Episode 21

Finding Your Chief Initiative with Tara Gentile

May 26, 2015

In today’s episode of Being Boss, Emily and Kathleen welcome special guest, Tara Gentile. Tara is a business strategist and coach for creative entrepreneurs to help them grow their influence in a way that works toward your unique communication strengths. She’s also the author of The Art of Earning, The Art of Growth, and Quiet Power Strategy.

Learn More about the Topics Discussed in this Episode
This Episode Brought to You By:
"The reason we keep looking for that formula for success is because we are afraid of being the boss."
- Tara Gentile

Discussed in this Episode

  • Finding value in your day job and learning lessons in the work you do
  • Celebrating successes as a creative entrepreneur
  • Quiet power strategy: how to lead yourself in your business based on what's most effective and compelling for you
  • Finding a path that works for you vs. trying to plug your business/brand into a "formula"
  • Creating a product or service that a customer is already looking for or to fix a problem they're already having
  • Having that confidence behind feeling that what you provide is the solution to the problem your client is having
  • Qualities of being a great boss or leader
  • Finding a chief initiative


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Braid Creative

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Almanac Supply Co.


Kathleen Shannon 0:04
Get your business together, get yourself into what you do, and see it through.

Emily Thompson 0:10
Because being boss is hard, winning work and life is messy. Making your dream job of your own isn't easy.

Kathleen Shannon 0:18
But getting paid for it, becoming known for it. And finding purpose in it is so doable if you do the one

Emily Thompson 0:28
being boss, a podcast for creative entrepreneurs from Emily Thompson and Kathleen Shannon, welcome to Episode 21 with our guest Tara Gentilly. This episode is brought to you by fresh books cloud accounting.

Kathleen Shannon 0:41
You guys we are so excited to have Tara Gentilly. on our show today, I've been saying her last name Gentile for like the past three years in my mind. So Gentilly and I, so you guys might know this already. But I'm addicted to reading business books, like kind of self helpy business books. But I found that afterwards, I always feel like, I'm bad. Like, I'm not working hard enough, or smart enough. But Tara, like your books have always left me feeling so optimistic and even validated in my own entrepreneurial path. And it started with your book, The Art of earning, I always had this fantasy of writing a book on money. And then I read the art of earning. And I was like, I don't have to write the book, because it's been written by Tara. And it's been written much better than anything I could have ever said on the topic. And then your ebook, the art of growth, it really gave me the focus and the confidence and really the permission that I needed to stop playing small, and really start growing my game. And I'll include a link to my reviews of these ebooks, in our show notes at loving boss calm, but you just released your newest book, which I've been reading every night before I go to bed on my Kindle, right here. And it's called the quiet power strategy. And already, it's like, and I was kinda nervous before I picked this one up, because I'm a total extrovert. And I'm not I'm like, kind of the opposite of quiet. So I was like, shoot, is this gonna tell me I'm being too loud. That's not it at all. And it already has my gears turning in so many ways. And so I'm really excited to introduce you to our being boss listeners, and to pick your brain a little bit about quiet power strategy and can share really your entrepreneurial journey with our listeners today.

Tara McMullin 2:32
So hello, hello. I'm absolutely thrilled to be here and, and talking with you guys. And I have so many friends that are listeners. And so Hey, guys. And yeah, I'm just really thrilled to talk about it. I'm also thrilled to talk about how the opposite of quiet isn't loud. It's noise, but I'm sure we'll get to that.

Kathleen Shannon 2:53
Yes. Well, tell us a little bit. Let's start by like telling our listeners who aren't already super fans of yours, a little bit about you and who you are. And I'd love to hear a little bit about your path. Like how and you mentioned this a little bit at the beginning of quiet power strategy, but how you went from working at a bookstore to being your own boss.

Tara McMullin 3:11
Yeah. So as you said, my name is Tara Gentilly. And I am a business strategist that works with idea people to take their ideas to much bigger platforms to turn them into products and services and programs that really help people make the impact that they want to make in the world. And we do that with the goal of creating the peace, ease and wealth that people really, I think crave here now in the 21st century. So that's the work that I do. And I do that with, you know, helping people develop better business models, help them develop better products, help them better, develop better marketing, and all kind of wrap that up and communication strategy that makes that impact really palpable, I think. So yes, as you mentioned, I used to be a bookseller. I had borders, books and music. I managed one of the stores in Central Pennsylvania. And wow, yes, that is officially a dead end job because because borders doesn't exist anymore. I got out before that happened. But had that not happened or had I not gotten out it it would have been quite the wake up call that. But I got into book selling because I actually gave up on grad school and I gave up on what something that had been a dream of mine for a very long time, which was going through the whole, you know, kit and caboodle of higher education, getting my PhD and becoming a college professor. I studied religious studies in college, that was what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I've always been really interested in how other people see the world, how their beliefs and their kind of guiding principles affect their behavior and the decisions that they make and the choices that they make. And yeah, and so I was just always really fascinated with that. But the problem became that I couldn't see a clear path to a fulfilling career, even though I knew I would love being a college professor, regardless, you know, even with its its own foibles in there, especially in religious studies, you know, you had maybe like a one in 30 chance of landing a full time job. And that was probably going to be as an adjunct, not even really, you know, making hardly any money, let alone enough to pay back your student loans. And so I quit grad school, two weeks before I was even supposed to go, regardless of the fact, you know, that I was going to my top choice school that I was going to have a full tuition scholarship, it just, it didn't seem like a sure thing. And of course, this was four years before the recession tagged, and we all learned that there is no such thing as a sure thing. But I just, I just wanted something that felt safe, that felt comfortable and felt like I could be like an adult, you know, with a paycheck. And so that's how I fell into borders. And I loved it. I loved selling books, I loved making coffee, I loved managing people, I loved hiring people, I loved scheduling people, I love figuring out sales strategy, and merchandising strategy and marketing strategy. And the nice thing about borders is that at a sort store level, we actually had a fair amount of autonomy. So I was actually able to be pretty entrepreneurial in this job that I had, I didn't realize that's what I was doing at the time, of course. But looking back on it, I think about so many lessons that I learned there.

Kathleen Shannon 6:38
I love I'm just gonna pause you there for a second. Yeah, I love that you said that. Because a lot of our listeners, I think are still working day jobs. And I believe that you can still have a personal brand at a day job, you can learn so much at a day job. And I think that if you can be happy there or see see the value in it, you're going to be happy and see the value, you're going to carry that over to working for yourself all the lessons learned.

Tara McMullin 7:02
Yeah, absolutely. And the opposite applies to if you don't learn those lessons in your day job. If you don't learn those lessons in the work that you do. You know, just to pay the bills, you're going to repeat the same mistakes in your business, there's no way for you to not learn those lessons, basically the hard way, right. And so while you're guaranteed a paycheck, you might as well learn them while you're at your day job, right? Yeah. So yeah, so I totally agree. I mean, there's these opportunities that we have no matter what we're doing, is just full of possibilities for that we can take into whatever the next phase is for us. But yeah, so I put it in about five years at borders, I worked my way up the ladder, I got married, I got pregnant, I was just about do. And my boss left and leaving the general manager position open at my store. And I've been being groomed for this job for really almost the entire time that I had been there. And I interviewed for the position I was assured I did a really good job, I was assured that it was basically a sure thing. And then in about two weeks later, I got a call from a friend of mine who was you know, what an employee under, under me at my at that job. And she said, Tara, I am so sorry, they gave the job to somebody else. That was a huge wake up call. I was furious, absolutely furious. Just furious beyond belief. And so I of course made the decision then in there that I was not going back to that job after my maternity leave was over that there was no way they were going to get one more hour of my life. And so I gave myself a couple days to stew. And then once that stewing period was over, I sat down at the kitchen table and I kind of listed out all the skills that I had all the things that I was either excelling at in my current work or the things that I wasn't able to do that I didn't know how to put on a resume for myself, you know, because I've my awesome liberal arts background. We don't, we don't make good resumes most of the time. But I listed all of those skills and I also listed all of the organizations that I thought I could offer these skills to and I just kept coming back to the idea that if other people were able to work from home if other people were able to figure out how to offer their expertise and their strengths to businesses on a you know, independent contractor role in a freelancer role that I could do the same thing. There had to be a way and so that was my plan that became my plan. I worked out my or didn't work. I sat around through my maternity leave, kind of, you know, researching and figuring things out. I got introduced to the world of online entrepreneurship and blogging and realize thing that you know, if I would have just stuck with that blog that I started in 2003 very rich person by now.

But, but yeah, so just kind of just researched and analyzed and looked for what all the different opportunities were. And then finally, in January of 2009, six months after I got that phone call, I started my first website, it was a blog about art and craft in Pennsylvania, I was telling other people's stories I was sharing what I was learning, and just my perspective on the way things were changing in the independent retail and independent production space. And that kind of took off and created a little community. And just bit by bit by bit, I started to grow into a bigger and bigger platform, and really realizing what my true strengths were. And honestly, there were a lot of the things I had written down in that initial list at my kitchen table. But I found new ways to offer those things. And I really started to realize what the value of those things were. And so from there, I grew into my personal brand slowly over time, and started writing about pretty much whatever the heck I wanted to, but mostly revolving around business. And that's kind of how I where I am today. In a nutshell.

Kathleen Shannon 11:18
I love it. Do you want to say anything about like writing those? Or I'm wondering what were some like pivotal points in your journey. And I think what I was about to get out was was that writing those ebooks The Art of growth in the art of earning? or not, was there something else that like, at what point along the way? Did you feel like things really started to get momentum? Or has it just been like kind of slowly like chipping away at it as you go?

Tara McMullin 11:47
It has been really about chipping away at it as I go every time. I think this is it. This is the big tipping point, I start to see another tipping point six months from now, like we were talking about before we got started the first four months of this year, were absolutely nutty. For me, I was releasing the new book, I was launching my quiet power strategy program for the seventh or eighth time, I was going up back on Creative live, I had numerous keynotes to deliver. And I just felt like okay, this, this is it, this is the next big thing. And it was the next big thing. And at the same time, it was just like all the other tipping points that I've had along the way. And it's not so much about for me It hasn't been anyway, it's not so much about waking up. With everything being different. It's about kind of building that steady momentum into my business and into my life on a on a regular basis. And so absolutely each book that I've published has contributed to that each program that I've put out each launch that I've done, each interview that I've done has contributed to that. But it's mostly just showing up doing the work pushing myself that extra step that keeps that momentum building over time. And I think that that just kind of that really mundane, just show up and do the work kind of thing is one of the things that contributes to most people's success. It's not about engineering or reverse engineering, that moment where everything changes, it's about taking each new opportunity as it comes and really making the most of it.

Kathleen Shannon 13:23
The way that you say that, because like, it's kind of like whenever you're a kid, and you're you're nine years old, and you're about to turn 10, and everything's gonna be different whenever you're 10. But it's not right. And so the same thing, like all these things that you think are going to be huge. Like, I'm just gonna, I'm gonna feel like the shit, once I have my book or my ecourse or even just my logo, you whatever it is that you think is going to make you feel legit. Once you get it, you're still the same person. And you're still just waking up every day doing the work. So it doesn't always feel like I have arrived.

Emily Thompson 14:00
But it is also it's that one more piece of the puzzle like you can't go along and not be adding pieces to your puzzle constantly. You can't sit there and not show up and not do things I was asked. I did a blog post on this this morning about showing up and how that like equates to growth like long term growth. And that idea that you do you have to be like putting in the work every single day. And it's not about reinventing or relaunching or redefining. It's just showing up every day and doing your best work every day and consistently adding those little pieces to your overall puzzle.

Tara McMullin 14:35
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. I completely agree. And kind of on the flip side of that, too. Yes, it's showing up every day. Yes, it's making the most out of every opportunity, but it's also taking time, even if it's just a moment of realization or whether it's a nice dinner out or you know, whatever. You need to celebrate each piece that you add to that puzzle too. And I think that's one thing that entrepreneurs don't do enough of Because we are so focused on whatever the next thing is, or just showing up or saying, hey, that's just my job. Sure it is just your job. But you know what, it's also very worthy of praise and celebration as well. And I think the more opportunities you have to build in celebration into your business and into your life, the more fulfilled and accomplished you'll feel in your business. And I think that that's a huge, it's a huge challenge, especially to creative adults, and just Well, just creative professionals in general, we have a real problem with feeling a sense of accomplishment, whether that's at the end of the day, or whether that's at the end of the month, or at the end of the fiscal year, we have a real problem with being able to say, Yes, I accomplished something, because we always see what's next. Right? And while it's completely awesome and important to see what's next, you also have to be able to say, Yes, I did this, yes, I accomplished this. And I'm proud of myself, and I'm proud of my team, and I'm proud of what we've accomplished.

Kathleen Shannon 16:02
I think that's why it's so good sometimes to write your goals down. Because if you physically write it down, and then you go back to your journal, or your post it note or wherever you've written these goals down, you can go back to it and say, Oh, I did I did that, like no success. Yay. Sweet, right? I like how you say that too. Because sometimes, even if I give myself a raise, I'm like, Okay, yeah, give myself a raise. There's not like that external sense of validation. Whereas whenever you're at a day job, and your boss gives you a promotion, you go home and you're high fiving your partner and going out to dinner, I wonder why that is like why we don't do it for ourselves. Whenever we're so quick to celebrate the successes that we get from from someone else, you're telling us that we're doing a good job, like, why can't we tell ourselves that we're doing a good job? Yeah, I

Tara McMullin 16:51
don't know. I wish I knew, like the psychological thing that's going on there. And I don't, all I know is that the more I celebrate, the more I push myself, because I want that next thing. I want that next opportunity to celebrate. So I'm always looking for that. And I you know, I'm always I'm very easy to pat myself on the back at the end of the day, like I was just thinking as we were getting started with this interview. Wow, girlfriend, you've already accomplished a lot today. Well, I think I'm gonna, I'm gonna take a break. And we're gonna take a walk when we're done. And I may or may not come back to it today.

Kathleen Shannon 17:25
So I was going to ask you, how do you celebrate? Do you celebrate daily like with a walk? Or do you celebrate weekly? Or do you go out for a beer? How do you how do you celebrate big?

Tara McMullin 17:34
Yeah, so I do all sorts of things to celebrate, I might treat myself to a shopping trip or a new piece of jewelry. I just purchased a piece of jewelry from a designer that I've been following for a couple years and just coveting everything that she puts out. And so I'm very excited about that. But yeah, on a daily basis, sure. It's, you know, it's happy hour, or it's a walk, or it's the opportunity to sit down and read something pleasurable or throw on the TV and watch the latest episode of Game of Thrones as the other thing I was planning on celebrating with today. And but on a big level, you know, sometimes it's just a really nice dinner out with my partner where we can, where he can pat me on the back, and I can pat me on the back. And we can talk about what the next phase looks like and how we're going how he's going to support me and how I'm going to support him through the next phase of whatever I'm doing. And it's Yeah, and sometimes it's a little vacation. Sometimes it's just a few days off. But Matt Yeah, I as you can see, I celebrate a lot because I have lots of different ways that I go.

Kathleen Shannon 18:43
Like, I'm kind of the same way. I'm a total hedonist like also, Tuesday, cuz it's a Tuesday. Yeah,

Emily Thompson 18:49
I'm the same way I am a huge celebrator is something that it is something that is a problem, like people celebrate things, be happy and excited and reward the things that you do. Because it's so important. I

Kathleen Shannon 19:01
think that we're quick to like, punish ourselves for what we don't do. Like, Oh, no, but I'm all about like, reward yourself for the stuff you do. Yeah. Okay, Tara, I want to hear about quiet power strategy. Like what does that mean?

Tara McMullin 19:15
Sure. So first, let's just go ahead and address the somewhat misconception that you mentioned right in the introduction, which is that quiet power strategy is not just for introverts what quiet power strategy is, is a framework for learning how to lead yourself and your business based on what's most effective and compelling for you. So the problem that we face as entrepreneurs today are really just as human beings today is that there has never been more noise in the market. As you know, as we have now. Just we are bombarded with data and ideas and opportunities and all this wonderful stuff on a daily basis. And so what I've found over the years is that my clients have horrible time trying to figure out what they're supposed to pay attention to, and what they're not supposed to pay attention to. And when they're supposed to rely on what they feel inside, what their intuition is telling them what their natural guidance system is telling them. And so we've got all of this conflicting information, even though 99% of it is really good, we are kind of paralyzed by it. So the idea behind quiet power strategy is kind of looking for the things looking for the truth about what you want to create how you want to connect with other people, the people that you do want to connect with looking for the truth about that, and using it as sort of a framework for finding the signal that you need in all of the noise that's out there. And when you find that signal, then you're it's much easier to make decisions, it's much easier to figure out what's next, it's much easier to plan for the future. And that means that then you're really in that leadership role in your business. I think the problem with a lot of people who are being boss today is that they're not really the boss, they're not the boss of them. They're not the boss of their businesses. And so the idea behind quiet power strategy is really empowering people to be able to do that not just with a title, but with an actual strategy that they can use so that every single day, they feel like they do have that ability to lead themselves and lead their businesses to the success that they want.

Kathleen Shannon 21:26
Can you give us an example of what one of those truths or one of those signal scenarios like once you get tuned into your right channel, like what has that looked like? Maybe for some of your clients? Yeah,

Tara McMullin 21:39
yeah, absolutely. So one of my favorite questions that I asked and helping people determine what their quiet power strategy is going to be for them. And because it is different for everyone, is, when have you been most persuasive in the past, or tell me about a time that you've been most persuasive when you really, when it's been really easy for you to get someone else on your side to see your perspective on things? And what I really love about this question is that without that context of sales, or without the context of marketing, you're able to get out what makes someone really compelling what makes them effective. And so I'll listen for things like, you know, some of my clients are really data driven. So they'll, you know, they use data to their advantage when they are, you know, when they're communicating with someone and trying to persuade them. So in my other clients are really story driven, or emotion driven. And so they'll look for ways to, you know, drum up the emotions that they're looking for in the person that they're communicating with, and use that to become more persuasive. Others of them are really idea driven, very, you know, they have really powerful opinions, and they're not afraid to speak their mind. And so they use that as their persuasion strategy. And the thing is, each of those different types of persuasion, lend itself to different strategies when it comes to online marketing, or when it comes to marketing, in general. So if you're really good at kind of story driven, emotion driven persuasion, then you know, writing blog posts, where you're telling other people's stories are where your telling your personal stories might be a really great strategy for you. Or maybe Facebook is the place that you want to be, because that's the place where people are already, you know, connecting based on existing relationships and the things that they really love. And so that's, that could be a really great strategy for you. And so if that's what you choose, let's say, the Facebook marketing piece, then you can take all the noise on all of the rest of social media kind of sit it aside, and really focus on what are the specific Facebook strategies that you can use to connect emotionally or with, you know, with specific narratives with with the, you know, the people that you really want to connect with on Facebook. So that's the signal that you start looking for. And then you can proactively make decisions about, you know, which of those techniques you're going to use, how you're going to optimize those techniques and look out for new ways that you can do that as well. So that's kind of that's how that's how I look at one big piece of identifying what that truth is, and then narrowing it all the way down to a really specific technique.

Emily Thompson 24:29
I love that is one of those things like I know I struggle with this. Kathleen and I have talked about this in terms of both of our businesses and is being Boston to the clients that we talk to this idea that doing business online these days comes with a million times infinity options for how it is that you position yourself how it is that you share who you are and what you do and who you do it for. But also like how you generally do marketing, once you position yourself. And so I love that idea of getting like so daring Narrow with not only what you do, but how it is that you promote it. That you can, you can really sort of find out exactly how it needs to be done in one place without worrying about all the other things like our clients come to us. And they want Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest, they need strategies for all of these things. And but they hate like, like, they

Kathleen Shannon 25:19
hate two out of the three.

Emily Thompson 25:22
I hate Twitter, I don't know how to use it. I hate blogging because I hate how to write, but I need to be on all of them. And I'm like, Wait, what?

Tara McMullin 25:28
Right? Why? Why do you need to be on?

Kathleen Shannon 25:32
A lot of people, myself included, that we're looking for a formula. Like, just give me the formula, and I can just plug my business into it and bam, millionaire.

Unknown Speaker 25:43
Yeah, but

Kathleen Shannon 25:44
really work that way. Right? I mean, it's kind of like choose your own adventure, but choose it wisely, you know, be very mindful about how you're choosing it. And while you're choosing it.

Tara McMullin 25:56
Yeah, well, and I, you know, have a map, right? We all come with built in maps, we all have specific strengths. We all have specific, you know, communication advantages. We all have specific ideas that we want to put out into the world, the kinds of people that we really like to connect with, you know, another question that I think is kind of unique to quiet power strategy is how do you want people to respond to you, we all have different ways we like people to respond. Personally, I like applause. So I'm going to put you know, whether that's virtual applause, or whether that's literal applause, I look for opportunities where I can get that, and then turn that into other actions. But yeah, we all come with these maps kind of built into us. And most of us have learned over time not to pay attention to that map. So I, you know, I like to ask people to set what their destination is, and then use that internal map to map out all the points that they need to reach in order to get to that destination. But Kathleen, like you said, about, you know, looking for that formula, the reason that we keep looking for the formula, the reason that we look keep looking for the next guru, is because we are afraid of being the boss, we are afraid of being the leader. And it's not, it's not our fault. So much, it's our responsibility to fix it. But we have been conditioned from the time we enter, you know, traditional schooling to the time we get our degrees to, and then on into our corporate careers, we've been conditioned to figure out what the system is, and then work that system to get the results that we want, whether it's an A or whether it's a raise, or whether it's a promotion. And so, of course, we're just going to do the same things when it comes to our businesses. And we think that we're the boss, we think we're an entrepreneur, but we're not really doing the boss things and the entrepreneur things, we're looking for someone else to be the boss, the best thing I can do for my clients is to make them not rely on me. That's why you know, in the program that we run on quiet power strategy, I give people my tools, and I say, this is how you use this tool. And sure, I'm going to coach you through this the first couple of times, and I'm going to show you what I think is that unique truth about you, I'm going to show you what I think your unique map is. But ultimately, you are in charge of using this tool over and over and over again, to be the boss of you to you know, to really leave your business where you want it to go. This tool is something that you can use to get there. But it's not a formula that you can rely on to make your business work.

Kathleen Shannon 28:37
I want to pause and take a second to chat about our sponsor freshbooks. If you are your own boss freshbooks is going to help you level up your game and make you feel totally legit. How professionals get paid and freshbooks makes getting paid easy. I mean, it's practically automatic. First off, your invoice looks professional, you can customize it with your own logo, put in your payment terms and client info and freshbooks shoots out a legit invoice that you can either email or snail mail to your client. From there you can see client payment history, you can send out late notice reminders, and your clients can pay you online. It's so fast and easy. And again, it makes you look legit. Stay on top of your business all year long with a clear picture of its financial health with fresh books. Try fresh books for free today. Go to freshbooks comm slash being boss and enter being boss in the How did you hear about us section? Alright, back to our show. I'm curious when it comes to your clients like what are some patterns that you've noticed? Like maybe some failure patterns which I put in quotes like some or maybe even mistakes or misconceptions that your clients are making? Like what are some common threads there? And then I also want to hear the flip side of that like what are some common threads amongst your clients that are able to take your Quite a power strategy and really be able to like coach themselves through it after doing it a couple times with you to be just totally skyrocketed into success.

Tara McMullin 30:10
Yeah, so I think one of the biggest failure points, but I will also put that in quotations people come to me with is a is a dog obsession with their own ideas. Now, I will give the caveat that I absolutely believe that you do need a dog and obsession with your own ideas. But the issue is you got to be able to see look through your ideas, to see your customers perspective of why that idea matters. That and that is really what the failure point is. And it's one thing that we spend a ton of time talking about, if you can't figure out why your great idea matters to the person that you want to have purchase it and like why it matters to them right now, without all the marketing that you're going to put into it. without all the you know, sparkles and unicorns and stuff that you're going to add to it, then, then your great idea isn't so great, or you haven't found you know, you haven't found the right context for it, you haven't found the right purpose for it. And, and so we have a lot of tools based on that actually looking and seeing what the customer's perspective is going to be so that when you show up for with a product or when you show up with a program, what you're actually doing is showing up with what someone's already looking for. And when you when your product is what someone's already looking for. And it doesn't have to be something that they've ever imagined before. It just has to fit that need or that question that they're you know, that they're just feeling so acutely. If you can show up with what they're already looking for, then that sale is so much easier to make. You don't have to convince anyone, you don't have to convert anyone. It's just ease. Okay, so

Kathleen Shannon 31:52
I was thinking about that earlier, whenever you were talking about persuasion, because I've been thinking a lot about persuasion. And whenever you ask that question, like when have you felt the most persuasive? For me, it's been when I don't have to persuade anyone, right? Whenever I just show up, and I'm like, take it or leave it and having that confidence of saying I believe in this. And here's why I believe in it. Let me explain it to you. But I don't really need anything from you. I don't need you to like there's no desperation. I guess, I feel the most persuasive whenever I'm not desperate. And it sounds like what you're talking about, like understanding really why it matters. is how you eliminate desperation.

Tara McMullin 32:31
Yeah, absolutely, absolutely. And kind of as a counterpoint to that, too. It's how you create urgency. So you eliminate desperation on your side, and you create urgency on the part of your customer by understanding why they actually are ready, feeling that urgency and

Unknown Speaker 32:47
make them desperate.

Unknown Speaker 32:49
Yeah, exactly.

Tara McMullin 32:51
Right, and then not in a manipulative way, in a way that says, I see you, I hear you, I understand you. And so often I, you know, I mentioned at the beginning that I work with idea, people, sometimes they're makers, sometimes they're designers, a lot of times they're service providers, but they're all kind of grouped together by their great ideas. It just they have great ideas about how the world should work about, you know, how people should, how people can better themselves, how organizations can better themselves, whatever it is, but they have a really hard time seeing past those ideas that they have. And so the best one of the best things we can help them do is see their customer's perspective on that so that they can honest, you know, honestly understand where urgency is coming from where that desperation is coming from or where just that, you know, that question that they just can't find the answer to or that door that they just can't seem to open for themselves. And suddenly, when you show up as the provider of that thing, it becomes very, very, it becomes very, very easy. And I think, you know, 99 times out of 100. Kathleen, most people's answers to that persuasion question are very similar, but they they come about it different ways, right. But what you're really saying is, when I feel that what I'm offering is the right solution to what I know my customers problem is, then I can feel really confident in the way I communicate, I can feel really comfortable in the way I communicate. And I can also say, you know, if they make a decision that this isn't the right thing for them, or it's not the right time for them, then that's not a reflection on me. It's not a reflection on my program. It's just the decision that they make. And that's really important.

Unknown Speaker 34:37

Emily Thompson 34:38
I agree. I can drink myself coke was on episode 17. If anyone wants to go back and check that out, but something she always talks about and is like driven into my head and really has helped me, helped me sell what I do in my business is the idea that selling is helping period. And so if you believe in what you do, and you're offering a service reserve a product that can really better someone. And that can be something as simple as like a piece of jewelry that will make their outfits better, or, or like a service that will help them build their business or be a better mom or whatever that may be. If you really believe in what it is that you're doing. Selling isn't this, you know, ridiculous thing. And building a business isn't this isn't this gross thing that you know, makes you do things like market and sell and things. You're simply helping people. And if you can shift that mindset to your mindset, to that idea that you selling this offering or this product is helping, then all of those conversations end up being so much easier, your it's easier to be persuasive. And the idea of, of needing business is, is less important as getting the right business and things like that. So I think just that simple, that simple mindset shift changes everything. And how it is that you package and sell whatever it is that you sell.

Tara McMullin 35:58
Yeah, absolutely. I couldn't agree more sales is service. And so if you can look at at every part of your sales, conversation, every part of your marketing conversation as an opportunity to serve people, and not only just to show up and serve people, but to help them really get what they want, not what you want, what they want, they are much more likely to buy from you. And the whole process is going to feel really effortless and fun for you. And I think if you know if you can turn turn sales into effortless and fun, you are winning. Yeah.

Kathleen Shannon 36:30
So back to that question to the part to hear some of the success patterns, like what have you seen across the board that makes for a really successful creative entrepreneur?

Tara McMullin 36:40
Yeah, I think so the complete flip side of what I mentioned, which is just always being able to see every situation every opportunity from the customer's perspective, we use a tool called the perspective map for that. And I can give you guys the link for people to go and actually go get that tool. That would be awesome. Yeah. Yeah, sure. So the and the perspective map is just all about really breaking down how people say, act, do think and feel about the problem that it is that you're solving or about the idea that you have and how that solution can play in their life. And so that's probably the number one skill that I find helps people actually be able to lead themselves to, when you can see the world from someone else's perspective. And if you'll remember back to when I was telling you my story and how that's what I've always been obsessed with in terms of religion, this is this is why religion and business makes sense together for me. But if you can always see someone else's side as something, you're going to be successful in every part of your business, you're going to be successful in pricing, you're going to be successful in marketing, you're going to be successful in product development, you're also going to be successful in negotiation, or, you know, just really anything, being able to see the other person's perspective is huge. And what happens is that we're actually all really uniquely gifted with these skills, we're very social people on a daily basis, we don't stop and really analyze what is going to be the most effective way to continue the conversation with somebody. You know, if you're having a beer with someone, you don't stop and think, okay, now, I'm going to need to send them an email in a couple days time so that they'll take this next action with me. We just we just react. The problem is that when we're in business, we think that we need to be go all left brained on on things, that we need to analyze the heck out of everything, and look for the right way to go about whatever it is that we're doing. And the truth is, that's not very helpful. Sure. I mean, I totally believe in a whole brained approach to business, I believe that we do need to analyze things. But most people are analyzing all the wrong things. They're not analyzing their search traffic, they're not analyzing their revenue patterns. They're analyzing, you know who these customers are, instead of actually looking at real people and how real people react to the problems that they have and the questions that they keep coming back to. So when you are able to take someone else's perspective, when you're really able to empathize with someone on a very deep level, you can always find the way you want to act, the next step you want to take much more easily. And that's a big part of what leadership is all about for me in business is knowing what that next step is going to be always knowing where you're going to be headed next. Because if you can always be one to five steps ahead of the game, then you can you know, just on a daily basis, you can be more effective, you can be more productive. And you can make other people feel more comfortable as well because just the same way that we're looking for leaders, other people are looking for leaders as well and one of our biggest jobs as entrepreneurs is being leaders for others. People, whether leadership is in your wheelhouse skill set or not, you are a leader in your business, you are the leader of whatever movement you're creating, or whatever audience that you've created, or whatever customer base you've built. And so the more you can act as that leader, the more that you can be a few steps ahead of the game, the more comfortable everyone is going to feel. The other part of the answer to this question is intense focus. When my clients learn how to really hone in on a single point, and go after that thing, they have a much easier time making decisions, they have a much easier time staying a few steps ahead of the game. And they have a much easier time getting people on board with them. And that goes back to that same leadership piece. Leaders are intensely focused, they know what they're creating, they know where they want to take people. And it makes it much more easy for other people to follow them. And that's what we're trying to create. Some of us are, you know, creating more egalitarian businesses, too, and that's great, but they're still a leader, leader follower kind of relationship, that's just naturally going to happen. So you know, kind of realize that, and use it to your advantage, and also use it to the advantage of the customers and the prospects in the community that's around you. It's not just what you can get out of it. It's also what you can create for others with that intense focus.

Kathleen Shannon 41:29
I love that I work with a lot of creative entrepreneurs on their branding and business visioning. And some of the creatives that I'm working with, are really about building a community. And so whether that is like an entire district that's being branded and built, or even a church, you know, they want to build this community. And so they feel really funny going through the branding process, they're like, well, I want to leave it open to our, like our members, you know, or the people who engage with our brand, I want to leave it open for them to decide what we become and who we are. And I always makes me so nervous to hear that. Because if you leave it up to someone else, they can take it way off of the rails, you know, of what you kind of had in mind for it. So I love the way that you say that, you know, you're doing other people, I think that a lot of people are intimidated by the idea of leadership. But I think that you're doing everyone else around you a favor, if you can just share your vision, and let everyone on the bus know where you're going.

Tara McMullin 42:29
Yeah, well, I'm all about co creating with our communities and co creating with our customers. But in at the end of the day, it's your business, it's your organization, it's your community. And that's not to say what you say goes, although that's true to what I'm really saying is that you're the best mouthpiece, the best spokesperson, the best representative for translating what your community wants into something that's viable for your business or your organization. We have kind of a responsibility as both as leaders, but also, as you know, just as as people who have ideas as people who are experts in translating what other people want into something that's viable for the whole. And I think that that's that's another huge leadership quality, it's another quality of being a great boss, is being able to make that translation to make that representation and really give people something to follow something to get excited about.

Kathleen Shannon 43:32
I love that. What are some just to kind of like wrap things up? What are some other qualities that you see, in bosses, or some qualities that you think people can start to cultivate a little bit more if they want to be boss?

Tara McMullin 43:47
Oh, mine are all going to sound pretty much the same thing. One of them would be decisiveness, not not being afraid to make a decision. So many of my clients or you know, the people who are in my community are, you know, they get nervous when it's time to make a decision. And you know, I think the truth is that we all get nervous when it's time to make a decision. But opportunities come from decisiveness. They don't come from just waiting around. If you're waiting around for the right opportunity or the right next step to present itself, you're going to be waiting for ever. People who are decisive and act fast, thoughtfully, but fast are the people for whom opportunities come also Fast and Furious. So anything? Yeah.

Kathleen Shannon 44:37
So how do you think that you can and what are some tools that you can share that to help people be more decisive? Sure. Like,

Emily Thompson 44:45
you know, whenever

Unknown Speaker 44:46
you're like, Oh, I don't know.

Tara McMullin 44:48
Yeah, the main tool that we use with clients I call declaring your chief initiative, and your chief initiative is that one goal? One goal, just one that you've got for the next Six to 12 months, that determines the direction of your business. Now you can have other sub goals underneath that you can have other things that need to fall in place to make that chief initiative happen. In fact, you should. But that chief initiative gives you a single point of focus for directing all of your other actions and all of your other decisions so that every time you're faced with a decision, all you have to do is say, does this help me get closer to my chief initiative right now? Or does it need to get put off to the side? It's not? Is this good or bad? It's not do I want to do this or not, although that's important, too. But it's really about can this get me one step two step three steps closer to my chief initiative? And if so, how can I invest my time and energy and money in that thing?

Unknown Speaker 45:45
What are some examples of Chief initiatives that you've seen?

Tara McMullin 45:49
Sure, well, a lot of my clients have a chief initiative around publishing a book. Okay. Yeah. So that's one, another one is selling out a program. So creating and selling out a program that they're creating. Sometimes it's about hiring someone, sometimes it's about getting their partner to quit their job. So it doesn't have to be completely business related. Sometimes, it's about what mine right now is to become a go to speaker in the entrepreneurship and business space on quiet power strategy. And so everything that I'm doing in my business right now, is geared to building my speaking profile. And you know, just doing the things that it takes to make it easy for someone to want to hire me as a speaker. And so I've got other goals that fall fall under that as well. And so for example, like whenever we invited you onto this podcast, or you like, I mean, being a busy person, you probably get invited to do a lot of different things. If you're like, well, this helped me speaking, you know, do

Kathleen Shannon 46:52
you say yes or no? And then you're like, Yes, because I get to actually use my voice. Yeah,

Tara McMullin 46:57
exactly. Exactly. So podcasts are almost always a Yes, for me, very rarely do we say no to podcast opportunities. Very rarely do I say no to speaking opportunities in general? I mean, I've been at this for nearly seven years now. And I'm only just starting to say, No, this is my speakers fee. And this is what it's going to be. So you know, I think a lot of people think being a speaker is about getting paid to be a speaker. For me, I have a whole business model that supports me in other ways. And being a speaker is great marketing for that, yes, I want to grow it so that it's a it's a big revenue opportunity for me as well. But the most important part is connecting with other people and getting on stage and sharing my ideas, because that supports everything else that I do. The fact is, I love it, you know? So it's a fun thing for me to be doing. And it's an easy way for me to market what I do. Yeah, so Exactly. Or, you know, I just on this past week, I just did my first video shoot that I've produced, I've always done video shoots with creative live in the past, and which was great practice, but I really needed to own something so that I could show, you know, so that I could have something on my site that people could access and really see me doing what I do doing doing it the way I do it. And so that was related to that chief initiative as well. It wasn't a video series about quiet power strategy. It's not a marketing series for quiet power strategy. But it is related to that goal of speaking on quiet power strategy more and more as we head towards the end of the year.

Kathleen Shannon 48:36
I love it. Yeah, what is some like Final advice, like if you could just take a few nuggets or just one even, that you would like to share with our listeners on how they can be a little more boss?

Tara McMullin 48:49
Who Okay, so I think the one thing that I want to leave everyone with is thinking about how they do what they do differently. This is something we actually didn't get to talk about too much today. But I think that it is such a key part of thinking of yourself as a leader within your industry or within your market. And that's really understanding how you do what you do differently. The fact is, most of us are all trying to do the same things. Because our customers all want the same things. Our customers want more money, they want more time, they want better relationships, they want to way less or they want more sex, like those are the things that people want, right? And we're all selling one of those things, some the lucky of us are selling more than one. But those those are the things people really, really want, right? And so if we're all offering solutions to help them get to those core results, then we really need to think about how what we do is different from what everyone else is doing. And the more you realize what your difference is in the market. You can really see yourself as a leader, really see yourself as that boss and be able to communicate get much better why someone should hire you, but also why someone should work with you. So whether it's a colleague, whether it's a JV whether it's an influencer or whether you're hiring someone as you move up the boss ladder, when you know how you do what you do differently, you can really kind of engage people aren't on a whole new level, but still talk to them from the perspective of you knowing what they really, really want when at the most fundamental level.

Emily Thompson 50:30
And finally, we have a secret episode it is live. It's called cultivating confidence, and it's ready for download only at love being boss calm.

Kathleen Shannon 50:38
In this episode we talk about not just faking it until you make it but faking it until you become it. We talked about really digging down and finding the source of your confidence.

Emily Thompson 50:50
Yeah, and we even talk about how it is that who you hang out with can either boost or deplete your competence.

Kathleen Shannon 50:58
You can find this episode exclusively at love being boss calm. Thank you for listening to being boss from Emily Thompson and Kathleen Shannon. Find our Show Notes for this episode and how you can connect with courage and Philly. Love being boss calm. Listen to past episodes and subscribe to new episodes on iTunes, SoundCloud and Stitcher. If you like our podcast please show us some love by reviewing being boss on iTunes and sharing it with a friend. Do the work be boss and we'll see you next week.

Unknown Speaker 51:57
Thank you so much Tara for your

Kathleen Shannon 52:00
great chatting with you.

Emily Thompson 52:01
It was magnificent. Thank you. I took

Tara McMullin 52:07
you took a note took a note.

Kathleen Shannon 52:09
Like note.

Unknown Speaker 52:13
Be quiet.

Emily Thompson 52:15
Just start like being a little more sneaky with it having things ready right here. I can take notes