World-Building for Business Owners

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World-Building for Business Owners

By What Works with Tara McMullin

The Most Important Business Lesson I Ever Learned...

The most important business lesson I ever learned was that my business would work exactly as I designed it to.

So, if there was something wrong with the business, it was an effect of the business design. If the business wasn’t meeting my needs, it was an effect of the business design. If the business felt unsatisfying or frustrating, it was an effect of the business design.

That also meant that I could design the business to cause fewer headaches, meet my needs more efficiently, play to my strengths, and create satisfying work.

Of course, external factors play a role. However, I could always rework the design to accommodate external factors.

As I learned what worked and what didn’t, I could rework the design. As the conditions around me changed, I could respond by adjusting the design.
In fact, I could design my business meet my needs and fit my priorities rather than follow someone else’s blueprint and hope for the best.

In other words, I became a world-builder.

Stick with me. I'll explain.

World-building is the creative practice of imagining fictitious environments for books, movies, TV, or other media.

A properly immersive fictional world, no matter how alien, makes sense. It’s a unified theory of geography, biology, culture, and governance that sets the stage (literally) for character and plot.

It’s that “unified theory” that’s missing from so many small businesses. Instead of an integrated system, a small business is often a collection of disparate functions.

There’s brand, operations, marketing, product, administration, finance, sales, etc. but there isn’t a business system. The various functions operate independently of each other, often working at cross purposes or generating extra work.

And this lack of a unified system becomes especially frustrating when the various pieces of a business actually work in opposition to your needs, strengths, personal priorities, or values.

World-Building for Business Owners is a 3-hour workshop that guides you through how to build the business world you want to live and work in.

You’ll learn a comprehensive process for building an internally consistent business that meets your needs, plays to your strengths, and utilizes your talents.

We’ll tackle this process in 3 parts:

  • Personal & Social Sustainability
  • What do you need most from your business?
  • How do you want to work?
  • How is your business contributing to the greater good?
  • Financial Sustainability
  • How does your business model support your personal & social priorities?
  • What marketing and sales strategies complement your strengths and your business model?
  • Operational Sustainability
  • What procedures do you need to support your business model and personal priorities?
  • How do you want to support your customers? Your team members?
We’ll begin with your personal priorities, move on to your financial needs, and finish with how the business needs to run to accommodate your priorities and needs.

Who is this workshop for?

World-Building for Business Owners is for small/micro business owners, freelancers, and independent workers. Whether you lead a business of one or ten, this process is designed for you.

This process is geared toward service-based and information-based businesses. If you offer retainers, service packages, online courses, community memberships, subscriptions, etc., you’ll be able to apply what you learn directly to the design of your business.

If you run a product-based business, this process still applies. But you might have to make some adjustments to fit your exact needs.

This workshop is geared toward creative and non-linear thinkers. The process acknowledges that every aspect of a business impacts others. While I’ll present the process in a particular order, it’s not a formula. It’s a comprehensive way of approaching business design and strategy.

This workshop is best for those who have at least one year of experience working for themselves. That ensures that you have some data (and anecdata) to work with as we move through the process.

If you’re a more experienced business owner (say, 5-10 years in business), and it’s time to switch things up, this process is perfect for you.

Who is teaching this workshop?

That’s me! I’m Tara McMullin, a business strategist turned writer and critic. I have more than 15 years of experience helping small business owners and independent workers craft businesses that work for them.

I created a business strategy program called Quiet Power Strategy, which generated $2+ million in revenue. I founded the What Works Network, a peer support community for small business owners which was acquired by Mighty Networks in 2021. And I’m the co-founder of YellowHouse.Media, a boutique podcast production agency.

Today, I study the creator economy, the macroeconomic shift to independent work, and the marketing media ecosystems we move through as both creators and consumers. I work through a critical and philosophical lens on the challenges independent workers face and offer a radical feminist, anti-capitalist take on business-building.

What’s the schedule?

This workshop is May 15 & 16 from 1 pm EDT to 3:30 pm-ish EDT (New York City).

The workshop is divided into 6 sessions:

Wednesday, May 15
  • 1-1:30 pm | Session 1: Introduction to World-Building
  • 1:30 pm | 15-Minute Break
  • 1:45-2:45 pm | Session 2: Personal and Social Sustainability
  • 2:45 pm | 15-Minute Break
  • 3-3:30ish pm | Session 3: Q&A
Thursday, May 16
  • 1-2 pm | Session 4: Financial Sustainability
  • 2 pm | 15-Minute Break
  • 2:15-3:15 pm | Session 5: Operational Sustainability
  • 3:15 pm | 15-minute Break
  • 3:30-4 pm-ish | Session 6: Q&A
The workshop will be recorded. Recordings will be available as video, audio, and transcripts. You’ll also receive the full slide deck and corresponding worksheets.

The workshop is hosted on Crowdcast so you can sit back and relax without worrying about being on (or off) camera.

What’s the cost?

World-Building for Business Owners is $300.
Adjustments are available:
  • Premium What Works subscribers get a 25% discount ($225)
  • If you’re experiencing financial hardship, you pay the Solidarity rate of 50% off ($150)
  • If your business generates more than $350k per year, please consider supporting the Solidarity rate by paying $400.
Ready to register?

If you've been hoping for a chance to catch your breath, figure out where you stand, and design a business that really works for you, this workshop is it.

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What Works with Tara McMullin

What Works with Tara McMullin


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