What Really Works When Building A Small Business with Tara McMullin

What Really Works When Building A Small Business with Tara McMullin

business and mental health
Tara McMullin (formally Tara Gentile) is a podcaster, writer, and small business community leader. With over a decade of experience helping thousands of small business owners grow their businesses, she’s on a mission to change the dialogue about what’s really working from hype to candid conversation.

She’s the host of the What Works podcast, a top small business podcast that’s been recommended by Forbes and Entrepreneur, as well as the founder of The What Works Network, a community hub for small business owners. She’s also a bestselling Money & Life instructor on CreativeLive. Her work has been featured on Fast Company, Inc, Daily Worth, and The Huffington Post.

In this conversation we talk about why she shifted from teaching, coaching and providing courses online to a radically different model – a community of learning filled with small business owners from across industries and business models who are ready and willing to get real about what’s working–and what’s not.

We talk about why, for most of us, taking course after course simply doesn’t work. There is no one size fits all approach, and instead, we need a combination of tailored solutions, support and ideas, community, resilience and more.

We also dive into what drove Tara personally to leave a very successful business model behind and create something radically difference (even if she didn’t initially realise just HOW radically different her new direction was!)


For me, Tara has always been at the cutting edge of small business thought leadership. She was the first business mentor I hired and her work has personally influenced me a lot over the years.

So this conversation was an absolute joy for me and I know you’re going to find it fascinating and wickedly useful too.


Links Mentioned In This Episode With Tara McMullin

The What Works Network

The What Works Podcast 

Tara’s Writing on Medium

Tara’s classes on Creative Live  

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How To Create A Quiz As Your Opt In

How To Create A Quiz As Your Opt In

How to create an opt in quiz

There are lots of options for creating an opt in for your business – but I think a quiz is one of the best.

A quiz used well can be a wonderful asset for your clients, and your business. Two of my favourite examples of coaches elegantly using quizzes are Tanya Geisler and Sas Petherick.

I’d been thinking about doing a quiz for an age now and I’m frustrated it took me so long to get around to it. But one of the things that put me off was how complicated I imagined it was going to be to do right.

Honestly, my maths skills are not great and I imagined that a quiz would take a lot of complicated numbers work.  

But I decided to bite the bullet and found that it actually was pretty straightforward.

I chose to use Interact – primarily because they claim that you can create one in minutes.

I’m going to be honest – it took me quite a few minutes (a couple of hours – which is still pretty impressive!)

But it was remarkably easy. They have lots and lots of templates that you can customize and brand to you own colours and fonts so getting starting really is quick and easy. (You don’t have to use the templates – there’s an option to build from scratch as well.)  


One of the things I know many emerging coaches and healers (hell, most emerging business owners) struggle with is knowing where to place their focus.

I’m of the firm belief that business doesn’t have to be so hit and miss – that there are some key stages that need to happen in order to get to the magical sustainability stage. And time and time again I speak to coaches and healers who have been working so so hard trying to get their funnel sorted out or launch a group program and it falling flat. They’re working so hard marketing and not seeing the results. Few clients, not enough income.

And I really think this can be avoided if folks knew just where to place their attention and efforts.

Think of it like building a house: You need your foundation before moving onto the supporting structure, which needs to be in place before moving onto the roof, before you get to the fitting and fixtures – before finally decorating the place.

 A business is like this – and marketing is like your kitchen cabinets – don’t put them in until you’ve solid walls to fix them to!

So I wanted to create a quiz that helps folks identify where they are at in the process so they can decide where to place their focus and attention. I’d previously created a short guide called The Messy Meaningful Business Roadmap and I wanted to use this as the basis on the quiz.

The first thing I needed to decide was what type of quiz I needed from the Interact choices – they offer three types of quizzes:

  • Personality Quizzes: These are the most popular type — which isn’t surprising because everyone loves a good personality quiz.
  • Scored Quizzes: These offer a great deal of flexibility as you pick the point values for the answers and then determine the range for each outcome.
  • Assessment Quizzes: These are your traditional multiple-choice quizzes and points are awarded based on each answer.
I decided that I’d use the personality type of quiz. 

Then I was given a choice of industry – I chose coaching. 

THEN rather delightfully, I was presented with lots of templates that I could choose from to customize with my own details. It made the whole thing really bloody easy!
uUsing a template made setting this up very easy – especially as I’d already created the quiz content, I was able to set up the quiz itself in under 20 minutes, and then we spent another 10 minutes or so on branding customization and finishing the setup.



One of my favorite things about the Interact quiz builder is the ability to customize it using my brand colors and logo. They also have the option to use free stock images (a free image search is built into the interface) or upload your own. I decided to use a mixture of both as I wanted the quiz to reflect the brand images I already use. 

Questions & Scoring

The scoring of the quiz is very easy and you have the option to use the existing template or amend them for your own options. 

This was the part that I was most worried about but it really was straightforward. 

I kept the questions simple as I didn’t want users to have to spend ages thinking about answers or overthinking things, and I wanted to make it was easy and enjoyable as possible for people to take part in this quiz. 


Once they’ve answered the questions, users are given their results in the form of a short post telling them where they need to place their energy and focus to get the most impact for their business. 

This is something I really wanted to stress to users – that business can be easeful and streamlined if we know where to place our energy. The quiz helps folks to identify this really quickly, saving users precious time and energy and allowing them to let go of the scattered energy and distractions that come with the noisy online marketing world. 


Pulling it altogether

Interact works with the majority of email marketing and marketing automation systems. I personally user Convertkit and it was connected in seconds.

Once you’ve connected your quiz to your email provider, it’s super easy to publish your quiz – Interact gives you lots of options for sharing and embedding your quiz both on your own site and on social. I’m using mine on my site and it took me about 2 minutes to publish it on a page on my site. 


I’m really impressed with just how easy setting the quiz up was. I can see myself using more quizzes in my business both as opt ins and as another way to provide valuable and interesting content for my community. 

And if you’d like to take my quiz – you can find it here 


Business & Mental Health

Business & Mental Health

business and mental health
This is an episode it took me 3 attempts at recording. Not because of technical difficulties but because it felt so damn uncomfortable. And important. In today’s episode of The Meaningful Business Podcast I’m sharing my experience of living and running a business while managing a long term mental health condition. It’s something I’ve mentioned before in passing, but as it’s Mental Health Awareness week here in the UK, I’m making the choice to be a lot more open about my mental health experiences because: a. I think the more we can normalise mental health the less stigma there will be around it. And the less stigma there is, the less shame people will hopefully have around asking for help.
1 in 4 of us experience mental health issues so it shouldn’t be the dark secret it is for so many – including myself. 
Mental health challenges drain you of so much precious life force and energy – the very least we can do is try and remove the unnecessary additional strain of trying to keep it secret too. b. There are inherent risk factors for mental health baked into a lot of the culture of entrepreneurship – and this needs to stop. now. c. I know that I am far from the only business owner who lives with a mental health condition so I’m sharing in the hope that by seeing that it’s totally possible to have a sustainable business even with the added burden of a mental health challenge.  In this episode I share my own experience of living with anxiety, depression and OCD (obsessive thoughts variety), and some of the things I’ve put in place – both from a business perspective and a personal/lifestyle one, to support and sustain me. 

Links mentioned in this episode on Business and mental health:

  Going There With Jen Podcast Anxiety UK Time To Change UK based charity NAMI (US based grassroots mental health support service)    

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