EP 332: Maybe Simplicity Is Just A Dream…

EP 332: Maybe Simplicity Is Just A Dream…

I’m convinced that every entrepreneur has a fantasy business that they daydream about.

It’s free from all of the baggage and assumptions that we’ve built up around our existing businesses.

And I’m also convinced that that fantasy business—as pie-in-the-sky as it may be—has something to teach us about our existing businesses.

They can show us how we’d market differently, set policies differently, and protect our time differently. They show us the kinds of relationships we’d prefer to have with clients or the type of work we’d rather be doing.

And, maybe more than anything, they show us just how simple a business can be.

With a few exceptions, I don’t think most of us daydream about convoluted, complicated businesses. We dream up simple businesses—ones that thrive with minimal BS.

Today, I’m sharing 3 ways that I built my fantasy business—the one I’d been dreaming about for years—and how it’s different from What Works.

In this episode, you’ll hear:

– Why making changes to an existing business is less like steering a big ship and more like dragging the anchor behind you

– How focusing on process & systems helped us create a simple business model

– What we did to create an offer that was an obvious “yes” for the right people and an obvious “no” for the wrong people

– And how we’ve gotten away with almost zero marketing since we got started almost 2 years ago

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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 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 294: Refining Your Offer With SpeakEasy Cooperative Founder Michelle Markwart Deveaux

EP 294: Refining Your Offer With SpeakEasy Cooperative Founder Michelle Markwart Deveaux

Refining the product or service you already offer can be as good—or even better—for giving your business a shot of energy as offering something new.

When you refine or repackage your offer, new people might notice it who passed it by before. New methods of delivery might give you back some serious time. A new price point might unlock a new level of profitability for your business. A new message or angle on what you really offer could open your eyes to a whole new way to market what you do.

In other words, refining your offer could lead to a new, bold vision for your whole business!

This is exactly what I talked about with today’s guest, Michelle Markwart Deveaux, founder of FaithCultureKiss voice studio and the SpeakEasy Cooperative.

Michelle is a voice teacher… as well as champion for voice teachers who want to empower students, performers, podcasters, and voice talent of all kinds to use their voices in powerful ways.

Michelle started out teaching voice with the same kind of offer you’d expect any voice, piano, or instrument teacher to use. Students paid her for each lesson and they called it a day.

But as she started to hate how transactional that method was and how guilty it made her feel for doing work outside of her lessons, she started to refine her offer—and ended up creating a whole new model for teaching voice.

We get into all of that and more, including how she doubled her rates and delivered 3x the value, how she structures her packages, and how she got started teaching voice online. Plus, we talk about how she took what she learned refining her original voice teaching offer and created a new offer to help other voice teachers, too.

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EP 197: Growing A Sold-Out Program From The Seed Of An Idea With Fix My Churn Founder Val Geisler

EP 197: Growing A Sold-Out Program From The Seed Of An Idea With Fix My Churn Founder Val Geisler

My guest today is Val Geisler. Val is an email marketing specialist and the founder of Fix My Churn.

Today, Val is wrapping up a 12-week email marketing program that netted her about $90,000.

But just 6 months ago, this kind of result would have been hard to believe.

A small offer—a 2-hour workshop on the research behind successful email marketing—changed everything.

I talk with Val about how she came up with the seed of her big idea, how she sold the workshop that started it all, and how she developed the 12-week program once she knew it would be a success. We also discuss the mindset behind starting small and why it was key to her accomplishment.

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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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