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

Browse Our Episodes

EP 199: Leveling Up Using A Simple One-Day Event With The CEO Retreat Creator Racheal Cook

My guest today has a similar story. Racheal Cook is the creator of Sweet Spot Strategy and the CEO Retreat.

Today, the CEO Retreat is a key touchpoint of how Racheal works with her clients. But it didn’t start that way.

In fact, you’ll even hear her admit that there was no “grand plan” behind her first experiment with a live event.

She just had the urge to get the right people in a room together to work on their businesses.

Racheal and I talk about how she came up with the idea of the CEO Retreat, how it solved a persistent problem for her clients, and what her greatest fear about hosting the event was. We also discovered how the idea has evolved and the role it plays in her business today. Hint: it’s big!

EP 197: Growing A Sold-Out Program From The Seed Of An Idea With Fix My Churn Founder Val Geisler

My guest today is Val Geisler. Val is an email marketing specialist and the founder of Fix My Churn.

Today, Val is wrapping up a 12-week email marketing program that netted her about $90,000.

But just 6 months ago, this kind of result would have been hard to believe.

A small offer—a 2-hour workshop on the research behind successful email marketing—changed everything.

I talk with Val about how she came up with the seed of her big idea, how she sold the workshop that started it all, and how she developed the 12-week program once she knew it would be a success. We also discuss the mindset behind starting small and why it was key to her accomplishment.

EP 196: Building An Empire One Piece of Content At A Time With Bonnie Gillespie

In this episode, you’ll learn how Bonnie Gillespie, the author of Self-Management For Actors, planted a seed before she even started her business. Her bridge job as a show business industry columnist blossomed into an empire that is still rooted in the words she wrote over 20 years ago.

Email by email, article by article, blog post by blog post, book by book, even tweet by tweet, she’s strategically pieced together her body of work.

Bonnie and I talk about how she realized her first book was waiting to be born, the way she used an automated Twitter account to develop a new product, how she stays in dialogue with her audience to fuel the content she publishes, and why she doesn’t buy into guru culture.

EP 195: How Small Ideas Lead To Big Success With Tara McMullin

There was something about this group of people: down to earth, honest, and thoughtful. The group never suffered the same drama that so many other online groups suffered.

It was a positive *and* constructive place to be.

Unfortunately, it just didn’t fit into my big plans. It was always on the back burner.

Then, at the end of 2016, I decided to pull the plug on our main offer, Quiet Power Strategy. I was ready to grow something bigger and even more useful for small business owners.

EP 194: Finding A Niche In A Crowded Market With Photographer Janeris Marte

Janeris Marte had been a photographer for 18 years with limited success. She was a self-described jack of all trades.

She could specialize in photography for adoptive families.

Instead of creating portraits of anyone who popped into her inbox, she could focus on connecting with a community of people she knew well with a service that could transform their families.

In this interview, you’ll hear how Janeris decided to focus on adoptive families, how she connects with new clients, and the specialized packages she’s able to offer because of her niche.

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!

Guest Submission Form

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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.