EP 198: Finding A New Opportunity To Serve With Abundance Practice Building Founder Allison Puryear

The Nitty-Gritty:

  • How a conversation at a networking event planted a seed for Abundance Practice Building founder Allison Puryear
  • What the first business coaching program Allison led looked like
  • Why she knew this opportunity was the right thing to pursue
  • How Abundance Practice Building has grown and evolved since that first group

I’d like to introduce you to Shannon Paris.

Today, Shannon is our Director of Product for What Works. But when I hired her, I was hiring a community manager.

I’d known Shannon for over 10 years. She and I had co-managed a Borders Books and Music until she left to join a company as a visual merchandiser in the fair trade industry.

When she was looking for a new gig, I knew she was the right person for the job.

But, I’d be lying if I said it didn’t take some convincing on her part!

Shannon had never been a community manager before.

She didn’t know what the job entailed and she wasn’t necessarily steeped in the culture of the internet.

What Shannon had, though, was extreme people skills. She’s a master of friendly matchmaking, professional networking, and team member buy-in. I also knew she was detail-oriented, focused on helping people feel like they belonged, and excellent at having difficult conversations.

In other words, I knew Shannon was the perfect community manager.

Luckily, she trusted me enough to take the job. Not only does she make What Works Network members feel at home, connect them to resources, and help them turn their challenges into posts that get our whole community talking, she also makes The What Works Network hum like a well-oiled machine.

I could see the seed of a community manager well before Shannon saw it herself and bloomed in the position.

That’s the funny thing about some seeds we plant as small business owners: sometimes it takes someone else to tell us something is starting to grow!

That was the case with Allison Puryear.

Allison is now the founder of Abundance Practice Building. But before founding this business, she had 3 private therapy practices in 3 different states.

Then, someone started to show her the seed she’d been planting all along: Allison was really good at building private practices.

The peer pressure started to mount and she couldn’t escape it anymore. It was time to bloom!

In this conversation, Allison and I talk about how she created her first group business development program, where she found her first clients, and how she evolved the group from that point. We also discuss how her business has grown into what it is today, including a high-touch mastermind and a membership community.

Do you have a story about planting a seed in your business?

Have you run a small experiment and watched it transform your business? Have you taken a small step and put yourself on a whole new path? I’d love to hear your story.

Share it with us on Instagram using the hashtag #explorewhatworks and tag me, @tara_mcmullin. We’ll be sharing your stories throughout the month! And, you’ll be entered to win a free lifetime membership to The What Works Network. For full rules and giveaway instructions, go to explorewhatworks.com/aprilgiveaway. Giveaway closes April 22, 2019.

Now, let’s find out what works for Allison Puryear!

What Works Is Brought To You By

Mighty Networks powers brands and businesses – like yours! – that bring people together.
With a Mighty Network, online business owners just like you can bring together in one place:

  • Your website
  • Your content
  • Your courses
  • Your community
  • Your events online and in real life
  • And charge for them…all while building YOUR brand.

Visit mightynetworks.com to see more examples of brands bringing people together and taking their businesses to the next level.

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Bench combines easy to use software with real human beings who do your bookkeeping for you.

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Even better? What Works listeners get 20% off their first 6 months of bookkeeping AND you can try it out free of charge before you commit. To get started, go to explorewhatworks.com/bench.

By Tara McMullin

Writer, Podcaster, Producer. Founder of What Works.

Apr 11, 2019

Read More

EP 299: How To Design Your Own Sales System

This week, I’ve got 4 more stories to share with you from small business owners who have intentionally done things their own way when it comes to sales and selling. They’ve found what truly works for them–even if it bucks the prevailing wisdom or would make a bro marketing expert role his or her eyes.

These stories come from business coach Ashley Gartland, marketing expert Amy Lippmann, designer Mel Richards, and work reinvention coach Lydia Lee.

Listen for how they incorporated these same considerations into finding their own unique sales systems. They designed their systems with personal values, strong relationships, reduced anxiety, and agency in mind.

EP 298: Creating A Less Harmful Sales System with Wanderwell Founder Kate Strathmann

This show is called What Works for a reason.

Sometimes it’s a declaration: this is what worked for this small business. And often, it’s a question, “What works?”

Today’s episode is very much a question, many questions, really:

What works when it comes to selling when you want to avoid manipulative or exploitative practices?

What works when your values conflict with many of the best practices of selling online but you still want people to buy your stuff?

What works when it comes to sales in a business that is actively anti-racist and anti-capitalist?

And even more bluntly: Can you even sell things without causing harm or perpetuating harmful systems?

My friend Kate Strathmann is the founder of Wanderwell, a bookkeeping and consulting firm that grows thriving businesses while investigating new models for being in business.

Recently, Kate took a bit of a detour from how she’s used to building her business, which is 90% referral based and fueled by deep relationship- and community-building. She decided to offer a small group program called the Equitable Business Incubator as a way of exploring anti-capitalist business practices and how they apply to the small businesses we’re building.

To fill the program, Kate need to sell differently.

Which led her to asking the question: Can you even sell things as a anti-capitalist?

While that might not be your specific question, I have a feeling that you too have wondering how you can effectively sell your offers without causing harm, perpetuating harmful systems, or damaging relationships. And that’s why I knew Kate and I needed to explore this topic on the show.

This is a conversation about what a kinder, less harmful sales process could look like—and it probably contains more questions than answers. But I’m confident those questions can help you find the answers that are right for you and the sales system that you want to build to make your business stronger.

We start out by defining what we’re really talking about when we talk about capitalism and anti-capitalism. Then, Kate shares how the Equitable Business Incubator came to be and how she ended up selling it. And then we dig into what makes many of the sales formulas and best practices being taught today problematic—and how to think differently to create your own alternative practices.

Now, let’s take a look at what works for creating less harmful sales systems!

EP 297: Selling A New Program With Proof To Product Founder Katie Hunt

Today’s guest is Katie Hunt—who is a member of the former group and serves the latter group.

Katie is the founder of Proof To Product, which helps creative entrepreneurs run and grow thriving product-based businesses. She works with designers, illustrators, and artists to help them develop in-demand product lines and get them sold in stores all over the world.

Not long after the pandemic threw her business and the industry she serves for a major loop, Katie and her team launched Proof To Product Labs to provide a completely digital, ongoing support opportunity for business owners when they needed it most.

And that launch was a smash.

Katie and I get into all of the nuts and bolts of how she adjusted the offer to meet the moment and how she warmed up her audience before the campaign, as well as the exact mix of emails, podcast ads, and social media content she used to sell the offer when it went live. We also talk about how she sees the sales system evolving in the future and how the offer has been received now that people are using it!

What Works offers in-depth, well-researched content that strips away the hype of the 21st-century economy. Whether you love the podcast, the articles, or the Instagram content, we’d love your support