“Rugged individualism” is the very language we speak in America. It shapes the way we approach work, family, and society. And rugged individualism has a direct impact on the decisions we make about our businesses and careers. In this short Extra Context bonus, I unpack where rugged individualism comes from and highlight a different way forward.
Do you remember the internet before influencers? Before teenagers were regularly becoming millionaires on YouTube or TikTok? Before billions of us started sharing our lives online? The opening bit of Iliza Schlessinger's Elder Millennial special on Netflix always...
What is the creator economy? And why are so many creators… miserable? Mighty Networks founder Gina Bianchini was the first person I knew talking about the creating economy. She’s passionate about helping entrepreneurs, organizers, and creators see why building independently beats trying to amass huge audiences on the usual platforms. In this episode, we talk about what the creator economy is, how the game is rigged, what’s making creators miserable, and how she sees a different way forward. Plus, we’ll discuss research from the massive independent study that Mighty Networks commissioned.
I've been thinking about the nature of scarcity and abundance quite a bit lately. A couple of months ago, I listened to a podcast that suggested we often mistake which side of the equation scarcity is really on. The conversation was about economy-level scarcity, but...
Andréa and I are both on a mission to bust some of the assumptions that people have about what’s good for business when it comes to social media marketing.
For me, it’s a small part of what I do. But for Andréa, this is her whole business. Andréa runs a thriving social media marketing agency called OnlineDrea as well as a training community for small business owners called Savvy Social School.
I’ve featured Andréa here on the pod before and we talked about how she approaches social media pretty differently when it comes to her own business versus how she manages social media for her clients with very different business models.
Good news: next week’s episode is a follow up to that conversation.
I respect the heck out of the way Andréa approaches social media and the way she trains other small business owners to manage their own marketing. And so when she asked if she could interview me about the unconventional approach I’ve taken to social media this year, I was honored.
What follows is that conversation. If you like this conversation, you’re going to love Andréa’s podcast, the Savvy Social Podcast—so check that out wherever you listen to What Works. And tell her I sent you, okay?
I asked Andréa if I could rebroadcast this conversation here at What Works because I think it gives a glimpse into how simplifying can help you focus on quality over quantity.
So without further ado, let’s get into. Listen up for the most concise explanation I’ve ever given for the philosophy behind What Works, why I’m focused on remarkable content this year, and how that focus has simplified the way I produce content for social media.
I also talk about how I view my primary job at What Works as a content creator—which is a job I love but isn’t right for everyone.
Below is a preview of what we're diving into this month at The What Works Network. Each month, we explore a different Deep Dive and share this kick-off post & table of contents for the month so that everything we offer is easy to access. There's a lot going on...
Obviously, we all got thrown for a loop last year when Covid hit. That wrench in the works played out different for every one and every business—but we all had to adapt in some way.
If you fought, fled, or froze, you’re not alone!
I think we all responded that way initially. I certainly did—big fighting energy over here!
What was amazing to watch though is little by little, the business owners I’m in community with started to ease up on that immediate reaction and started to find a more adaptive, proactive response.
I saw amazing things happen for people when they adapted—even if those things didn’t always lead to financial relief or more time to themselves.
One of those people is my guest today, the founder of The Pocket PhD, Emily Crookston.
Emily is a ghostwriter and editor who works with experts and thought leaders to help them bring their ideas to the masses.
As you’ll hear, Emily’s plan for 2020 was to grow her business through in-person speaking engagements. Her first gig was on March 8—and then… lock down.
But Emily adapted—taking the same strategy she was applying to speaking gigs and applied it to LinkedIn. She’s seen tremendous success on the platform over the last year and I wanted to talk with her about how she adapted her plan, decided on LinkedIn, and then figured out how to make the most of the platform by working her plan.
We talk about how she made the jump from posting spontaneously to planning her content & scheduling it. We talk about the video interview series she started. We talk about how she approaches the LinkedIn algorithm (hint: she doesn’t). And we talk about the results she’s seen for her business.
This month, I wanted to take a look back at how they’ve led themselves through this wild year.
So I spoke to 4 small business owners who each had a very different experience this year. What they all have in common, though, is a fine-tuned sense of self-leadership.
Sometimes that self-leadership took the form of intentional practices of self-care. Other times, it was finding the courage the make big decisions. And still other times, their self-leadership stared down challenges with intense creativity & imagination.
My first guest in this series is Emily Thompson, host of Being Boss and founder of Almanac Supply Company.
Emily had a big year—she separated from her long-time business partner Kathleen Shannon. She reimagined the Being Boss business model. She pivoted an in-person event to the online space. And, she got creative about how to replace a major revenue stream for Almanac.
Emily and I talk about all of these moments and much more.
This year—both as predicted and rushed along by the pandemic—has seen a wave of new community-based businesses.
And lots of people are learning just how different this skill set is!
I wanted to talk with someone else who has experienced this shift first hand and I was thrilled when Christianne Squires agreed to share her story.
Christianne is the founder of The Light House and, formerly, Bookwifery. You’re going to hear all about these two businesses—and what makes them different from each other over the course of this conversation.
You’ll also hear how Christianne has been nurturing her skills as a community builder and how that’s pushed her rethink how she creates value, what her people need from her, and what her role is in the community. Plus, we talk about a bonus skill: discernment.
Today, we’re talking with Annie Schuessler from Rebel Therapist.
Annie helps therapists and other healers move their businesses beyond private practice. She has her own podcast—also called Rebel Therapist—and we talk about how hosting her show has helped to use her voice.
But we also dive into how Annie has been borrowing other people’s audiences all year long through a podcast tour, a concerted effort to pitch other hosts and appear on other shows.
Not only has her tour been successful—but it’s helped create incredible results in her business, like overselling her last Create Your Program group coaching offer.
We talk about how Annie finds shows to pitch, the research she does to pitch them, how she tracks her pitching, and how she’s overcome the fear she first felt when getting started on this project.
Host of What Works
Tara is a podcaster, small business community leader, strategist, and speaker. She’s been helping small business owners build stronger businesses for over a decade.