover on that day, so you can pick the one that’s right for you.

Whether you can watch live or not, you may want to purchase the class to get some amazing bonuses:

  • Anytime access to the videos (so you can revisit it again and again!)
  • Full workbook to guide you through making your OWN system of getting things done
  • Resource Guide with links to my favorite apps + tools
  • $50 off Lift Off

 

I’m bummed I missed the Wrangle Your Time class, where can I get it?

Well, you’re in luck! While you can't take Wrangle Your Time  as a stand-alone class (it is in the library of both the Starship and Lift Off) – it is ALL covered in this class! In fact, this class digs even deeper and gives more tips and software recommendation.

 

I don’t have a business yet, I just have ideas.

Ready for some tough love?

If you are still just “playing around” with “some ideas”, but you really REALLY want a business (and not a hobby) – step away from the internet. Stop taking classes, stop reading books, and stop looking at what other people are doing. Go into your creation cave and create your best work. Make 5-10 of them (whether this is products, designs, artwork, whatever). Ask yourself if you enjoy this enough to make 50 more. Then, take some pictures and make it available for sale (either online or in a craft show).

THEN, you are ready to start thinking about becoming effective with your time.

In other words, this class is going to be most useful to you if you know what you make and it’s available for people to buy, somewhere. If you’re not sure how to move from Idea to Business, check out Kari Chapin’s class on getting started.

 

What's Periscope?

Periscope is a live-video streaming app. Even if YOU have no desire in sharing live videos, you can join (just download the app!) and follow me, so you get notified of any of my live videos. There's a chat room, so you're not just watching, you're also talking to me! Periscopes only stay online for 24 hours, so if you miss watching live, you miss it!

I've been using Periscope to answer quick questions about your small business, help viewers prioritize their week (or celebrate what they've accomplished) and share behind-the-scenes of my own projects (I've been announcing new projects and inviting participation on Periscope before I do anywhere else). While I’m traveling, I’m shooting live videos of any cool place I visit (coffee + yarn shops + dinners with other makers!)

I interact HEAVILY with the chat room, so Periscope is the best way to get some personal interaction. (You can always book a 1:1 session here and get my personal attention for a full hour. They're VERY limited and book up quick, so if you've been thinking about getting personal help, grab it here, then hang out on Periscope in the meantime!)

 

Don’t forget to register to watch the class free: https://taraswiger.com/time

Got a question?

Ask on Twitter (I'm @taraswiger) or Facebook and I’ll answer (in between traveling). Hope to see you in the class!

 

 

Megan Auman on visual marketing, neuroscience of desire, and MBAs

MeganAuman

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Megan Auman is a designer, metalsmith and educator, who makes gorgeous jewelry. She's teaching  Build Your Holiday Marketing Plan at CreativeLIVE during the Improve your Holiday Sales bootcamp, where I'm teaching Get More Done. You can watch it live, for free, if you sign up here.

Today Megan's joining me on Explore Your Enthusiasm to talk about:

  • Turning points in her business
  • How she discovered she didn't need an MBA
  • The importance of visual marketing and getting what you're worth

Links we mention

How to listen

Find all the podcast episodes here.

My exact system for getting everything done

howigeteverythingdone

At the beginning of the year, I wrote a massive post  about how I got things done, which quickly became the second most popular post of the year (this is the most popular post). But a lot has changed during the last year. I got a new planner, I tried new apps, I hired another team member, (more about how to do that in last week's podcast!) and started using project management software.

In preparation of my class on putting together your own system for Getting More Done, I wanted to share an update to my own system, along with alllllll the gory details of what I use and why.

I'm going to break this up the same way we'll build your own system – by looking at the three parts vital to a system.

Those three pieces are:

  1. Setting aside a specific time to work.
  2. Keeping track of what you need to do.
  3. Doing the work that matters.

Now, before you dive in, please remember that my business is probably really different from yours. YOU need to build your own system, one that works for your business and your life. I'm going to help you do that in this class.

My time to work

I work M-F (never on the weekends.) When I'm not working, I try not to even check my email, unless we're in the middle of the Starship launch and I know I'll be getting time-sensitive questions.

On Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I usually work from the coffee shop, from around 10am-4pm. If I get started late, I work later. On Fridays, I often stop a bit early (2pm or so) and go start my weekend. These days are my time for writing – these weekly blog posts, guest posts, podcast episodes, new classes, magazine articles, a new book – and replying to emails and the Starship forums. On Wednesday at 2p, we have the weekly Starship chat.

On Tuesday and Thursday, I usually work from home, so that I can do all the things I need quiet for – client sessions, podcast recording, class recording, interviews. I usually work from around 11am – 5pm (which is when Jay's out of the house, working at the comic shop). I used to try to start earlier…but we've got a tiny apartment, and I can't really get away from him, so I just enjoy our morning together. I let these days feel slightly less work-y – I stay in my PJs, I tend to put only 2-3 things on my list: hour-long client sessions on the phone wipe me out, and if I have 2 sessions…that's  all the thinking I have in me for the day; recording podcasts (and broadcasting and answering follow-up questions on Periscope) takes around 2-3 hours.

As you can see, I don't work 40 hours a week. I've learned, through 6 years of self-employment, that I don't have 8 hours a day of uninterrupted focus in me (I don't know anyone who does – in most office jobs you spend a chunk of the day talking to your coworkers, futzing about online, and walking around getting more coffee. Or was that just me?).

But here's the important factor: When I'm working, I'm working. I don't open my personal Facebook. I don't scroll through Instagram. I absolutely don't visit Pinterest or Amazon or play any games. This is my time for work, and I might get distracted replying to a customer email, or researching something, but I try to limit myself to truly work. In that way, my non-work time is 100% NOT work. I play games, read blogs, and endlessly scroll through Instagram and Pinterest in that not-working time.

If I find myself incredibly distracted and I haven't gotten my 3 Most Important Things done for the day…I change something. I either stand up and walk around, change locations or just stop working for the day. There's no point in forcing myself to sit at the computer if I'm not getting work done.

Knowing what to do

All of the working time in the world doesn't matter if you don't know what you're spending that time on! I keep track of things a few different ways.

Whenever I start any new project, I break it down into  it's individual to-dos. This includes every piece of content, every image, everything. I put these in Asana and assign the tasks to the appropriate team member and give it a due date. Some projects, like launching a new class, have a lot of pieces. Some, like writing my book proposal, have just a few tasks that are all “Write X chunk.”

But new projects are just a tiny slice of what we do week in and week out. Most of what the team does repeats weekly or quarterly. So we have Asana projects that repeat!

An example: the podcast episodes

  • I write it and share the transcript with Jess
  • I record the episode + upload it to Libsyn
  • I write the blog post that includes the description of the episode + schedule it
  • (If it's an interview, Jay edits it and uploads the edited audio to Libsyn)
  • Jess edits the transcript
  • Jay lays the transcript out
  • Jess links it on the Transcript Page
  • Jay makes the image for the blog post
  • Jess edits the blog post and pastes the MP3 link into the player software.
  • She schedules (using CoSchedule) the social media posts about it, using what I've written.

That was actually more complicated for me to write out than it is in Asana. We figured out the steps, put them in Asana, and now everyone's tasks repeat each week on the same day. Repeating tasks cover 90% of what the team works on: podcasts, blog posts, the quarterly Starship boarding, regular review, editing and updating content regularly. I am responsible for setting the direction we’re going, conceiving and planning new projects, and writing and creating everything with my name on it. Jess serves as Project Manager for most projects, as she's the final editor and scheduler..so if any piece is missing, she checks in with the appropriate person. Jay’s the producer – he makes the graphics consistent, PDFs pretty, and the audio/video edited.

When it comes time for me to start work, 99% of what I need to do is waiting for me in Asana, with the date I'm going to work on it. However, I do a few things to make everything more do-able for me. (As far as I know Jess and Jay just work directly out of Asana and go through their list and check it off. Because I've got to prioritize for the whole team, I need to do a bit more thinking before I dive into work.)

Each Monday, before I start work, I open up my planner (I use Elise's Get To Workbook) and write down everything I need and want to get done this week. I'll look at Asana and add anything from there. I split it up by project, so I understand all the pieces of each product that need be done THIS week. Yes, most of it is in Asana, but I like having it organized in front of me, in my handwriting, so that I don't have to keep going online to check. The writing process also helps me remember anything I might have forgotten and really embeds this week's priorities in my head.

Doing the Work that Matters:

Once I'm tracking all the things that need to happen in my business, and I know what I need to do THIS week, I identify the three most important things I need to get done this week. This ensures that the most important things always gets done, even if something comes up (I get sick, a system melts down, whatever). It also gives me a filter for the week – I can always ask myself if I'm moving forward on the most important things. (I make sure that my goal for the quarter is always reflected in this step!)

Once I have it all done, it's simple to figure out what to do each day. At the beginning of every work session, I write down everything I wanna do during that session, and then I pick out the 3 Most Important Things. I start FIRST on these things, then work on the other stuff.

Yes, I am writing down each task a few times (it's in Asana, it's in my weekly list, it's in that day’s list)..but I'm not going for efficiency but effectiveness. The more I write it down, the more important I've made it, and the more likely I am to do it on the appropriate day or week. When I talk to my students about their to do list, the biggest complaint I hear is that they don't get it done because they never look at it. I've set up my system so I'm looking at the most relevant part of my list (what I need to do NEXT) every day.

The other part is actually getting it done, and my system for just buckling down and working changes with the day. As I mentioned above, I'm sure to only be working when I work (no TV going, no podcast listening, no for-fun internet browsing) and when I'm done working I STOP (even if it's far before my usual quitting time, if I get finished with that days' tasks, I stop work!).

That helps a LOT – knowing that I only need to focus (I only GET to focus on work!) for a very specific amount of time. But if I find myself distracted (or just avoid-y), there are a few things I try:

  • Close all tabs and turn off all notifications. I have 99% of the notifications on my phone turned off, but if I'm really distracted, I put it in airplane mode and close ANY open tab.
  • Get up and walk around, get water or coffee and stretch. This is like a reset button and it's the quickest way of interrupting a not-productive use of time.
  • Start my favorite playlist. (I write best to bouncy beats)
  • Start a pomodoro timer and commit to working on a MIT until it rings. If I'm working on something really stressful or I'm having a bad day, I promise myself that if I do at least ONE pomodoro session, I'm allowed to be done for the day. I usually get in the flow and don't want to stop then, but if I'm not, I stop and close up for the day. It's important not to try to trick myself, or else I'll never believe it next time, and I'll start taking breaks in my workday.

(I have a theory that your productive self is like a puppy, or a toddler. You can't expect her to show up every day and work endlessly, without any fun. But you can ask her to focus for at least 20 minutes, with a break for fun. If you lie to her and never let her have a break, she'll revolt and will never show up when you need her. Taking physical breaks (dancing, listening to music, drinking something tasty) can reset her for another work session, but you can't just push her.)

 

And that's it! That's how I get stuff done, from the project-planning down to the every-day habits that keep me productive!

 

If you want to focus on only the work that matters in YOUR business, my FREE weekly planning sheet will help you do just that! Sign up below to download it!

Get your FREE "Week at a Glance" planning sheet to help you prioritize your To Do list, focus only on what really matters, and Get More Done in your business! At TaraSwiger.com.

 

 

The Adventures

Every day is an adventure. I share this week's adventures – the view, the gratitude and the news on Fridays. You can find all my adventures here, or follow along via email here.

The view

Your Daily Adorbs. #catagram #taralovesmorningsEvery once in a while Johnson City looks downright adorable. (From last night's after dinner walk in the new park)
Jay's birthday cake: the absolutely most peanut buttery thing ever. Peanut Butter Pie, 4 ingredients. Recipe on the blog today. #whatveganseat
My favorite running weather: sun-dappled.    (Today I accidentally ran 5k, at a pace 1:10 faster than usual, thanks to my playlist.).   #foundwhilerunning
Today's @creativelive class with @craftypod inspired me to REALLY dig out the old t-shirts. This was in the VERY back, at the VERY top of the storage space.  This #quilting project now involves climbing and lifting.    Totally worth it. I now have shirts

After three days of trimming, interfacing & cutting I'm finally laying it out! I have just a few spots to fill in and then I'm ready to piece!   (Thanks to @craftypod'd class!)

I am so grateful for…

    • Diane fantastic t-shirt quilting class. It finally got our long-saved t-shirts out of storage and into an actual quilt! It was so nice to go through the stack together and remember all of our adventures.
    • Lovely morning runs.
    • The sweet, uplifting emails I get from podcast listeners. Apparently you're taking me to bed, and listening to it before you fall asleep or when you first wake up. I LOVE it.
    • AMAZING students. One crocheted her class notes:

The Finds:

I’m reading:

I’m eating: 

  • Peanut Butter Pie! 

As per your request, here's the recipe:

Mix 1 cup peanut butter, 1 package Tofutti Cream Cheese (or real cream cheese if you like), a half cup of soy whip (or cool whip), and 1/4 cup of powdered sugar. Whip until it's light a fluffy and fill a graham cracker crust. You can eat it right away, or pop it in the freezer for an hour or two, if you want an ice cream pie. I like it just off freezing, where it's cold, but soft.

In case you missed it: 

What adventures have you had?

 

 

Enthusiasm, again {PODCAST}

More Enthusiasm

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In the second episode we talked about why you should explore your enthusiasm, what it can add to your business (and life!) and how it works to keep you motivated. But I feel like my commitment to enthusiasm (and that of my clients) has been tested this month and I wanted to share it with you, in case you're also questioning your enthusiasm.

This week, I'm sharing some stories of creative business ladies following their enthusiasm, both myself and my clients, in the hopes that it helps you on your journey.

 

What are you enthusiastic about right now? How could you act on it in a small, do-able way?

What's stopping you?

Links 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.

 

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?

Marketing for Crafters

How to Market your Crafts, on CreativeLIVE with Tara Swiger

Eep! It's nearly here and I'm so excited I can hardly stand it!

 

This week I'm teaching a FREE three-day class on all aspects of marketing your handmade business. From your Right People, to clarifying your message, to crafting a Customer Path that effectively connects with your people, to deciding what (of the hundreds) of tools to use, to crafting a plan you'll actually stick with…we're going to cover it all, in detail. And best yet: We're going to apply it to your business, exactly where you are right now.

Awesome, right?

In the last few weeks I've gotten a few questions more than once, so in case you have them too, I wanted to share them with you. Feel free to ask your questions in the comments, and I'll get to them as fast as I can (while flying across the country!)

How does this work?

Go here and click “RSVP”. You'll get both the syllabus and the workbook right away, so you'll be ready to start class Thursday morning. At 9am PST (Noon EST) on Thursday, July 17th, class will begin! You'll get a reminder email to log on and when you do you'll see me teaching, in real time! There's a chat room for you to ask your questions (the hosts will be lobbing your questions at me on the regular) and a hashtag (#swigerlive) so you can connect with your fellow students. Each morning you'll get a reminder email so you don't miss anything!

What's the schedule?

July 17, 2014
Goal for today: You will end class with the language you can use to talk directly to your customer (and you'll know exactly who that customer is)

9:00am – What Marketing is (and isn’t)
10:30 – 10:45 – break
10:45 – 12:00 – Crafting Your Message: Spot Your Sparkle
12:00 – 12:45 – lunch
12:45 – 2:15 – Your Right People (who they are, where to find them)
2:15 – 2:30 – break
2:30 – 4:00 –  Translate your message into your Right People's language.

 

July 18, 2014
Goal for the day: You will understand how customers find you, fall in love with you, and buy from you – so that you can take focused, results-driven action.

9:00 – 10:30 – How to build (and improve) your Home Base
10:30 – 10:45 – break
10:45 – 12:00 –  Hi! How people find you.
12:00 – 12:45 – lunch
12:45-2:15 – Come Closer! Enticing a buyer into your world
2:15 – 2:30 – break
2:30 – 4:00 – Buy! That magic moment (and what comes next)

 

July 19th, 2014
Goal for the day: Create a concrete plan that aligns with your goals, and learn how to filter out everything that doesn't.

9:00-10:30 -The power of knowing what you want.
10:30 – 10:45 – break
10:45 – 12:00 – Choose your tools: from Instagram to craft shows
12:00 – 12:45 – lunch
12:45 – 2:15 – How to hold an experiment (and learn what really works for you)
2:15 – 2:30 – break
2:30 – 4:00 – Make your own map: Create a do-able plan to get things done.

Keep in mind the times are approximate. Each segment might go over or under a smidge.(You can download this with a description of each segment here)

What if I can't watch live?

Watching live is free, but you can purchase anytime access. You can get the whole class here for $59 (the price will go up after class, so jump on it!) or you can buy each day separately (Day 1, Day 2, Day 3). Each Day's page tells you what we'll cover on that day, so you can pick the one that's right for you.

Whether you can watch live or not, you may want to purchase the class to get some amazing bonuses: 

  • Anytime access to the videos (so you can refresh yourself!)
  • Free access to Craft an Effective Blog
  • Free access to Automagical Email Series
  • $100 off the Solo Mission

Should I  take this class if I bought the book?

YES. Although I'll hit on some book bits in Day 1 (specifically, Right People and Your Message), I've updated it all based on the last two years of working with designers, makers, and artists. I now know more about what really works in businesses just like yours, since I wrote the book over 2 years ago. Also: Day 1's first segment is entirely new material (not taught in any class), and Day 2 and Day 3 aren't in the book anywhere.

Should I take this class if I took the Customer Path class?

YES! We'll cover the Customer Path in Day 2, but we'll also hit on the big piece we couldn't get to: How to build an effective Home Base (so your Customer Path leads people to someplace great). Plus, Day 1 and Day 3 will be totally new to you.

I'm bummed I missed the Customer Path class, where can I get it?

Well, you're in luck! The Customer Path material is no longer available anywhere other than the Starship or in this class! (Day 2, Segment 2-4).

I don't have a business yet, I just have ideas.

Ready for some tough love? If you are still just “playing around” with “some ideas”, but you really REALLY want a business (and not a hobby) – step away from the internet. Stop taking classes, stop reading books, and stop looking at what other people are doing. Go into your creation cave and create your best work. Make 5-10 of them (whether this is products, designs, artwork, whatever). Ask yourself if you enjoy this enough to make 50 more. Then, take some pictures and make it available for sale (either online or in a craft show).
THEN, you are ready to start thinking about marketing your work.
In other words, this class is going to be most useful to you if you know what you make and it's available for people to buy, somewhere. If you're not sure how to move from Idea to Business, check out Kari Chapin's class on getting started.

 

Got a question? Ask and I'll answer (in between traveling). Hope to see you in the class!