EP 345: Putting Your Business In Maintenance Mode With ScaleSpark Founder Susan Boles

Jul 6, 2021 | Mindset & Identity, Operations, Podcast, Productivity

Tara McMullin is a writer, podcaster, and producer who explores what it takes to navigate the 21st-century economy with your humanity intact. Click here to support this work.

In This Episode:

  • Sean McMullin asks Break The Ceiling host Susan Boles what she’s learned about creating a business that runs itself
  • Why maintenance mode is key to creating the space to experiment and try out new ideas without breaking your business
  • How to view your business in smaller pieces to create your own minimum viable maintenance mode
  • Why creating the systems you need to take a break before there’s a crisis is critical

This month’s series is all about “taking a break”—so Tara is taking a break from hosting and handing the mic over to her husband, producer, and business partner, Sean McMullin. Take it away, Sean!

I never want to do work I can’t walk away from.

When Tara and I started YellowHouse.Media, it was really important to me that we set it up in such a way that—eventually—it could run itself. We had built this great life together. We could travel, explore, and pursue interests outside of work—and I was only going to be game for this whole entrepreneurship thing if it wouldn’t completely disrupt that life.

We actually talked about our initial approach to building a business that could work without us in Episode 232. And later in September, we’ll talk again—this time with our production coordinator Lou Blaser—about our latest steps in making that happen.

It’s taken some serious time and intention to get to the point where taking real time off or dramatically reducing hours for an extended time is possible.

But here we are.

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!

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