Small business

Are your goals and motivations the same thing?

Are your goals and motivation the same thing_.png

Recently, on a plane ride to Las Vegas I was seated next to a fellow entrepreneur who runs a marketing company. Naturally, we started talking about our businesses. When he found out I was a business coach, he asked how much I deal with business stuff versus how much I deal with feelings and emotions.

I told him that I dealt quite a bit with the feelings and mindsets of business owners - far more than I ever expected to when I started as a coach to be honest. As we continued talking about mindset, I could sense that he had lost his real motivation for running his business and he didn't really know why. Which brought up some key questions I often ask business owners – What is it that you want to achieve? What are your goals? What motivates you?

Sometimes your goals and what motivates you are not the same thing.

In his case, he wanted to make millions of dollars in his business - that was the big goal. He thought he knew why - to be successful, to have created something really incredible, to go bigger and better and make the work he was doing feel really exciting... but he didn't sound really excited about it and he couldn't verbalize why that was really meaningful to him. From where he was standing he couldn't understand his lack of motivation... from where I was standing, what he was dangling in front of himself as a carrot didn't seem like the thing he actually wanted to get him moving on a day to day basis.


He felt like making millions of dollars would mean he had really succeeded.

Okay, but why? Was he feeling motivated on a regular basis? Making millions of dollars was a big goal that was going to take awhile... what was going to feel like a win between now and then?  

He didn't really know.

Was he happy? Not really.  His business was his life but he wasn't really feeling excited about it at the moment. The joy and excitement of entrepreneurship had kind of fizzled out.

So what WOULD make him excited... while he was working on making his millions?

The more we chatted the more we found that thing that actually excited him.... travel. He knew he could work from anywhere and he was in a situation where he wasn't really tied down to any one city at the moment. So... why wasn't he travelling?

He didn't know.

The only thing holding him back was making the decision to actually do it. (mindset!)

For him, seeing this motivation as a reason to reach his goals started making more sense than just working to make millions of dollars. His million-dollar goal wasn't tangible enough to get him jazzed every single day  – travelling is attainable and is something he can do now right now.

So, if you are in business and you tell people your goal is to make more money, but find that you’re not motivated (there is no wind in your sails) is it time for a reframe? What motivates you? What changes need to be made in order for you to reach your goals? How can you get excited about your business and what you do again?

Asking yourself what you really want is a conversation you need to constantly have with yourself. Checking in and asking yourself this on a regular basis will keep you on track and help you achieve your real goals.

Having business goals may seem like the way to stay motivated, but it isn't always (and that's not only OK, it's normal!!) 

And if you want help figuring it out, book a call with me - I'd love to talk about whether I'm the right person to help you figure that out, as well as how to keep moving forward towards reaching all your business goals!

Small Business Resources: Let's Talk Prices

Figuring out what to charge for a product or service is one of those tasks that can be overwhelming.  Where do you start?  Do you charge $95, $97, $99 or $100?

We’ve come across quite a few different articles, posts and resources that talk about the psychology behind people’s buying habits that are really fascinating and that’s what we’re going to share with you in this month’s Small Business Resources.

Social Triggers

Derek Halpern has a lot of really great content when it comes to pricing, but this is one video that really struck us as helpful.  Check it out and then watch a few other videos by Halpern.  Lots of great insight.

Conversion XL

This is a LONG article, but it has a lot of really great information. It goes into all kinds of different pricing experiments and their outcomes.  

It brings up the same point the Derek Halpern does in the video above, as well as some other great information about people often not going with the cheapest option, about how pay what you wish pricing can work, the importance of anchoring.

( I’d love to hear if you try any of your own experiments or what you think would be worth trying in the comments!)

Do you have any great resources that have helped you figure out how to price your products?  Leave a comment and share them with us!

Small biz profile: Tag Along Toys

I’ve known Patti Taggart online for 3 or 4 years now, but I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know her in person over the last two years since we (finally) met! Patti is the owner of a fabulous little toy store in the west end of Ottawa called Tag Along Toys. She’s built a loyal, engaged, and active audience in her years of using social media, but she doesn’t do it by constantly telling people about her store. She does it by building relationships.

One of my very favourite reasons to visit Patti’s store is how wonderful and helpful she and her staff always are. Patti is an Early Childhood Educator (ECE), so her product choices reflect a commitment to help children develop a range of skills and interests through play. I’ve gone in with questions about what toy can help develop this or that and I always get great advice about what to get. I asked Patti if she’d mind answering a few questions about how she uses social media for us, and here’s what she had to say:

1) How long have you been in business?

Tag Along Toys opened in 2001, so just shy of 12 years. :)

2) Business owners often run businesses that tie in to personal interests or passions - what inspired you to start Tag Along Toys?

I am a Registered Early Childhood Educator. I had worked in the field for over 10 years at the time and thought maybe I could expand my use of ECE. I knew that Kanata did not have a specialty toy store and thought it would be a great complement to my education to open a toy store, as its related to my field in many ways.

3) What do you want customers to feel when they walk in your store?

I want them to feel welcomed and comfortable to walk around but also to feel we are approachable and open to help them find the perfect gift for the children on their list.

4) How do you convey that through social media channels?

I use Facebook quite a bit - not everyday - but at least 4-5 times a week. I use Twitter daily if I can to let people know about what’s new in store or what’s taking place in store.

5) How long have you been using social media to promote your business?

I have been using Facebook for almost 4 years and Twitter for almost 4 years too.

6) How much time do you spend daily/weekly managing your social media (and do your staff help)?

I don’t have my staff help me; I do it myself. I spend approximately an hour a day working on social media on both twitter and Facebook.

7) An hour a day can be overwhelming to a small business owner just starting out. But ultimately, that’s only 4-5 hours a week based on your answers. What would you say to the business owner that tells you they don’t have an hour a day?

Take 10 mins a day to sit and update Facebook pages, add a new item, ask your customers questions. On twitter try to do a minimum of 2-3 tweets a day and interact with at least 2-3 followers. Set aside 10 mins a day if you can. :)

7) What advice would you give to business owners who are thinking about or just starting out using social media?

Don’t be scared, don’t be shy. Put yourself out there and engage with your followers - not only about your business, but about some of your interests too, as it makes people get to know you the business owner and feel that much more comfortable to come into the store and start a conversation about a post or something you were talking about on social media. You get to know your customers better too. :)

It does take work but if you can put aside a bit of time each day it will help grown your business and target new audiences everywhere.


Last summer, Tag Along Toys launched its brand new website that includes online shopping AND a blog! It’s an exciting time for Patti and her staff as they grow the business beyond the brick and mortar storefront. Thank you for the great advice! You can follow all of Patti’s updates by liking Tag Along Toys on Facebook and following on Twitter.

7 tips for 2014 from small business owners

In the last couple of weeks of 2013 we had a lot of fun on our Facebook page by asking fellow small business owners to share some tips for 2014 with all of us.  They were really great and we want to recap them all in one place for you here now.  Make sure to check out all of their great insights (the videos are all in the 1-2 minute length range) and then head over and check out the websites and Facebook pages for these businesses - they are all great resources!

Shawn MacDonell

We started off Shawn MacDonell who is fun and great at getting people to think differently and creatively about everything that they do.  In this video Shawn talks about how to dress for success and the message he shares applies to so many parts of life as a business owner - be your authentic self.

Marisa Goudy

Marisa is one half of the Online Empowerment Formula.  They help you create a web site that works for your business.  In this video Marisa talks about how important it is to make what you do clear on your web site.  Watch the video and then share YOUR USP with us.

Lara Galloway

Lara Galloway is another part of an amazing duo!  MomBiz is an incredible resource for business owners who are moms.  Running a business while being a mother is a very different thing than running a business is for other demographics.  In this video Lara goes over 5 simple things to keep in mind when starting out the new year.

Amanda DeGrace

Amanda runs a business called Little Lotus Yoga and runs yoga classes for kids.  She started outsourcing in 2013 and shares how valuable she found that to be.  If you’re in the Ottawa area and have young kid, check out some of the programs she offers!

Lara Wellman

I did a short video issuing a challenge.  I think a lot of people avoid certain new tasks and tools because it feels harder than it actually is.  So I challenge people to just write something - they don’t even need to share it! Once the first blog post or newsletter is written, or the first video is recorded, it gets a lot easier to keep going!

Shelagh Cummins

Shelagh is the second half of MomBiz and offers a great tip on clarity.  It’s one we all need to think about a bit more clear not only with our audience but with ourselves.  


Elaine Morgan

Elaine owns and gives us some good tips on taking care of the books in 2014.  Starting the year off right and tracking how you’re doing over the year is so important and something that is so easy to let slip.


We hope you enjoyed the videos we shared - please let us know in the comments if this is the kind of thing you’d like to see again in the future.  And again, please go and check out all of these great businesses and support them!  Happy 2014!

Small business resources: Marketing blogs

Small business owners have a lot on their plate: from day-to-day operations of their business to the marketing and promotion to administrative duties. The list could go on and on. There are two priorities for every business owner - to increase revenue or decrease costs. The only way to increase revenue is by getting your name out there effectively and efficiently, but not every business owner is an expert marketer. 

However, these expert marketers have blogs that are tailored to the small business owner. The wisdom, insights, and practical advice they provide can absolutely help you grow your business.

Duct Tape Marketing

I started following John Jantsch (Duct Tape Marketing) when I found his Duct Tape Marketing podcast about 7 years ago. One of the things I really enjoy about John’s content is that he has a good mix of marketing wisdom, practical tips, and innovative tools - all tailored to small business. Every now and then he tries out certain tools and his overviews have convinced me to try a few myself. Busy small business owners need content that is quick to read, easy to absorb, and painless to action - you’ll get all three from John consistently. The resource page alone contains enough value to make it worth your time to check out what he’s recommending. Besides, don’t you just love the name!?

The Marketing Spot

The Marketing Spot blog is a recent discovery of mine, but after browsing through some of the content, I quickly realized that I really enjoy Jay Ehrat’s style. In amongst solid advice is a lot of education about marketing principles that can help guide decisions - particularly when the answer may not be clear right away. For business owners that want to dig deeper into the critical role that marketing plays in growing your business, this blog is one you’ll want to follow closely.

SmartBlogs (by SmartBrief)

SmartBlogs is not necessarily specifically focused on small business, but I think a lot of the content is definitely userful for small business owners. There are a variety of topics covered - my personal favourites are social media (of course), leadership and I also like to watch the finance blog. I’m not a huge fan of email newsletters (they’re an awesome tool, but it’s not my preferred method of getting news most of the time), HOWEVER, this is one of a few blogs that I invite into my inbox. The emails are easily skimmed for quick tidbits I want to read further or I move on quickly. You can also subscribe to the feeds via RSS. For small businesses using social media to market their products and services, I think the social media feed is definitely worth subscribing to.

I’ve given a few recommendations here, but I’d love to hear what blogs you like to follow for marketing advice. Tell me in the comments some of the sources you find helpful!