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

The Nuts & Bolts Of Building A Stronger Small Business

“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 311: Finding The Full Body Yes With Being Boss Host Emily Thompson

This month, I wanted to take a look back at how they’ve led themselves through this wild year.

So I spoke to 4 small business owners who each had a very different experience this year. What they all have in common, though, is a fine-tuned sense of self-leadership.

Sometimes that self-leadership took the form of intentional practices of self-care. Other times, it was finding the courage the make big decisions. And still other times, their self-leadership stared down challenges with intense creativity & imagination.

My first guest in this series is Emily Thompson, host of Being Boss and founder of Almanac Supply Company.

Emily had a big year—she separated from her long-time business partner Kathleen Shannon. She reimagined the Being Boss business model. She pivoted an in-person event to the online space. And, she got creative about how to replace a major revenue stream for Almanac.

Emily and I talk about all of these moments and much more.

EP 310: Unlearning Default Thoughts With Financial Coach Keina Newell

This week, I’m talking with financial coach and the founder of Wealth Over Now, Keina Newell.

Keina and I started this conversation with the frame that we were going to be talking about learning mindset skills. And we definitely talk about that.

But after reflecting on this interview, I think what we talked about the most was unlearning many of the habits and patterns that she’d learned along the way.

Keina and I talk about what she thought the problem was and how she tried to fix it before landing on learning and unlearning key mindset pieces, as well as the self-coaching system she used to finally start the reprogramming. We talk about the process she uses on a daily basis to examine what she’s thinking and how it could be holding her back. And, we get into the extraordinary results she’s been able to create as a result of this work.

EP 309: How To Change Your Perspective

Today, you’re going to hear from four small business owners who have learned to see things in a new way–to shift their perspective–and as a result show up differently for themselves and their businesses.

I’ve got stories from writing coach Beth Barany, Work Brighter founder Brittany Berger, business finance coach Lauren Caselli, and speech language pathologist and life coach Melissa Page Deutsch.

Each one has a very different story of how they learned something new and it shifted their perspective. Pay attention to how that new perspective helped them see both their challenges and their opportunities in new ways.

EP 308: Leveraging Old Skills & Learning New Ones With Bouquet Stock Photography Founders Dana Kaye & Felton Kizer

All this month on What Works, we’re talking about leveling up our skills and, this week, I’ve got the inside scoop on a brand new joint venture that friend of the pod Dana Kaye and her new business partner Felton Kizer put together. Knowing what I’ve learned about my own second company, not to mention working with a business partner, I knew this conversation would teach us a lot about the skills that go into building a new business.

You might remember that Dana Kaye is the founder of Kaye Publicity, a PR firm for authors, as well as the host of the podcast, Branding Outside The Box. Felton Kizer is a photographer and the founder of Off-Kilter Media.

Together, they’ve just launched Bouquet Stock Photography. They wanted to see more people of color, those in the LGBTQIA+ community, non-binary folks, and those with different sizes, ages, and physical abilities represented in the photography that’s available for brands and creators online.

But launching this new business required them to level up.

In this conversation, you’ll hear how they decided to partner up and what skills they’ve learned to communicate clearly, divide labor, and work together effectively. We also talk about the specific skills they needed to make the business a reality—like ecommerce design, search engine optimization, and revenue sharing.

EP 307: Mastering A New Model With The Light House Founder Christianne Squires

This year—both as predicted and rushed along by the pandemic—has seen a wave of new community-based businesses.

And lots of people are learning just how different this skill set is!

I wanted to talk with someone else who has experienced this shift first hand and I was thrilled when Christianne Squires agreed to share her story.

Christianne is the founder of The Light House and, formerly, Bookwifery. You’re going to hear all about these two businesses—and what makes them different from each other over the course of this conversation.

You’ll also hear how Christianne has been nurturing her skills as a community builder and how that’s pushed her rethink how she creates value, what her people need from her, and what her role is in the community. Plus, we talk about a bonus skill: discernment.

EP 306: Finding A New Way To Communicate With Writer Kris Windley

This month, we’re exploring how we level up by learning new skills.

We all bring a unique skill set to our businesses. Some of us bring the skills we learned in school or corporate careers that transfer directly into the work we’re doing today. Others bring certifications and licenses from careers that no longer serve us.

Some of us bring skills from our hobbies, personal adventures, or relationships. Others bring skills they had no idea would be useful but have been invaluable to their growth.

The way we leverage our existing skills and learn new ones helps us to creatively solve business problems, invest ourselves in future outcomes, and differentiate our brands.

Over the course of this month, we’ll hear from a number of small business owners who have spent time and energy on learning a new skill so they could level up some aspect of their businesses—or, in one case, start a new one.

Today, I’m talking with Kris Windley, who realized that she could level up her writing business by learning illustration skills.

Kris is a professional writer, certified teacher and curriculum developer, and describes herself as a happily amateur illustrator.

In this conversation, not only will you hear how Kris learned to illustrate and how she uses it in her writing—but you’ll also discover the way she’s learning how her ADHD brain works and how it influences the way she thinks and processes information.

We also talk about why learning new things is hard—and what to do when you feel stuck.

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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