EP 341: Taking Better Care Of Each Other with Wanderwell Founder Kate Strathmann

EP 341: Taking Better Care Of Each Other with Wanderwell Founder Kate Strathmann

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.

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EP 340: Managing As An Introverted, Anxious, and Autistic Boss: Tara’s Interview On The Rebel Therapist With Annie Schuessler

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.

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EP 339: Hiring For The Upside With Small Business Co-Pilot Founder Podge Thomas

EP 339: Hiring For The Upside With Small Business Co-Pilot Founder Podge Thomas

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.

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EP 338: Why Staying Small Leads To Big Results

EP 338: Why Staying Small Leads To Big Results

This month, we’ve explored finding customers and building an audience—which are not the same things.

Every business needs to find customers. But not every business—not even most businesses—needs to build an audience.

Yet, so many small business owners get hung up on building their following counts or email lists instead of doing the things that actually lead to sales.

The drive to build an audience partially comes from the false belief that “scale” is the universal goal for all businesses.

Many successful businesses never scale—or they don’t scale in terms of serving thousands of people instead of tens of people. They might scale in terms of efficiency or price or team—but scaling up one or all of those things does not require you to build an audience.

But everywhere you look on social media, someone is telling you that you have to scale.

As Maggie Patterson put it, they’re serving you poison and then selling you the cure.

Now look, if you’re excited about scaling up or you’ve found success with scaling up, wonderful!! I personally love the idea of serving at scale and enjoy speaking to an audience.

But I also recognize that this is the best way to build a business for only a teeny tiny segment of the business owner community.

A stronger, more sustainable, more effective way to build a highly profitable business is to…

wait for it…

Stay small and do things that don’t scale.

Today, I have 3 more stories of people who are serving and building in a really impactful ways without building an audience in the way you might have been taught.

You’ll hear from messaging consultant Dr. Michelle Mazur, branding expert Amy Walsh, and leadership consultant Nancy Hess.

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EP 337: Connecting With Stories With Tell Me A Story Founder Hillary Rea

EP 337: Connecting With Stories With Tell Me A Story Founder Hillary Rea

Nothing fosters human connection faster than a story.

Stories are the most direct way to tell someone else—or a whole audience of people—an important truth about you. Stories give us shared experiences and emotions to build relationships from.

Stories make even the biggest concepts or most technical information feel real.

Practicing storytelling has been a game changer for me in the way I communicate, market, and teach. And I believe it can do the same for you.

Today’s episode is a sort of conversation-meets-workshop excerpted from a special joint event for The What Works Network and Standout Podcast Club.

I talk with Tell Me A Story founder Hillary Rea about how we can more effectively use stories in the content we create and why stories have such a positive impact on our results as business owners.

This conversation is chock full of ideas, explainers, and ways to experiment with story so you can forge a deeper connection with your audience.

So settle in for this conversation on connecting with story with Hillary Rea!

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EP 336: Marketing Without Scale With Brand Strategist Felicia Sullivan

EP 336: Marketing Without Scale With Brand Strategist Felicia Sullivan

Today, I’m talking with Felicia Sullivan, a brand strategist who has built a thriving business on marketing activities that don’t scale. Felicia works with startup founders and small businesses doing $10-20m in annual revenue—folks who aren’t looking for business help on Instagram.

So Felicia spends her business development time on 3 things: coffee dates, writing long-form articles geared directly to her prospective clients, and referrals.

This episode answers some of the questions I’m most frequently asked about when it comes to marketing businesses that aren’t built on online courses (which, you know, is most of them).

Get ready to take some notes.

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EP 335: Finding The Right Strategy To Market Your Business with Savvy Social Podcast Host Andréa Jones

EP 335: Finding The Right Strategy To Market Your Business with Savvy Social Podcast Host Andréa Jones

Social media celebrity is not a requisite for success—no matter how many attractive business influencers give you the impression that it is.

But you don’t have to take my word for it.

This week, I’m talking with Andréa Jones, the founder of OnlineDrea, a social media marketing agency, and the creator of Savvy Social School, a training community all about social media marketing.

After all I just shared about building an audience, this might seem like a strange segue. Why talk to a social media marketing expert when it seems like you might not have to do this whole social media thing the way you have been?

Well, it’s because Andréa understands that finding customers is different from building an audience. She understands it because she helps people do both while also being acutely aware that the growth of her agency isn’t driven by building an audience.

This conversation gets into the relationship between building an audience and finding clients—both as they relate to Andréa’s business and as they relate to her clients’ and members’ businesses.

I love this conversation because there’s a bunch about what Andréa actually does with social media in her own business, there’s a bunch of insightful observation about what’s happening out there in the marketing world, and there are some really actionable ideas you can use, too.

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EP 334: Creating Mental Space With Simple Changes

EP 334: Creating Mental Space With Simple Changes

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!

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EP 333: Simplifying Social Media Content Creation With Andréa Jones and Tara McMullin

EP 333: Simplifying Social Media Content Creation With Andréa Jones and Tara McMullin

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.

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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.  

Tara McMullin, What Works Weekly Newsletter

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