Tara Swiger is, in her own words, an author, maker, and Starship Captain. She’s bursting with advice and know-how for creative entrepreneurs. That’s why we knew we needed to get her to sit down with us and share some of her wealth of information with you. So pull out your notepads and enjoy our interview with the energetic Tara Swiger.
Do you mind telling us a little bit about yourself and your awesome business?
I help creative business women explore the inner life of their business. We filter all the big questions of business (marketing, profit, selling channels) through the lens of what suits YOU and YOUR PEOPLE best. As for me, I’m a yarn-maker, soy latte drinker and the author of Market Yourself
. I adore having conversations with passionate people and seeing the architecture that lies just beneath the surface of…everything!
You’re all about exploration. Why do you think it so important business owners explore their business and the world they’re creating?
Approaching the hard work of running a business is made a little less stressful and a little more fun when you think of it as an exploration. It opens you up to the idea that you get to make it what YOU want to make it, and not follow anyone else’s pattern. It reminds you that you’re doing just fine and that you’re not going do it “wrong” – you’ll just try things and then find better ways after some experimentation. As for exploring the world of your business – this is the people, the products, the relationships – this is how you find what actually makes your business thrive. When you take the time to find out what your people love, you’ll build it into new products and into all your marketing – which makes everything increasingly effective.
You went from selling eco-friendly, handmade yarn to helping entrepreneurs with marketing. How has the transition helped your business?
Well, I never set out to help entrepreneurs, I just started with a free Q+A answering the questions that were filling up my inbox. After that I realized just about everyone had the same questions about marketing, so I put together everything I knew in a 3-class course. From there I just kept answering the questions as I got them and creating the spaces and tools that people need!
Of course, I wouldn’t do any of it if it weren’t exactly what I love doing – writing and talking to people who are adventurous and creative.
What one piece of advice would you give someone who wants to quit their day job?
Do the money math. Figure out how many of each of your products you need to sell to make the money you’re going to need to feel comfortable without the steady income. And then double-check: is that realistic? Can you really make that many products (or services) in a normal month?
Once you have your goal number, work away at it until you’re selling that many for a few months in a row…and then put in your notice!
Has there ever been a time when you feared failure for your business? How did you overcome that feeling?
Oh! I fear it everyday! At this point I realize my whole business is probably never going to fail, because I won’t let it. But I’m afraid a class won’t sell, or that people will hate it, or that I’ll get a nasty review of my book. But I just remember that whatever happens, I’ll try something new. If people stop wanting a community of accountability, I’ll write more books. If people stop buying books, I’ll hold live workshops. My goal isn’t to have some perfectly-planned business, but to provide a service to the people I care about while doing what I love and feel confident in.
Want more advice? Want Tara to answer your specific question? Check out her website!
**Want to see your role model interviewed here? Send us a link to their site and we’ll go pick their brain!**