Episode 86 – Empower Your Team & Stop Micromanaging Them
Episode 84 – Learn to Be a Great Listener in Your Local Small Business

Can You Motivate Anyone?

What motivates your people in your small business?

In today’s episode: We discuss why there is a myth that you can motivate anyone. Even folks like me, that think we can motivate anyone, had to learn that the key is learning what motivates your folks.


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Episode 85:  Can You Motivate Anyone?

Welcome back to the Local Small Business Coach Podcast. I am your coach, Tammy Adams.

Today we are going to take a look at the myth of being able to motivate anyone and what the real key is.


Let me ask you a question? Do you think you can motivate anyone? I remember being asked this question in the past and I would have in a heartbeat said, hell ya! My teams were always well oiled machines, we loved each other and we were always full of fire. If I might brag for a moment, usually we made other teams in our stores or district jealous of how fired up we were. So of course I would say Hell Ya!

But guess what? I was wrong. As I matured as a leader, I came to realize that I couldn’t motivate everyone. That this concept of being able to motivate everyone is a false believe.

For those of you out there, that said you could motivate anyone, I’m going to bet that at some point there was a person that worked for you that nothing you did could light a fire under their butt.  They just came to work, punched in, did the job, punched out, went home, all with zero excitement. Nothing seemed to fire them up. Maybe they moved slowly or just had that sad sack look on their face. Just being around them, drained you. You see, you can’t motivate everyone.

But you know what? You are missing the key thing to know about motivation:


You Can’t Motivate Anyone, however, You Can Find Out What Does Motivate Them!

Which brings us to today’s question from Bart, who asks: “What is the best way to motivate people that don’t seem to be motivated by anything?”


His question, really got me fired up, motivated if you will, to share something I’m passionate about, which is motivation.

You see, it isn’t our rah rah, go go go, that motivates our people, it is something inside of them that motivates themselves. And when you can’t motivate someone, you just haven’t been able to tap into what does motivate them.



When I was a store manager, I had one of my department supervisors come to me extremely frustrated by this kid that worked for him. He wanted to know what he needed to do to get rid of him.  When he told me who it was, I asked why, since the kid seemed to do an ok job overall and never seemed to get in trouble. Sure, he wasn’t the most passionate person but did ok.

My department supervisor started to rant on that that was the problem. He had no energy and he never wanted to work past his shift and wouldn’t come in on his days off to help them out. I told him that I could see why this frustrated him but you can’t fire someone just because they don’t want to work past their shift or come in on their days off.

I asked him what he did to try and motivate him. He said, that was the point. Nothing seemed to motivate him.  Now, my department head had a good team, they all got along and performed well. The department head wasn’t the most rah rah type, but his people loved him and his style. So the fact someone on his team didn’t feel like the others, was going to drive him nuts.

Then I asked him the most important question I could have asked that day. I asked him what this kid was into? He looked at me funny and said, the only thing the kid ever talked about was rock climbing. He lived for rock climbing. When he wasn’t working, he was off climbing somewhere. That is why he probably didn’t come in on his day off.

So I told my department head to change his approach. Everyday ask the kid about his rock climbing.  Ask him how his climb went? Where did he climb on his day off? When he talked about some new piece of equipment, listen. I bet you anything, when he is talking about rock climbing he will be animated and excited. Your goal is to tap into it.

A few months later, my department head came up to me and said thanks for the tip with this kid. Ever since he started talking to him about his latest climbs and giving him the days he requested to go on a special upcoming event, it was like he was a new person. Now he was open to staying a little later when needed and even volunteered to come back one night to help put away freight when they got slammed with a bunch of new inventory that came in.

My department head just learned the importance of learning how to motivate someone. He learned that if it tapped into that “thing” that fired them up, it was key to motivating them at work.

I share this story with you, to challenge you to find out what motivates each of your people so you can leverage this in motivating them.



So what are the top 7 things that motivate people?

  • Great Leadership – If your people know you respect them and treat them fairly, they will do anything for you. Once you have their trust, they will want to do right by you and will be motivated to ensure you look good. Some of my best memories where one when my team stepped up for me when I didn’t even have to ask.
  • Peer Pressure – Folks don’t want to let the team down. Now this only works when the team actually likes each other and gets along. They pull each other up and push each other to perform better.
  • Feeling of Being Needed – If your people feel they have relevance. They want to learn and they want to grow and feel appreciate for what they bring to the table.
  • Career Advancement – There are a core group of folks that work for you that want to move up and get promoted. Maybe it is for a title or maybe for the sense of achievement or even accomplishment. As long as they have something to work towards, they will give you their all
  • Stability – These folks want to know that they can provide for their family. They will work hard to ensure that their family and commitments are well taken care of.
  • People Just Want to Do A Good Job – Never underestimate your people’s simple desire to do a good job. This is actually one of the highest motivating factors. We want to do go a good job. This is probably why the need to feeling relevant and appreciated is so high.


Now, I know what some of you are thinking. Where is money on that list? Believe it or not, for years, various groups have ton surveys with people and money is always 10% or less. We always think our people want more money to be motivated. Sure, we all want to make more money, but only a handful are actually motivated by money itself. They are motivated more by the sense of accomplishment, by team and by security than by money.

Next time you want to use money as the carrot, believe it or not, they are wanting something else. Your goal is to figure out what motivates them and not to assume it is the money.

So, let me ask again…Can you motivate everyone? No, but you can find out what does motivate them and fire them up by ensuring their main needs are being met.

Today’s mission is to think of your team or your temporary hires and figure out, what gets them excited, what is their main motivational trigger.


And as we wrap up this episode I want you to know, that I realize being a local small business owner can be a lonely gig at times. But you don’t have to do it alone. Just know, I’m always here for you.

Don’t forget, if you are looking to take your local small business to $100,000 in profit, head on over to LocalSmallBusinessCoach.com/8steps to download the free ebook & workbook called: 8 Steps Local Small Business Owners Need to Take to Make $100,000 in Profit.  Where I walk you through how to double or triple your current profit level.

By the way, If you like what we are taking about, then make sure to subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss an episode, if you love the podcast and what we are talking about, then please leave a 5 star review so other local small business owners know this is a podcast that they can’t miss.

And don’t forget to visit the website at LocalSmallBusinessCoach.com to leave your question for me to possibly answer on the podcast in the future. You can leave it via the Speakpipe button or just shoot me an email.

Meanwhile, I wish you the best in your business and remember: Great Customer Service, coupled with Great business practices will set you on the path to Great Profits!

Bye for now…..


Have a Question You Want Asked on Air?  Shoot Me Your Question




Podcast Website: LocalSmallBusinessCoach.com

Leave your Message on the website with the SpeakPipe Button or just email me at Tammy@LocalSmallBusinessCoach.com

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My Recommended Bookkeeping Program for Local Small Business Owners: Freshbooks Link

Why? Helps you invoice quicker and more importantly, get paid quicker. Let’s you know when your clients have opened the email and they even help send reminders. Clients / customers can pay right from their phone or computer. Give it a Try: Freshbooks


**Freshbooks is an affiliate link. This costs you nothing. I only recommend due to how much folks have loved it. I am paid a small commission but trust me. Even I use it. Try it for free for 30 days and see if you don’t love it too!


Today's episode, as well as all of our episodes, is brought to you by trainingforlocalsmallbusinessowners.com. Where we provide free tips, tools and resources for your local small business. So whether you are just starting out or you've been in business for a while and want to learn more ways to increase your profit, boost your sales, improve your processes and develop stronger teams then head on over once again to trainingforlocalsmallbusinessowners.com..


And if you are Thinking of Starting a Local Small business, over at StartALocalSmallBusiness.com we have lots of free tools and resources to help you get your local small business started. Plus, we now have a more in-depth course to Help Get you going.  It has 12 modules, 50 mini videos and 13 downloadable tools a person can use to start their local small business. You can find the link once again at StartALocalSmallBusiness.com. I also have set up a special discount code for listeners of the podcast.  At checkout, just add the code PODCAST to save 25%.

See you on the next episode!


Two Great Books to Help You With Your Small Business:

Highly Recommend all Local Small Business Owners Read the eMyth by Micheal Gerber. You will learn some critical things about running your business.


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