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

Inspiration

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?