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

the starship

Inside the Starship: Who, What and How we build stellar businesses

Since 2010 I have led a private community for makers and artists who are serious about their creative businesses. In this episode of Explore Your Enthusiasm, I’m talking all about the “behind the scenes” of what happens in The Starship, listen in at TaraSwiger.com/podcast172

Play

The Starship. You may have heard me mention that in the past, but judging from your emails… you have no idea what I’m talking about. In today’s episode I’m going to take you behind the scenes of my private online community.

Links about Community and Accountability:

Links to the Starship Captains I mentioned:

Interviews with Starship Captains:

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!).

The middle of the ride

When you first got on this ride (and started your business), you had enthusiasm. You had books. You read stuff and made a list (maybe even a map) and figured out where to go next.

The destination was clear: Selling My Thing.
So you figured out how to get there, and you did it! You sold a thing! Hoorah!

But then you realized the destination had shifted. It wasn't just enough to have a place to sell your thing, you also needed great pictures, compelling descriptions. No wait, that's not enough either, now you need to keep doing that, every week. And so now the destination isn't just to sell one of your things, the destination is to keep going with this, to keep it going even when you don't feel like it.
Oh! You need something outside of just your own whims to get things done…you need a whole system of getting your thing made and sold…it's….It's a business.

And so you read more books and tried more stuff.
You've figured out how to keep making things, photographing them, listing them.
You've met some of your clients. You've had conversations.

Now you have a business…but now you're destination-less. It's  not a place that you can point to on the map and be  all done with it.
It's ongoing.
It's iterative.
It's everyday.

You have to live with not having a destination.
You are realizing more and more each day that the plan is now to build something you love, something that's sustainable and that you like doing and find out all the ways you can keep it healthy and fresh and full of enthusiasm.
But when you turn to books, there just aren't any books for where you are. And they wouldn't help anyhow because all your questions are so specific to you and your business.

This is a place of journey-ing, of realizing that your business is this ongoing thing and you kind of won't ever have it “figured out”. This iskind of a lonely place. It's definitely a difficult place.

I know because I've been there. When I quit my dayjob to make yarn full-time, I came smack up against that on-my-own-ness, and it took me months to realize that I didn't need to power through, I needed to surround myself with others doing the same. And not just in an occasional Twitter conversation, but on a regular, business-specific basis.

And I know it's not just me, because last week I talked to all kinds of people (gym owners, jewelry-makers, vegan coaches) and real explorers (mountain climbers!), and everywhere it's the same. You feel like their questions are too specific, and that you're all alone.

What you need in this place isn't more books, it isn't more articles about 10 ways to make more sales, what you need is provisions for the journey. You need to embrace that you are no longer a person starting a business, you are a business explorer, one who will now live and learn and experiment in the wilds of business-land.

And every explorer knows, you can't do it alone.
You need a team who helps you explore, who shares ideas and who just keeps you from calling off the whole expedition when something goes wrong.
You also need to feel like you can ask your questions, your strangely specific questions about your incredibly unique business, and get the feedback from people who know it, and know you, and know what's worked for them.

That's why I built the Starship. Because all around me, from my classes and my twitter stream, were smart + clever businesses. But they felt discouraged and alone. They wanted regular encouragement. So I built a space for  them (and you) that  combines straight-up business advice in monthly classes with the accountability and encouragement of weekly live chats. It's for the middle of the journey, for when things feel like they're taking too much time, for when you're past needing the books, and you need daily movement. You can come aboard here.

But whether you come aboard or not, I want you to know that the middle is ok, it's normal, it's to be expected. It's not unusual to feel lonely or lost or destination-less. It's not unusual to be frustrated you can't find books about where you're at. Find encouragement in others who are going through the same thing. Seek out stories of the middle, and examples of people living in the middle. And maybe listen to this song.