There’s no shortage of advice out there in the world for small business owners – most of us want to know what we should be doing if we want to scale our business, grow an email list, increase our conversions, etcetera, etcetera. Sometimes, though, we get more caught up in exploring other people’s advice than we do in working through our entrepreneurial problems using our own wisdom, coaching, and business know-how.
This can be especially true when we’re trying to figure out what kind of business model we want to use; many of us wind up with a business model that we wouldn’t pick for ourselves but think we “have to” or “should” adopt because it’s what everybody else does.
Today’s guest is familiar with that particular conundrum and is dedicated to helping small business owners figure out what’s best for them – not everyone else. I’m really excited to share my conversation with Tara McMullin with you today, because I’ve been trained by her and a member of her community for a long time.
Tara is the founder of the What Works Network, a membership community for small business owners getting real about what’s working & what’s not as they manage (and grow) their businesses. She’s also the host of the What Works Podcast, where she shares unconventional or exceptionally thoughtful business processes and talks about marketing, product development, sales, time management, mindset, and more.
Tara and I had a fun and wide-ranging conversation about her journey as an entrepreneur, with a special focus on her recent pivot to a totally new business model. Tara talks about what inspired her to create the What Works Network and why she loves empowering small business owners to come up with answers to their own questions (rather than dispensing one-size-fits-all advice).
She shares the triumphs and challenges she and her team have encountered as they switched from an online course model to a community-driven model, a transition that helped Tara reignite her love for her business after she’d been feeling out of alignment. And we talk a bit about Tara’s fitness journey and how it’s helped her push past her comfort zone in business and reach new levels of success, confidence, and fulfillment.
What Mastery means to Tara:
Mastery is one of my greatest guiding values. For me, it means finding my growth edge and staying there. It means prioritizing getting better at what I do and how I do it every day.
A turning point in BOTH my business & personal journey was the first retreat I led in Montana. It highlighted how invested I am in facilitating conversations between business owners and creating space where we can talk about hard things – without it being hard. It was also a personal turning point because it was at a time I was going through a huge lifestyle shift and I was able to really see the results of it throughout that week. Those things combined to make it a really special time in my life.
Our goal is to figure out what works for us – and the best way to do that is by talking openly and honestly about what's going on in our businesses and how we're making them better.
What You’ll Learn from this Episode:
- What Tara does at What Works to empower small business owners to answer their own questions and build a business they love.
- Why she wants to encourage service-based entrepreneurs to shoot for higher conversion rates and more niched marketing if they want to scale their business.
- How and why Tara pivoted away from leading a super-successful online business course to start a business with a community-based model.
- What she did when she realized her work was no longer aligned in integrity with the product and education she wanted to deliver.
- Some of the challenges Tara and her team have faced while growing What Works.
- Why she decided to get physically fit at the end of 2016 in order to level up her approach to building her business, and how it’s positively impacted her work overall
Links mentioned in this show
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