Podcast Archives | What Works
EP 316: Planning For Parental Leave With Startup Society Founder Gillian Perkins

EP 316: Planning For Parental Leave With Startup Society Founder Gillian Perkins

This week, my guest is Gillian Perkins—a YouTuber with over 450 thousand subscribers, marketing expert, business strategist, and the creator of Startup Society.

I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Gillian through YellowHouse.Media, where we produce her podcast, Work Less, Earn More. Gillian is a disciplined, rigorous executor who is no stranger to making a plan and working it.

And there are plenty of conventional ways that Gillian manages the work to be done—for instance, she loves Asana!

But there was a really intriguing part of our conversation where I learned that Gillian’s found her true way of working on big projects—like planning for her recent parental leave—doesn’t necessarily fit the way we think it’s supposed to be done. She calls it “batching chaotically” and it’s a mode of operation I can definitely relate to!

In this conversation, you’ll hear what Gillian’s average 20-hour workweek looks like, how she changed that up to prepare for parental leave, how she made her leave plan in the first place, and what she’s learned by taking time away from the business over the years.

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EP 315: How I’m Planning For 2021 at What Works & YellowHouse.Media

EP 315: How I’m Planning For 2021 at What Works & YellowHouse.Media

Welcome to the first What Works episode of 2021!

This episode is going to be a look behind the scenes of my two companies and how we’re planning for 2021, some of the choices we’re making, and what we’ll be looking for as the year progresses.

Not only is this the kick-off episode for 2021, it’s the kick-off for our January series on “working the plan.” This month, I’m going to be sharing conversations about planning for parental leave, leveraging LinkedIn, and writing a book—all things that have taken intentional planning and execution!

But before we get to those, I wanted to share not only how I’ll be working the plan this year but how the plan got made in the first place.

I recorded this episode in mid-December 2020. And in that time, I’ve already discovered some things that are altering my plans. After all, the very act of working a plan means you’re gaining new information and even discovering new ideas.

Planning is a learning process.

It’s not about getting the plan right, it’s about finding a starting point and then learning from the result as you go.

My plan is never set in stone. Adjusting my plan doesn’t mean I’ve failed or done something wrong. It means I’m learning. So start with my best guess of what I want to do and then adapt from there as I gain new information and experiences.

In this episode, I’ll share how I’m reallocating my resources this year to better serve my companies, what commitments I’ve made for the year, the Strategic Priorities we’re focused on, and what projects we’re kicking off the year with.

Here’s what works for me when I’m working the plan!

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EP 314: Discovering Who You Want To Become With Modern Leaders Co-Founder Melissa Emler

EP 314: Discovering Who You Want To Become With Modern Leaders Co-Founder Melissa Emler

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.

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EP 313: Focusing On What You Can Control With Co-Creating Inclusion Founder Alethea Fitzpatrick

EP 313: Focusing On What You Can Control With Co-Creating Inclusion Founder Alethea Fitzpatrick

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.

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EP 312: Surfing The Ebbs & Flows with The Change Agency Founder Valerie Black

EP 312: Surfing The Ebbs & Flows with The Change Agency Founder Valerie Black

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.

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EP 311: Finding The Full Body Yes With Being Boss Host Emily Thompson

EP 311: Finding The Full Body Yes With Being Boss Host Emily Thompson

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.

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EP 310: Unlearning Default Thoughts With Financial Coach Keina Newell

EP 310: Unlearning Default Thoughts With Financial Coach Keina Newell

This week, I’m talking with financial coach and the founder of Wealth Over Now, Keina Newell.

Keina and I started this conversation with the frame that we were going to be talking about learning mindset skills. And we definitely talk about that.

But after reflecting on this interview, I think what we talked about the most was unlearning many of the habits and patterns that she’d learned along the way.

Keina and I talk about what she thought the problem was and how she tried to fix it before landing on learning and unlearning key mindset pieces, as well as the self-coaching system she used to finally start the reprogramming. We talk about the process she uses on a daily basis to examine what she’s thinking and how it could be holding her back. And, we get into the extraordinary results she’s been able to create as a result of this work.

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EP 309: How To Change Your Perspective

EP 309: How To Change Your Perspective

Today, you’re going to hear from four small business owners who have learned to see things in a new way–to shift their perspective–and as a result show up differently for themselves and their businesses.

I’ve got stories from writing coach Beth Barany, Work Brighter founder Brittany Berger, business finance coach Lauren Caselli, and speech language pathologist and life coach Melissa Page Deutsch.

Each one has a very different story of how they learned something new and it shifted their perspective. Pay attention to how that new perspective helped them see both their challenges and their opportunities in new ways.

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EP 308: Leveraging Old Skills & Learning New Ones With Bouquet Stock Photography Founders Dana Kaye & Felton Kizer

EP 308: Leveraging Old Skills & Learning New Ones With Bouquet Stock Photography Founders Dana Kaye & Felton Kizer

All this month on What Works, we’re talking about leveling up our skills and, this week, I’ve got the inside scoop on a brand new joint venture that friend of the pod Dana Kaye and her new business partner Felton Kizer put together. Knowing what I’ve learned about my own second company, not to mention working with a business partner, I knew this conversation would teach us a lot about the skills that go into building a new business.

You might remember that Dana Kaye is the founder of Kaye Publicity, a PR firm for authors, as well as the host of the podcast, Branding Outside The Box. Felton Kizer is a photographer and the founder of Off-Kilter Media.

Together, they’ve just launched Bouquet Stock Photography. They wanted to see more people of color, those in the LGBTQIA+ community, non-binary folks, and those with different sizes, ages, and physical abilities represented in the photography that’s available for brands and creators online.

But launching this new business required them to level up.

In this conversation, you’ll hear how they decided to partner up and what skills they’ve learned to communicate clearly, divide labor, and work together effectively. We also talk about the specific skills they needed to make the business a reality—like ecommerce design, search engine optimization, and revenue sharing.

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EP 307: Mastering A New Model With The Light House Founder Christianne Squires

EP 307: Mastering A New Model With The Light House Founder Christianne Squires

This year—both as predicted and rushed along by the pandemic—has seen a wave of new community-based businesses.

And lots of people are learning just how different this skill set is!

I wanted to talk with someone else who has experienced this shift first hand and I was thrilled when Christianne Squires agreed to share her story.

Christianne is the founder of The Light House and, formerly, Bookwifery. You’re going to hear all about these two businesses—and what makes them different from each other over the course of this conversation.

You’ll also hear how Christianne has been nurturing her skills as a community builder and how that’s pushed her rethink how she creates value, what her people need from her, and what her role is in the community. Plus, we talk about a bonus skill: discernment.

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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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