Craft a successful business. Do what matters. Get the free resources:

Inspiration

258: You have impact

“If you don’t build the thing you want to build, if you don’t lead the life you want to lead… who won’t be impacted? Who will still think it’s not possible?” Read more at TaraSwiger.com/podcast258

Play

Who does your work have an impact on?

We've talked before about what you might give up in order to fulfill your dream. But what are you creating? What are you gaining? How is your work impacting others? Get ready to fall in love with your dream a little more, and get fired up.

You know what I realized the other day? This month this podcast is FIVE YEARS OLD. I have written, recorded and produced a weekly episode every week for FIVE YEARS. Yay! I wanna celebrate!

How can you help me celebrate? Share the show! Take a screenshot of your phone or picture of what you're doing while you listen and share it on Instagram and tag me and the show! I'm @taraswiger and the hashtag is #exploreyourenthusiasm.

Leaving reviews helps others know they should tune in – you can do it on iTunes or over on YouTube, just give it a thumbs up!

The last few weeks we've talk about time and balance and sacrificing things so you can get stuff done. And it's easy to focus on what you're taking away or losing out on while you're working. Maybe you have less time with kids, or less time for your hobbies. But another way to think about this is to focus on what you're creating, what you're giving to the world. Because in every bit of work you're doing, you are making an impact.

If you’ve been asking yourself “Can I do this? Will it be too hard on my family? Am I allowed to do this?” Let’s turn that around. The question to be asking is “Who are you impacting? What will NOT doing this, take away from the world?”

Because here’s the thing – ANY amount of doing something you care deeply about, any amount of working towards building something new, is going to be an inspiration to others. It’s going to provide an example of what’s possible. It’s going to give them permission to follow their OWN dream. Yes, building a business does this, but so does following ANY dream – even if it's giving yourself time to work on your hobby, or working at paying down your debt, or saving up for a vacation, or running a half-marathon, or becoming a parent through foster care or adoption.

Wait, let’s back up even farther – ANY thing you do is an example to others of what’s possible.

Are you holding yourself back? You’re setting an example. Are you telling yourself that you can’t do X because you’re not enough? You don’t have enough education, you’re too big, you’re too old, you’re don’t have enough money? THAT is setting an example.

When you don’t do something because of reasons, you are telling other people – you can’t do that either.

If I believed the voices in my head that told me my voice is too annoying or I’m too fat to have a podcast, I would be telling other woman who look or sound like me that they can’t do it either.

You see, setting an example, being an example, isn’t just about setting an example for kids. Having kids is often the first time people THINK about the example they’re setting, but you’re an example to everyone in your world.

So the question isn’t “Can I do this?” but “What example am I setting by not doing it?”

And I don’t say this so you can feel ashamed by what you haven’t done – getting stuck in the past isn’t going to help anyone. I’m telling you this, so you can make your decisions from a NEW place. A place where you’ve reframed “following your dream” from something selfish, to something noble, something altruistic.

Watching you build your dream is inspiring.

It's inspiring to your kids, your friends, your community. Even when you fail, you are showing the people in your life that failure is a part of it. So many of us grow up afraid of failure, afraid of being wrong, that we don’t realize failure is a necessary part of doing big things. Inspiration isn’t just fun, it’s vital to the process of acknowledging and following dreams! Without it, we wouldn’t even begin to dream or to imagine what’s possible. Take a minute and think about the people who have inspired you to bring you where you are right now.

Homework: Reach out to at least one of these people and tell them that they inspired you. You can say something super simple: Thank you so much for doing X, that inspired me to take action on my own dream.

You are providing an example of what's possible.

Take a minute and think about the people you knew growing up. What jobs did they do? Like me, were you surrounded by hair stylists, roofers, members of the military and the best of all possible jobs (in my kid-mind) : teachers and librarians? Or did you grow up knowing doctors and lawyers and entrepreneurs? None of these jobs is better than the others, but the jobs you grow up seeing are the ones you believe are possible. Maybe you grew up and moved out and met other people, who had other jobs and you thought: Hey! I didn’t know real people did that job!

The biggest obstacle I find in people actually starting their business or to do freelance work? They literally don’t believe that it’s possible for real people. Maybe that girl on Instagram, but I bet she grew up with money. Maybe that dude is an entrepreneur, but he went to an Ivy League school.

I know it may sound impossible to you, but when you choose to build a nontraditional career? You are changing the examples of what’s possible. You are changing the definition of what a “job” is, for the people in your community.

You are also giving people permission to follow their own path.

You are providing inspiration, you are setting new examples of what’s possible. AND, you are giving people permission. And honey, we all need permission.

We have all been raised to wait for permission. Wait to be called on. Wait to be picked for the job. Wait to be chosen by a partner or friend. But as you know, no one will choose you and hand you your path. You have to build it. You get to decide what you want it to be, but then you have to take action, long before anyone else has decided you can. Before they’ve decided you’re worth it. Before you’ve been chosen for the craft show, or the book deal, or the magazine feature.

YOU had to give yourself permission a lot before you got a business even up and running. To get to your biggest dreams, to where you want to be in 10 or 20 years, you’re going to have to give yourself even more permission.

And the people around you? They’ve been trained the same way. They are waiting for someone to tell them that they can do it. But they can choose themselves too. Seeing you invest in yourself, seeing you spend the time and money to build your thing? It will give them permission, to do something for themselves.

This is how your impacting your world!
You are giving permission!
You are being an example!
You are inspiring!

Who in your life is being impacted? If you don’t build the thing you want to build, if you don’t lead the life you want to lead…who won’t be impacted? Who won’t be inspired? Who will still think it’s not possible?

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.

Instagram stories, choosing the right idea, + more of your questions answered

Today I’m answering questions from my Instagram followers. To get your question answered, be sure you’re following me. We cover: How to decide between ideas for new products How to use social media without wasting too much time How to use Instagram Stories for your handmade business. Listen in at TaraSwiger.com/podcast138/

Play

Today I’m answering questions from my Instagram followers. To get your question answered, be sure you’re following me. We cover:

  • How to decide between ideas for new products
  • How to use social media without wasting too much time
  • How to use Instagram Stories for your handmade business

Resources:

Check out these awesome handmade businesses:

If you want to get your questions answered on the podcast, consider becoming a Patron! Patrons at the $2+ levels get to tell me what to podcast on next, attend live recordings (online!) and ask their questions while I’m recording and have me reply! I’m going to be using patronage to buy a new lighting set-up so I can do more videos throughout the dark winter months. If you want to help with that, support it here. Thanks!

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.

Inspiration isn’t enough.

Inspiration isn't enough. In fact, on its own, it can be dangerous. Today we're talking about the power, magic, and challenge of Inspiration. Listen in at https://taraswiger.com/podcast92/

Play

Inspiration isn't enough. In fact, on its own, it can be dangerous.
Today we're talking about the power, magic, and challenge of Inspiration.

Inspiration is wonderful. It feel GREAT while you're feeling it, right?

But then: What?

What comes after Inspiration?

To join the (free) Biz Confidence Challenge, head here. 

How to listen

Everything is Everything

Let's start with some tunes (hit play while you read!)

This has been a weird month.

Launching the Starship.
Turning 29.
Getting knocked out for a whole work week by the flu.
Going out of town for a week (family stuff!), with only my phone for internet access.

And instead of jumping into my work (my love!) every chance I get, I find myself reading, writing, painting.
I keep burying myself in painting books, rock autobiographies and artist blogs.
I'm taking an online painting class.
I'm listening to podcasts (This American Life, Creative Living).

What I'm not doing is writing about business or planning a class or making endless yards of yarn.
For the first time in….2 years?!

It's not just part of the creative cycle (because I'm doing lots of creative work, it's just not my usual)…it's a total shift in focus.

Yesterday, it really freaked me out.

What's going on? Did I lose the CraftyBiz love?
But I still sat down with a painterly book and just decided to trust myself.
If what I'm craving is paint + words, it must be what I need.

And sure enough, at 1am last night (this morning?) I wasn't sleeping, I was up planning a big Thank You gift (for you!) and my next craftybiz project. I was overflowing with ideas. I was back in the saddle.

As I pondered the shift this morning (as I poured over my new favorite artist's site), I realized: Everything is Everything.

Painting, writing, crafting businesses, making yarn: it's all the same. It's all creativity. Everything needs space and time (and health!) and patience and well-refilling.

Or as Havi says, There is no biggification without destuckification.

I can't build my own business (or help you with yours!) unless I work though my stuff. Whether that's family stuff, writing stuff, getting inspired stuff or just painting my little heart out….everything is everything.
It all comes back to build a stronger business, to create more inspired help for your biz.

What do you need right now?
What's asking for your attention (even if it's not what you're “supposed” to do?) Is it possible that indulging might be just what your business needs?

Winter Manifesto

Inspired by Amanda's beautiful Winter manifesto, I've started writing my own.  I'll be adding to it for the next few Fridays.

February can be a cold, hard month: full of ice and short days and a deep longing for spring.
I find there's no better way to combat the cold than to embrace the light where I find it and to look for the small moments of joy. To remind myself that there is really just one more month of winter (spring comes early in East Tennessee!), I'll dedicate myself to this manifesto.

1.  Enjoy and relax with my loved ones;

coffee

with coffee,

chocolates  52/365

with chocolates,

baking with troy 33/365

while baking,

My boys

while playing.

What do you want to enjoy this winter?

Finding Inspiration

As the days get shorter and the opportunity for color fade into the brown of winter, I find it harder to become inspired. My TN mountains become brown, the flowers are long gone and my local farmer's market closes up. While I'm bursting with colors, ideas during spring and summer, come October, I start to worry about drying up with the leaves.

Pink shoes, brown leaves - 5/365
Day 5

There seems to be something about October that makes me want to pick up my camera. It's surely the trees and leaves and wonderfullness of fall, but I think it's also the threat of winter. More than any other time of year, I need to be diligent in searching out inspiration in the winter.

Market St - 16/365
Day 16

To combat this ennui, I give myself little challenges. In October, I challenged myself (and some Twitter friends joined me)- take a photo every day. Looking for the right shot and trying to capture it compels me to find the beauty and celebrate it.

Yarn "storage" - 15/365
Day 15

Now that the leaves are coming off the trees and it's almost dark by the time I get home from work, I'm finding it harder to find the shot. This forces me to look inward – to my cozy home, my cute pet and even my office.

To DO - 20/365
Day 20

How do you find inspiration during the ever-shortening-days? Any colorful movies or shows the light the fire?

Autumnal To Do

leafy sky
Photo from Nov 2006

Each season, I like to set an intention for how I will enjoy it. It's a pleasant To Do list celebrating the crunchy leaves and crisp apples. This year, I want to:

  • Bake an apple pie
  • Finish knitting a sweater (probably Twist & Shout) by the end of November
  • Find my favorite flavor of tea (this group has been helpful)
  • Spin fall-inspired yarns (my favorite suggestion to the contest, so far, is “Hayride”)
  • Make the perfect cup of hot chocolate (cocoa, honey, homemade whipped cream)
  • Eat lots of roasted fall vegetable (turnips, butternut squash, onions, garlic, sweet potatoes, yum!)
  • Go on one last picnic, before the weather is too cold.
  • Finish dyeing, carding and spinning my Coopworth fleece
  • Take a photograph every day until the end of the year

What's on your Autumn To Do List?