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Join me for a live event in Seattle!

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Super exciting news guys: over the last month, I have confirmed FOUR in-person events for the next 6 months. You can see the full list here, but today I want to tell you about the closest one. (Want reminders about all upcoming events, both online and off? Sign up here!)

On October 16-17, I'll be at the School House Craft Conference in  Seattle, WA! You can grab your tickets here.

 

I'll be teaching:

Pay Yourself – find the profit and sustainability in your business

Craft your Customer Path – how strangers find you, fall in love with you, and become raving fans

Get More Done – how to get what matters done, no matter how much time you have.

 

I am SUPER excited! Not only to teach on my favorite topics, in one of my favorite cities, but to get to hang out with the fabulous people who will be there! Y'all know I love Kim Werker and Marlo Miyashiro (Marlo hired me to teach my first-ever live class, for EtsyRAIN, 3 years ago. I was, uh, in need of improvement), and I'm delighted to have the opportunity to get to know the other teachers better.

And more than THAT, I'm THRILLED at the chance to see YOU! So if you're in the Seattle area, I'd love it if we can meet and hang out at the conference!

Join us here.

If you're going, be sure to say hello and tell me you're a reader!

The Boston Adventures

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


I spent last week teaching and exploring in Boston, and even though it's not Friday, I wanted to share a few of my adventures while it's still fresh.

I am so grateful for…

The people who made my time lovely, inspiring, and well worth it:

  • The students in my Wednesday workshop. They were funny and honest and brave and helped me remember that we all feel like we haven't made it yet.
  • The entire staff of Gathere Here, especially Virginia – for making it happen -and Maggie for charging my phone and letting me feel like a normal knitter for an hour.
  • Ana, for dreaming up this trip and picking a topic so many people really did want and for taking a whole day to tour me around Salem.
  • Abby, for driving to meet me for coffee and having a fabulous conversation about money, reality, and her vision. Her blog is an awesome resource of big-issue-thinking for crafters – read it!
  • Guido, for taking me on a dog walking tour of Cambridge. There is nothing as inspiring as someone truly passionate and Guido is – about his neighborhood, the fiber community, and his adorable dog. Also, he gave the best food recommendation of my trip.
  • The staff of Veggie Galaxy, for the free milkshake, and for being an excellent example of how to use twitter for your business.
  • Jess, who kept everything running while I was away. I never could have taught three workshops the week after the largest Starship Boarding if it weren't for her flexibility, organization and encouragement!

 

What adventures did you have last week?



 

Are you near Boston?

Enjoying very old buildings...

 

If so, I wanna meet you!

Boston is one of my favorite cities to visit (did you know my book launch party was in Boston?) and I'm so delighted to be returning. While I'm there, I plan to eat at Veggie Galaxy, drink lots of coffee, and meet some of the most creative creative businesses around!

I'll be in Boston from October 1-4 and I've got a handful of ways we could hang out:

  • Take a my class at Cabot Street Studio
  • Attend a my workshop at Gather Here
  • Have a cup of coffee with me

You can RSVP to any (or all of these) here. And if you've got a friend in the area, I'd love it if you shared it with them. Just send 'em here.

Are you near Boston? Think you can make it?

Leave a comment and let me know!

 

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The Adventures

Every week is an adventure. I share my adventures via images + notes, and you're invited to join in.
You can find all my adventures here, or follow along via email here.

 

Last minute warning! The Starship closes tonight! Beam up here.

 

The view

Mom just me this. Pretty much our best family photo. Ever.
You can't forget this step of packing. #catsofinstagram
Goodbye, ocean. #smooches
Our next collaborative quilt. #bloomsanddots
Our digs for the week.

The Path

  • I am bubbling with excitement for my upcoming to trip to Boston! I'm planning a series of workshops around the city (each with a different focus + a prize for everyone who comes to all of them!) and the registration for the first one just opened. I'll be teaching how to develop and FILL a class where you can share your creative skills (painting, knitting, writing!) at Cabot Street Studios, thanks to an invitation from Ana. (Want me to teach in your city? Shoot me a note and let's plan something!)

 

 

  • The highlight of the week is overwhelmingly the responses I got to this email. I've added a few of the stories (with permission) to the Love + Praise page.

 

  • The second best thing of the week? My FOURTH self-employment anniversary! I celebrated here + with my own quarterly review and planning (I use this mini-book + Leonie's Money Game (which you can find in her Business course here or as part of the Academy))

 

 

 

 

I plan to spend the rest of my weekend snuggled up with this stack of books. You?

The first step towards a profitable business

First Steps toward 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 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 for my Dad's birthday party. {This was the year both parents turned 50. It was a big deal. But don't mention it to them!} 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 30-year-old married French major who likes to eat at Plant at least once a month, 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 4 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 new “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. And 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.

The class is Pay Yourself, and you can register for it here.

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

Once you know your numbers, it's time to Pay Yourself

Got a question? Ask me!
Like these videos? Subscribe and I'll beam 'em to your inbox each week!

 

3 steps to embracing your multitudes (for when you want to do and be more)

Making a collage for blog post on being more than one thing.

During the last week, my inbox and Twitter stream has been full of your stories about being  More Than One Thing. Although there are a zillion ways to be more than one thing, and a million ways of working it out in your business, it seems that most everyone's stories fit into one of three patterns:

 

  1. You wear a lot of hats. As a maker-seller, you design the product, make the product, do the bookkeeping, manage the marketing, and label each and everything. This is less about your you-ness and more about scheduling, being productive and making a map.  Whether you sell scarves or apps, being a small business owner is all about juggling the myriad responsibilities and priorities.
  2. You have so many interests, but your public “persona” doesn't reflect your gorgeous ginormousness. You might sell sewing patterns, but you also knit and do puppetry. Oh, and you love Battlestar Gallactica and vegan cupcakes. You feel the pressure to “just do one thing” in order to seem more “professional”…but it's starting to wear you down. While you want to  bring your unique you-ness into your business, you struggle with knowing what you want to make part of your public persona. (This is the thing I have the hardest time with.)
  3. You are known for making and selling one thing…but it feels limiting. You want to introduce a new product or line, but you're not sure how it fits in the other stuff you've been doing.

Do you recognize yourself in one of these?

(or maybe all three?)

The good news: it's normal.
As your business grows, you grow. As a maker, your creativity wants new-ness and excitement, and after a while, doing and making just one thing gets boring (and stifling). Feeling the chafe of wanting to be more than what you have been, to bring more of yourself into your business is a sign that you're that building a more sustainable business.

It's worth the initial struggle. When you create different streams of income, you've got a stronger business. When you're more you, you find new customers. When you try new things, your creativity is reinvigorated.  Both Kim and I have stories of resisting and then, finally, embracing our multitidues and finding  greater success, greater connection, more fulfilling work.

So where do you start? If you recognize yourself in one of the scenarios above…what do you do next?

It's a process.

It takes time to first just get comfortable, and then to get strategic about how to resolve it.
In my experience, the process can be something like:

1. Identify the multitudes.
Go through the above three scenarios and list out all the ways this is true for you.

2. Find something to start with.
Take a look at your list and notice: which one wants to be shared? Which part of you feels stifled right now?

3. Experiment.
Try incorporating just a smidge more of you in your next blog post, newsletter or even product description. And then take note, what happens? For real scientific proof (especially useful if this feels scary), conduct a real experiment.

What are your multitudes? What do you want to experiment with?

 

 

Kim and I are sharing real-world strategies for broadening your business by embracing your multitudes in tomorrow's workshop. We'll cover hire-me pages, juggling multiple income streams and managing multiple projects (we'll cover scenario #2 + #3.) If you're struggling with the “too many hats” problem, we create personalized solutions each week, inside the Starship.

The adventures

This week has definitely been an adventure. A travel-cross-country, get stranded in an airport, totally exhausted kind of adventure. But! I loved it! And it inspired me to add a new section to this here weekly round-up of Adventures: The Lessons. Scroll down to see 'em!

 

The view

Seattle skyline from Bainbridge Ferry :: Teaching an EtsyRAIN workshop :: Knitting the TARDIS shawl with a DALEK :: Captain Kirk's actual chair :: At the baseball game :: first Pumpkin Spice of the season, as I waited for my much-delayed flight

The lessons

Captain Kirk's chair isn't that impressive in real life (kind of a peel-y vinyl), reminding me again that the symbol is the thing, and the value we bring to objects.

Support is all around. Again and again during the trip, I'd worry about something (like which busses to take to get to my workshop, without getting sweaty) only to have support show up (within an hour, three different people texted, unprompted and offered to drive me.) This happened so many times I lost count. Note to self: Keep your eyes open, the help you need is within reach.

Setting goals is powerful. I've had a dream/wish in mind all summer, but didn't know how to make it happen. Way back in June, I wrote that I wanted the Starship to my full-time focus  by September. But it seemed impossible, so I didn't make any plans for it…and then a series of random events made it possible to extricate myself from long-term client projects (happy on all sides) and dedicate myself full-time to the Starship this month. Magical. Also, freaky.

The finds

  • Breezy – A life-saving app! I had to print worksheets for the workshop (and couldn't print them ahead of time or they'd get all squished in my luggage), and Breezy lets you send any document to any local, public printer (like, Kinkos!) right from your phone or iPad.
  • I like what Cairene is saying here about commitment leading to magic. I've been learning this lesson over and over again lately, and I'm so glad she wrote it.
  • This is a pretty impressive handknit sweater for a baseball fan. I'm kinda tempted. Recognize the pattern?
  • Marlo! We had lunch after my workshop and she is just…well, it's hard to talk about her without sounding cliched. Smart! Great! Hilarious! Also, so so in tune with what crafters need to know. Since I don't work one-on-one with clients anymore (unless you're already in the Starship), I'm referring everyone to her.

And that's it for my Adventures this week – what were yours?

 


Another lesson  learned? I love talking to you. So now, for this month only, every one boarding the Starship gets a free jam session. We'll talk about your questions, your dreams and your plans, so you enter the Starship prepared to get exactly what you need. Offer ends (and the Starship closes to new members) on 9/14.

You’re invited! Seattle Workshop 9/1

Eep! I'm so excited to invite you to my first-ever live, in-person workshop!

At the bus stop

Find your Right People: How to woo + keep more customers

Customers.
Fans.
Your tribe.
Your community.
Your people.

Whatever you call them, your business needs them.

Those people who love your work and feel a deep thrum of recognition when they see your newest creation.

These are your Right People.

They are the ones you  buy from you, rave about you and support you.
With your Right People, you don’t have to wonder.
You know they’ll love what you make.
You know what you make will sell.

But how do you get Right People?
And once you have them, how to get them coming back? 

Seattle library

In this one hour workshop, you'll discover WHO you want in your business and HOW to get them there. The class will include instruction, worksheets and plenty of time to ask your specific questions. We'll cover:

  • Finding Right People
  • How to let your Right People know they are right for you
  • How to keep them happy + satisfied
  • Any questions you have about your Right People
Saturday, September 1, 2012
12:30 PM
Phinney Neighborhood Center
6532 Phinney Avenue North
Seattle, WA 98103
Price: $35.00 per person
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Got questions? Ask 'em in the comments.