When you started your business, you probably thought a lot about what you wanted to do. That's certainly what I thought about! What do I love to do? How can I do that for other people and get paid for it? Do I want to have a writing business so I can spend my time...
We’ve had a helluva year here at What Works. We’ve talked to over 100 small business owners, published more than 80 episodes, and tackled 12 different themes this year.
What Works is special because we focus on the people who are making their businesses work every single day.
We believe we all have a lot to learn from each other—and the more honest & transparent we are about how our marketing, operations, tools, product development, or sales processes work, the better chance we all have for success.
On this episode, it’s no different—except, instead of me being the one asking the questions, you are!
EP 256: Discovering What You Need From Your Business With BrainSpace Optimized Founder Hailey Thomas
Today’s guest mentioned early on in our conversation that she found herself taking the work that came to her, growing her capacity to be able to bring in *more* work, and never really stopping to ask herself how she was designing her business.
Her name is Hailey Thomas and she’s the founder of BrainSpace Optimized, where she helps entrepreneurs plan, execute, and complete projects in 90 days or less.
Unfortunately, Hailey suffered a big, personal loss that made her rethink the way she’d been doing business to that point.
We talk about how her tunnel vision led her to skipping her initial grief, why she let go of her clients and contractors, and how she started to process what she truly needed from her life and business.
This week, my guest is Elsie Escobar. Elsie is the co-host of LibSyn’s podcast The Feed as well as their community manager. She’s also the co-host of She Podcasts, a podcast and community of over 14,000 women podcasters. Her mission is to help more people use their voice and make an impact through the craft of podcasting.
With everything she has going on, it would be easy for Elsie to forget what she’s accomplished in a year.
It would be easy to dismiss the small wins and important insights she’s experienced.
That’s why Elsie has developed a personal process of looking back, assessing her opportunities, setting intentions for the new year.
Elsie and I talk about the energy of the end of the year—and how it can contribute to feeling like we need to catch up no matter how much we’ve achieved. We also talk about the experience that catalyzed her will to look back and set intentions, as well as how she’s trained herself to recognize her true capacity.
Today’s guest is Toi Smith—a growth & impact strategist who has wrestled with this same question.
Toi and I talk about how her identity and business model has shifted from virtual assistant to online business manager to strategist and why each pivot was necessary. We also talk about the ups and downs of making these changes and the impact each shift has had on her rates, working hours, and client load.
Pay close attention to how Toi talks about her mindset shift away from thinking of her work as labor and into thinking of it as thought partnership and leadership.
She’s had to dismantle and reassemble the way she thinks about how she and her business creates value in order to realize the full potential of her own entrepreneurship.
My guest is Debra Giunta, the founder of Design Dance, a community dance education company that’s reaching over 1500 K-12 students with arts education and social-emotional learning every year.
I talk with Debra about her vision for Design Dance and how it led her to making important choices about when she started hiring help. We also talk about how Design Dance has expanded from its original school partner into 50 different sites, how she hires teachers to manage all those programs, and the nitty-gritty of how the business runs on the inside.
My guest is Natalie Gingrich, the founder of The Ops Authority.
After spending 15 years in corporate at a Fortune 150 company, she dove into entrepreneurship leveraging her project management and HR experience to assist high-level influencers in the online and small business worlds. What she discovered along the way was that there was a ton of super capable women whose skill sets were not leveraged and whose natural tendency toward leadership wasn’t acknowledged.
In this conversation, Natalie and I talk about why she decided to create a certification program instead of an online course, why she takes screening candidates very seriously, and how the certification unfolds from start to finish. We also talk about some of the new opportunities she sees for growth now that the certification program is underway & successful.
My guest today had a business that resembles so many: one that required her constant input, expertise, and care just to stay afloat.
While she felt like it was already a success in many ways, Katey Schultz realized that her business wasn’t really meeting her needs. She wanted more of a challenge. She wanted more time. She wanted more money.
So Katey started to look at how to scale her offer, a monthly mentorship for writers.
This conversation is the story of her journey to do that. We talk through the mindset shifts she needed to make, the experiments she ran, and the aha! moment that made her realize she’d scaled the wrong thing.
Carol is the founder of Speaking Your Brand, a speech coaching agency that helps women entrepreneurs and executives craft their signature talks.
I wanted to ask Carol how she worked out the recipe to her own special sauce so she could start training the first speech coach she brought on board.
Carol and I talk about the time and energy she put into working with clients 1:1, paying attention to exactly how she worked her magic. We also chat about how she knew it was time to hire, what have been her biggest fears throughout the process, and how her mindset about the business she’s building has shifted.
Is it too early to start thinking about scaling your business? Absolutely not! Tara & Sean McMullin have started a brand new business and are starting with scale in mind from the get-go. Here’s how they’re doing it.
Go behind the scenes to find out what’s really working to run & grow a small business today.
Host of What Works
Tara is a podcaster, small business community leader, and speaker. She’s been helping small business owners find what works for them for over a decade. Her goal is to push past the hype and facilitate candid conversations about doing business in the New Economy.