Use This One Strange Trick To Win Races & Get Massive Business Results

I started running 3 years ago. I was slow AF.

Mostly, I was slow because I couldn’t regulate my speed enough to keep running… so I would have to stop every half-mile or so to walk.

Nothing wrong with that at all but it meant that my average mile times were clocking in around 12-13 minutes.

Eventually, I adapted to running a bit more conservatively and could keep running for miles on end (this is an important life & business lesson in and of itself, of course). My mile times dropped to the 10-minute per mile range.

Honestly, I was pretty happy there! I could really enjoy the groove I’d get into and started to care much more about distance than speed.

Then, something happened this year.

Without any intention or additional effort, my average mile time dropped significantly.

I started comfortably and casually running long distances at less than 9-minutes per mile.

(Note: I’m not suggesting this is fast but it is fast-for-me.)

Now while I said there wasn’t any intention or additional effort behind this increase in speed, some things did change. I trained for a half marathon last year. I started to really push my strength training.

But the biggest thing that changed?

Just the amount of time I’ve been running.

There’s a huge difference in being someone who has just started to run versus being someone who’s been running consistently for 3 years. And I am certainly looking forward to experiencing what it’s like to run consistently for 10+ years!

All of that time––those miles, those physical adaptations—they add up over time.

And the only way to experience those results?


In our hustle-hard, fail-fast, immediate-results entrepreneurial culture, patience isn’t something often discussed.

After all, the social media news cycle and the algorithms reward fast.

We love to hear how people built a big Instagram following in 3 months or less. We can’t seem to keep from clicking on stories of the overnight successes. We’re drawn in by the promise of building a 6-figure business in 6 months.

And as much as we might know that these stories are exceptions (if not total bullshit), they start to influence our own expectations.

It’s hard to be patient when you’re conditioned to assume that speed equals success.

But I’ve learned that the secret to winning races and achieving massive business results is, in fact, patience.

Look, patience is not my thing. This is hard for me. And…

Everything in my life (and business) is pointing toward a practice of patience, toward enjoying the results when they come instead of gritting my teeth and trying to make them happen. right. now.

It’s been well over a decade since I first started my little business and there are outcomes that I’m experiencing right now that have taken 11 years to manifest.

And I know that patience is exactly what’s required of me to make the most of my next moves.

On Tuesday, we kicked off one of our 2020 mastermind groups—and yes, patience was a theme we heard from many of the business owners participating.

It showed up in many forms: some noticed that they needed patience as they built out a new vision for what is already a successful business, others noticed they needed patience to execute on their plans with precision & excellence, others noticed they needed patience as they made decisions about the future.

Maybe patience needs to be part of your 2020 plans, too.

With gratitude,

Tara McMullin
Founder, What Works

P.S. Patience is one of the strategies behind better business habits that I’ll be sharing during the 100 Days of What Works–a brand-new learning experience we’re rolling out soon. Click here to get on the waiting list!


We’re kicking off a series on project management–and what works for different kinds of small business owners–this month. My first conversation was with my friend Dana Kaye, from Kay Publicity. Dana managers multi-level book publicity campaigns for the authors her agency works with. She explained exactly how she tracks each phase of the project, how her team members own different pieces of the projects, and the different tools she uses to make it all happen.

🎧 Click here to listen.


Before I wrapped up 2019, I recorded a live podcast episode where I answered a bunch of questions from readers and listeners. I tackled everything from 2020 trends, to what’s happening with my podcast production agency, to Facebook & Instagram ads.

🎧 Click here to listen.


It seems 2020 is going to be the year the internet to goes “retro.” For as much talk as there is about AI, automation, and smart speakers, there’s just as much talk about hanging out on Twitter, checking LinkedIn on the regular, and building niche communities outside of Facebook. I’ve been spending quite a bit of time on Twitter again (and really enjoying it). Last year, we featured Kerri Twigg talking about her success on LinkedIn–which I’ve seen plenty of other folks get great results from. And, to bring it all together, I’m obsessed with this Twitter thread about “community as a service” products.


Since the New Year often coincides with a sort of “reset” on how we look at our work as business owners, it’s a good time to take a look at the full breadth & depth of your responsibilities. Sure, there’s a lot of work you’re very conscious of–sales, marketing, product or service delivery. But there’s also a lot of work that’s invisible–the mental load of business ownership. The more you notice this mental load and identify how it is woven through your workdays, the better you can manage it.

👓 Click here to read.

Cover of What Works book by Tara McMullin

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