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How to Make Decisions

How  do you decide what to do next? How do you make a decision? My family has a simple question that we ask to make complex decisions and I’m sharing it with you today. 

 I want to talk about how you decide ANYthing in your business (or life) and a quick question I use to make better decisions.
I’m not even going to make you wait, here is the question to ask yourself: Hard now or hard later? 

Over the years of making decisions together, from do we want to get pizza delivered or make dinner, to should we buy a new or used car, to should we rent or buy…my husband and I have realized that making decisions is it’s own skill set. To make decisions together, we need to be on the same page about what matters, what our values are, and where we’re going as a family. 

And there are a lot of ways to make bad decisions! If you just look at the short-term effect of the decision, if you look at what’s gratifying RIGHT NOW, if you make a decision based on a value that’s not really your own…you end up with a not-great result. Sometimes it doesn’t really matter (should we have ordered that pizza), but sometimes your whole future can turn on a few decisions. 

But this is not a marriage advice podcast (maybe I’ll start that next?) this is a handmade business podcast! You make decisions every single day in your business, and I know it is so easy to get stuck wondering “what is the right decision? Does this even matter?”

Here’s what you can do to cut through all the stuckness and get right to what matters: Hard now or hard later? 

What this means is: Is there a way to make this decision that may be hard now, but will make life easier later? Or if I choose the easier path now, will it make more difficult later?  

As an example, let’s look at a decision a lot of us made in our 20s – If I’ve got no money, but I want a pizza or to go out with my friends…should I just get it on a credit card or should I not go out and eat what I have at home? Most of us know that the easier decision is to order a pizza, but we could be paying interest charges on that one pizza for months – it will make the future harder. Or we could make the less fun decision now and have an easier future (with no debt!)

 

A lot of people are raised to (and parts of our culture encourages us to) make the easy decision now and let your future self deal with it. There’s even a  stand up comedian who jokes about making life harder for your Future Self. Screw that guy, let him deal with it! 

So this question – do I want to do the hard thing now or suffer the worse consequences later? 

 

Another way to ask the question is: fun now or fun later? 

Do I want to have short-term fun now, and pay for it later? Or make a hard decision now to make it more fun later? 

Now, this may not be the question you need. When I was talking about this on a Live in my Facebook group, my friend and life coach Joeli made the point that a lot of people in our community have this misunderstanding that life is “supposed” to be hard. That work is “supposed to be” hard. So they make things hard that don’t have to be hard. I totally know what she means because I see it all the time, this mistrust that things can be easy, work can be filled with ease. 

So if that’s you, if you think everything has to be hard, let me flip this question around for you. Next time you make a decision ask yourself: What can I do now to set my Future Self up for success? And how can I make it full of ease and fun? 

 

I used a financial decision as an example, but this can apply to so many thing in your business:

  • Do I want to take the time to schedule my social media for the next two weeks or do I want to have to deal with it every day?
  • Do I want to figure out my numbers and profitability now, or suffer the consequences of selling items at a price that doesn’t actually make sense?
  • Do I want to take the time to identify my market and shape my marketing message or keep trying to do it on the fly and getting more frustrated and disappointed when marketing doesn’t work? 

Do I want to confront this problem now (with a supplier, a customer, a friend) or do I want to leave it alone and have a bigger blow-up later? 

And if you, like me, are still practicing social distancing or quarantine right now, we’re not out of the decision-making loop. Do I want to give my kids another hour of TV and deal with them bouncing off the walls later? Do I want to mindlessly scroll Twitter now and feel unproductive and stressed later? 

Remember, sometimes you need to choose the easy thing. Sometimes you need the rest, sometimes you need to zone out. But the key to building a sustainable business is to give yourself what you need, while still honoring and taking care of your Future Self. 

Your questions answered: email list growth, self-publishing and what I’d do differently

Get YOUR questions answered: self-publishing a book, growing your email list, and advice on building your crafty biz!

Today I'm answering questions from my Instagram followers (to get your questions answered, be sure you're following me!). In fact, I received so many questions, I split them into two podcasts!  You can find the first Q&A post here.   Today we'll cover:

  • Email List Growth
  • Self-Publishing
  • What I'd do differently

 

Resources:

Check out these awesome handmade businesses:

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.

When everything is awful

When everything is awful

Let's be honest: Sometimes, everything is awful. (On the other hand, sometimes everything is awesome and you find yourself singing this song.) When things are awful, it helps if you have a list ready to go, to help you get through it (without giving up). In this episode I'll share the list of things I do when everything is awful and the tricks that work best for my clients.

How to listen to the podcast:

  • 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.

 

 

The simplest marketing tool: Listening

simplest marketing tool listening

The key to making your marketing effective: Talking directly to your people, about what they care about. But how do you know what they value and what will speak to them? It's super simple: Listen in. 

In this episode you'll learn:

  • How I listened to create my best-selling product
  • How you can listen in (without being a creep)
  • What to listen for

Listening to you, my dear listeners (!), led me to create the Starship, which is now open, just until this Friday. Beam up here.

How to listen to the podcast:

 

 

The simplest business tool

the simplest business tool

Not everything requires a complex solution. Sometimes, you need to make a decision but you feel stuck. You're not sure what you should do and your head is all swirly. It's time to pull out my favorite business tool: a conversation.

The Starship opens next Monday for only 5 days. Get on the list here to be notified first.

 

How to listen

Find all the podcast episodes here.

 

 

 

How to use Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest in your creative business

How to use Facebook Instagram and Pinterest in your Creative Biz

 

 

I get asked about this all the time, so it's time I answer your questions about how to use Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest in your creative business. You'll learn about the pros and cons of each and how each one can help you reach your specific business goal.

In this episode:

  • The three things you need to before  you start using a tool.
  • The strengths and weaknesses of the platforms I get asked about most,
  • The most effective ways to use these tools

Couldn't scribble notes fast enough? Get a transcript of this podcast episode when you sign up here

Links 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!).

 

What works (and what doesn’t): Lessons from 4 years aboard the Starship

What Works (And What Doesn't)

In four years of leading the Starship, I have had an inside look at dozens of creative businesses. I've seen what works (and what keeps them stuck).  I've watched captains grow their business until they could quit their day job, captains start their business from scratch, and captains totally change directions. I've noticed some things are true of all the captains who have met their goals, and I'd like to share them with you today.

In today's episode I'll share: 

  • What the most successful captains have in common
  • What stops businesses (and people) from growing
  • What it really takes to be a successful knitwear designer (Since the Starship is about 30% knitwear designers, I've learned a lot by watching what works for them.)

The Starship is an online community for makers, artists and writers with a library full of classes, a forum to ask and answer questions, and a weekly live chat with me, where everyone checks in on what's going well, what they're working on, and how we can help.  It is open this week (it closes on Oct 1); join here.

 

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.

Want to beam aboard the Starship or sign up to learn when it's open? Click here!

 

How to start a business if you don’t have any money {PODCAST}

How to start a business if you don't have any money

This week, with the re-release of Pricing 101, we're talking about money. Today let's talk about that perennial question: How can you start (and grow) a business with very little money? What are your options when you can't spend money on advertising or staff?

In this episode of Explore Your Enthusiasm, we'll talk about:

  • How I started my yarn business with no money
  • How you can start (and grow) a business with very little investment
  • What to do if you're on the edge

 Get Pricing 101 free with Pay Yourself!

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.

 

 

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

I did it! I finished the sweater I started in 2010!! I kept putting it away worried it wasn't working...but IT FITS!!  Featherweight cardigan in Malabrigo. I'll give you a better look at it soon.
Untitled
Blueberry pancakes with blueberry syrup = my new obsession.  #yaysummer  (syrup =  blueberries microwaved with maybe 1/2 tsp maple syrup)  #blueberries #100happytaradays #vegan

I am so grateful for…

  •  A lovely hike in the Appalachians this weekend.
  • Making a new friend, a real friend that totally gets my crafty obsessions and propensity to talk too fast.
  • Blueberries! Basil! Local summer tastiness.
  • This fabulous surprise on the Rock + Purl podcast!

The Finds:

I’m finding:

I’m eating: 

  • More blueberry crumb bars. Don't judge. (From this book)
  • More pesto from my home-grown basil over gnocchi.
  • Ancho Lentil burritos.

In case you missed it: 

What adventures have you had?

Be Yourself

Be Yourself. Here's how, on TaraSwiger.com

The number one piece of advice I received before doing the (scariest project of my life) CreativeLIVE class? “Be Myself”
Which is ironic, since that's exactly the advice I give to crafters who are struggling to talk about their business and work. In fact, a whole section of my workshop includes pages of questions for you to figure out what that really means, for you. But how do you do it? How do you “be yourself” in your business?

In today's episode, I'll share how the heck I figured out how to Be Myself, and how it totally changed the way I think about things.

How to Be Yourself (Even when you're a nervous wreck.)

  1. Get clear on what you love.
  2. Show up and be present.
  3. Decide connection matters.

How are you being yourself in your business (and life?) How are you hiding yourself?

Links mentioned in today's podcast:

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.

 

 

 

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