Skip to main content

craft & maker

How to Get More Done

Lesson 4 of 17

What if My Goal is Unreasonable?

Tara Swiger

How to Get More Done

Tara Swiger

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2000+ more >

Lesson Info

4. What if My Goal is Unreasonable?

Lesson Info

What if My Goal is Unreasonable?

Is it reasonable? Is this goal can you physically make this many things? Is your goal way far out from what you have typically sold in the past isn't an alignment is just like a small growth because there's no point in any of this if it's not doable if it's not actual steps you can take to make the goal if the goal is too crazy and too out there and you could never make it then that's not a good goal it's just gonna frustrate you and then we come back to your question about uh is it what if I've never I'm not just dreaming of all this because I haven't made that many feels in the past and their two parts of making this goal and asking is it reasonable? Is it unreasonable? The first one is actually making enough items your production are you producing enough teo make this sales goal because if you're not you're making two things a week but she would have to sell five things a week. You're never gonna reach the goal, right? So that's just like reality check are you making enough and that...

's what we're going to talk about finding time for today and in the second part of it is actually selling the items, so we're going to talk about making the time to make the items and do the marketing but then you actually did have marketing that sells your items so no sales goal matters if you don't have any feels and so I my cross, your creative live was crafting marketing for crafters and megan's going to do one about, uh, good marketing plan those things you need to implement in order to actually read such the sales goal. So we're just going to talk about finding the time to make the things finding the time to do the marketing. But then you have to have a plan in place for marketing them for reaching your people. Connecting, selling okay, so what if your goal is it reasonable? So this is what have done this in the past with students. Say I have a goal like what made zero sales and I want to make twenty thousand dollars next week. So that's clearly unreasonable, right? Because it's going to take some ramp up time. It's not unreasonable to ever make twenty thousand dollars is just not gonna happen tomorrow. If you currently have zero sales there's a couple ways gold's tend to be unreasonable. The first one is that it's physically impossible? We've talked about this a couple times, right? If you really truly cannot make that many items, then you need to find a different solution. One of the solutions might be your pricing. You take tart, terraced class on anything tio, make sure that your pricing is an alignment because but I often find it somebody has like a normal kind of sales goal it's not one hundred million selling my five dollar items if it's like a doable sales go, it seems doable, but their prices aren't in line, they'll never reach their sales goal. If they have no profit on each item, they won't, they won't have a profitable business so that's the first thing. If it's not physically possible, you might need to look at your prices. The second thing is far more than you usually sell, so I sell one thing a month and I want to sell one hundred things a month that might make your goal and reasonable and that's where marketing comes into play, actually sharing your work with more people getting it and more people's hands. The third way is that it is more than you usually physically produce there's one thing about it being completely physically impossible, and the other thing is that it might be just more than you usually make so a lot of makers in the beginning, mick, maybe one thing every two weeks. But their sales goal is to be selling three things that week, so you need to ramp up your production, and it might be that you need to find the time for it. So that's, what we're gonna talk about today and the last thing, if your goal is unreasonable, the solution might be to change your goal. And when I was talking about this with justin, he said, but how do we know if I need to change my goal? What's the difference between an ambitious school, which is awesome and exciting in an unreasonable goal, which is like never gonna happen, and the difference is all of the question to ask yourself, is this school unreasonable? Is, um I expecting toe work the time space continuum a my a my hoping that I have thirty hours a day toe work instead of just the normal amount of human hours to work and sleep and eat that is a totally unreasonable goal. I'm all about big, ambitious goals, but don't be ridiculous don't expect that I only normally have one hour a day to work on my business, but magically I'll have six hours a day to produce my stuff that's unreasonable it's also unreasonable if you are picking a goal because it's someone else's goal if you heard that all businesses need to make at least a thousand dollars a month or two thousand dollars a month to be legitimate, and so you absorb that is your goal, but that's not the kind of business you're building that's not the amount of time you have it's not praising, then that's unreasonable, so there is a definite difference. As much as I love big, ambitious goals, some goals are unreasonable and some are ambitious, and we can actually talk about your goals if people have questions like my being unreasonable or maybe an ambitious there's a couple other things I want to say about that. The first one is an ambitious goal reporters ambitious action that this all yarn was for one sweater project, which was a really ambitious water project, so if you want to reach a gold far, stretches yourself beyond what you've done in the past, then you have to take action that far stretches yourself beyond what you've done in the past that might be reaching out to customers in a way you've never reach out. It might be starting your email newsletter it might be increasing your prices so that you have a more profitable business but moving from any any ambitious goal that stretches you is going to require for you to take action that you've never taken before. This is the thing a lot of people don't say, they just say, like, set a goal and work towards it, but you have to do work that you weren't doing before another in order to get results, you weren't getting before, so you might wantto look at your goal, see if it's doable, it's okay to rethink your goal. That's what we're going through, did you have a question that has to do with what's under my control? I mean, my under my control is producing, but it's not under my control, that anybody with sales are so sick that would change my goal from a money monetary producing. Yes, and so a lot of people find that in order to reach their first sale school, they actually do change, it'll tow a production goal, and I walk a lot of students through, um, say, your end goal is to make two thousand dollars a month like that. That's, when, you know your business is like, whoa, that's what I want, but you're not making or selling anything's now moved to making enlisting, making available for sale or going to craft shows, making available for sale, reaching out toe stores to carry your work, and that goes back to ambitious action that something you weren't doing before, so there is and is this a question that comes up a lot? There are things in your control and things outside of your control, but way more in your control than you think, and there are so many actions you can't you can't make other people buy, but you can do everything else toe lead them up into that. You can make sure your marketing is super clear your descriptions or super clear your photos are beautiful and show your best work that your work is actually in the places where people would buy it all these interactions you can date and that gets into marketing, which, you know, I could talk about forever, but that there's a lot more in your control than right up into the point where they decide to buy and as I'm sure you've heard me say before, your job isn't to convince anybody to buy it's, to give them all the information and everything they need in order to feel awesome about the decision and includes like building a relationship and letting me to know you in your work. They're all action, you have to take to reach mission goal, and then the next question is it that if you were looking at your goal and you're thinking this is completely unreasonable, the question is, is it unreasonable or you just filled with doubt? That's real and see how bad he is. This's I'm snuggling you and happy face, which I know you can tell, but he's a hound dog, he always looks like that. So if your goal a big difference between ambitious and unreasonable, is your own doubt, you might think that this is an unreasonable goal when in fact, you just you're doubting yourself if you can actually do the work, if you can actually take the steps. And so I want to remind you that if you're feeling that dot that's ok that's part of the goal setting process is part of the stretching yourself part of business growth, but don't be afraid to set an ambitious goal and don't be afraid of changing our goal, there's a few things around an ambitious goal one it will drive you to do actions you never did before, and that will move your business forward, which is a good thing. But if it's too ambitious right out of the gate and it feels really overwhelming, you're actually gonna ignore it. So there's no point having a goal, you don't ever look at our work towards what we're talking about. My goals are things actually drive your daily actions so as much as I want you to stretch yourself and work. Towards something that's bigger than what you've been doing in the past at the same time, I don't want you to d motivate yourself and this is a fine line to walk, and usually I can get into it by talking to each person to figure out why would you need to be stretched right now? Or do you need to have small winds? Do you need to have an early winds? You feel good about what you're able to dio and this all comes down to knowing yourself. You need to know at this point is important for me to have a small win or is important for me to feel like amazing and motivated working towards goal lt's I found that some people work best with a series of small goals and some people work best working toward something really big, you're going to be different, whatever is that what you know drives you because the joy of a big goal is you take all these actions and you'll be driven towards it. But if you never reach it and if you set the goal to soon with no winds, you'll always feel bad about what you're getting done about what you're doing. You're never getting there, we need to know if you're going from zero sales. To to some sales you might want to go to be really small and actually I had a student in my community program who did this when she first opened her shop she was like, I'm the taliban cheech month okay, but you have nothing in your shop. So your goal put five things in your shop and that's what she did for a quarter, I think she made ten things and put them in her shop and then argo is get my first sale. She spent three months doing all the work. So your first sale and then the next three months and this might seem like it takes a long time when you're in the middle of it. But now that she's two years past, it was totally worth all of the time and the three month chunks to get to this point because the next point was I made a sale in three months. Wu how about a sale every month? And then how about a sale every week? And then how about multiple sales a week? And now she makes and produces enough to have multiple sales a week, and she did like these national conventions and shows where she had her work and she had often sales, but you can only get through that by first producing and listing a couple of items and building on that and getting the sails and getting because there's so much you learn as you build on that you learn about how fast you can produce things what your profit margin is you learn how teo put it all together into a business where you can make and sell fifty items we can actually get them out the door because they were all skills you gotta learn and build it slowly also at different points in your life you need different goals sometimes your goal is not your business sometimes your goal is your life like the same student who built from zero sales toe multiple sales a week she's not pregnant so when her new baby comes she's going to not want a big joy enormous business school her goal is going to be like survive day today right which had morning sickness it was just like get out of bed and get dressed that was her goal for that quarter like I'm gonna get dressed multiple times a week and so that's okay we're not all in the place of needing ambitious driven action what I most want is free to love your business and feel good about your workday and that's going to require a different goal at different points in life now I would like it to hear from you guys what's your goal do you feel like it's ambitious do you feel like it perfectly in a line I liked you from the chat room thirty questions about their goals you have a quick question for someone who says can't small winds lead up to big goal? Absolutely that's exactly how it works but some people so when I'm talking about getting a big goal versus small winds, some people need to just look at the small win in front of them they need to not think my goal is to make ten thousand dollars they need to think my goal is to make my first sale, so if my student had said my goal is to make ten thousand dollars is my business and that was the goal she woke up each morning and worked on she would have been demotivated really quickly because she wouldn't have got there very soon, but when she said it's to make one sale, she just focused on one sale just on one sale so absolutely though it all builds up and without those small winds you never get to the big goals. I just find some people do better thinking big and some people do better thinking really small in front of me and in general the longer your business goes, I think your goals can get kind of longer and bigger and like more ambitious because you've I learned all of the skills to make and produce and sell up to that point does anybody have any questions about their goals? And if their reach ball wondering about the person who you know set the smaller goal to reach the one sale? What kind of actions that she take to get to the one sale? So I'll tell you what she did, and we'll see if it applies dear situation, so the first thing she needed to do is fill her shop with stuff ninety percent of the people who want more sales, they don't have enough things in their shop, they and what I'm talking about is kira shopify. Obviously, if you sell jewelry a jewelry line, you might just have six different pieces, but you have multiples of those ready to sell when they sell, so you might have you mentioned a wallet on the body cause jewelry necklaces, and are they in different colors and different sizes, different options? Yeah, so having enough was the first thing that she needed to do to go from zero to one as she needed to fill up her shop and, depending on your price point that's anywhere in between twenty five and a half undid items. And actually what most my students see is that once they reach the hundred items in their shop, something tilt and they start getting regular sales. And of course, when you saw some things that you have put more things, it won't stay at a hundred forever, hopefully because they'll be going out the door so that there's at some point and I don't know what it is for each individual business, but if you keep adding things to your shop, that tends teo spark sales to be the first thing in the second thing is our marketing, she had to look at her pictures, and she redid some of her pictures because the original ones were just like, buzzy and not clear, and they don't have any personality. She wrote her descriptions, and she actually created a template for each description so that it would always give the same information because she would have listings didn't tell you what size it wass or what material it wass so they all had to become consistent. She made her titles consistent, her tags consistent all that stuff because he was a nazi shop on dh. Then she also worked on her messaging to her people. She already started a blawg on had readers of the blogger not tons, but some, but should have a link anywhere to her shop. She never mentioned her products ever so anywhere. It might be that you already have an instagram account or twitter account or just a facebook page with friends. You can make sure that those people find a way back to your shop, and all of that is marketing, but so that's how she focused on the first sale, and that is, if you're producing enough then that's the next. Like I said, the goal has two parts production and marketing that help. Good. Yeah, from the visual scribe on this question is, I guess, for for all the service based creative folks, like, uh, out there like me on dh. So I guess my question is, how would we translate that from, like, a production? Uh, schedule too, like more of a client finding plan in question. S so do you know I would have if I had, like, specific numbers to talk about? How many would you want a week? How many clients do you need to have to reach yourself? All right, so again, I just thought of this, things have changed, but I suppose if I was to think of it as products like services products, I have three, so one would be training one would be conferences, and the other I've got from the audience was sort of like a retainer where corporations behind me on a retainer basis. Yeah, and I'd come in if they have a meeting. Yeah, you know, pop up meeting you have popped me on dh, do something like that. So I'm my ambitious goal, which could be unreasonable, but I'm going to just say that is, like, five thousand dollars a month, um and you want to get to five thousand dollars a month by win uh guess by well and it's okay if you don't have a date let me tell you why I'm here so this is an interesting thing so far we've been talking about making a total of sales until inundate but you're talking about making the the money per month and so in between now and then you're gonna have months of zero dollars and two hundred dollars and a thousand dollars and then five thousand dollars and so we can do the math to figure out how many things you need to be booking to get the five thousand and then each month they're going to be adding on so maybe it's one conference a month and that gets you to a certain level and then you add on one conference and one retainer and then one conference and one retainer and won of the other things you said consultations training training yeah so actually could really see what you do working with people like me who teach because it would be amazing if you were up here illustrating as I talked and it would be awesome if so like someone like me or the organizer of the event could bring you in to is that what you meant by brain yes yeah you could be happening while I'm happening you know on the organizer within pay you or I would pay you and just bring you in my pocket to go teo do things on and uh so so how you think about it it's not production but it is how many sessions or training or clients you need to book a month? The first thing is you can do you can put the puzzle together to see how you a possible way that would fit together on what is you gotta keep in mind about the puzzle is the puzzle is the puzzle you're putting together now but then sales are gonna happen and you're gonna find clients and you're going to learn stuff and that's we're going to shift so you want to keep your eye on your puzzle if say you had planned this out fifty of this and ten of this but this is selling way better then you're going to let this or vice versa so the same thing with you as you grow and do this and learn more about the kind of people who hire you you might think I'll just get one retainer and not be it, but you might learn that really it's much funner to do ten trainings a month since you know how many you need to do a month, then you, uh need to figure out how many people because for you it's going to be much more direct outreach, you're going to have to contact conferences and education providers and people who organize these things how many of those people do you need a contact in order to get one job? And so then your production goal will be contacting enough people to get one job in the next month double that to get two jobs and eventually what's great about your business is that people will bring you back a person that puts on a conference every year we'll have you come back every year so and actually for a friend who does it's a little bit different than what you're doing but she it's called visual facilitation and she does this it conferences for like big companies like oil companies and important people are there in their suits and ties and you like visually represented as they teach and what she had to do is basically she only has three clients but they put on multiple conferences multiple shows, multiple corporate events and they fly her to all of those and so what's great is that there's a tipping point at which I've got ten conferences one each month and they all bring me back every year so now I'm not pursuing more clients until you get to that point which could be years down the road you're pursuing enough clients to land one job or if you need five jobs however many that is to land one does that make perfect thank you? Thank you for asking that question some people in the chat room I said thank you for asking that question, but on a similar line, so people that don't have this many physical, physical product of this, a lot of people sell digital goods, a cz we know, and so a couple questions about that, so sales not being sales of digital products, not being a direct connection between production and sales. S o the shop is already stocked, if you will, however, the continued growth of different of available different products definitely makes a difference sales. So how would I create my production goals without that dreck connection of I need x number by x time. I'm curious if this is a network designer because some of the students I work with who have this question are and what I mean by that is they make up pattern and they sell the pattern and they released new patterns and what most people find me sewing knitwear craft project designers, they find that everytime they release a new product, which is what she's saying, she sees a spike in her say, okay and bait, you're older stuff doesn't tell us much, but you aren't turning out new items every day or every week, even often, it takes a month or two or three in the process to get from start to finish. So remind me of what her very last part of that question wass sure question, let me go back to it s so it was basically we're saying, how would I create my production goal without that direct connection of I need x number by x time to reach my sale cole and I guess maybe that would be creating that release. Yes. It's so so how this has worked for a lot of my students is that they figure out when I release a new pattern I get a bump of exhales maybe I made one hundred dollars, maybe I make six hundred dollars and so to reach my goal, how often but I have to have that bump but also when I get this bump of this new pattern, I have all of these other patterns see bumps as well it's like this when you publish a book or a creative life class the back catalog people go back and they buy it. So when you have a new book come out I mean, sure, you see this for the books you like. You'll go back and buy their old books too once you like their first book. So that's your your back had a log of products and the more you have in your back catalogue, the more each new launch sell those older things, so at a certain point each new launch is getting bigger and you're having more sales because hopefully you're collecting more customers and you see this pattern spike and also all your other ones have little spikes as well, and that builds together. So it's coming up with a launch calendar and silver production calendar. It's. How often do I need to launch something to reach that sales goal? And also, how do I need to increase my reach so that when I do launch it it's a bigger launch, right? And then how much time do I need to create those products exactly to put in that long schedule? And by the way, yes, she is a knitwear designer. So yeah, so that is that that actually launched calendar works for everybody. If you do a launch of a new product, you will have a much better result than just like here. This is now right. If you tell people and you make excitement and you let him know that it's available, you're going to see a bigger spike.

Class Description

Stop fretting over the limited number of hours in a day and get to work – the smart way! In How to Get More Done, Tara Swiger will lay out a simple action plan that will help you manage your time, your business, and your family life more efficiently.

When Tara's online yarn shop replaced her day job, she fielded a lot of questions about the secret to her success. One thing led to another and now she is devoted, full-time, to helping other crafty entrepreneurs realize their dreams. In this class, she’ll help you take control of your calendar and build your business. 

You’ll learn how to:

  • Implement a simple system for managing your time and tasks 
  • Prioritize time with your family 
  • Balance business, life, production, and marketing 
  • Strike the perfect balance between “studio time” and “admin time" 

You’ll identify your time-sucks and unproductive distractions and overcome common scheduling pain points by developing an action plan that works. 

Learn how to create a workday you'll love - no matter how (little) time you have. You’ll make the most of your time, keep track of your to-dos, and get the things that matter done in How to Get More Done with Tara Swiger.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials

Kickstart Your Profits

Bonus Materials

Get More Done Resources

Get More Done Workbook

Ambitiously Forecast Your Sales Calculator by Tara Swiger.xlsx

Improve Your Holiday Sales Sketch Note

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes


a Creativelive Student

A really great class. As a newer creative business owner I have had trouble with always feeling like no matter what I worked on it wasn't the right thing or it wasn't enough. I think the advice in this class will help me feel better about my accomplishments and keep me focused on the things that will help my business. Thanks!

Jacqui Kelly

I loved it! start to finish really packed full of sensible easy to follow advice - great workbook and extra materials. Highly recommended. Tara does continually mention STARSHIP and MAPPING with out any background info on these topics which began to niggle at me but guess the answers are on her website. This was my first full class after purchasing my Creator Pass and it gets a 10/10