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

pay yourself

198: The power of knowing your numbers

Do you ever feel uncertain about the money side of your creative biz? Learn how to banish that uncertainty by knowing the power of your numbers at TaraSwiger.com/podcast198

Play

Knowing your numbers is powerful. By knowing your profit margins and your goals, you can make a monthly, weekly, and daily plan of exactly what you need to do in order to make the amount of money you need to make. So stop flailing around and get knowledgeable, so you can spend your time as effectively as possible.

Links I mentioned:

  • Pay Yourself
  • Call in and leave a message and we'll include it on the 200th EYE show:
    (567) 393-8272

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.

194: Stand by your prices

Do you waffle about the prices in your creative biz? Do you feel your throat catch when you tell a customer how much something costs? Learn how to stand by your prices at TaraSwiger.com/podcast194

Play

“How can I feel ok about what I charge? How do I stop apologizing for my prices? How do you stand by your prices?”

This week I was asked this question and I want to dive deeper into this because it is so so vital for the health of your business and your mental well being. The more confidence you have when discussing your prices, the more sales you'll make.

Links I 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.

One pricing strategy does NOT fit all

I often get asked: how should I price my work? What should I charge for my time? Is there a formula I can use? And the answer is: it depends. In this episode, we'll discuss pricing strategies, why you should avoid formulas you find on the internet, and how to charge for your time. For the entire month of March we've been talking about money and profit in your business. And I know you have questions, about profit margins, bookkeeping, all of it - so tomorrow, April 6th, I'm going to hold a live webinar where I answer all your questions and give you first access to my most popular class, Pay Yourself. To sign up for the webinar, enter your information into the box on this page: TaraSwiger.com/podcast151

Play

I often get asked: how should I price my work? What should I charge for my time? Is there a formula I can use?

And the answer is: it depends.

In this episode, we'll discuss pricing strategies, why you should avoid formulas you find on the internet, and how to charge for your time.

For the entire month of March we've been talking about money and profit in your business. And I know you have questions, about profit margins, bookkeeping, all of it – so tomorrow, April 6th, I'm going to hold a live webinar where I answer all your questions and give you first access to my most popular class, Pay Yourself. To sign up for the webinar, enter your information into the box below:

Join the FREE Webinar!

Enter your e-mail to join my free webinar, April 6, where I'll answer all your pricing questions and give you access to Pay Yourself!

Powered by ConvertKit

Resources Mentioned

  • Get the transcript for this episode and a FREE worksheet on pricing + profitability when you enter your information into the signup form on this page!

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.

 

5 accounting terms you need to know for your handmade biz

Do you feel a little insecure talking to bankers or fancy businessmen about your handmade business because you don’t know all the accounting terms? Want to talk about money and make decisions more comfortably? Today I’m going to introduce you to five accounting terms so we can talk more about money! Listen or watch at TaraSwiger.com/podcast147/

Do you feel a little insecure talking to bankers or fancy businessmen about your handmade business because you don’t know all the accounting terms? Want to talk about money and make decisions more comfortably?

Today I’m going to introduce you to five accounting terms so we can talk more about money!

Before we dive into the terminology I want to tell you this – the Starship, my online community for makers and artists, which includes access to all of my classes, including the updated and expanded Pay Yourself and Pricing 101, opens next week. I’m not going to open it to the whole world, only to the people who have signed up to learn more about it.

So if you wanna learn more about it and if it’s for you, sign up here. Because I’ve added new and updated classes to it this year, the price is going up when it opens next time, so if you want in at its current price, you gotta be signed up right here!

Resources

  • My newest class, Pay Yourself, opens soon! Sign up here to be notified when it's open.
  • The Starship opens this March, but you've gotta be on the list to know when it does! Click here to sign up.

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.

5 Steps to Grow Your Business

5stepstogrowyourbusiness

Play

Last week we talked about the challenges that come along with growth, but you might be wondering “How do I actually grow?”

This week, I'll answer that question. Whatever it is for you, whatever growth means for you, here's the steps to making it happen. These steps are going to repeat again and again through growth, so realize that you won't just do this once, you'll do this at every new level. Listen in to learn the steps!

Links mentioned: 

Please note: Pay Yourself is being retired (it's getting a face lift!), so this is your last chance to get it at its lowest price. You'll also get the updated version when it's released to the world!

 

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.

 

What I’m reading: March 2015

 I follow my enthusiasm by reading…a lot. And once a month, I share (some of) the books I read last month and the books I intend to read this month. You can join the informal book club by sharing your own list in the comments and find all the posts here.

What I'm reading in March

 What I read

  •   Art of Asking, by Amanda Palmer – This book was recommended to me a million times, and then a thread popped up in the Starship where Captains started reading it together. Oh man, it is just so good if you're an artist or maker who has a hard time with the exchange of your art for money. Amanda built her tribe, person by person, hug by hug, at hundreds of shows and she shares in this book about how she built the relationships. I highly recommend it (if you're not easily offended!).
  • The Art of the Book Proposal, by Eric Maisel – I've been working on a proposal all quarter, and this book is keeping my company. Unlike a lot of other books about the parts of a proposal, he digs into how to think about it, which I love.
  • The 4 Hour Workweek, by Tim Ferriss – I read this waaay back in 2009 when I first left my day job. I wanted to revisit it to see if it's a good resource for my clients, and this time I took completely different lessons from it. It's a classic and bestseller for a reason.
  • It's Not About The Money, by Brent Kessel – I talk a lot with my students about their issues with money, and this book, which identifies different archetypes that we approach money with, provided a great new perspective at these issues we all have.

What I’m reading

What are you reading?

 

 

 

 

 

The usual disclaimery disclaimer applies! 

The Adventures

Every day is an adventure. I share the view, the gratitude and the news  on Fridays – you’re invited to join in. You can find all my adventures here, or follow along via email here.

The view

The nightly dinner show. #raylanpup
More from Yarn Haus - wall of yarn, next to a wall of buttons. #lys #yarn
SUCCESS! I gave Mom her birthday gift (Amy Miller's Isabel in #pluckyknitter yarn) and it fits!  This has been my secret project for three months. I can finally show you!! @ She's already got it on to search for Nashville lunch spots for tomorrow. Suggest
Today's "studio" for a live Q&A with #TSLiftOff & #StarshipBiz. And by studio, you understand that I mean corner of my living room that gets ok light. Board filled with the map of my Redwoods 10k, Spocks by @amysnotdeadyet, watercolor by me, #TARDIS swatc
After knitting a long St st cardigan in fingering weight, you better believe I cast on for  a squooshy worsted weight cabley sweater. @theacolman's Brandied Cherries in @pluckyknitter Cozy. #pluckyknitter #babycocktails

I am so grateful for…

  • Possibilities + Idea Enthusiasm
  • Mittens + Shawls
  • Hilarious puppies
  • Delicious food
  • Finishing the sweater!

You might like:

This week I held a live Q+A for Lift Off + Starship students. In it, I answered the most-asked questions about profit math (which we cover in Pay Yourself), how to know when you can trust your sales enough to quit your dayjob, and the only app I use to record my podcast.

You can watch it here:

(To fully understand your break-even points, take Pay Yourself. You find links to everything else I mention here.)

What adventures have you had?

Value: How to get what you’re worth

Value Get what you're worth

Play

Not sure how to charge the price you need and still get customers to buy it? Worried your pricing is too low or too high? Today we're talking about how to get the fair price of your work by communicating its value to potential customers. You see, there is a big difference between the price of something, and the value of that thing. It is your responsibility to communicate that value and today's episode will teach you how.

Links mentioned:

How to listen

Find all the podcast episodes here.

 

 

You deserve to be paid, no matter what you need

You deserve to be paid
One thing that comes up every time I talked about money-making with a group of women is “need” and who needs what and how much and how this impacts their work. This is a loaded, emotionally-charged issue, but it's time we talk about this openly and without shame.

The simple fact is:

Some makers need to make money from their craft in order to pay the bills + some makers do not need this money to pay the bills.

I think of this as the Spectrum of Money Need. There are some of us on the far side of MUST make this money to pay the bills. If you're single or if you're the main “breadwinner”in the family – your business, no matter how much you love it, has to support you financially. On the far other end are those who have another income that pays  all of their bills (this might be a day job or a partner's income). Most business owners are somewhere in the middle. (Perhaps you have a part-time job, or your creative work brings in 35% or 70% of your needs.)

Everyone, no matter their need, deserves to be paid for the work of their hands.

This is why I created Pay Yourself and this is the reason students across the spectrum love it – makers are ready to start valuing their work.

This is a common rallying cry around the craft community, but it usually get stuck in the “people should charge more” debate. I take it a step further. It is not your buyer's job to be sure you're paid fairly. It's not the community's job to set a standard of fair prices.

It's your job. It's your responsibility to price your work competently, to know your expenses, to be aware of your Break Even Point. It's your responsibility to not only know these numbers, but to make smart decisions informed by them. It's your responsibility to keep paying attention to what your business and customers are telling you. And it's your responsibility to stay open to change.

No matter what you need in terms of income – you have this responsibility if you want to build a sustainable, satisfying business*. No matter what you need, you have no more (or less) right to be paid fairly, and no more (or less) responsibility to make that happen.
There are differences – where you are on the Spectrum of Money Needs will impact what you struggle with. Makers who don't feel a pressing “need” for the money often feel weird about charging for their work, or making decisions based on the numbers. Makers who desperately need the money so that they can continue to eat often feel overwhelmed and frustrated. They want to know exactly what to do to make it all work out. (Triple the stress if you have other people counting on you to feed them as well.)

You see, your hesitations and fears are normal. You are not alone. You are not more or less deserving than the crafter next to you.

No matter where you are in this spectrum – you deserve to be paid.

Your work is worth the effort. Your gifts are worth the work you'll do to find the profitability. Only by truly believing this, and taking on the responsibility for your own business, will you find your way to what you want. (And remember – you get to define success for yourself.)
While you're at it, while you're working on believing in your own worth, take a moment to accept the worth of everyone else. Let's stop debating who has a “real” business and let's stop trying to figure out who is making “real” money. You just don't know. You don't know how hard anyone else works or their own issues with self-worth. You don't know, so stop using it as a yardstick (or excuse) for your own goals.

If you're ready to get real about your own numbers + take responsibility for making money, check out Pay Yourself – it's now a self-paced e-course and for this week only it's on sale – $20 off. If you're ready to value your work and get paid, this class will help you find the profitability and improve on it.

*Don't care about making money on your craft? That's ok! Check out: Is it a business or a hobby?

How to have a profitable business, Step 1

The first step to a profitable business


When I quit my dayjob to make yarn full-time, I had worked for months towards an income goal. But then, life fell apart. In one month, my car caught fire, my husband lost his (only-part-time-anyhow) job, and my house was broken into (yep, everything electronic was stolen. Thank goodness they didn't know how valuable my little wooden spinning wheel is!)

Since that inauspicious start, my creativity has been my ticket to paying bills, traveling the country, going to movies and generally living life. In the beginning, I didn't know what to do except: SCRAMBLE. And, to be honest, sometimes it's still a scramble.

But I make it work.
 I take my family to a hotel + fancy dinner + the Chocolate Lounge for Mom's birthday. I take a week off to be in San Diego after teaching at TNNA. I get stuck overnight in an airport and can afford to get a hotel room at the last minute. I drive 3 hours and get a hotel to visit my husband's grandpa before he dies, then the next week for the funeral…then the next week for Thanksgiving.

These aren't glamorous rolling-in-the-dough stories. But this is real life.
I'm a 31-year-old married French major who likes to watch movies in a sofa cinema and can't bear “office casual”.
I bring home the puppy chow from my ideas and my words and my hands.

And in the nearly 5 years of doing this full-time, I've learned how do it, and do it with some ease.

And so, I think long and hard before I answer a question like the one Laura asked: “How do you create the income of your dreams when creating the products by hand?”

The answer is GINORMOUS.

But it's also kinda small: Profit. 

Everything you sell, every project you work on, and every opportunity you jump on must be profitable for your overall business to be profitable.

But doing that! It involves…math, my dear friends.
And it involves bold honesty. We tend to avoid the things we're not-so-comfortable with, so I created a class that walks you through all of it. From individual product profit-testing, to the things that keep your whole business paying you. It's the systems I use (and that I've helped other crafters in the Starship use) to launch new products, find new income streams, and pay the bills.

In the meantime, I can begin to answer Laura's question, with the very first step of profitability: Knowing your numbers.

Watch the below video to learn about your numbers and what they teach you:

(I made this video last year. Pay Yourself  has newer, better quality videos – watch a sample here.)

 

Once you know your numbers, it's time to learn from them + to  Pay Yourself

 

 

 

1 2