I walk out of my hotel room and I can already hear the din of the party 20 floors below me.

As the elevator whizzes down, I can feel the tightness in my chest rising up and out.

The door opens and my skin starts to prickle.

My mind goes blank.

I’m at the opening party of a conference and my body feels alternately on fire and completely numb.

I take a lap around the party, looking for somewhere, someone safe.

I grab a drink.

Finally, I spot the friend who is always at ease at a party–a moment of relief.

Then, I realize she’s right next to the DJ and my heart rate spikes realizing that I won’t be able to hear the conversation (how do people do that, anyhow?!). 

I walk over. Hugs. Handshakes. Formal introductions.

I do start to settle in but, before too long, I’m wiped. And I have to do it all again tomorrow. So I tell myself I’ve done my time and head to bed.

It’s taken me 37 long years to learn that depression is not the only mental health challenge I live with. I spent so long learning to manage that aspect of my life that I never realized how much anxiety has been impacting me–and my business.

I’m working to change that right now. I’m learning what works to ground my senses and keep moving. I’m learning to let go of some of the details that totally set me off. 

Unless I learn to manage my anxiety, I can’t make the impact I want to make. The things that will drive my business forward require me to move beyond my anxiety: forging new relationships, being seen by larger audiences, taking risks, playing bigger.

Now, I hope you’re reading this letter and thinking: “Wow, sure am glad I don’t have what she has!” (Although, I know there’s a very good chance that you’re nodding along to my descriptions here.)

But we all have our stuff, right? We all have the mental blocks, the life circumstances, the systemic bullsh*t that we have to work to understand so that we can learn to act beyond it.

My stuff might not be your stuff. But we all live with stuff.

We all run our businesses with stuff. And that stuff can contribute to our challenges in ways we can’t even imagine… until we start to notice it, unpack it, and navigate it.

With gratitude,

Tara McMullin
Founder, What Works

MANAGING ANXIETY AS AN ENTREPRENEUR WITH SUPERNOVA COLLECTIVE CREATOR JO CASEY

I’m certainly not the only small business owner dealing with anxiety. I spoke to my friend Jo Casey about her own methods for managing anxiety as an entrepreneur. She not only shared how anxiety has impacted her business but the concrete changes she’s made to ensure it doesn’t hold her back–things like doubling her rates, simplifying her business model, and establishing clear boundaries.

🎧 Click here to listen.

LIVING UP TO YOUR OWN EXPECTATIONS WITH CLICKMINDED FOUNDER TOMMY GRIFFITH

The path to business growth is not a straight one and it certainly doesn’t always go up! I talked with Tommy Griffith about how he adapted his SEO workshop into a full digital marketing training company–and some of the missteps he took along the way.

🎧 Click here to watch.

LEADER OR FOLLOWER: WHAT YOUR MARKETING SAYS ABOUT YOU

Feel like your marketing efforts result in diminishing returns? If you’re always following the trends or hopping on the Insta-Pin-book bandwagon, you’ll only get results until the next big thing rolls around. What if, instead, you started creating the next big thing for yourself? That’s the question Lacy Boggs asks in this insightful article on leading vs following as a marketer.

👓 Click here to read.

FINDING YOUR VOICE & YOUR BRAND WHEN THE HEADLINES SEEM LIKE THEY’RE JUST TOO MUCH

It feels like the world is falling apart. And that can make your own business feel pretty inconsequential. But it’s not. In fact, our businesses can be powerful agents of change and the brands we develop can be influential symbols of a better future. Amy Walsh offers 4 ways you can use your brand to stand for something meaningful–even in the end times.

👓 Click here to read.

HOW TO OPTIMIZE ANY SYSTEM IN YOUR BUSINESS

Simplify. Streamline. Supercharge. Natasha Vorompiova has long been the person I turn to when I need to think through how to make a business system more effective and efficient. In this article, she shares 3 ways you can do just that–with plenty of real world examples.

👓 Click here to read.

SPONSORED BY WPENGINE

YOUR WEBSITE HOSTING SHOULDN’T GIVE YOU A HEADACHE

Unfortunately, plenty of website hosts leave you reaching for Advil. Your website goes down. Your requests for support are met with unhelpful wiki articles–or worse–silence.

What Works is hosted by WPEngine. It’s powerful managed WordPress hosting with stellar support (and it’s never once given me a headache). Right now, you can get 4 months of FREE hosting when you sign up for an annual plan or 20% off your first month of hosting on a monthly plan.

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