Choosing Not To Scale: What Works For Oki Doki Co-Founder Marie Poulin

Tara McMullin
Sep 10, 2019 · 2 min read
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The Nitty-Gritty:

  • Why a cocktail party conversation prompted Marie Poulin to confront the assumption that scaling your business is the ultimate goal
  • How Oki Doki’s hybrid business model works — and why it’s the perfect approach for Marie and her partner, Ben
  • How Marie’s personal priorities and ideal lifestyle are helping to shape her business decisions
  • Why she’s looking for a sense of equilibrium between the energy she puts into the business and the energy she receives from it

To scale or not to scale — that’s really not the question.

At least, it’s not the first question you need to ask about the direction you want to take your business.

As we mentioned in Episode 232, Sean and I are choosing to prepare our new company for scale is because it will help us live the lifestyle we want to live and do the kinds of work we want to do.

Callie Willows mentioned in our last episode that one of the reasons the Member Site Academy works so well for The Membership Guys is that it supports the lifestyle she and her partner want. Coaching and consulting just wouldn’t.

She also talked about how building a membership site has allowed her to thrive as an introvert.

So maybe the real questions are:

What kind of life do you want to lead? What kind of work lights you up, allows you to thrive?

Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to get caught up in the hype or anti-hype around scaling and miss those questions.

Today, my guest is Marie Poulin — our first 3 time guest here on the pod!

Marie is not someone to miss the important questions. She and her husband Ben are building Oki Doki with the life and work they want to lead top of mind. That choice has brought them face to face with some scrutiny from people with a scale-or-die mindset.

Marie recently wrote a lengthy article about her choice not to scale — or, not to scale in any conventional way — so, of course, I wanted to bring her on the show while we’re covering scale to talk about it!

Marie and I chat about the hybrid business model Oki Doki has developed, the cocktail party conversation that shook her up, how she approaches finding an equilibrium with her energy, and how her focus on profitability has paid off.

Now, let’s find out what works for Marie Poulin!

What Works

What Works is honest conversation about running & growing a…

Tara McMullin

Written by

Founder & Executive Producer of What Works and The What Works Network — a small business podcast & community. Formerly Tara Gentile.

What Works

What Works is honest conversation about running & growing a small business today. We seek out the thoughtful, intentional, and unconventional ways small business owners make it work.

Tara McMullin

Written by

Founder & Executive Producer of What Works and The What Works Network — a small business podcast & community. Formerly Tara Gentile.

What Works

What Works is honest conversation about running & growing a small business today. We seek out the thoughtful, intentional, and unconventional ways small business owners make it work.

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