EP 322: Building A Stronger Team With Productive Flourishing Founder Charlie Gilkey

EP 322: Building A Stronger Team With Productive Flourishing Founder Charlie Gilkey

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.

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EP 321: Designing A Remarkable Customer Experience

EP 321: Designing A Remarkable Customer Experience

What I really love about customer experience design is that it can be so creative!

There truly is no one-size-fits-all process. Our different values, types of customers, ways of serving, skills, strengths, differentiators, points of view… they each contribute to making our customer experience uniquely our own.

During the course of this episode, we’re going to look at 4 ways you can make your customer experience remarkable and help build a more intentional relationship with the people who buy from you. I’ll share some things you can consider as you think about your own customer experience and you’ll hear examples from thoughtful business owners who made customer experience design a priority.

You’ll hear from OnlineDrea & Savvy Social School founder Andrea Jones (EP 212), financial behaviorist Jacquette Timmons (EP 141), attorney Autumn Witt Boyd (EP 296), and Bank Boost creator Sarah Von Bargen (EP 156).

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EP 320: Making Your Business Your #1 Ally

EP 320: Making Your Business Your #1 Ally

In this episode of What Works, I’m exploring how getting into right relationship with yourself can help you get into right relationship with your business. In the process, we’ll examine learning to enjoy the process (instead of just the outcome), setting stronger boundaries, using boundaries to do business your way, and making your business your #1 ally.

You’ll hear from Shirin Eskandani, Nicole Lewis-Keeber, Mindy Totten, and Jennifer Armbrust.

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EP 319: Why Our Plans Need More Margin

EP 319: Why Our Plans Need More Margin

We’ve inherited a pattern of over-scheduling, over-planning, and over-committing, as well as technology that eliminate our margins and induce urgency—and, with it, anxiety. We’re taught to believe that more is better by cultural forces like rugged individualism and white supremacy, as well as our broken capitalist economic system.

We try to tackle too many things at once. We think we can do things faster than we really can. We forget to factor in preexisting commitments. We don’t take stock of our resources before we start doling them out—literally and figuratively.

It’s no wonder then that we so often feel “the crunch” when we’re trying to stick to our plans.

And when we’re feeling “the crunch” we’re much more likely to take action that causes harm to ourselves, to others, and to our communities.

Maybe we ignore our families or intimate relationships. Maybe we pull too many all-nighters. Maybe we resort to choices and tactics that damage the community or industry ecosystem we’re a part of. Maybe we start to believe the horrible things we say about ourselves: how slow we are, how unprepared we are, how unskilled we are—and my personal go, how lazy I am.

When we’re constantly executing our plans in a state of urgency, we’re exposing ourselves to all sorts of triggers and negative influences.

That’s not a helpful way to engage your work. It’s not the state of mind you need to do creative and critical thinking. What could leaving more space in your plans do for you? And what would it mean about the choices you need to make?

As you consider your answer, I’m thrilled to bring you the stories of 3 business owners who have recommitting to margin in their own ways. You’ll hear from photographer & podcaster Yvonne Marchese, business strategist Maiko Sakai, and mindset consultant Shulamit Ber Levtov. While the details of their stories might be different than yours, I know they’re going to feel familiar and could help you see your own experiences in a new way.

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EP 318: Writing The 2nd Draft With Sell From Love Author Finka Jerkovic

EP 318: Writing The 2nd Draft With Sell From Love Author Finka Jerkovic

This week, I’m closing out our series about working the plan by talking about 2nd drafts—both literal and metaphorical—with the author of Sell From Love, Finka Jerkovic.

You’ll hear how it took writing a first, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink draft in order for Finka to learn what her book was really about and how it was going to serve her readers. You’ll also hear how she’s needed to find a second draft of what makes her feel satisfied and worthy based on her own values instead of the performance-oriented culture she was raised in.

And, of course, you’ll hear how Finka planned for writing her book and discovered her writing practice along the way.

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EP 317: Leveraging LinkedIn With The Pocket PhD Founder Emily Crookston

EP 317: Leveraging LinkedIn With The Pocket PhD Founder Emily Crookston

Obviously, we all got thrown for a loop last year when Covid hit. That wrench in the works played out different for every one and every business—but we all had to adapt in some way.

If you fought, fled, or froze, you’re not alone!

I think we all responded that way initially. I certainly did—big fighting energy over here!

What was amazing to watch though is little by little, the business owners I’m in community with started to ease up on that immediate reaction and started to find a more adaptive, proactive response.

I saw amazing things happen for people when they adapted—even if those things didn’t always lead to financial relief or more time to themselves.

One of those people is my guest today, the founder of The Pocket PhD, Emily Crookston.

Emily is a ghostwriter and editor who works with experts and thought leaders to help them bring their ideas to the masses.

As you’ll hear, Emily’s plan for 2020 was to grow her business through in-person speaking engagements. Her first gig was on March 8—and then… lock down.

But Emily adapted—taking the same strategy she was applying to speaking gigs and applied it to LinkedIn. She’s seen tremendous success on the platform over the last year and I wanted to talk with her about how she adapted her plan, decided on LinkedIn, and then figured out how to make the most of the platform by working her plan.

We talk about how she made the jump from posting spontaneously to planning her content & scheduling it. We talk about the video interview series she started. We talk about how she approaches the LinkedIn algorithm (hint: she doesn’t). And we talk about the results she’s seen for her business.

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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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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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