Craft a thriving business. Do what matters. Crush Distractions. Get the Kit:

exploration

Trust. Adventure. Explore. Beam. Boldly.

After working through Leonie's yearly workbook and finishing the Captain's Log (a new workbook/journal/stay-on-track-er that we'll be using in the Starship all year), I'm practically glowing with gratitude for 2012 and hope for the coming year. My favorite part is seeing how the disparate pieces fit together to create some overall themes and lessons.

 

2011 was the year of Yes.

Last year I wrote that I had learned (from 2011!) that saying yes even when I'm afraid led to amazingness. I practiced this consciously in 2012, saying yes to: a book party (and my first live-speaking thing…ever!); my first live workshop; following my enthusiasm; feeling good; creating what I longed to create.

Tara Swiger teaching marketing in Seattle

 

2012 was the year of Trust.

The thing with saying Yes? It involves a heckova lot of trust. Trust that you'll figure it out. Trust that it's all going to be ok. Trust that you've done your best, and now you need to let go. Trust that you're enough. Trust that connecting is more fulfilling and profitable than closing up.

Connection is Everything.

 

 

2012 was the year of Enthusiasm.

Saying yes to my enthusiasm is something I learned this year from reading Sarah J. and idea-partnering with Kelly P. I followed my enthusiasm towards Project Life, quilting, embroidery, writing on new topics and finally, finally finding the balance between creativity and work in my daily life.

Mother in law quilt. Finished!

 

2012 was the year of Adventure.

Oh the adventures!
Publishing: writing, writing, writing, thousands and thousands of words every day;  working with Shannon on the cover, title, layout; the endless tiny changes; and then! the release day! The lovely reviews, thrilling book party, guest posts, interviews, giveaways; and then! A royalty check! The magic!

Traveling: San Diego, Charleston, Boston, San Diego (again), Seattle, Asheville, Nashville, Knoxville for dates with a new baby and old friend, the heart-breakingly beautiful Oregon coast, the redwoods, the campfire pancakes.
Hello Redwoods.

Writing: Yes, the book, of course, the book! But I also wrote an three email mini-courses (one of them is free, here), a book read-along guide, a class (and then workbook) on blogging effectively, an all-new Holiday Sanity Guide, the Captain's Log, and the truest, most enthusiastic blog posts in my 10 year blogging life. And for the first time, writing came easy, it was a part of my life and my world and the very way I live in the world. And it's always, always an adventure.

I really am.

 

And with these lessons, with trust and enthusiasm and adventure, I turn towards 2013, the year to…

Explore

hot air balloon

While I have fewer “traditional” explorations scheduled (I'll be traveling much less), the close-to-home approach is giving me a chance to explore deeply. Home, new projects, researching what works for others, experimenting with what works for me…all of it is about exploring. I don't know what exactly it'll mean (yet), but here's what I do know:

  • Last June I sat down at the beach and outlined a whole new class – the title: Explore You. Obviously, now's the time for it.
  • There's so much I don't know, but so much new info I close myself off from, to avoid overwhelm. Explore gives me the frame to learn more, and be open, in a focused, healthy way.
  • I've started listing Things To Explore, and think I'll pick a new one each month.

 

 

Beam

Beam. Explore. The words of 2013. (So far. Life tends to show up with her own ideas.) cc: @leonie_dawson
I don't really get this one yet, but it came to me, strong and true and..Yes, Ok, BEAM. Here's what I know about it so far:

  • It's my job to not just shine my little light, but to make sure it beams.
  • Tractor beam, sunbeam, beaming beacon, a lighthouse beams into the darkness, beaming smiles
  • A light beams when: it's not gunked up with stuff, it is focused in one spot.

 

Join me. What was 2012 the year of? And what will 2013 hold?

 

cross_stitches

 

This is one of the (over 45 pages of) exercises in the Captain's Log. If you'd like to get support (and practical dream-reaching), beam aboard the Starship. It closes to new members tomorrow.

New site! New stuff! And the chance to get your questions answered!

Yay!

After months of working with the talented Kyla, my new site is here! (If you're reading somewhere else, click through to see it.)
I thought long and hard about how to make everything easier for you, so you can find what you're looking for and the kind of help (or inspiration) you need.

I'd like to tell you a little about what's new (and share the little details that thrill me), but if you don't care to gush over tiny embroidered stitches skip on down to What's Next section, where I offer to answer your questions for free.

 

What's new

My Instagram and Pinterest accounts are now linked in the sidebar, with sweet little icons. I take a photo nearly everyday and I love the conversations that happen on Instagram. If you're a book nerd, that's where you'll find my near-weekly photos of the stack of books I'm reading. Even though I've been on Pinterest foreeever, I recently started using it with YOU in mind. I've created boards of inspiring (business) adventurers, tips + tools for Holiday Sanity, real-life travel adventures. Kyla and I used this board to visualize my redesign.

 
Everything I write about falls into three main categories and now you can find just what you want to read quickly and easily! There's business smartness for you to apply to what you do, stories from other creatives (including a lot of videos…and more coming soon!), and posts that are more about life than business.

Fun fact: The section of other people's stories is called We Are Adventurers in honor of this ridiculously enthusiastic song.

Under that are the Tools that I've made for explorers, incuding the Map-Making Guide and the Starship, and the collection of books that make you even more stunning.

Fun fact: the little embroidery stitches you see around the sidebar…those are my actual stitches!


Kyla waved her magic wand over what I sent her!

The Start Here page is brand new! I've been writing online for 10 years and in this space for 2 1/2 years, and the Start Here page helps you figure out where to…start.

Press + Praise. This makes me blush! Lovely people have interviewed me, invited me to write for them, and said delightful things about our time together. If you wanna know what to experience from our time together, the sweethearts on this page sum it up.

What's next

As the year wraps up, I'm compiling the lessons I've learned from YOU and the hundreds of conversations we've had this year. What's worked in your businesses, what hasn't and what has you frustrated. I'll be sharing those lessons in a (free) email series with the Early Boarding Party this week. You can sign up here to get it.

I'm taking those lessons, and using them to shape the Starship in the new year. In other words, you don't just learn what works for other people, you get to experience it in the very structure of the Starship. So you won't have to try to remember it all yourself, all year long. You can beam aboard the Starship now and start putting those lessons to work for you right away.

Your questions – I want them!

In the New Year (and maybe before then, because I'm just so excited about it!), I'll be answering your questions via video, every month (every week?). You can ask anonymously, or join me on video to talk it through. To get your question answered, just ask me!

The Adventures

Every week is an adventure…and this is where I collect the week's photos, finds and lessons.  Past adventures can be explored here

 The view

Mutual snorgling

Beau + Andre do this ALL the time (we call it snorgling), but this is the first time I was able to capture it. 


Fall colors! 


Love the new fabric shop in town

Late night quilting.

Started a quilt

Had a party for a little bro

 
This @hrosstweets book is soo inspiring, I'm doodling fabric designs.

Love, LOVE this book

Hail! Everything (including yarn that was drying) is covered in it.

Hail!

The Lessons

The new Heather Ross book has me dreaming of fabric design. I've devoured all the posts mentioned here, added about 100 new books to my to-read list….and started my first design last night. The lesson? It's harder than it looks, but there's nothing like a new passion to fuel my creativity!

As I'm embracing new crafts (quilting and fabric design) I'm also deep into writing a new Holiday Sanity Playbook…and the combination of making and business-thinking has me pondering how the two affect each other. How do your creative skills inform your business decisions? What skills can cross over? Do you apply your lessons-learned-while-crafting to your business adventures? Or do you keep them entirely separate? So many of my readers + students are whip-smart + confident when it comes to their craft (whether it's actual crafting, or writing, or painting)…but they're tentative about business decisions.  How can I help you translate the confidence in one area to the other?

The finds


A year ago: Podcast: Multiple Streams of Income
Two years ago: Coffeshop Clarity