Weekly-ish notes on navigating big change


Where to start with small business accounting – Ask Tara #1

Welcome to the first episode to Ask Tara!
Today I'm answering the question of where to start with accounting and bookkeeping for your small creative business. I share my clients' favorite accounting resources and walk you through what I do.


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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?

4 steps to make your dream more do-able

(If you're reading via email, click through to watch the video)

Whenever I talk to makers about their goals, I hear the same frustration over and over:

I'm great at setting goals…but never seem to succeed with STICKING with them.”

In my CreativeLIVE class, we spent the whole third day translating your marketing and your dreams into a do-able plan, that will take you towards your true goals (and not just what you think you should do.

In the above video snippet, I share 4 actionable tips for making your goals more do-able. 
1. Get Super Specific
2. Recognize the support you have + the support you need
3. Keep it in line with your North Star
4. Be Flexible

If you want to get clear on your marketing and how they shape your dreams, you can buy the entire class (and watch a few more sneak peeks), right here: http://cr8.lv/taraswigerclyt

Do you have a business? Or do you have a hobby?

Do you have a business, or do you have a hobby?

What does Bar Rescue have to do with your crafty business? 

Watch the below video to find out, along with the three things that distinguishes a creative hobby from a creative business.

Can't see the video? Click through to watch it.


Do you have a business or do you have a hobby?

The difference:

  • Do you have a bigger vision?
  • Are you eager and willing to do the work of a business?
  • Are you in it for the long haul?


If not, that's fine! Enjoy your hobby!

If you're not sure if you want a business, check out this post on Fresh Stitches: Do you really want a business? 


But most of the people who write me DO have businesses!
I bet you do, too. As Alex Franzen likes to say, you are not confused. You know what you want, you see your bigger vision.

So why do you doubt it? Why do you question? 

Is it that you need accountability to stick with the hard bits (and encouragement that you are not alone)? If so, check out the Starship.
Or is it that you need to make your plan more do-able and less vague?

Or maybe it's a question of confidence (hint: you don't have to wait) or believing it's possible (it is!) or knowing how to spread the word?

So how about you?

Do you have a business? Or do you have a hobby?






What to do with all those Pinterest followers?

What do I do with all these Pinterest Followers

Last week during the #omhg chat* Marisa asked a great question:

“What do I do with my nearly 1 million Pinterest followers?”

Yes! I jumped all over it and Marisa and I got to emailing with ideas and suggestions for what she could do with all that possible-traffic. I've come across this question (and some great answers) so often that I know you're probably wondering the same. So here's my 4 tips for doing something great with your Pinterest account:

I forgot to mention it in the video, but I recently read and enjoyed Pinfluence. If you want more ideas and some technical how-tos it's a great book! {Buy it from your local bookseller!}


Do you use Pinterest for your business? How's it working out for you?

I get quite a bit of traffic thanks to Pinterest, but I'm just starting to use the kind of pin-able images on my blog posts (like this, for example). How about you?




Got a question you need answered? Ask me!
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*Next week I'm co-hosting the chat! Come hang out, Thursday 1p-2p!

Get comfortable, be an explorer


We've been talking about money lately. And money-talk can be…uncomfortable. Talking about hard times, slow learning and real numbers opens yourself up to judgement…even if it's just from yourself.
And that's why it's so important to be an explorer.

Before we get into your numbers and profit, let's talk more about exploring and how it can help us get in the right space to do this work:



This exploring is what we'll be doing in PayYourself. If you're ready to explore your profit margins and build on what's working, join us here. (Class starts on Monday, and that's the last day you can join. No, I won't be holding it again.)

What are you exploring now? What could use some gentle curiosity?

How to create a successful business

How to create a successful business

Before we go much farther with this me-answering-your-questions thing, let's talk about the BIG question.

The one that wakes you up at night, the one that you can't seem to find an easy answer for, the big secret everyone else seems to know:

How do I create a successful business?

I've got TWO answers, one simple and one complex, for this most-asked question.


The most important thing is to decide what success means to YOU.

What will success look like in your business? Leave a comment below or tweet it.

Got a question you need answered? Ask me!
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