What Works | A Podcast About Small Business Hosted By Tara McMullin (Gentile)

Go behind the scenes with business owners to discover what works

“Tara is a master at bringing together knowledgable, generous business owners who have worked hard to build their businesses–and are willing to share it all.”
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About What Works

What Works is a free weekly show that takes the mystery out of how small businesses really work.

With each episode, Tara deep dives with a small business owner and asks about how they manage their marketing, money, operations, team-building, growth, or personal leadership. She asks the nosy questions you’ve always wanted to ask other business owners!

Why a podcast? 

We produce the What Works podcast because it makes learning on-the-go easy. You can take this free in-depth audio content wherever you go and listen whenever you have time using apps like Spotify, Castbox, Castro, and Apple Podcasts.

New to What Works? Try This Episode:

Creating A Focused Brand With Studebaker Metals Founder Alyssa Catalano

by Tara McMullin | What Works

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Browse Our Episodes

EP 292: Figuring Out What’s Next For Your Offer With LOE Collective Founder Alisha Robertson

This month, we’re focusing on how small businesses create & deliver value.

How do we develop new offers? Put together new packages? Build new products?

We’ll be deep diving into 3 businesses and how they create & deliver value.

I’ll also be sharing a series of short bonus episodes looking back at how I’ve created & delivered value over the years—and how that process continues to evolve both at What Works and at YellowHouse.Media. Plus, we’ll close out the series by hearing from a few more business owners who have found creative ways to create and deliver value through the offers they make.

As I mentioned earlier, “What’s next?” is often a question that helps you figure out how to create and deliver value beyond what you’re already doing.

A product or service that solves a particular problem might shine some light on the next problem that needs to be a solved. A product or service that creates a delightful experience might simply leave the customer asking for more.

Or “What’s next?” might simply be a request to go deeper, keep working together longer, or investigate new possibilities.

Alisha Robertson found herself with a whole bunch of customers asking her “What’s next?” after she released a book called Living Over Existing. After a lot of thought, some customer research, some soul-searching, Alisha came up with her next move.

Alisha and talk about how the LOE Collective came to be, how she’s set up her community to meet those “What’s next” needs, and how she created the Intentional Success Path to guide her members through more “What’s next” questions. Plus, Alisha shares why she also created a physical welcome kit to send to her new members.

EP 291: Reply Hazy. Try Again.

The future is hazy.

It’s unknowable. And that makes taking decisive action to build a stronger business much more challenging.

But we have a choice. We can either fight it–and metaphorically try to shake that damn ball until we have a complete picture of what the future is going to be.

Or we can make decisions based on the information we have, a solid understanding of our goals, and an acceptance of the uncertainty of it all.

Waiting until you have all the answers you need or want is a great way to keep spinning your wheels. While embracing uncertainty might be risky and it’s can definitely be scary, but it’s the only way we move forward.

This month, we looked at 3 different stories of embracing uncertainty. Lou Blaser told us how a big life change allowed her to look at her business in a new way and see how she could finally build the business she’d been dreaming about for years. Sarah Avenir shared how she leads herself and her team through uncertainty. And Cher Hale told us about getting clearer and clearer on her vision for life and business–and the big moves it required of her.

We’re rounding out this conversation about embracing uncertainty today by hearing from 4 more small business owners: Podge Thomas, Melissa Dinwiddie, Kat Lu, and Amy Feierman.

Each entrepreneur embraced uncertainty in a way that allowed them to move forward despite not having all the answers or a guarantee of what the future would hold.

My guess is that you’ll hear a version of situation or question you’re wrestling with right now in at least one of these stories.

EP 290: Discovering Your Vision With Ginkgo Public Relations Founder Cher Hale

My guest is Cher Hale, the founder of Ginkgo Public Relations.

Cher is full of incredible stories of figuring out what she wants and taking action to make it happen—from making a big personal moving, to going full-time with her business, to embracing a bold new “why” for her business.

We talk about why she made the move from working on the Vegas Strip to getting weird in Portland, how she used retainer clients to take her business full-time, and how she rewrote some of the harmful mindsets she held. We also talk about her mother’s erotic romance novels and how Cher was inspired to make a big shift in who she serves with her business and why.

Don’t worry—this interview is completely PG.

Now, let’s find out What Works for Cher Hale!

EP 289: Leading Through Uncertainty with &yet CEO Sarah Avenir

I wanted to dig into what leading a team or community through a crisis can look like, and I could think of no one better to talk to about this than my friend Sarah Avenir.

Sarah Avenir—who you might know better as Sarah J. Bray—recently took the helm as the CEO of &yet, a digital development and strategy agency.

Sarah is an incredibly thoughtful leader and I knew her approach on leading both herself and her team through this time would be an insightful look at embracing uncertainty.

Sarah and I chat about how she became CEO of &yet, how she considers herself a naturally fearful person, and why a key part of her leadership is knowing others have her back. We also talk about how she structures her time, team, and approach to her work so she can focus on her own role and let other people do their job.

EP 288: Rethinking Your Business Amidst Change With Second Breaks Founder Lou Blaser

We are all facing uncertainty–as we do every day. So I wanted to talk with business owners who have their own stories about embracing uncertainty this month and the first person I thought of was Lou Blaser, the founder & host of Second Breaks.

I’ve watched Lou embrace uncertainty over and over again throughout the years. I’ve watched her step outside her comfort zone and I’ve watched her take courageous action.

Earlier this year, she announced that she’d made the decision to upend her business, then a career coaching company for late Boomers and Gen Xers, and move back to the Philippines to help out with her aging m. And while she could have tried to continue with her business as is–she made the bold move to use the change as a way to rethink everything.

That’s where this conversation starts–and throughout, Lou and I talk about how her business has evolved, the questions she asked herself to create the new plan, how she could use her existing assets in new ways, and how she started experimenting with her new ideas.

EP 287: The Things We Thought We Knew About Money

This week, we asked members of The What Works Network to share one thing they thought they knew about money but later discovered wasn’t true. Each shared a narrative or bias that held them back from fully embracing their business and their earning potential.

As you listen, consider which of these narratives are ones you’re currently operating with and how you could start reevaluating them. What would you do differently if you reprogrammed those money thoughts? What decisions would you make if you claimed a new money narrative?

You’ll hear from Charlene Lam, a curator and social media strategist, Maggie Patterson, the founder of Scoop Studios, Carol Hamilton, the founder of Grace Social Sector Consulting, and Anna Wolf, the founder of Superscript Marketing.

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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