"What do they know that I don't know?"

Probably quite a bit. But you know something they don’t, too.

The What Works Network helps you trade notes, fill in gaps, and share your experiences as you work to build a better business.

Let’s Talk Business

The What Works Network connects small business owners across industries and business models to get real about what’s working–and what’s not.

We trade notes on marketing, sales, operations, management, technology, trends, and pricing. We share what’s happening behind the scenes and talk candidly about the ups & downs.

When you join us, you get access to frank, ongoing discussions about the inner workings of businesses like yours.

What Works Weekly

Our weekly free newsletter for small business owners that transcends the hype and algorithms to bring you hand-selected conversations, resources, and ideas for running and growing your small business your own way.

The What Works Podcast

Host Tara McMullin talks to small business owners about how they run the marketing, product development, management, strategy, and mindset that powers their businesses. Click here to learn more.

The What Works Network

Our private support network where seasoned small business owners trade notes and talk shop about what’s really working to run their businesses. Click here to learn more.

What People Are Saying

So refreshing in a sea of “do more” and “grow faster.”

Tara is fantastic at really looking at the nitty-gritty details of running a business.

Every small business owner should listen to this podcast. Tara, thank you!

Being here puts me in contact with entrepreneurs that make me stretch my thinking about my business.

Listen To The What Works Podcast

TOP EPISODES OF WHAT WORKS

EP 341: Taking Better Care Of Each Other with Wanderwell Founder Kate Strathmann

What can you do with your business if you look beyond your individual needs and your individual success?

That’s a really exciting question to me.

What kind of impact on the collective could this business have? How I can I use this business to meet others’ needs, too?

These questions don’t have many easy answers. But they’re fertile ground for imagining different ways of doing business.

It’s with this in mind that I want to share my conversation with Kate Strathmann. Kate and I share many similar concerns about the state of online business and the even the broader small business, freelance, and gig economies.

As always with my conversations with Kate, this might be confronting at times. You might be nodding along, digging on what we’re saying, and then all of a sudden feel a twinge of recognition that isn’t as nice.

But none of this is aimed at your personal responsibility for where we’ve gotten as a market or even the things you’ve done in your business.

Our goal is to explore some big, hard questions about how we do business and how we can better take care of each other.

Stay tuned to hear us talk about the messages we consume that make it hard to imagine things a different way, why focusing on individual success causes us to devalue the care work that goes into making our businesses work, and why small business owners feel trapped between the worker class and the owner class.

Plus, Kate offers some powerful questions for reframing the potential of your business and gets super pragmatic about the choices we can make without becoming a martyr for the sake of positive change.

EP 336: Marketing Without Scale With Brand Strategist Felicia Sullivan

Today, I’m talking with Felicia Sullivan, a brand strategist who has built a thriving business on marketing activities that don’t scale. Felicia works with startup founders and small businesses doing $10-20m in annual revenue—folks who aren’t looking for business help on Instagram.

So Felicia spends her business development time on 3 things: coffee dates, writing long-form articles geared directly to her prospective clients, and referrals.

This episode answers some of the questions I’m most frequently asked about when it comes to marketing businesses that aren’t built on online courses (which, you know, is most of them).

Get ready to take some notes.

EP 335: Finding The Right Strategy To Market Your Business with Savvy Social Podcast Host Andréa Jones

Social media celebrity is not a requisite for success—no matter how many attractive business influencers give you the impression that it is.

But you don’t have to take my word for it.

This week, I’m talking with Andréa Jones, the founder of OnlineDrea, a social media marketing agency, and the creator of Savvy Social School, a training community all about social media marketing.

After all I just shared about building an audience, this might seem like a strange segue. Why talk to a social media marketing expert when it seems like you might not have to do this whole social media thing the way you have been?

Well, it’s because Andréa understands that finding customers is different from building an audience. She understands it because she helps people do both while also being acutely aware that the growth of her agency isn’t driven by building an audience.

This conversation gets into the relationship between building an audience and finding clients—both as they relate to Andréa’s business and as they relate to her clients’ and members’ businesses.

I love this conversation because there’s a bunch about what Andréa actually does with social media in her own business, there’s a bunch of insightful observation about what’s happening out there in the marketing world, and there are some really actionable ideas you can use, too.

EP 326: Creating Sustainable Structures & Systems With Superscript Marketing Founder Anna Wolf

Our core competency gives us a big leg up on creating operational sustainability, financial sustainability, as well as personal & social sustainability.

And that’s the thing about investing in your core competency. It’s not just an opportunity to make an aspect of the business work better—it’s an opportunity to make the whole business more sustainable.

This week, as we continue our series on opportunity, keep this idea in mind because my guest has fantastic example of this at work.

Anna Wolf is the founder of SuperScript Marketing, a content marketing agency serving financial brands and professionals. Anna’s story can be told through a series identifying core competencies as opportunities.

First, she identified as personal core competency and pursued that. Then, she identified a new capability—and core competency—the agency could use to make their work more impactful. And then finally, Anna focused on an overarching core competency that’s empowered her to make her company much, much stronger across the board.

Anna and I talk about how she got into content marketing for the financial sector in the first place and how freelancing turned into an agency that, eventually, focused on productized services. We also talk about how getting obsessed with systems & processes helped her to clarify the agency’s key core competency—and the operational shifts that have come with it.

EP 322: Building A Stronger Team With Productive Flourishing Founder Charlie Gilkey

This week, we’re examining how we nurture the relationships we have with the people who work with us.

I’ll be honest with you: there are so many different places I’d like to take this episode. There are so many of the lessons I’ve learned that I’d like to pass on. Luckily, the lessons I’ve learned have largely come through conversations I’ve had on this very podcast!

And there’s one conversation in particular that I come back to time & time again. It was my first interview with my friend and founder of Productive Flourishing, Charlie Gilkey.

Looking back on this conversation, I can see that there were already lessons that had started to come into focus about how I work with people and what it looks like to nurture relationships with team members. But what I can also see is how much this conversation actually helped to solidify those learnings into how my thinking & approach have changed since.

Charlie and I talk about the operational components of the mindset shift I just dug into. We talk about the art of management, whether for one or for many. We discuss what prompted him to bring his core team on as employees instead of as independent contractors. And how we keeps his team—and himself—from becoming over committed and overwhelmed, as well as how he structures his time to enhance his creativity.