I’m fascinated by the way that different people can look at the same problem and ask wildly different questions to solve it. This fascination is one of the reasons I became a podcaster. I wanted to ask entrepreneurs about how they arrived at their ideas and...
As you make your New Year’s resolutions, intentions, commitments, vision boards, or goals, a gentle reminder: Your goals do not define you or your worth. The other day, I was thinking about my "origin story." It's the story of why I started a business in the first...
Messages urging you to fix yourself or fix your business are all around. It's all part of the annual ritual of improvement that is the New Year. Most of these messages revolve around invented or exaggerated “problems” that can be easily solved if only you’d buy this...
2020 has been a year of reacting. We’ve reacted to the shock to our economies. We’ve reacted to injustice. We’ve reacted to the fear of getting sick (or spreading sickness to others). We’ve reacted to lost contracts and unexpected surges in demand. We’ve reacted to...
The way you think about your "job" can hold you back as a small business owner. But you probably won't notice the problem until you're feeling frustrated that your business keeps bumping up against a ceiling. Your ceiling might be how much you work, the number of...
Photo by Grovemade on Unsplash One of the top questions I get every year is: How do I make a plan I can stick to? Everyone wants to know a magical formula for choosing goals and making plans that they can glue themselves to for a month, a quarter, or a year. After...
Today, we’re talking to Melissa Emler, who leads a community of educators & administrators over at Modern Learners.
As you might guess from the name of her company, Missy has been through the wringer this year! The pandemic brought an intense urgency to the work she’s been doing and the change she’s been trying to create in education for years. Suddenly, schools all over the world knew they needed a new approach to learning.
But that wasn’t the only thing creating twists & turns for Missy this year.
In this conversation, you’ll hear how Missy balances leading her company with working in the “lab” of a day job, the 3-part framework she’s used to lead educators through big change, and how she created space for conversation about injustice and systemic racism in education.
Plus, you’ll hear how Missy uses a key question about change and figuring out who we want to become to meet the moment to lead herself and others.
This week, we’re continuing our series on leading yourself with Alethea Fitzpatrick, the founder of Co-Creating Inclusion—a diversity, equity, and inclusion consulting practice.
Alethea told me that her go-to practice for navigating the twists & turns of this year has been focusing on what she can control and letting go of what she can’t.
As you might guess, Alethea’s consultancy has experienced massive growth this year—which has been its own challenge—while she also had to deal with pandemic life with 2 kids in New York City.
I’ve watched Alethea navigate big emotions, uncertain outcomes, and limited capacity and her openness & grace in the midst of oppression and violence has been astounding.
When you’re building a business, you’ll inevitably experience ups and downs, ebbs and flows.
When things are bad, it can feel like every success you’ve ever experienced is being washed away by failure.
But, of course, the truth is that we’re always learning and moving forward.
As we continue our series on leading yourself and examining the practices that small business owners used to navigate this wild year, I’m thrilled to introduce you to coach and founder of The Change Agency, Valerie Black.
I met Valerie at this time last year and was immediately struck by her mix of gentleness and tenacity. She is both strategic and intuitive, open-hearted and strong-willed—not that any of those things are mutually exclusive, of course!
Valerie has had a year of ebbs and flows, as she put it.
And I wanted to capture her story and learn more about the self-care practices that saw her through this year.
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.
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.