EP 377: What game are you playing? (Time & Money 6)

EP 377: What game are you playing? (Time & Money 6)

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.

read more
EP 376: What Is Our Time Worth? With Keina Newell (Time & Money 5)

EP 376: What Is Our Time Worth? With Keina Newell (Time & Money 5)

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.

read more
EP 375: Is this really a new economy? (Time & Money 4)

EP 375: Is this really a new economy? (Time & Money 4)

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.

read more
EP 374: How do you measure quality time? with Elisabeth Jackson (Time & Money 3)

EP 374: How do you measure quality time? with Elisabeth Jackson (Time & Money 3)

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.”

read more
EP 372: What Is Money? with Paco de Leon (Time & Money 1)

EP 372: What Is Money? with Paco de Leon (Time & Money 1)

“Time is money.” Ben Franklin gave us that chestnut in 1748—and ever since, we’ve been trained to think of our lives as opportunities for making a buck. This week, we start a series exploring the “time is money” construction. But before we think through how we spend our time, we’re going to think through money: what it really is, how we relate to it, and some of the factors that make it “weird.” I talk with Paco de Leon from the Hell Yeah Group and author of the brand-new book, Finance For The People.

read more
EP 371: How does emotional labor impact our work?

EP 371: How does emotional labor impact our work?

Emotional labor is an under-appreciated, under-compensated type of work. But it’s essential for navigating the 21st-century economy. Entrepreneurship almost always brings with it a need for managing our emotions to lead and care for others. And this expectation is only doubled when the entrepreneur is a woman or marginalized person. What’s more, the type of marketing that many of us are told to do today is thick with emotional labor: showing up with confidence, using your personality as leverage, banking on your sense of self. It’s no wonder so many business owners are burning out. In this episode, I tackle: What is emotional labor? And how does it impact our work as entrepreneurs?

read more
EP 370: What is the creator economy? with Gina Bianchini

EP 370: What is the creator economy? with Gina Bianchini

What is the creator economy? And why are so many creators… miserable? Mighty Networks founder Gina Bianchini was the first person I knew talking about the creating economy. She’s passionate about helping entrepreneurs, organizers, and creators see why building independently beats trying to amass huge audiences on the usual platforms. In this episode, we talk about what the creator economy is, how the game is rigged, what’s making creators miserable, and how she sees a different way forward. Plus, we’ll discuss research from the massive independent study that Mighty Networks commissioned.

read more
EP 368: What Does Growth Without Striving Look Like? with Rita Barry

EP 368: What Does Growth Without Striving Look Like? with Rita Barry

“What does growth without striving look like?”

Rita Barry posed this question 3 years ago, and it’s stuck with me ever since.

In this episode, I talk with Rita about the journey she’s been on to answer that question as her company has exploded. We dive into validation-seeking, social conditioning, and identifying what you really want in the face of so much “common sense” about what success looks like.

You’ll hear Rita’s story, plus commentary from writer Anne Helen Petersen (via Librairie Drawn & Quarterly) and psychoanalyst Paul Verhaeghe (via Renegade Inc).

Find out more about Rita Barry at ritabarry.co

This year on What Works, I’m exploring how we can navigate the 21st-century economy with our humanity intact. Read articles, listen to the archives, and sign up for What Works Weekly at explorewhatworks.com

read 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.