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 305: How To Keep Speaking Up (Even When Things Go Wrong)

Speaking up for yourself and your business is no joke.

Putting your ideas, stories, or information out there can be daunting. Any number of things might be going through your mind:

Is this really helpful? Hasn’t this already been said a million times before? What if someone yells at me? Who am I to say this? What if they think I’m weird? Is anyone paying attention at all? What if it goes viral and I get inundated with replies?

And it’s not just the head stuff that stops us!

Sometimes the challenge is finding our people and speaking directly to them. Sometimes the obstacle is finding a message that makes a connection. Sometimes it’s the logistics or the technology that throw you for a loop.

So many things can stand in the way of us speaking up for ourselves and our small businesses.

Today, I’ve got 5 stories for you. Each story is from a small business owner who identified a hurdle they had to speaking up and found what worked for them to overcome it.

You’ll hear from Pocket PhD founder Emily Crookston, photographer Janeris Marte, brand strategist Helen Tremethick, Niche Partnership Consulting founder Mary Beth Simón, and speaking coach Johanna Walker.

EP 304: Speaking To New Audiences With Rebel Therapist Founder Annie Schuessler

Today, we’re talking with Annie Schuessler from Rebel Therapist.

Annie helps therapists and other healers move their businesses beyond private practice. She has her own podcast—also called Rebel Therapist—and we talk about how hosting her show has helped to use her voice.

But we also dive into how Annie has been borrowing other people’s audiences all year long through a podcast tour, a concerted effort to pitch other hosts and appear on other shows.

Not only has her tour been successful—but it’s helped create incredible results in her business, like overselling her last Create Your Program group coaching offer.

We talk about how Annie finds shows to pitch, the research she does to pitch them, how she tracks her pitching, and how she’s overcome the fear she first felt when getting started on this project.

EP 303: Creating A Curated Newsletter With #jesspicks Creator Jessica Williams

I’m all in on curating. And I think it’s something that most small business owners should consider as a potential way to use their voice and highlight their perspective.

So to take things really meta, as I was curating this month’s Speak Up theme, I knew I wanted to include a curator.

Jessica Williams came to mind.

Jessica is the curator behind #jesspicks, a weekly newsletter for side hustlers. Jessica is herself a side hustler, working during the day at &yet, run by previous What Works guest Sarah Avenir. But on the side, she’s been helping small business owners for years.

Jessica and I talk about why she started the newsletter, what she includes each week, and how she manages her workflow to make sure it gets done. We also talk about what producing over 200 editions of the newsletter has taught her and how it’s impacted the level of confidence she feels in using her voice.

EP 302: Connecting With Confidence with Brand Builders Academy Creator Suz Chadwick

Suzanne Chadwick is so good at showing up and connecting with people. In fact, she does it every week day morning—a habit we talk about during this conversation.

Suz is a bold branding, business, and speaker coach who helps women create businesses that fit their lifestyle. Her coaching helps female entrepreneurs show up in bold ways and share their messages online and on stages.

I invited Suz onto the show to talk about how she cultivates the confidence and go-getterness that exudes from the way she speaks up. And I expected to have a conversation about going big—and we did—but my big takeaway from this conversation is in how much she prioritizes the small ways she can connect with people, the little things she does to make people feel seen and included.

So I hope you listen for that and consider how that can apply to the way you speak up and show up, too.

EP 301: Taking A Stand With Tell Me A Story Founder Hillary Rea

My guest today is Hillary Rea, the founder of Tell Me A Story. Hillary helps entrepreneurs, leaders, and change makers identify that personal narratives that create powerful communication.

Now, you might think Hillary had this whole speaking up and taking a stand thing under control.

She did, too.

In fact, in episode 226, Hillary shared how she’s found the confidence to stand on stage and share vulnerable personal experiences through storytelling.

But earlier this year, just after Covid-19 upended her business, Hillary realized she had let herself, her story, and her stand get watered down. She was trying to squeeze into a mold that she assumed other people wanted her to fit into.

This is the story of how she reversed course, started speaking up for real, and the challenges she faced as she did.

Hillary and I talk about how her business shakeup this year helped her see what had become a big problem, how she tried to fit in and avoid looking like a weirdo, the concrete changes she made to how she presents her work, and the ongoing challenges of continuing to speak up in a stronger way.

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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Tara McMullin, What Works Weekly Newsletter

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