Small Business Support Community | The What Works Network

Let’s Build Stronger Businesses, Together

The What Works Network is where experienced business owners come together to level up how they run their businesses. Our shared goal is to build businesses that run smoothly, cause fewer headaches, and sustainably make more money.

Stop spinning your wheels. Start getting ahead.

Once you’re out of the startup phase, running a small business can often feel like you’re just spinning your wheels. You’re hard at work—day in and day out—and you’re largely doing the same things, getting the same results.

You’ve got something that’s working (to one degree or another) but your progress toward your next big goal or the next phase of your plan is slow going.

It’s really tempting to think that the key to picking up the pace is a magic formula or a shiny object. But you know better.

The key to growing through this phase and into the next is consistent action and uncompromising commitment to making your business stronger every single day.

Here’s how we help you do that.

Tools For Running & Growing Your Business

The central hub of The What Works Network is our Stronger Business Playbook.

The Playbook is like having a business coach in your back pocket. Or rather, it turns you into the best coach you can be for your own business!

The Stronger Business Playbook gives you the tools to look at your business or a challenge you’re facing from a new angle, examine the information you have, and create a plan for moving forward.

The Playbook includes more than 15 templates on everything from your business model to your marketing strategy to standard operating procedures to financials. Plus, there are 50 prompts for approaching your marketing & sales, offer development, money, operations, and mindset from a fresh perspective.

The Stronger Business Playbook is a comprehensive tool kit for building a business that runs smoothly, causes fewer headaches, and makes you more money—and it’s only available to members of The What Works Network.

Curated Monthly Focus For Guiding Your Action

Each month, the What Works team leads you through an important focus for building your stronger business.

We guide you through taking action on a project or goal of your choice so it’s easy to integrate into your existing plan. We’ll help you pay special attention to aspects of business-building that often get neglected or ignored.

We host 4 live support events every month, plus our Monday Huddle every week. We also curate a members-only newsletter that helps you dive deeper into the month’s focus, discover additional resources, and join conversations you might have missed.

Connections To People Who Challenge You, Support You, And Cheer You On

The heart & soul of The What Works Network are the experienced small business owners who call it home.

We’re proud to gather with the coaches, consultants, educators, writers, lawyers, therapists, marketers, and founders that are building thriving businesses and experimenting with new ways of creating value in the world.

Our membership is diverse—hailing from all over the world, from different industries & fields, from different business models, from different generations, and from different backgrounds.

Our members are experienced—with over 60% being in business for 3 years or longer and 40% being in business for 5 years or longer.

Our membership is collaborative, non-dogmatic, inclusive, holistic, and contribution-driven. More on those values in a bit.

All of our members share the goal of running a strong business in the way that works best for them—and so they respect you finding what works best for you. We don’t give advice or coach without consent—instead, we generously share our experiences and observations so you can learn what’s really working.

This is a rare place where experienced folks are honest about what’s working and what’s not. That’s why I love sharing my morning coffee with you every day!

Annie Schuessler

Founder, Rebel Therapist

My business is growing into a whole new phase at the moment as I start building a team, and it’s wonderful to be around other people who are in the same place of growing and developing and trying new things, so we can all learn from each other and lift each other up. The generosity of this group is astounding.

Eli Trier

Founder, Eli Trier Communities

I am enjoying learning what other business owners are doing to work efficiently and work through some of the same problems I encounter. I feel a lot less alone! I especially love hearing about new tools and how people are using them.

Hannah Branigan

Founder, Zero to CD

The What Works Network delivers a few key pieces that help me stay focused on my business.

One, the engagement prompts. I am notoriously shy in the digital sphere and have a really hard time sharing. These prompts get me out of my head and into action.

Two, the community-driven check-ins and opportunities to brainstorm and develop. Having a space to test out ideas and get feedback in real-time is invaluable as an entrepreneur, especially now as we pivot service offerings.

Three, access to the vast amount of tools and learning resources that are in Network. I find myself going back through archives on the regular to hone a certain skill or research a better way to implement a system.

Lastly, one of my favorite things about the community are the members. Everyone is generous with their experiences and genuinely want you to win. They are thoughtful about how they do business and aware of the need to re-image systems to create an equitable, just world. It’s the best and most inspiring online “co-working space” I have experienced yet.

Valerie Farber

Founder, Spatial Medium

What Our Members Say

What I like about The What Works Network is that there are many different types of business owners which means I get exposed to a variety of different perspectives and even introduced to tools I can use to run my businesses that I hadn’t thought of. They say, “You don’t know what you don’t know” and I want to keep learning the things I don’t know yet from this fabulous brain trust of smart, caring business owners.

Heather Thorkelson

No Plan B Consulting & Twin Tracks Expeditions

It’s such a fantastic, active community. I feel like in The What Works Network I’m surrounded by mature, serious entrepreneurs actually running a real business. I have not found any other community like it. I have been following Tara for a long time now. I’ve learned so much from her and honestly in my eyes, she is one of the most respected, intelligent and trustworthy entrepreneurs out there. A true mentor. 

Jennifer Jane Young

InJoy Living

Tara is passionate about creating a space for real learning, where the members are teachers and students at the same time. There is no information hoarding, or smoke and mirrors. It is a community of transparency, sharing what works and what does not, and provides space for these conversations that everyone can benefit from. There is no exclusivity, everyone has a spot at the table and that is exactly what the New Economy is all about. Accessibility, guidance, and assistance for all, not just some.

Nicole Lewis-Keeber

Business Mindset Coach

I really appreciate connecting with the the What Works members because they all understand the ups and downs of building a business! It’s so great to have a place to hang out and feel understood when I share a win or a struggle. None of us got to where we are now without a whole lot of support.

Elinor Fish

Run Wild Retreats

Here’s everything included with your What Works Network membership:

  • Private, dedicated online community platform so you can focus on learning & connecting without the distractions of social media
  • Global network of experienced small business owners from diverse backgrounds and industries so you can take more informed action
  • Complimentary 1:1 orientation call with our Community Advocate
  • Access to The Stronger Business Playbook, a comprehensive tool kit for running & growing your stronger business ($399 value)
  • Access to The Commitment Blueprint, a 4-part live workshop series for making a plan you can commit to no matter what comes your way ($199 value)
  • Access to The Leadership Dashboard, a complete system for flexible planning, task management, and personal accountability so you can get more of what matters done ($49 value)
  • 4 monthly business support events: Insider Hour, Hot Seat Coaching Session, Flash Mastermind, and Debrief Session
  • Quarterly Virtual Conferences, day-long deep dives into a key component of building a stronger business where you’ll hear from members with the expertise and experience you need to act ($750 value)
  • Weekly members-only newsletter where share fresh ideas and hot conversations from the community
  • Plus, every week we gather for a Monday Huddle, share action steps in the Weekly Kickstart, and report back in the Weekly Check-In

    We are What Works.

    Our Founder

    Tara McMullin has been building strong businesses since 2009, including this one and YellowHouse.Media, a full-service podcast production agency. She’s is an experienced facilitator, bestselling instructor, and host of the hit small business podcast, What Works.

    She’s passionate about guiding business owners to experiment with new ways of working and take decisive action toward their goals. The What Works Network is the product of over a decade of teaching, leading, and coaching entrepreneurs.

    Our Team

    What Works is made possible by a small team of people dedicated to lifting up entrepreneurs through caring, personalized support.

    Shannon Paris is our full-time community advocate and operations manager. Kristen Runvik is our member experience specialist. Additional support is provided by Marty Seefeldt and Sean McMullin.

    Our Values & Guiding Principles

    Everything we do at What Works and inside The What Works Network is guided by our values. These are values that have been built into our foundations and amplified by our members.

    The What Works team is personally and professionally engaged in anti-racism education. We take a hands-on approach to community moderation with the goal of preventing harm—or addressing it if there is a problem.

    We’re also committed to addressing ableism, ageism, and all forms of gender & sex discrimination.

    Plus, we regular incorporate resources and conversations about diversity, equity, and inclusion into our programming and community resources.

     

    Collaborative

    We don’t give advice. We share our experiences & work together to find creative solutions. 

    Non-Dogmatic

    We don’t ascribe to a particular framework or method. Find what works for you, your family, and the community you support. 

    Contribution-Driven

    The more you bring to the table, the more the experience is customized to you.

     

    Inclusive

    We welcome members from different communities, different backgrounds, different industries, and different experiences.

    Holistic

    We honor the interconnectedness of entrepreneurship & leadership development, life & work.

    The What Works Network makes it easy to make your business stronger
    —one day at a time.

    We know it can be a challenge to find the time (let alone support) to work on your business. The What Works Network gives you a jumpstart on that important work.

    Have a question about how a tactic, piece of software, or system works? Just ask!

    Need help reworking a process or rebuilding a component of your business? There’s a tool for that!

    Crave the camaraderie of people who “get it?” We’re there for you!

    You’ll save time, money, and hassle as you run & grow your business because you’ll have one place to go for support, tools, and resources.

    Let’s recap.

    Here’s what you get when you join The What Works Network:

    ✔️ Access to the Stronger Business Playbook, Commitment Blueprint, and Leadership Dashboard

    ✔️ A year of monthly events to guide & support you through taking decisive action on a different area of your business each month

    ✔️ Access to a private, dedicated community platform so you can focus on your business without getting distracted by social media

    ✔️ Connections to experienced small business owners from all over the world who are as committed as you are to building an effective, sustainable, & profitable business

    ✔️ Go-at-your-own-pace support from our team and our members so you can make meaningful progress on your own schedule

     

    Is The What Works Network perfect for you?

    Before you join The What Works Network, you should have been business for at least 1 year. We’re here to help you build on what you’ve done so far–not to help you get started.

    You’re a perfect fit for our community (and get the most from joining us) if you identify with these descriptions:

    • You crave guidance and support that allows for your own autonomy—and maybe even a rebellious spirit
    • You value learning from others’ experiences and hard lessons learned
    • You’re eager to contribute your own learning and hard lessons learned with group members
    • You’ll push yourself to share the hard stuff, the stuff that’s not quite a fully formed question, and the stuff that’s exciting-but-terrifying with the community
    • You’re developing a clear vision for your business and you’re willing to figure out the details along the way
    • You’re willing to be open & honest about your experiences as a small business owner so that others can learn from you
    • You’re committed to taking action and you’re willing to take a few risks

    What Happens When You Join

    When you join The What Works Network, you lock in 12 months of business-building support, tools, and resources.

    We won’t force you to participate in any particular way (of course!) but we will expect that you’re doing the work alongside us at your own pace and sharing whenever you can. So this isn’t the place for you if you want to sit back and take it all in.

    A year-long membership to The What Works Network is $999 (USD) or 12 monthly payments of $84.

    Once you’ve joined, you’ll receive your private link to join the group so you can set up your profile and introduce yourself, our member handbook, an invitation to book a call (optional) with our Community Advocate, Shannon Paris.

    From there, you can dive into the Stronger Business Playbook, explore the month’s focus area, browse our archive of conversations and events, or ask for support on something you’re working on in your business.

    Got questions?

    What if I can't make the events live?

    No problem! The vast majority of our events are recorded (Flash Masterminds are the exception because of the nature of the session).

    We also offer a variety of ways to get support outside of the monthly events, including our weekly huddles and community support platform.

    How much time is this going to take?

    That’s up to you! We know you have a different amount of time to devote to business-building action every month.

    We’ll help you decide what action to take to move your business forward depending on your existing commitments and personal capacity.

    And here’s the thing: taking a small action every month toward building the business you really want to have is better than nothing.

    Taking action consistently is better than working in fits & starts. 

    When you join us, you’re in control of how much you use your new support system and how much time you spend on your business-building action. But we know whatever you commit to is worth the price of admission. 

    Is this a Facebook group?

    Nope! We don’t know about you… but we find Facebook pretty distracting.

    The What Works Network is a private, dedicated community platform. Yes, it’s an extra place to go but we’ll make it worth your while.

    Our monthly events are held on either Crowdcast or Zoom so you have a variety of ways to participate.

    Will I actually use this?

    We know that trusting yourself can be a big challenge when it comes to committing to decisive action and new habits.

    But you’ve got this.

    Plus, we believe strongly in not only sharing what we know about running & building a business but in supporting you as you cultivate the mindset that makes that truly possible. 

    One of the reasons we’re so big on commitment is that we believe in the power doing what you say you’ll do–both when it comes to yourself and others. We want to help you become a more reliable and accountable leader who trust themselves to do what’s most important.

    Each month, you’ll not only take action on building & growing your small business, you’ll recommit to stopping self-sabotage and becoming the leader your business needs you to be.

    Is this a subscription? Can I cancel anytime?

    No. When you join The What Works Network, you’re committing to building your business for the next 12 months.

    We do offer a 30-day money-back guarantee. But once you’ve committed, you’re in.

    If you ever get stuck and don’t know how to dive back in, let us know! Our team is there to help you. Email hello@explorewhatworks.com or DM Shannon Paris or Kristen Runvik inside The Network!

    When are the live events scheduled?

    We schedule events on a variety of days & times to make it easier for more members to participate. 

    But most of our events happen Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursdays between 1pm ET (New York) and 4pm ET. 

    We also schedule some events earlier or later in the day to help our members outside of North America.

    All Are Welcome

    One of our strategic goals as a company and community is to welcome more people from diverse backgrounds into The What Works Network. 

    While our community is predominantly white, we’re working hard to create an experience that’s welcoming to every business owner who is a good fit–regardless of race, sexuality, gender, or ability.

    By purposefully and actively working toward an inclusive community where people from different backgrounds, business models, industries, and experience levels feel like they belong, we all benefit from different perspectives.

    We’re not looking for conformity. We want to hear from people who are doing things different ways and celebrate the many ways to succeed in business.

    The What Works team is also personally and professionally engaged in anti-racism education. We take a hands-on approach to community moderation with the goal of preventing harm—or addressing it if there is a problem.

    We’re also committed to addressing ableism, ageism, and all forms of gender & sex discrimination.

    Plus, we regular incorporate resources and conversations about diversity, equity, and inclusion into our programming and community resources.

    Please reach out directly if you have any concerns about whether the group is a good fit for you: community@explorewhatworks.com