Weekly-ish notes on navigating big change


Experiment: stop explaining

spring road

In case you didn't notice, I talk about experimentation a lot.

My entire CraftyBiz philosophy can be summed as:

“Experiment to find what works for you and your biz and then do it.”

But yesterday Kate asked me about the natural extension of doing your own thing:

When what works for me is very much not what ‘everyone else' thinks should work for me.

I started to reply about ways to convince the person.
Ways to show them “yeah, that's right, I'm a rebel and I'm ROCKING it.

But then I remembered:

I've yet to convince anyone else that this was a good idea (whatever “this” might be: self-employment, working weird hours, gluten-free baking) if they weren't already willing to trust me.

An example.

M and I are great friends.

But sometimes she doesn't get me or my work. And when I tell her I'm now doing x (taking a sabbatical from selling, dyeing my hair blue, etc) and she starts listing all the reasons I should NOT DO IT OR ELSE I WILL DIIIIEEEE…I get defensive.

I try to explain.
I have thought this through, thoroughly!
I'm a responsible adult!
I have my reasons!
And soon I find myself thinking “You HAVE to understand“.

But, wait. Does she?


Will it change what I do (or what works for me) if she doesn't understand?

What do I need from her?

Support? Flexibility? Encouragement?

I decide what I need (internally!) and then ask her for it.

“Hey, M, I've decided to start work at 3pm from here on out. I need you to not call me from 3-10 because I'll be at work, like if I was working in an office, ok? Thanks!”

When it comes to you, you get to decide.

It's as simple as that.

The people in your life don't have to understand the why or the how.
Trying to convince them with your well-reasoned argument (I LOVE a well-reasoned argument) usually won't help things.

And I mean the things that really are YOURS to decide (examples: what time you start work or the way you do your work or if you wear pjs and a tiara all day).

But for all the you-stuff (which is most everything IN your business), it's yours to decide.

Without explanation.
Without apologies.
With piles of fun and experimentation and an open heart.


This single fact has changed so many conversations. And has released me from so much responsibility (I have to explain!) and so many arguments (Why won't you understand?!).

Try it. Experiment.

Let me know how it goes.

Funday #2 – Dollywood Edition

Mondays = Fundays, the day I recap my success (and failures) with my #funeveryday project.
Here’s the how it works:
I try one fun thing everyday (and so do you).
tweet it (and so do you) with the tag #funeveryday.
Each Monday (no! FUNday!), I round ‘em up: What did I try? What did YOU try? What will I do next week?

The fun that was funny

(that's a Dr. Suess thing we say to refer to real, actual fun):


At Dollywood
On Tuesday I went with my family to best amusement park ever!
You know how sometimes, the excitement leading up to the day is better than the day?
Not true here! The whole day was fabulous: the family got along, the rids were fun, the lines were short, the pizza (at Mellow Mushroom) afterwards was gluten-free.

Celebrating my own Independence (from The Man) Day
The free Q+A was a lot of fun and I got some great questions.
I (finally) wrote about the joy of quitting. And that helped me remember to quit a few other things I'm not loving.

Live Music!
Completely unexpectedly, on a day that had gone ridiculously wrong (internet connection went down right before the Yarn Camp chat, etc), I stumbled into some live music. I was waiting for Jay to get off work (at Scratch) when a group of kids started playing.

Fun for the Future

The Big Crafty
This Sunday I'm peddling handmade yarn at the biggest craft show in the area! Super excited to meet local yarn-lovers and to be a part of the fabulous Asheville arts scene.  Come see me at The Big Crafty!

Something else?
I'm drawing a blank here…I need some fun-spiration!

How are you going to have a little fun everyday this week?


Last week I said I wanted to have more fun but I never specified how I was going to measure this. And I am all about the metrics. I adore projects with deadlines and indexes and goalposts.

So this Fun Everyday thing needs some structure (it's fun structure! I promise!).

Here's the plan:
I try one fun thing everyday (and so do you).
I tweet it (and so do you) with the tag #funeveryday.
Each Monday (no! FUNday!), I round 'em up: What did I try? What did YOU try? What will I do next week?
Maybe, just maybe, we turn Mondays into FUNdays. (too cheesy?)

The fun that was funny
(that's a Dr. Suess thing we say that mean real, actual fun):

Connecting with crafty businesses.
The emails have been FABULOUS (from this project). Wonderfully inspiring, delightfully eye-opening, fantastically challenging.

Helping, just for fun.
Two of my friends were trying new things this week and I jumped at the chance to help where I could.  Amazingly energizing, this giving-of-myself thing. Even though I spent an hour on the phone, just giving helpfulness, I got off feeling bubbly and energized.

Collaborating with superstars.
This week I reached out to 3 of my favorite super-smart people and asked them to co-teach some classes for my crafty people. The response has been delcious. I'm currently in the (virtual) test-kitchen with them, brewing up some awesomesauce. Expect announcements soon-ish.

Watching Sheep.
This is exactly as awesome as it sounds. Soothing. Amusing.
What made it even better is that I live-streamed it.
Yeah, sheep in real-time.  I see this becoming a regular occurrence.

See for yourself by watching these videos.

Fun for the Future

Yes. With the whole family. This Tuesday. I am hoping this is fabulously wonderful and not draingingly hot and miserable. Think happy, Dolly thoughts for me ok?

A Dolly marathon?
This just occured to me: I may need to watch every Dolly movie in order to prepare myself for the awesomeness of Dollywood. Nine to Five, Steel Magnolias…what else?

Celebrating my 1 year quit-iversary.
This Thursday, July 1st, is my anniversary of my first day of self-employment! Woo! Celebrating with a totally free Q+A. You ask any question you have…about anything and I'll attempt to answer (or point you to a resource). Sign up to get the call details here.

What did you do for fun last week? What fun thing do you have planned for this week?

Don't miss a single FunDay by subscribing (it's free! it's easy! it's downright fun!)

Fun. Everyday.

I think I need to have more fun.

Sure, I like my job (it is Plan A).
I love my family.
I adore my dog (warning: that's a really cute video of my dog snorgling the cat).

But I'm sort of…serious. Hard-working. Disciplined.
And these are all admirable qualities.

But not always fun.

So I'm on a mission (not a mission from God, just a regular ol' mission).
A mission to have more fun.
A mission to have fun everyday.

In this spirit, I'm laughing at myself.
I'm having great conversations.
I'm spending more time IdeaStorming (yes, it's work, but it's so fun).

And I'm celebrating.

Because 1 year ago, on July 1st, I started this adventure of full-time fiber artist and pink-haired entrepreneur.

I'm celebrating by doing what I love: talking to people.
Talking to YOU.

On July 1st, I'm going to hold a little party and you are invited!

Join me for a live Q+A session on the phone (sign up here to get the call details)  and on Twitter (use tag #askthechicken to ask your questions).

But what else is fun?

What do you do for fun? Share it in the comments, or on Twitter by using #funeveryday.
If you want to see what I'm doing for fun, check out #funeveryday and add your own fun!

Summer Manifesto

Each season I make a little list of the pleasures I want to soak in. I call them manifestos, but they’re really just love letters to the season. These seasonal lists are my own little things-to-do-before-the-moment-passes.
I hope to keep listing these, every Thursday, as a reminder to soak it in over the weekend (and as a mid-week cheer-up).

This past week has been less-than-fun. With my wheel breaking and just the general blah-ness of re-entry to the real world after a lovely vacation, I need a little cheering up.

And what could be cheery-er than reminding myself of all the  summer-ish activities left to be delighted in?

(and yes, I know it's technically not Summer, but I can't believe it's still Spring when the temperatures top 80 everyday)

Summer Fun that awaits me this week:

  • Rekindling my weekly date with the local farmer's markets
  • Checking out the newish  farmer's market in Jonesborough (perhaps applying to be a vendor there?)
  • Visiting my best-est friend and her husband. First time I'll see their home!
  • Begging my best-est friend for one of her life-changing massages
  • Enjoying the last of the local strawberries and making some more jam.
  • Getting some of these local blueberries!