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In this episode of Referral Worthy, Dusti sits down with Veronica Yanhs, the founder of Business Laid Bare, an operations firm revolutionizing the way purpose-driven organizations achieve peace and profitability through orgasmic operations. Veronica shares her journey from the corporate world to creating a business that marries pleasure with process, highlighting the importance of operations in amplifying impact and income sustainably.

Diving deep into the evolution of Business Laid Bare, Veronica discusses the challenges and triumphs of transitioning from consulting for big names like Apple and Nike to spearheading her own venture. Listeners will gain insights into the significance of operational excellence in crafting businesses that are not only profitable but also purposeful and pleasurable.

Referral Worthy is hosted by Dusti Arab, Fractional CMO and marketing strategist. She's the founder of the reinvention co, a marketing consultancy for personality-driven companies with big online presences and small teams. Learn more at

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Referral Worthy intro, outro and transition music is named We are invincible by Tim Hirst and was found on Epidemic Sounds.

“People trust you when you have all of the running pieces in your business humming, working predictably.”

– Veronica Yanhs, on the importance of business operations

Dusti Arab: Hello and welcome back to Referral Worthy. Dusti here with Veronica Yanhs. Welcome, Veronica.

Veronica Yanhs: Hey, hey.

Dusti: Veronica is the founder of Business Laid Bare, an operations firm. Actually, you know what, I want to let you describe it because you do such a great job. Like, usually, I do the intros, but I feel like you need to because of the transition you’ve made.

Veronica: Oh my gosh. Now that’s a lot of pressure. How do I… Where do I go with this? Well, first of all, Dusti and I are at this point in our friendship where she just makes reservations for restaurants that we’re going to go to. She doesn’t even ask me anymore what time I’m available. She’s just like, “I’ve made a tasting menu reservation for this at this day, at this time. Are you in?” Actually, you don’t even give me a choice. You’re just like, “We’re going here.” And I feel like that’s a really great intro into what it is that we do because I’ve given you all this information to be efficient and effective. And that’s exactly what we do at Business Laid Bare. So I’m the founder. It’s hard pressed for me to use the word CEO because it’s like we have a small but mighty team and I’m just like, “You know what, I’m the founder of Business Laid Bare and we help purpose-driven organizations, so whether they are for-profit or nonprofit, create immensely peaceful and profitable businesses through the magic of pleasurable processes.” So orgasmic operations is where it’s at. And we’re here to help them make an impact as well because the better your operations are, the more income and impact you can make with pleasure, ease, and sustainability. So that’s who I am. And the business is also branded really sex and kink-positive because that’s 100% who I am. How’s that?

Dusti: Hot per the usual, super hot. Oh my god, there’s just so much good shit there already. So I love your approach to operations because you approach it in a design systems thinking way and I just have not seen anyone else in our weird little corner of the internet approaching it, you know, even remotely close to what you do. And I just find that so fascinating. 

Veronica: Okay, I’m really curious because I’ve never asked anybody this question before and I feel totally safe asking you. What has been your experience with operations in the past? You say that I’ve approached it one way and this seems to be like the way that I know because it was the way that I function. So I’m very much pigeonholing myself, in a way, so I’m like, let me expand my horizons. What has operations been like for you and what you’ve seen others try to do or teach?

Dusti: I mean, I think the biggest thing is that most people I find in operations tend to be, like, they want to force you into a particular system, and a particular way of doing things. And for me, there could just be nothing further from what I want. Like for me, I feel like good operations should serve my existing preferences and processes, not the other way around. I don’t want somebody to come in and build something I’m never going to fucking use, which is basically the positioning I feel like lots of operations people get into. It’s like, they’re such concrete thinkers they’re builders, they’re implementers. They want to do good work, and they’re told they need to niche down. So they do this one thing this one way and like, I’m actually having this issue with a contractor I’m working with right now a little bit and we’re both learning. I love her to death, and it’s been such an interesting process for both of us, learning to be like me a better communicator, but her to be a better, or at least not better, like, more flexible with some of these things that maybe I don’t need.

Veronica: I love that you answered it the way that you did. Because one, I was genuinely curious and two, pretty much everything that you were saying in terms of your experience with operations. I took that and flipped it on its head. So like that blue ocean strategy that so many of us are taught in like business school, which by the way, I never really went to business school. And so these are just like the tidbits but they’re basically like, took a look at the circus, right? They had like animals and it was family-friendly and kind of not a high-end experience. And then Cirque du Soleil flipped that on its head. So for me, that’s what I did with operations is I took my background and also from experiences in my own life like consent-based operations, pleasure-based operations like that, to me, seems so much more infused with humanity and who we are as people because at the end of the day, operations are branded by people, not robots, not machines, and you and I and everyone else. We’re all these individually unique, emotional, complex, multifaceted human beings. So how can we create cookie-cutter solutions and have them expected to be perfect and fit everyone? And now we can’t create solutions that match everyone’s unique needs, but there’s always a way in which we can come to a middle ground that people are excited for knowing the limitations of technology and the different amount of people that touch this thing. It’s like okay, there’s just a humanity aspect of it that makes operations the way that we do it so good and when it feels like it’s like the back of your hand, you’re more likely to lean on it. The learning curve is so much easier, and it’s sustainable and builds a better quality of life for everybody. So when people are so focused on their external stuff like sales and marketing and branding and making sure their website is pretty it’s like well you know, what, your operations are your internal branding, so right.

Dusti: Right, you know, and, God I love that so much. And it kind of reminds me of that phrase, like the best design is the design that you don’t notice. And with so much of the operations stuff, I feel like that’s true too. Like it has to be a system you can go in and use for sure. But like there’s nothing that turns me on more honestly than knowing my business is humming in the background when I have a lead come in, like I know as soon as they’ve booked that call, exactly what’s going to happen and that all those things are gonna fire correctly. And I know almost immediately if something is sideways in that because the system was designed around me and like if it wasn’t I would have a lot more questions and be like, I don’t know, less secure about it. But yeah, to your point. I feel like that is really the idea of consent-based operations makes me think like, oh, where else should we be? Like asking for consent in business?

Veronica: I ask for consent like everywhere, from asking my friends if “Hey, can I give you a hug today?” Like even if I’ve given you a hug before, you might not want a hug, you might just have had surgery? You know what I mean? So it’s like, I don’t want to make any assumptions. And so asking for consent, even in sales, like I’m like, “Hey, so this is how the sales call is gonna go. I’m gonna get to know your business and ask questions that I have, answer questions that you might have and if it feels like a right fit for the both of us, I would love to share how we can work together. Is that okay?” And they’ll be like, “Yeah, okay.” So it’s like, asking for consent doesn’t have to be this crazy thing. 

Dusti: Right? It can be, it’s allowed to be easy.

Veronica: Yeah, make it easy. I mean, I love see, see how organic our conversation is? It’s like, are we going off track of your script, but you know 

Dusti: You’re just fine. This is, this is what it’s for. I blew up my own intro. It was my fault. So Veronica, tell me about when you started Business Laid Bare.

Veronica: I officially started Business Laid Bare in 2020. Because I was like, “Oh, hey, new decade new me.” And the reason why I started this business was because there’s a lot of narratives I’m consistently trying to undo. I’m Chinese. I was born in America, first generation and the one thing that I was trying to shed with this business was that what if I played to win instead of playing to not lose like I was taught to, and how that was pervasive throughout so many areas of my life. And so I’m like, “You know what, I’m doing so much consulting for small businesses, startups. I’ve done consulting for Apple and Nike,” and I’m just like, “You know what, I can make a bigger difference. I can create and carve my own path,” which seems to be the common theme in my life, whether I knew it or not, or whether it was subtle or intentional. And let’s just see what happens like let’s. How can I make a difference in my own way? With something that’s so crucial in every aspect of an organization’s success? Whether they are for profit or nonprofit. So that was it.

Dusti: I love that. Was there any like, moment, like I know 2020 was like, I mean, just a watershed year we’ll call it for a lot of us in our businesses for various reasons. But like, what were you doing, like just prior to starting Business Laid Bare? What was the catalyst for you?

Veronica: Yeah, it was a lot of freelance consulting. And I realized that even though I had clients and was helping them through things and like, you know what I’m saying, like the same thing, over and over, which is fine, but then what’s more important is that people were actually enacting this change in a really positive way. And I’m like, “Maybe I’m onto something here. How can I switch that mindset from just freelancing/consultant to a full-fledged business that can actually shift paradigms?” But I didn’t go into business to shift paradigms. I actually went into business to, or went into business for myself to see how much of an impact I can make. Like apparently just walking around being a person of color talking about pleasure in operations in this way is already radical enough as it is, and I’m just like, “Oh my gosh, I don’t even think about it anymore.” So that was like, that shift was like, “What if I can make a bigger difference? What if we can actually get people really excited because that’s the mission of Business Laid Bare is to help our clients fall in love with their operations so that they can achieve that income and impact goal faster with more ease and pleasure.” And it’s like, “What if that’s the difference that we’re meant to make that there are so many amazing organizations out there wanting to enact change? How can we help them make that change? Faster, better, more effective, more long-lasting?” And so that was, that was the catalyst for me.

Dusti: Oh, man, that’s such a great little nugget there. So that brings me to my next question, which is you’ve kind of gone through a little bit of a transition this last year, like it might not be obvious on the outside to lots of folks, but from our conversations, I know like, who you’ve really been focusing on serving has shifted a little bit. Would you mind speaking to that, and what that’s looking like for you these days?

Veronica: Nothing gets me more excited than people doing cool shit. Let me just put that out there. Like from the conversations that you and I have had, like, it doesn’t have to be product like it doesn’t have to be amazing product design or innovation. Like I don’t need to be the next or you don’t need to be the next unicorn startup out there. But even something as simple as us, so I never thought I would walk into these different verticals. Because I was like, “Oh, I thought I was gonna serve startups and all these small businesses that are what I know, and have experience with,” but then somehow we got pulled into the agricultural tech world. So ag tech, for instance. And you know, those TikToks where you see people who are colorblind put on those glasses, and suddenly they can see in color. Well, it’s like, we are in talks with a company where they took that idea and reached out to those sunglasses companies, and they’re like, “What if we could kind of tweak that so that when our team members put on those glasses it helps them see the shades of grapes differently so that they know which grapes are ready to pick versus not ready to pick.” I’m like, just putting on the glasses allows them to just quickly know which grapes to pick seems like it’s so exciting to me. Like things like this, small changes or even large changes that make a difference and get people excited. And so that to me is like a really beautiful story. And that’s why I’m like purpose-driven businesses are really it for me because I’m selfish that way. Like I want to feel inspired by what it is that you’re doing. 

Dusti: That’s the truth, though. And that’s what’s so fun about getting to focus on working with innovators, right, because they are the ones who are coming up with things like this. Like, that is an incredible story and something that is going to have a meaningful, measurable impact. Very much like thanks to operations. Like if your operations aren’t there, you’re not going to know I mean, any of the details around that, but like what a cool process to be able to be a part of.

Veronica: I know I’m like…and I think the word intention really shines through with the work that we do like when you were talking about “oh, people are being stuffed into boxes that they had no reason being stuffed into, because you don’t know what you don’t know or don’t know any better.” It’s like when you can approach your operations with the utmost of intentions, you’re so excited by your business. Why can’t you be just as excited for your operations, like the how that makes your vision your ideas, like come to life faster and in a more profitable way? 

Dusti: Everybody should be excited about that. Everyone should be excited about that. Ah, okay. So shifting gears just a little bit. If you could go back to little baby 2020 Veronica, and give her some advice. Like what do you wish you knew back then? 

Veronica: For me, so…I don’t think I would change too much. I’m caveating this because if there’s anything that I’ve learned, and especially with my core values, like I like to operate in, according to how I need to thrive. I think that’s why ease is a big core value of mine. Because if things don’t flow, it means that I’m not in alignment and there’s this grind that I’m doing something against what I’m naturally good at. And so if I had to like go back, I would have probably been more intentional about creating a better referral system. Because relationships are everything to me. Like if I don’t like you as a person or vibe with you, I don’t want your business. Not all money is good money and I have gone against that before. And I have been burned. And I have learned those lessons well, and so it’s like going back, I would probably have been focused on creating a more robust referral system, process, network, whatever it is, rather than just thinking about the next new client in the cold sense. And so totally, that’s what I would go back and tell 2020 Veronica.

Dusti: Obviously this podcast is called Referral Worthy. I’m obsessed with that. Talk to me about your current referral system. What does that look like?

Veronica: So right now it’s called Friends with Benefits because…

Dusti: I’m just obsessed with your copy as well. Like everything is so intentional. It’s so cute like, anyway, continue.

Veronica: Thank you. It’s the easiest way to say thank you, right so if you send me a client that pays it’s like I want to give you money back and it’s not just some like $20 Starbucks gift card. I mean, if that’s what you want, I’m going to give you that but it’s just like, how can we give you meaningful action with this? Like, that’s not just oh, not worth it for you because it’s like you did the work. You referred somebody and like now hopefully this client is going to refer other people. So it’s like, why not just say thank you in the easiest way possible. And I send treats and stuff. So like I said, some clients like these peanut shaped sugar cookies that were like me to order because I’m like, “I’m going to send you a bag of dicks,” but they never knew what that meant. Those cookies showed up at their front door. So for me creating a referral system is about creating a process of hey, so this is what the payout looks like this is what you can be an affiliate or referral for like I do have various tiers in which we work with our clients. We have like the done for you which is like our fractional COO done for you operations audit to the business whip which is like the done with you, and then we have like smaller like DIY stuff. And so everything has a sort of like affiliate referral process to it because it’s the easiest way to say thank you and it’s easy for me to keep track so they all start off with filling out these forms so that that information gets tracked. They get added to Active Campaign, which is my not really my CRM, but like it’s where I keep track of everybody because it’s so much easier to just send an email to our referral partners and then like hey, so this is what we’re promoting or this is an update that we have. They’re tagged appropriately. So I know why they’re in, what they’re referring for and their contact information. And in everything that we do when someone signs up to work with us there’s, we’re always asking like, how did you hear about us because we really want to make sure that nothing falls through the cracks and that we get a chance to say thank you to our people that refer us or for us in our business.

Dusti: Absolutely. That makes it cool. Yeah, I love that. That makes so much sense. 

Veronica: I know. So it’s pretty simple, pretty automated. But again, the reason why I created the process the way that I did was because I’m like what’s going to be easy for me and my referral network. Right?

Dusti: That’s perfect. So it’s like the initial thought and also aftercare like I feel like that is something where like that’s a place where it’s easy to miss the boat, but I mean, it’s a cliche for a reason – the fortune is in the follow up. And I think that you do just a smashing job of making sure that things really are thought through all the way to the end, which is when you’re not necessarily actively engaging with somebody anymore.

Veronica: Yeah, and everybody’s so busy nowadays. So it’s like how do I make each conversation or each outreach like matter? And that’s not just like, “Hey, do you have any business to send my way?” I’m like, “Okay, that just does not feel good at all.” So if things don’t feel good to me, like this is where we teach this to our clients because it’s about continuous improvement, but in a way that feels much more human. It’s like when something doesn’t feel good or right to you or the people that are experiencing this, that’s a sign for change.

Dusti: Absolutely. Okay. So if you were gonna start over and do it all over again, where like, I have two questions. So first, where would you get your clients? And how would you find those first 10?

Veronica: I’m like, I’m thinking about how I found my first 10. Because it would be the same thing that I’m gonna do now, except, I know that when I was, so 2020 Veronica was very much everything was me, right? It revolved around me because I started the business. If I had to do it again and give her advice, I think not only would I find those 10 clients through asking for referrals, but I would also be deploying some sort of top of funnel automated marketing system after I tested it to make sure I’m not like, you know, wasting time or lighting my money on fire. So I’m not talking about things like paid ads. I’m thinking about things like SEO, things that will work when I’m not working as well. So it wasn’t just all only working when Veronica was working, but both. When I’m sleeping, when I’m working, when I’m not, it’s always constantly there. So I think I would find my top 10 clients through not only asking for referrals, but seeing how I can create targeted content that reaches people where they’re most receptive and it’s not just like, throwing content into the social media algorithm hole, actually creating meaningful content that really reflects who I am, what I believe in, how we work, and the results that we get our clients.

Dusti: God, and I love that as a two-pronged approach. This is a question I ask everybody who comes on and I do get a lot of one-shot experiments and things like that, but I do really like that like, “Okay, I’m tapping my network. But I’m also doing this other thing that I know is going to be pillar content for me. I know that this is how I want to work. I know. You know, maybe if I’m just starting maybe I don’t know exactly who that client avatar is yet, but I have an idea of the problem they need solved. And that’s where I’m going to start.” I love that so much. Thank you.

Veronica: And that gets refined so much that they teach you in business school like what’s your elevator pitch, who’s your ideal client or avatar and stuff like that? And it’s like one and done. I’m like, “No, I’m thinking about my messaging and positioning. Literally every day.” I kid you not, maybe this is where you need to work with a marketing expert like yourself some more but I’m just like, but it’s like that refinement, right? Things that you hear, voice of customer, it’s like you’re always tweaking and refining and like settling on this most recent positioning of creating peaceful and profitable businesses like has been really landing with people because they’re like, “Oh, I feel that like, they’re like, I literally feel that in my body.” Because peaceful doesn’t mean boring, peaceful doesn’t mean poor. It’s like just knowing that not everything is a 12 alarm fire and you could leave to go on vacation when you wanted and trust that your business is humming or running without you and that you can trust team members like I would have never been able to come with that come up with that early so it’s just like it just takes time. And so I probably tell baby Veronica to maybe try that messaging and positioning tactic.

Dusti: Well, because it’s not a tactic like realistically I mean, messaging and positioning is the thing you are going to come back to time and time again. Because eventually, messages get stale, like and that’s just reality. And I think you’d be nuts not to be constantly iterating on customer feedback. Like I’m I definitely feel like I’m in I’m in a similar boat like yes I have my cute little pithy things but I don’t usually commit to one for very long to be honest because like, just working in marketing I mean, like and the nature of what I do too is like because I’m in marketing, it’s a little bit meta. So like, you know, words lose their value. You can only say authenticity so many times before it loses its oomph. Like, there’s so many things there. But more than anything else, I would say like you hit the nail on the head with customer feedback. Like if I can take the words literally out of my clients mouth, then I guarantee it’s going to land better than something that I came up with in a fucking exercise from some branding expert like that’s just how it works.

Veronica: But I mean like, like any good person, we have multiple things like multiple shoes, multiple lipsticks, multiple bags, what have you. And so it’s just like I have some that I cycle through depending on the environment that I’m in. It’s like I can get kinky and I can get clever and talk about whipping business back ends into shape or having our hand up someone’s business back end are talking about well lubricated machines rather than well-oiled but it’s like we talked about…

Dusti: I just love these. This is, I’m a 12-year-old boy and I’m obsessed with these.

Veronica: We don’t half-ass things, we whole-ass things. So thank you. I thank you. And so it’s fun, I’m having fun with it. And that’s something that I would continue to tell Veronica because she was insecure about whether or not branding like this, this extreme sense of polarizing stance and approach would really backfire. And it’s been great. Like we’ve hit over like 100, not 100. We’ve hit over a million dollars in cumulative revenue. So it’s like, while we aren’t anything explosive or exponential, it’s like I’m growing this business intentionally the way that I want to. There are ups and downs like I would be lying if I said that things were always great. Like 2023 sucked balls like the description that I gave you I’m like. Am I allowed to say this on camera but like the description I gave you, I was like I felt like I got fucked in the butt with like a splintered wooden dildo that got laced with salmonella.

Dusti: In case you’re curious, folks, it wasn’t a great year.

Veronica: But you. I learn and so you take the good and the bad and you always decide what you do with that information. Like I’ll freak out first, but then I’m like, “Okay, what didn’t go so well. But this year, how can I make it better?” So starting from scratch, oh my goodness. This is like a really roundabout way to say two prongs, like you said but then continually learning and not just settling on like boring, like taglines that nobody cares about having streamlined operations. I mean they do but when you just say it that way. Nobody really pays attention. It’s like what is getting streamlined operations mean to them? 

Dusti: Right? How are they going to feel when it’s done? Yeah. Or hopefully while it’s happening and in process, but okay. So I think people are already gleaning this but I always like to ask how your specialty makes a small business a referral magnet. So Veronica, how can operations make a small business a referral magnet?

Veronica: Well, people trust you when you have all of the running pieces in your business humming, working predictably, it’s like you’re creating this rapport already. That shows that you have your shit together. Like when you deliver on time. When you do what you say you’re going to do, when clients have a really great experience because there’s so many intentional touchpoints. It’s like they know that they’re in good hands. So to not focus on operations, yes, will not only tank a business but of course not make it referral worthy because it’s like, do I even  trust that the person that I’m referring to, because when you refer someone you’re like attaching your name and reputation to that and if the referral is not positive, that comes back on you. So me being selfish, I’m just like, “Okay, if I’m ever gonna refer somebody to another business, it’s like, I need to know that that business has their shit together.”

Dusti: Preach. It’s true operations are such a great, like, indicator of the level of trust and integrity in a business. Okay, so for you, I think I know the answer here. But what makes a business referral worthy to you?

Veronica: The word trust comes to mind right away. Because if I can’t trust them, why am I gonna give them money? Yeah, absolutely. Trust is there because if they don’t have integrity, if I don’t feel like I can vibe with them, and have that equal energy exchange, if I don’t believe in the same things that they believe in, like if they’re like, “Oh, I’m all lives matter,” I immediately know that there’s no way I’m going to be able to trust them, right? Because that’s not my values. And knowing what I know about them or having done research, it’s like, the experience is never going to be positive. So why even bother? So I think that everything boils down to trust for me.

Dusti: So many good nuggets in this one. Veronica, thank you so much for joining me and coming on here today. And if my folks would like to come and find you and learn more about orgasmic operations, where can they find you?

Veronica: Yeah, they can go to And there are so many different links that they can click on depending on what they want to know – blog content, free content, services, it’s all there. Just go to

Dusti: Wonderful. Thank you so much. And thank you for listening.

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