Sneak Peek: The Monthly Deep Dive at The What Works Network

Mar 1, 2021 | Community, Culture

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.

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Below is a preview of what we’re diving into this month at The What Works Network. Each month, we explore a different Deep Dive and share this kick-off post & table of contents for the month so that everything we offer is easy to access. There’s a lot going on every month—but our members report that choosing just a few things to participate in (example: read weekly member newsletter, attend 1 event, complete 1 tool from the Stronger Business Playbook) really helps to keep them on top of building their businesses, without taking up all their time.

If you’re not a member, click here to join us!

I am absolutely fascinated by why we do the things we do:

What belief, fear, hope, pattern, habit, or assumption informs our action?

That’s why I studied religion & theology in college. By learning about belief systems and different ways of interpreting the same texts and principles, I could better understand why people who claim to be from the same faith tradition can behave in vastly different ways.

It’s also why I host a podcast today. I get to ask business owners about why they make the decisions they make and how their thought process unfolds. I get to piece together how they approach challenges and opportunities.

And whether we’re talking religion or business (or pretty much any other subject), the same thing is true: how we think impacts what we do.

This is the crux of mindset work for me.

If you can find a different way to think about a particular challenge or opportunity, then you’ll see different options for how to proceed (which may very well include options such as stop, don’t, no, and forgettaboutit).

This is not the same as magical thinking or positive vibes only or “if you can dream it, you can do it.”

What I mean is that any belief (including “if you can dream it, you can do it”) impacts the options we see. For instance, if you believe that failure is not an option then you probably won’t see the option where you could decide, “Yeah, this didn’t work. I’m done.” Or if you believe that naps are a sign of laziness, you won’t see the option to take a snooze in the middle of the day.

Identifying what we believe—or fear, hope, fall back on, assume—allows us to recognize where we might be missing out on other options, other opportunities.

And it’s important to note here that our beliefs are often messages from culture. While many are good, some are really harmful. Recognizing when our beliefs are informed by harmful cultural norms allows us to see opportunities to take action that does less harm to ourselves & others.

It’s also important to note that not every problem is solved by changing the way you think about it. But many times, we can even get a new perspective on how we can approach or deal with those problems by getting clear on our own beliefs or assumptions.

This month, we’ll be inviting you to take a look at some of the different beliefs common to small business owners and how they impact the options for action (or non-action) that we believe we have.

We’re going to be using a brand-new program—SUBTLE—that you now have access to in Playlists. It’s an expanded, more interactive version of an ebook that I wrote in 2018. And while it’s certainly expanded and better than before, as I reapproached this work, I was struck by how much did not need to change, even as I’ve learned so much more about mindset and its implications for how we build our businesses over the last 3 years.

I’m really looking forward to hearing about the opportunities you spot as you question assumptions and beliefs that, at one point, seems like the Truth.

We’re also going to have the chance to see how this plays out during our virtual conference, March 24-26!

These are truly some of my favorite topics to explore. So let’s dive in!


Look for these upcoming weekly explorations highlighting tools and concepts from SUBTLE. They will be updated with links as the posts go live!

  • Tuesday, March 9, 2021
  • Tuesday, March 16, 2021
  • Tuesday, March 23, 2021
  • Tuesday, March 30, 2021


Join us for the following events to work on setting your commitment, making your plan, and taking action this month!

NOTE: Even if you can’t join us live – most events are recorded! 

  • CrowdCast replays are available at the same link shortly after they wrap. 
  • Zoom replays are embedded in the event announcement within a day or two after the event

What Works Insider Hour | Thursday, March 4, 2021 | 1:00pm – 2:00pm ET 
During this live session, you get to put our founder, Tara McMullin, in the hot seat! Ask questions about moving forward on your commitment for the month or about anything that’s on your business brain – whether that’s your own business, the businesses that we have on the podcast, trends you see bubbling up in the market, or anything about how the What Works Team works.

Flash Mastermind | Wednesday, March 10, 2021 | 2:00pm – 3:00pm ET
Join us this month for live support roulette where you put yourself in the hot seat with 2 other business owners to get real-time feedback, support, or thought partnership. Yep, it might be uncomfortable—but it also might be exactly what you need!

Hot Seat Coaching | Thursday, March 18, 2021 | 2:00pm – 3:00pm ET
We know it can be really helpful to watch someone work through a challenge or opportunity in real time with the help of a thoughtful coach or mentor. In this session, we’ll put 2 people in the hot seat (each for 30 minutes) to share something they’re working on in their businesses related to this month’s commitment.

Identify Opportunity Virtual Conference

Wednesday March 24 – Friday March 25, 2021

From our founder, Tara McMullin:

If you’re like me, you’ve always got your eye out for an opportunity. But once you spot an opportunity, it can be a tough choice to act on it. Any opportunity comes with risk.

Maybe you’ve spotted an opportunity to niche down, pivot with your offer, or take advantage of a new trend. Maybe you’re considering starting something new or shutting something down. Maybe you can see opportunities for growth or added efficiency inside your business.

How do you know whether seize that opportunity or not? How do you know what steps to take first?

Our March virtual conference is all about noticing and acting on opportunities. We’ll be showcasing conversations with people who have taken a leap into new territory as well as with people who have let opportunities slowly & organically evolve.

Bring your own opportunities, questions, and experiences and join us for our Identify Opportunity conference on March 24-26.

Monday Huddle | Every Monday | 2:00pm – 2:30pm ET
We want to help you start the week off strongly – every week -with a real-time business huddle – a chance to get together with some business friends, deepen connections, and expand perspectives. Hop in to talk about what’s energizing you, what actions you’re taking this week, and how we can support you – related to this month’s commitment or anything else happening with your business.
This is a recurring meeting on Zoom – click here on Mondays at 2:00pm ET to join the Huddle!

CoWorking Hours | Tuesday, March 2, 2021 @2:00pm ET | Wednesday, March 17, 2021 @12:00pm
Join us for an edition of our bi-monthly, hour-long “CoWorking Session.” Work on your business in the quiet company of entrepreneurial colleagues in a shared virtual space on Zoom. This is a recurring meeting on Zoom – click here to enter the Zoom Room at the appointed time

I’m part of What Works because here, I don’t need to try to fit in. I just belong. Even when I’m absent for a few days, a few weeks, or a few months — I come back and always feel, “Yes, I belong here.”

— Lou Blaser, Founder of Second Breaks

Ready to join The What Works Network?

Click here to become a member.

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