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

Browse Our Episodes

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.

EP 231: Taking Risks And Experimenting With Confidence With Author & Online Business Manager Victoria Klein

Today, for our final Candid Confidence Project conversation, my guest is Victoria Klein.

Victoria is an author, entrepreneur, and a certified online business manager.

I’ve been digital acquaintances with Victoria for many years—like since selling advertising was the best way to make money with your blog.

Victoria is a master at questioning assumptions and making unconscious choices conscious. That’s what our conversation is all about.

Victoria and I talk about risks she’s taken and the experiments she’s run—and how they’ve helped to find a new level of confidence. We talk about why she decided to go back to school to study Japanese, how her business has evolved, and even how her personal life has been shaped and reshaped by the risks she’s taken.

EP 230: Finding The Confidence To Come Back After Major Loss With Book Coach Jodi Brandon

Jodi Brandon has more than 20 years’ experience in book publishing. Today, her passion is working as a book coach and editor for creative entrepreneurs and small business owners who want to serve their business with a book.

Jodi took 2 full years away from her business full-time to care for her mother. We talk about how she made the decision, the challenge of trying to keep up, how she felt when she started back in her business, and how she’s adjusted both her work and her mindset.

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.