“I need to create some systems for my business.” It’s one of the key needs we hear from small business owners. Recognizing that they have something that works on some level, they’re looking to make it work better. Systems seem to be the way to do it. But then a...
I’ve never thought of myself as very good at visual art or graphic design—even though I wished I was.
Then, I had a conversation with writer, developmental editor, and communications consultant Kris Windley. Kris told me all about how she’d been learning how to draw to support her writing—and that helped manage her attention & focus as she navigates ADHD.
I don’t think I can overstate how much this got my wheels turning. It wasn’t until January that I really got to work on the project finding ways to illustrate my ideas. But once I got started, I couldn’t stop!
Here 8 months later and almost a year after that conversation, I feel like I have a really powerful tool in my toolkit. And that that tool leverages a strength I had only been using at half-power.
This episode is a rebroadcast but, if you follow my non-podcast work, I think it will have new meaning for you now—as it does for me. And regardless, I think it’s really encouraging to hear about how Kris has intentionally and methodically introduced this new skill into the way she works!
Now, let’s find out what works for Kris Windley.
This month, I indulged myself a bit with our focus on the podcast. I wanted to talk to other neurodivergent business owners about how they leverage their strengths in their businesses. It’s part personal research project and part public service.
The public service part is the part where, even if you’re not neurodivergent, you start to see how your own strengths can give you creative direction in how you build your business. You can filter how you build your business through what truly makes you feel effective, alive, and capable.
You can adapt your business instead of always adapting yourself.
I could think of no one I wanted to kick off this series with more than Brittany Berger. Brittany’s personal leadership and advocacy was some of the first that made me think, “huh.”
Brittany is the founder of Work Brighter, a platform that provides resources and encouragement for neurodivergent, disabled, and chronically ill people who want to make productivity techniques work for them.
Brittany and I talk about how she manages her energy, how she structures her day, and why self-disclosure has been key to finding her way, as well as—and this is crucial—why she can write about the intersection of pop culture, productivity, and content marketing like no one else.
Now, let’s find out What Works for Brittany Berger!
The quest for greater productivity is one of internet culture's longest-lasting and most influence trends. “Life hacks” teach us how to shave a few seconds off of common tasks so we can fit more work into our days. Even my daughter became enamored with life hacks...
What does it take to be able to carve out the time and energy to pursue big creative projects?
Jessica Abel is the founder of The Autonomous Creative and the creator of The Creative Focus Workshop. She’s also a cartoonist, author, and educator. She helps all kinds of creative people juggle the work that pays with the work they dream about.
Our conversation isn’t so much about taking a break from work entirely. It’s about taking a break from one kind of work to focus on the projects we so rarely make time for.
Jessica and I talk about how her work has evolved over the years and how she’s able to juggle so many projects herself, as well as the patterns she’s noticed among creatives, the routines that can help us make sense of our time, and how she paces herself.
Now, let’s find out what works for Jessica Abel!
Solid systems, strong client relationships, naps, and art is the perfect blend for my day.
You probably have your own ideal blend for how you spend your time—whether working or otherwise. Maybe you save working on your big projects until after 10pm. Maybe you take 1 week off per quarter. Maybe you don’t schedule calls on Mondays or Tuesdays.
And if you don’t have found the right blend for you yet, now is the perfect time to think about what it might be and start experimenting you way to it.
Today, I have a conversation with one of my oldest business friends for you on exactly this subject.
Jacquette Timmons is speaker, coach, and financial behaviorist who helps people make human choices with their money.
I wanted to find out what taking a break and taking care of herself meant to her. And eventually the conversation got to this topic of finding the right blend—so that whether you’re working, resting, exercising, eating, or exploring your other interests, you feel satisfied and fulfilled with the way you’re spending your time.
Now, let’s find out what works for Jacquette Timmons!
It seems like summer is the perfect time to reexamine and re-establish your boundaries as a business owner or freelancer. And maybe, like me, you're even exercising some additional boundaries to be able to go into full-on summer slow-down mode. I know it's been a hot...
Last week, we took our first trip of this Hot Vax Summer. And later this month, we’re driving out to Montana to enjoy a month in the mountains again. We’ll still be working but the business will largely be in maintenance mode.
Which brings me to today’s topic. When Tara and I decided I’d take over for her this month and explore the topic of taking a break, I immediately knew the first person I wanted to talk to.
My friend and YHM podcaster Susan Boles. Susan is the founder of ScaleSpark and the host of Break The Ceiling.
She has an eye for efficiency, systems, and automation that makes her the perfect candidate for talking about how to put a business in maintenance mode.
And, Susan, like many others, was forced to wrestling with the reality of building a business made for maintenance mode when the pandemic hit and schools closed.
During our conversation, you’ll hear that story and why it’s so important to her to have a business that runs in maintenance mode. You’ll also hear how Susan can fall prey to shiny object syndrome and other distractions just like any other business owner, as well as how she’s combating self-sabotage and how she balances work as a creative outlet with taking breaks.
Now, let’s find out what works for Susan Boles!
Do you ever get the feeling you're white-knuckling it through business ownership? Like if you just squeeze the wheel hard enough and focus on what’s in front of you, you can keep your business from ending up in a serious fender bender (or worse)? I’ve certainly felt...
There’s a difference between being busy—and being squeezed. Neither is very pleasant. Nor are they sustainable. But one—busy—is a state that you’re moving through on the path to greater sustainability. And the other—squeezed—is the end result of the structures,...
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.