I've heard a lot of horror stories about working with people over the last 12 years. Stories about virtual assistants. Stories about web designers. Stories about social media managers, copywriters, and coaches. I've also heard plenty of horror stories about clients....
What can you do with your business if you look beyond your individual needs and your individual success?
That’s a really exciting question to me.
What kind of impact on the collective could this business have? How I can I use this business to meet others’ needs, too?
These questions don’t have many easy answers. But they’re fertile ground for imagining different ways of doing business.
It’s with this in mind that I want to share my conversation with Kate Strathmann. Kate and I share many similar concerns about the state of online business and the even the broader small business, freelance, and gig economies.
As always with my conversations with Kate, this might be confronting at times. You might be nodding along, digging on what we’re saying, and then all of a sudden feel a twinge of recognition that isn’t as nice.
But none of this is aimed at your personal responsibility for where we’ve gotten as a market or even the things you’ve done in your business.
Our goal is to explore some big, hard questions about how we do business and how we can better take care of each other.
Stay tuned to hear us talk about the messages we consume that make it hard to imagine things a different way, why focusing on individual success causes us to devalue the care work that goes into making our businesses work, and why small business owners feel trapped between the worker class and the owner class.
Plus, Kate offers some powerful questions for reframing the potential of your business and gets super pragmatic about the choices we can make without becoming a martyr for the sake of positive change.
Whether or not you're looking to build a team, you've already made your first hire: you. As the business owner and likely the go-to person for just about everything, you are employee #1. Unfortunately, for all of our talk about making our own schedules, choosing the...
EP 340: Managing As An Introverted, Anxious, and Autistic Boss: Tara’s Interview On The Rebel Therapist With Annie Schuessler
I am introverted, I do have social anxiety, and I’m autistic.
That’s a pretty thick soup to be wading through as a manager.
The main reason I wanted to share that before you hear this interview is because my experiences as an introverted boss may be quite different from your experiences if you’re also an introverted boss.
The other reason reason I wanted to share that is because, before I had the framework of autism to make sense of my life, I was constantly working against myself in an effort to fix things I perceived as problems & deficiencies.
While I’m still working to become a better manager and leader, I’m also looking much more objectively at how I can build structures that don’t require me to work against my nature quite so often. In so many ways, my autism is a strength for business-building, writing & podcasting, and team-building. But it takes work to embrace those strengths when they’re so different from what other people expect!
Alright, here’s what you’re going to hear in this interview—Annie and I talk about how I find team members, why you need to know what you’re really hiring for before you start looking, how I’m onboarding new hires now, and why you don’t want to clone yourself.
I met Podge back in 2019 and was immediately struck by her thoughtfulness and humanity—both in life and business. Podge helps business owners and organizations make better hiring choices, manage their people well, and build humane cultures at work. She’s the founder of Small Business Co-Pilot and hosts a monthly free round table discussion called The Manager’s Huddle.
Podge and I talk about why managing has gotten the rap it has, how we can make our teams our business’s #1 asset, and what it really takes to prepare to hire.
What’s the ROI on mental space?
What would it be worth to you to get some peace of mind?
What would you be willing to do to alleviate a bit of uncertainty from your life or business?
All this month, we’ve been talking about simplifying and the immense benefits you can experience by building a simple business.
We’re going to close things out here by taking a look at how operational improvements can create a profound sense of relief—and open up mental space that you didn’t even know was cluttered!
Doing more and inevitably making things more complex is the main tool we’ve been trained to use.
This leads to all sorts of predictable challenges, though—challenges like the ones I talked about last week with Brigitte Lyons & Sophy Dale—things like scope creep, lack of traction, unsustainable working hours, and less revenue.
It can also lead to leaky boundaries, resentment, anxiety, relationship troubles, and, yes, burnout.
If you identified with their stories and the consequences of Brigitte & Sophy’s more complex businesses, keep listening. This week, we’re talking about what they did to simplify and the incredible results they’ve created.
And if you’re wondering whether this could be the problem you’re experiencing… that you might have made things harder and more complex than they needed to be… but you’re not quite sure yet…
I’d be willing to go out on a limb and say, “Yep, that’s probably true.”
Today’s conversation should give you hope.
Alright, let’s dive into how Brigitte & Sophy actually restructured things, how doing business is different today, and what the results have been—hint: they’re both making more money.
Photo by Wonderlane on Unsplash If you’re a freelancer, contractor, or micro business owner, you’re about to hear a lot about the PRO Act—which recently passed the U.S. House of Representatives. The PRO Act is designed to revitalize the labor movement by...
This week, we’re examining how we nurture the relationships we have with the people who work with us.
I’ll be honest with you: there are so many different places I’d like to take this episode. There are so many of the lessons I’ve learned that I’d like to pass on. Luckily, the lessons I’ve learned have largely come through conversations I’ve had on this very podcast!
And there’s one conversation in particular that I come back to time & time again. It was my first interview with my friend and founder of Productive Flourishing, Charlie Gilkey.
Looking back on this conversation, I can see that there were already lessons that had started to come into focus about how I work with people and what it looks like to nurture relationships with team members. But what I can also see is how much this conversation actually helped to solidify those learnings into how my thinking & approach have changed since.
Charlie and I talk about the operational components of the mindset shift I just dug into. We talk about the art of management, whether for one or for many. We discuss what prompted him to bring his core team on as employees instead of as independent contractors. And how we keeps his team—and himself—from becoming over committed and overwhelmed, as well as how he structures his time to enhance his creativity.
Flow. Rhythm. Consistency. These are all words we want to associate with how we do...
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.