Small Business Support Community | The What Works Network

We’re Building Stronger Businesses, Together

The What Works Network gives you the focus, structure, and support you need to take consistent action toward a more effective, sustainable, and profitable business.

Stop spinning your wheels. Start getting ahead.

Once you’re out of the startup phase, running a small business can often feel like you’re just spinning your wheels. You’re hard at work—day in and day out—and you’re largely doing the same things, getting the same results.

You’ve got something that’s working (to one degree or another) but your progress toward your next big goal or the next phase of your plan is slow going.

It’s really tempting to think that the key to picking up the pace is a magic formula or a shiny object. But you know better.

You know the key to growing through this phase and into the next is consistent action and uncompromising commitment to making your business stronger every single day.

The What Works Network is a community of practice where experienced small business owners take decisive action to build more effective, sustainable, and profitable businesses one day at a time.

Get the focus, structure, and support you need to make working on your business a habit.

When you join The What Works Network, you belong to a community of leaders who are making their own decisions and taking ownership of their plans with the support of thoughtful, trusted colleagues.

We don’t work on our businesses in fits & starts. We have a consistent practice of reflection, analysis, and action-taking.

Every month, we set our focus. We take action with clear structure. And, we embrace the support of our peers and leaders.

 

Build a stronger business one month at a time.

How much more effective, sustainable, and profitable could your business be by taking consistent action every month?

Action Planning Kit

Each month, use our Action Planning Kit to commit to a project, process, or principle to take action on in your business.

Throughout the month, we’ll support you with weekly & monthly events, encouragement, and accountability. We offer a mix of both on-demand support & live gatherings.

 

insider hour

Monthly live Q&A call with Tara so you can ask about moving forward on your commitment for the month or about anything that’s on your business brain

hot seat coaching

Monthly live business coaching session where we put 2 members in the hot seat for 30-minutes each to work through a challenge or opportunity related to the monthly commitment

flash mastermind

Monthly live support roulette session where you put yourself in the hot seat with 2 other business owners to get real-time feedback, support, or thought partnership

debrief

Monthly live session with Tara where you debrief with members about the action you took, what you learned, the progress you made

The What Works Network delivers a few key pieces that help me stay focused on my business.

One, the engagement prompts. I am notoriously shy in the digital sphere and have a really hard time sharing. These prompts get me out of my head and into action.

Two, the community-driven check-ins and opportunities to brainstorm and develop. Having a space to test out ideas and get feedback in real-time is invaluable as an entrepreneur, especially now as we pivot service offerings.

Three, access to the vast amount of tools and learning resources that are in Network. I find myself going back through archives on the regular to hone a certain skill or research a better way to implement a system.

Lastly, one of my favorite things about the community are the members. Everyone is generous with their experiences and genuinely want you to win. They are thoughtful about how they do business and aware of the need to re-image systems to create an equitable, just world. It’s the best and most inspiring online “co-working space” I have experienced yet.

Valerie Farber

Founder, Spatial Medium

Get support, feedback, and encouragement on your own schedule.

Monthly events make up the foundation of how we help you making business-building a habit and support your decisive action-taking.

But it’s not the only way to get support & guidance! We make it easy to grow your business at your own pace, on your own schedule with the time you have available. 

When you join The What Works Network, you also get access to:

  • Private, dedicated online community platform so you can focus on learning & connecting without the distractions of social media
  • Global network of experienced small business owners from diverse backgrounds and industries so you can take more informed action
  • Quarterly Virtual Conferences, day-long deep dives into a key component of building a stronger business where you’ll hear from members with the expertise and experience you need to act
  • Weekly Monday Huddle, connect with other business owners to share what you’re excited about, what action you’re taking, and how others can support you
  • Weekly Network Newsletter, ideas for action on the monthly focus area and a chance to quickly catch up on what you’ve missed
  • Weekly Kickstart, an open thread to share your action steps for the week and connect with other members
  • Weekly Check-In, an open thread to share your victories and celebrate with other members

We are What Works.

The What Works Network is a mix of coaches, consultants, writers, educators, designers, makers, lawyers, wellness professionals, therapists, and developers. Over 60% of our members have been running their businesses for 3 years or more.

Some of our members are in their 20s, others in their 60s. Some work with clients one-on-one, others serve thousands. Some have employees, others operate on their own.

One of the strengths of our network is the diversity of experience and perspective you can draw on whenever you want support.

Our Founder

Tara McMullin has been building strong businesses since 2009, including this one and YellowHouse.Media, a full-service podcast production agency. She’s is an experienced facilitator, bestselling instructor, and host of the hit small business podcast, What Works.

She’s passionate about guiding business owners to experiment with new ways of working and take decisive action toward their goals. The What Works Network is the product of over a decade of teaching, leading, and coaching entrepreneurs.

Our Team

What Works is made possible by a small team of people dedicated to lifting up entrepreneurs through caring, personalized support.

Shannon Paris is our full-time community advocate and operations manager. Kristen Runvik is our member experience specialist. Additional support is provided by Marty Seefeldt and Sean McMullin.

Our Values & Guiding Principles

✔️ Non-dogmatic: We don’t ascribe to any particular framework, blueprint, or method for building a business. We focus on helping our members discover what works for them and take action on that knowledge.

✔️ Collaborative: Our goal is to learn from each other and to learn together. We value the experience that every member brings to the table so we can take informed action.

✔️ Inclusive: We welcome business owners from different industries, different business models, and different levels of experience. We value the experiences of business owners from marginalized communities and we’re actively working to create a space that’s welcome to people from all backgrounds.

✔️ Holistic: We honor the interconnectedness of entrepreneurship and leadership development. We respect (and encourage) the exploration of the ins & outs of marketing, management, sales, and product development alongside questions about mindset, personal development, and leadership.

✔️ Experience-driven: We don’t give advice. We prioritize lived experience and thoughtful observation as we support each other. We contribute what’s working for us, how we work with our clients or customers, and what we observe in the market at large.

 

Together, we’ll tackle a wide-range of business-building activities.

It’s easy to miss some key areas of development and realize you’ve outgrown your systems too late. We’ll help you make steady progress across a broad range of business areas. Plus, you’ll customize each month’s focus to meet your business’s unique needs.

Check out what we’re working on over the next year and some examples of what you might commit to each month. Remember, the specific action you commit to is up to you—and can take as much or as little time as you have that month. 

August

Create value.

Build a new offer. Craft a stronger value proposition. Level up your delivery. Create new automations. Conduct customer research.

September

Make the ask.

Book 10 discovery sessions. Document your sales process. Design a campaign to sell your product or service. Write a new sales page.

October

Speak up.

Create a customer support hub. Launch a weekly newsletter. Hold 1:1s with your team members. Experiment with a new marketing system.

November

Level up.

Hone your craft. Swap skills with a colleague. Document your special sauce. Learn a new piece of software.

December

Lead yourself.

Build a new habit and let go of an hold habit. Identify and shift a behavioral pattern. Review & process the year. Create a personal accountability system.

January

Work the plan.

Create your 2021 plan. Name your strategic priorities and identify the projects that support them. Adopt a new planning system. Conduct a pre-mortem for your goals or projects.

February

Nurture the relationship.

Build a stronger on-boarding process. Craft a stronger off-boarding system. Train a team member to handle support requests. Automate manual support systems.

March

Identify opportunity.

Survey past customers about what they need now. Analyze the market for coming trends. Conduct competitive research. Create a project plan for a new offer.

April

Simplify.

Audit existing systems to find inefficiencies. Review software suite and eliminate unnecessary apps. Document new processes. Identify business model bloat and remove it.

May

Be seen.

Complete a visibility challenge. Try a new platform for building your audience. Create a new lead magnet. Create an advertising campaign.

June

Get help.

Create an organizational chart. Write a job description. Do a time audit. Complete performance reviews. Craft a hiring plan.

July

Show your work.

Plan a month of social media content. Launch a video series. Develop a podcast. Write case studies. Identify your target keywords.

What Our Members Say

I am enjoying learning what other business owners are doing to work efficiently and work through some of the same problems I encounter. I feel a lot less alone! I especially love hearing about new tools and how people are using them.

Hannah Branigan

Founder, Zero to CD

What I like about The What Works Network is that there are many different types of business owners which means I get exposed to a variety of different perspectives and even introduced to tools I can use to run my businesses that I hadn’t thought of. They say, “You don’t know what you don’t know” and I want to keep learning the things I don’t know if yet from this fabulous brain trust of smart, caring business owners.

Heather Thorkelson

Plan B Consulting & Twin Tracks Expeditions

It’s such a fantastic, active community. I feel like in The What Works Network I’m surrounded by mature, serious entrepreneurs actually running a real business. I have not found any other community like it. I have been following Tara for a long time now. I’ve learned so much from her and honestly in my eyes, she is one of the most respected, intelligent and trustworthy entrepreneurs out there. A true mentor. 

Jennifer Jane Young

InJoy Living

As a longtime What Works podcast listener and recent joiner of The What Works Network, I will say I have been blown away by the caliber of conversations inside the network. I somehow missed that the podcast is not so much a “highlights reel” of the network as it is a random sample of the goodness that happens inside the network!

Margy Thomas

Scholar Shape

This is a rare place where experienced folks are honest about what’s working and what’s not. That’s why I love sharing my morning coffee with you every day!

Annie Schuessler

Founder, Rebel Therapist

My business is growing into a whole new phase at the moment as I start building a team, and it’s wonderful to be around other people who are in the same place of growing and developing and trying new things, so we can all learn from each other and lift each other up. The generosity of this group is astounding.

Eli Trier

Founder, Eli Trier Communities

Tara is passionate about creating a space for real learning, where the members are teachers and students at the same time. There is no information hoarding, or smoke and mirrors. It is a community of transparency, sharing what works and what does not, and provides space for these conversations that everyone can benefit from. There is no exclusivity, everyone has a spot at the table and that is exactly what the New Economy is all about. Accessibility, guidance, and assistance for all, not just some.

Nicole Lewis-Keeber

Business Mindset Coach

I really appreciate connecting with the the What Works members because they all understand the ups and downs of building a business! It’s so great to have a place to hang out and feel understood when I share a win or a struggle. None of us got to where we are now without a whole lot of support.

Elinor Fish

Run Wild Retreats

The What Works Network is your comprehensive support system for taking consistent, decisive action to grow your small business.

Let’s recap.

Here’s what you get when you join The What Works Network:

✔️ A year of monthly events to guide & support you through taking decisive action on a different area of your business each month

✔️ Access to a private, dedicated community platform so you can focus on your business without getting distracted by social media

✔️ Connections to experienced small business owners from all over the world who are as committed as you are to building an effective, sustainable, & profitable business

✔️ Go-at-your-own-pace support from our team and our members so you can make meaningful progress on your own schedule

 

Is The What Works Network perfect for you?

Before you join The What Works Network, you should have been business for at least 1 year. We’re here to help you build on what you’ve done so far–not to help you get started.

You’re a perfect fit for our community (and get the most from joining us) if you identify with these descriptions:

  • You crave guidance and support that allows for your own autonomy—and maybe even a rebellious spirit
  • You value learning from others’ experiences and hard lessons learned
  • You’re eager to contribute your own learning and hard lessons learned with group members
  • You’ll push yourself to share the hard stuff, the stuff that’s not quite a fully formed question, and the stuff that’s exciting-but-terrifying with the community
  • You’re developing a clear vision for your business and you’re willing to figure out the details along the way
  • You’re willing to be open & honest about your experiences as a small business owner so that others can learn from you
  • You’re committed to taking action and you’re willing to take a few risks

What Happens When You Join

When you join The What Works Network, you commit to 12 months of building a stronger business.

This isn’t the place for you if you want to sit back and take it all in. We won’t force you to participate in any particular way but we will expect that you’re doing the work alongside us at your own pace and sharing whenever you can.

A year-long membership to The What Works Network is $499 or 12 monthly payments of $49 until August 31, 2020.

On September 1, the price goes up to $999 for a year of membership.

Once you’ve joined, you’ll receive your private link to join the group so you can set up your profile and introduce yourself, our member handbook, an invitation to book a call (optional) with our Community Advocate, Shannon Paris.

From there, you can dive into the month’s focus area, browse our archive of conversations and events, or ask for support on something you’re working on in your business.

Got questions?

How much time is this going to take?

That’s up to you! We know you have a different amount of time to devote to business-building action every month.

We’ll help you decide what action to take to move your business forward depending on your existing commitments and personal capacity.

And here’s the thing: taking a small action every month toward building the business you really want to have is better than nothing.

Taking action consistently is better than working in fits & starts. 

When you join us, you’re in control of how much you use your new support system and how much time you spend on your business-building action. But we know whatever you commit to is worth the price of admission. 

Is this a Facebook group?

Nope! We don’t know about you… but we find Facebook pretty distracting.

The What Works Network is a private, dedicated community platform. Yes, it’s an extra place to go but we’ll make it worth your while.

Our monthly events are held on either Crowdcast or Zoom so you have a variety of ways to participate.

Will I actually use this?

We know that trusting yourself can be a big challenge when it comes to committing to decisive action and new habits.

But you’ve got this.

Plus, we believe strongly in not only sharing what we know about running & building a business but in supporting you as you cultivate the mindset that makes that truly possible. 

One of the reasons we’re so big on commitment is that we believe in the power doing what you say you’ll do–both when it comes to yourself and others. We want to help you become a more reliable and accountable leader who trust themselves to do what’s most important.

Each month, you’ll not only take action on building & growing your small business, you’ll recommit to stopping self-sabotage and becoming the leader your business needs you to be.

Is this a subscription? Can I cancel anytime?

No. When you join The What Works Network, you’re committing to building your business for the next 12 months.

We do offer a 30-day money-back guarantee. But once you’ve committed, you’re in.

If you ever get stuck and don’t know how to dive back in, let us know! Our team is there to help you. Email hello@explorewhatworks.com or DM Shannon Paris or Kristen Runvik inside The Network!

What if I can't make the events live?

No problem! The vast majority of our events are recorded (Flash Masterminds are the exception because of the nature of the session).

We also offer a variety of ways to get support outside of the monthly events, including our weekly huddles and community support platform.

When are the live events scheduled?

We schedule events on a variety of days & times to make it easier for more members to participate. 

But most of our events happen Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursdays between 1pm ET (New York) and 4pm ET. 

We also schedule some events earlier or later in the day to help our members outside of North America.

All Are Welcome

One of our strategic goals as a company and community is to welcome more people from diverse backgrounds into The What Works Network. 

While our community is predominantly white, we’re working hard to create an experience that’s welcoming to every business owner who is a good fit–regardless of race, sexuality, gender, or ability.

Please reach out directly if you have any concerns about whether the group is a good fit for you: community@explorewhatworks.com