No one likes being asked for a refund. In fact, I find the thought of it stomach churning. And when what’s being refunded is the product of your time, experience, and expertise… it’s tempting to put every obstacle you can think of between a customer and a refund. In this episode, I’ll take you on a journey from the 17th century all the way through the modern era of online business refund policies to answer the question: What make for a fair refund policy?
At the end of 2021, I stepped away from my business: left our community, off-boarded my employee to another company, and focused on my mental health. Over the next 4 months, I wrote a book and thought about what might be next for me and my work. In this episode, I share what I’ve been up to in that time and what I might do in the months to come.
I’m sure you’ve heard it before: underpromise and overdeliver. But is that really the best way to do business? Or does it just give us a permission slip for self-exploitation? When does overdelivering become overcompensating? And when does being generous just morph into entrepreneurial martyrdom? I sat down with sales coach Allison Davis to talk about overdelivering, generosity, and when it all gets to be too much. We talk pricing and scope of work—but we also talk about familiar relationship patterns and how they play out in our expectations for ourselves or others.
I’m bringing our Time & Money series to a close this week by exploring why we choose squeezing more in over taking time off. I share how The Squeeze works, why work gets more intense over time, and some of the economic incentives that keep us from making different choices.
A lot of the work we do today doesn’t much look like “work.” The divide between work-life and life-life is flexible and porous. So what does that mean for the way we spend our time? Or how we earn a living? In this episode, I share designer, coach, and consultant Anne Ditmeyer’s story of rethinking how she works thanks to a big move to Paris. And, I argue that perhaps we need a radically different way of thinking about what work is—instead of a better “work-life balance.”
The systems we operate in all have different incentive systems: our business models, the social media platforms, our economy, the culture at large… And many of these incentive systems have become simplified and gamified—changing the way we view the results of our work and the goals that we hold. In this episode, I explore how the philosophy of games can help us identify when we’re just trying to “game the system” instead of taking effective action based on our own values and goals.
Most of us learn the value of our time in our first jobs. Even as we get more experience and our hourly jobs turn into salaried jobs or freelance projects, the specter of selling your time for a particular wage looms. In this episode, I talk with Wealth Over Now founder & Money Files host Keina Newell about how she thinks about the intersection of time and money. I also offer up a light history of wage work and how that history influences as business owners.
I’ve been talking about the “new economy” since about 2010. But more and more, I recognize that the economic possibilities created through the internet aren’t nearly as new or innovative as I’d first thought (and hoped). It seems that the old economy is just making itself over as the not-so-new economy. In this episode, I explore 3 processes of the old economy—speculation, financialization, and liquidation—to pinpoint how they’re showing up in our digital world of independent work.
I weave together the housing market, creator economy, Great Recession, and crypto promises to help you situate yourself in this strange, not-so-new world. At times, it’s a bleak story—but ultimately, understanding where we’re at gives us a better opportunity to make different, more humane choices.
There’s more than one way to measure success—and there’s more than one way to measure time. How do you account for the time you spend working? And is it really the most effective—for you—to spend it? In other words, what constitutes quality time when it comes to the way you work? I talked with business operations coach Elisabeth Jackson about how she changed her overwork habit, how she measures quality time for herself & her clients, and why she doesn’t love the word “productivity.”
We spend money on lots of tools designed to save us time and work. But all too often, those tools just end up raising our expectations. Why do work in less time when you could do more work in the same amount of time?! In this episode, I examine “the egg beater effect” and why we should, just maybe, lower our expectations a bit.
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.