What Kind of Business Do You Want To Run?

When you started your business, you probably thought a lot about what you wanted to do.

That’s certainly what I thought about! What do I love to do? How can I do that for other people and get paid for it?

  • Do I want to have a writing business so I can spend my time writing? (Yes, that’s what I wanted in the beginning.)
  • Do I want to have a coaching business so I can spend my time coaching and helping people?
  • Do I want to have a design business so I can spend my time designing awesome things?

This is, most often, what beginner business courses teach you to think about. It’s what (some) well-meaning business coaches will spend hours asking you questions about.

And honestly, this can be a helpful line of questioning if it means you get off your butt and start your business! But…

How much time do we really spend doing the thing we say we love to do?

  • If you run a writing business, how much time do you really spend writing?
  • If you run a coaching business, how much time do you really spend coaching?
  • If you run a design agency, how much time do you really spend designing?

Relatively speaking, probably not a whole lot. And contrary to popular belief, the more your business grows–typically–the less time you’re actually doing the thing you love.

Instead, you spend your time running the business.

So I think a much better question to ask is: what kind of business do you want to run?

When Sean and I decided to create YellowHouse.Media, it wasn’t because we dreamed of podcasting all day long.

Okay, I do dream of podcasting all day long. Just yesterday, I was daydreaming about starting another interview show.

It wasn’t even because we dreamed of producing podcasts all day long.

We decided to create our podcast production agency after some lengthy conversations about what it would look like to run a productized service business.

In the short term, the work would be a lot of transferring our What Works systems to new clients. It would be a lot of hands-on consulting. It would even be a lot of wrangling. There would be writing, editing, and teaching.

In the long term, the work would be managing team members. It would be optimizing systems. It would be automating systems.

We talked over and over again about whether this was a business that we wanted to run. Mostly, I asked him if it was a business he wanted to run–since my time is split like 75/25 with What Works.

We agreed that it was and moved forward.

I know a lot of people are rethinking their businesses right now.

Maybe you’re weighing whether that new product idea is one to move forward with. Maybe you’re thinking about your expenses and how you might be able to make your business leaner. Maybe you’re reexamining your goals. Maybe you’re thinking about getting into a whole new line of work entirely.

All of those thoughts and questions are perfectly reasonable.

And, before you attempt to reach a conclusion on them…

…consider whether you’re really running the kind of business you want to run.

The kind of business you’re running dictates the kind of work you’re doing most of the time. In some kinds of business, it’s mostly management. In others, it’s mostly content creation. In others, it’s sales.

Few of us have the insight to consider that when we’re just getting started. I sure didn’t.

But that’s why I prioritized it so much when I started a second company. I even prioritized that question when I decided to make the pivot from a coaching and training business to a community-oriented business over 3 years ago.

If you’re rethinking your business at all, now is a good time to use the insight you’ve acquired to tackle this question.

If your job is actually running the business (it is), what kind of business do you want to run?

I’ve learned that for as much as I really love writing, podcasting, and teaching, I also love creating and optimizing systems. And so any business that gets me to think creatively about creating & optimizing systems could be a business that I love to run.

Today, it’s community management and podcasting. Tomorrow? Who knows.

What kind of business do you want to run?

By Tara McMullin

Writer, Podcaster, Producer. Founder of What Works.

Apr 30, 2020

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EP 273: The Tools We Use To Run a Podcast Production Agency with YellowHouse.Media Co-Founders Sean and Tara McMullin

This month, we’re going to take a deep dive into the tools that different businesses rely on to run.

We’ll talk software, systems, and processes—plus how it all works together.

We’ll talk about how things have changed, what’s stayed the same, and how to know when it’s time to switch up your tools.

And, we’ll talk with business owners that run different kinds of businesses—digital products, 1:1 services, and agencies.

Focusing on tools is especially relevant right now because many business owners are looking for ways to run more efficiently and more effectively so that they can boost profit or create new streams of revenue as the economy is changing.

We’re also trying out new tools to cope with interruptions and stress. So in this kick off episode, I wanted to talk about both of those pieces of the puzzle with my podcasting partner-in-crime, my husband and the production coordinator for What Works, Sean McMullin.

Together, Sean and I run YellowHouse.Media, a full-service podcast production agency that specializes in helping small business owners create standout podcasts that power their marketing and sales.

We’ll get into the tools we use to run YellowHouse—including how we set up client dashboards, manage projects, edit audio, and consult on content strategy. But first, we wanted to share some of the tools we’re using to mange stress and anxiety right now.

Let’s get into it!

EP 262: Honing Your Craft Using Smart Project Management With Kickass Conferences Founder Isaac Watson

My guest today has had a similar experience learning the ins and outs of event planning and hosting kickass conferences.

Isaac Watson is the founder of Kickass Conferences, an event strategy and production studio based in the Pacific Northwest. Isaac helps community leaders develop and deliver transformative events for their audiences that inspire them to build a better world. So far, he’s planned and managed events that have touched over 21,000 lives across the US and Europe.

Isaac is a natural event planner. I know because I’ve attended a number of events that he’s planned and I hired him to plan a conference for me 4 years ago.

But Isaac hasn’t relied on his natural aptitude for creating meaningful and engaging experiences. Instead, he’s designed a process he can rely on to pull off one great event after another.

This process and the way he manages his events is clearly a product of the way he’s honed his craft over the years.

He notices what works, he notices patterns, he notices the things that go unnoticed—and then he adapts the way he manages future projects.

In this conversation, Isaac and I talk about how things have evolved since his very first event, the 5 phases that every event goes through from vision to completion, how he works with clients within that process, and what it’s like when it’s go-time and an event is live.

EP 260: Tracking Complex Projects With On-Demand CFO Christina Sjahli

I wanted to know how people who work with lots of data and reports manage the process, communicate with their clients, and organize all the work to be done.

So I asked Christina Sjahli, an on-demand CFO and cash flow analyst, to share her process. Christina started her career in corporate finance and now brings that experience to established entrepreneurs in the process of scaling to $1 million in annual revenue.

In this conversation, Christina shares how she manages the financial reports that help her do her job, how she tracks changes in those reports so the history of the project is never lost, how and why she uses Trello boards to interact with her clients, and why being deadline-oriented helps her manage her own work.

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