EP 164: From Special Snowflake To Special Sauce–An Excerpt From Subtle

I avoided confronting my mindset as a business owner for years.

I figured that, if I got the numbers and the strategy right, I could grow my business without worrying about my own personal development or leadership.

But the more I looked around, the more I realized that the entrepreneurs who were excelling in ways I wanted to excel thought differently than I did. They approached their systems, customers, and identity in a way that felt unfamiliar.

After a good long while and plenty of false starts, I realized that mindset was every bit as important to the success of a business as strategy and numbers.

I’ve been hosting the What Works podcast for over 3 years now and I’ve interviewed over 150 small business owners in my quest to find out what’s working—and what’s not—to grow and manage a business today.

Over the years, I’ve had the privilege to ask creatives, coaches, tech entrepreneurs, educators, writers, and designers how they approach their businesses. Sure, they’ve given me the nitty-gritty on how things work and why they do things the way they do. But they’ve also given me—and you, our listeners—a front-row seat to how they think.

To grow our businesses, the way we think about our businesses needs to grow and evolve, too.

Sure, the business owners I’ve interviewed do things very differently. I’ve talked to people who sell high-end services and those who sell accessible physical goods. I’ve talked to people who are building big teams and those who are going it solo.

However, I’ve noticed that the most successful among them have a similar mindset about key aspects of their businesses. They think pretty similarly about how they tackle problems and create value.

But they didn’t start out thinking that way. Their mindsets have evolved over time. Many have even gone through similar identity crises, mindset shifts, and vision overhauls—all because the way they were thinking about their businesses subtly shifted.

These subtle mindset shifts are—as I see it—a key missing piece for many small business owners confused about why their businesses aren’t growing.

I wanted a way to document the patterns and changes I saw among our guests here at What Works. So over the last 6 weeks, I wrote a small book called, Subtle: The Small Shifts That Lead To Big Results.

Today’s special episode of What Works is one of my favorite chapters from the book: the shift from Special Snowflake to Special Sauce.

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Be sure to listen if you have a hunch that the idea “only you can do what you do” is holding your business back from greater success.

And, if you want to grab a copy of the whole book (including audio version) for yourself, click here!

Cover of What Works book by Tara McMullin

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I've explored goal-setting and planning with small business owners, creatives, and independent workers for over 12 years now. That means I've observed many different types of goal-setters. Some confidently choose a new goal and get to work. Others rebel against...

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