Honest conversations with small business owners about what’s working to run & grow their businesses

Browse Our Episodes

EP 237: Discovering What Scales With Writer & Maximum Impact Founder Katey Schultz

My guest today had a business that resembles so many: one that required her constant input, expertise, and care just to stay afloat.

While she felt like it was already a success in many ways, Katey Schultz realized that her business wasn’t really meeting her needs. She wanted more of a challenge. She wanted more time. She wanted more money.

So Katey started to look at how to scale her offer, a monthly mentorship for writers.

This conversation is the story of her journey to do that. We talk through the mindset shifts she needed to make, the experiments she ran, and the aha! moment that made her realize she’d scaled the wrong thing.

EP 236: Leveraging Your Special Sauce With Speaking Your Brand Founder Carol Cox

Carol is the founder of Speaking Your Brand, a speech coaching agency that helps women entrepreneurs and executives craft their signature talks.

I wanted to ask Carol how she worked out the recipe to her own special sauce so she could start training the first speech coach she brought on board.

Carol and I talk about the time and energy she put into working with clients 1:1, paying attention to exactly how she worked her magic. We also chat about how she knew it was time to hire, what have been her biggest fears throughout the process, and how her mindset about the business she’s building has shifted.

EP 235: What’s Working To Scale With Software With Scale Spark Founder Susan Boles

Susan Boles is the founder of ScaleSpark, a consulting firm that helps companies break through growth ceilings by fixing back-end processes and creating systems designed to scale.

One way she does that is by addressing operational capacity problems through software. She helps business owners and their teams get more done by better utilizing the software they have—or the software they should be using.

In this conversation, I ask Susan what’s working for her clients—how she helps them identify their operational challenges, choose the best software, and adapt their processes to create additional capacity. We also talk about the challenging work of implementing new software—and how to make a change easier and more effective.

EP 234: Choosing Not To Scale With Oki Doki Co-Founder Marie Poulin

Today, my guest is Marie Poulin—our first 3 time guest here on the pod!

Marie is not someone to miss the important questions. Her and her husband Ben are building Oki Doki with the life and work they want to lead top of mind. That choice has brought them face to face with some scrutiny from people with a scale-or-die mindset.

Marie recently wrote a lengthy article about her choice not to scale—or, not to scale in any conventional way—so, of course, I wanted to bring her on the show while we’re covering scale to talk about it!

Marie and I chat about the hybrid business model Oki Doki has developed, the cocktail party conversation that shook her up, how she approaches finding a equilibrium with her energy, and how her focus on profitability has paid off.

EP 233: Creating Scale With A Single Offer With Membership Guys Co-Founder Callie Willows

Building a subscription-based product is one key way small businesses can scale up.

But they can require a significant trade-off in at the beginning. It takes time, energy, infrastructure, and savvy marketing to get to a point where the business is healthy and profitable.

I know this from personal experience.

So does Callie Willows, the co-founder of The Membership Guys. Callie runs Member Site Academy, a leading training resource and community for membership site owners.

Callie and I talk about why The Membership Guys chose to focus on just one offer, the mindset shifts she’s had to make running a membership site, the operations that go into keeping members happy, and how running a membership site is a great fit for her as an introvert.

From Our Listeners

“I love Tara’s ‘let’s get real’ style and willingness to go deep with her guests about what’s actually working in their businesses. With so much smoke-and-mirrors content out there in the business world, this podcast is a refreshing, honest, and genuine change of pace for serious small business owners.” – Lara Dalch, Health Coach

“I get so many ideas from listening to this podcast. Tara asks excellent questions. What I love most is hearing from business owners whose business is different from mine and seeing what works for them, and what I can apply in my own business.” – Dr. Michelle Mazur, founder of Communication Rebel

Are you a small business owner with an unconventional or highly thoughtful way of working?

Would you like to share the nitty-gritty of how you do things with the What Works audience?

We’re always looking for guests, especially from unusual industries, using creative business models, and from underrepresented communities.

Here’s how to be considered:

  • Let us know 2-3 processes or strategies you use in your business that are unconventional or incredibly thoughtful that might make a good angle for a 30-40 min deep dive interview, or…
  • Share a personal inflection point in your business–like a mindset shift you made and how it played out in your business
Once we have the potential story in mind, we can see how you might fit into our editorial calendar!

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Meet Tara McMullin

Tara McMullin is the founder & host of What Works. She’s been connecting small business owners through mastermind groups and online community for over a decade. Whether on the podcast or in the online network, her goal is to facilitate the free flow of ideas, information, and inspiration between entrepreneurs.

She believes that no one person has the answer to “what works” in small business–but that, together, we can create living, breathing knowledge-base of real-world solutions to all of our small business challenges.