I was reading an article recently saying that 1 in 4 small business empoyees globally feel depressed and uninspired by their bosses. read further at Perth Now.

It can be costly to believe or have a mindset that giving more money or a pay rise to your team members equals happy employees.

Believing this is costing you valuable time, revenue, employees… Cash will always be a major factor in motivating people and a solid compensation plan is critical to attracting and keeping key personnel. But the key is that additional cash is not always the only answer and in many cases not even the best answer.

I have complied some quick suggestions, let’s look at 7 non-monetary motivation tips that can be implemented today…

1. Recognition/Attention. When your employees accomplish something they have achieved something. Your recognition is appreciation for that achievement. Managers and owners don’t give enough recognition for a good job done. Recognition is free! Do some spontaneous on the spot praise and even a “Thanks” goes a long way

2. One-on-One Coaching. Coaching is employee development. Implement a regular Performance review meeting. Document personal development needs and feedback from your team. Your only cost is time. Time means you care. And remember your people don’t care how much you know… until they know how much you care.

3. Training. This ties in with personal development. You can never over train you team, as they lean and develop so does your business. It might take some time and effort but the benefits of training will continually enhance the performance of your people and the productivity of your business.

4. Career Path. Your employees need to know what is potentially ahead for them, what opportunities there are for growth. This issue is a sometimes forgotten ingredient as to the importance it plays in the overall motivation of people.

Set career paths within your organization. Do you promote from within? I hope you can answer yes to that. Although specific circumstances require you to look for talent outside your company you should always first consider internal personnel. If you do this you are sending a very positive message to everyone that there are indeed further career opportunities within your organization.

5. Good Work Environment. I heard of a  recent industry study where employers were asked to rank what they thought motivated their people and then employees were asked to rank what really did motivate them.

Employers felt “working conditions” was a nine (or next to last) in terms of importance. What did the employees say? Number two! Working conditions are very important to the way employees feel about where they work.

Some things to consider or ask yourself are does your office look nice? Are there pictures on the walls, plants and fresh paint among other features that generally make people feel good about their environment? Does their work space have enough room or are they cramped in a “sardine can?” What about furniture? Is the desk the right size, chair comfortable? Is there file space and do they have the miscellaneous office supplies needed for maximum performance? Is the temperature regulated properly so they don’t feel they’re in the Amazon jungle one minute and the North Pole the next?

6. Casual Dress Day. This will apply more to the Business-to-Business world based on the difference in normal dress codes from the Business-to-Consumer arena. For those required to “dress business” every day a casual day becomes a popular desire. I encourage Casual dress Fridays for example. For retail outlets use holidays to create theme colour casual days such as red and green before Christmas or black and orange prior to Halloween.

Major sports events are a perfect opportunity for casual days to support your local or favourite team with appropriate colours, buttons, and logo wear.

7. Time Off. Implement incentives that earn time off. People will compete for 15 minutes or 1/2 hour off just as hard as they will for a cash award. Put KPI’s (key performance indicators)in place and when these goals are reached by individuals, teams or the entire staff, reward them with time off.

8. Additional Responsibility. Encourage and support more responsibility and accountability from your staff. You will be surprised on how they will rise to the challenge and it will make them feel more as part of the team.

9. Food days Every now and then bring in or organise pizza, popcorn, or cookie days will help break up that everyday routine and help people stay motivated. Because it is a natural tendency for people to get excited in anticipation of something, structure some of these days in advance. Then buy some pizzas or different cookies or even whip out some different types of popcorn.

Paul Duncan

Small Fish Business Coaching

+61 (0) 433 440 881


LEVERAGE Your Way To Success


There are many reasons why going to a day spa is good for your personal health, well being and your Business.


When I coach, network and associate with business owners and operators in small business the one thing I have noticed over the years is the affect stress can cause on so many factors of life.

What you may not know (I only found out this a few years ago) is that your body is a memory cell similar to our brain. As we consciously develop and lean new things our brains a storing the data for future reference, our body also retains data from your day to day activities. For example when you become stressed at work do you feel your body tight and sore? Do you develop headaches, feel tired or just lethargic? This is your body telling you something.. 

The best thing I discovered was when I was going through a time of growth, in my business for example, I would have a body massage or visit a day spa to relive the tension associated with the growth phase. What I found is that I made better decisions and felt more in control.  The time spent relaxing (what we don’t do well as business owners?) not only can improve your efficiency and productivity but more importantly your well been and health. 

I have been involved in Small Business for many years and can see how a day spa can help a Small business owner, but since I have been coaching Unveil Day Spa in canning vale I have also seen how it can  help anybody. 

Each day we experience stress and anxiety and store this in cells in our body until released by some sort of relaxation. When for instance you find yourself in one or more of the following situations, a spa therapy is just what you need to prevent stress from becoming chronic .When you are physically tired e.g. after extensive travelling or a day full of chores at home
When you are low on energy e.g. when you don’t feel like going to work or don’t feel like participating in any activity for no particular reason

Other benefits can include..

  • De-toxify your body
    Spa therapies like Body Wraps flush out toxins that accumulate within the body due to frequent travelling, erratic eating habits, excessive partying etc.
  • To build immunity
    Spa therapies like Massage are known to improve the body’s ability to combat diseases.
  • To enhance your beauty
    Enhancement of one’s beauty is a major reason why people visit spas. Visit a spa if you want to Make your skin glow: Spas offer therapies such as facials and body treatments for glowing skin
  • Reverse signs of ageing                                                                                                                                                                                                           Spa therapies like Age-Defying facials are known to reverse the signs of ageing.

 This is only a few of many benefits in visiting a Day Spa’s. For more treatments and products visit Unveil day spa and set a time relax or get a pampering (You deserve it!!)

 Until next time

Paul Duncan

You’re local Business Coach



I would like to share a great story that was sent to me recently… made me think about what holds us back from being successful??


No one will argue that an Elephant is the most powerful land animal and is capable of huge physical force and feats of strength.

An Elephant in the wild has the ability to push down massive trees, just to get the berries from a branch out of its reach.

Yet anyone who has been to a circus or a zoo will notice that Adult Elephants are tied down with a simple rope from their leg to a stake in the ground.

This makes no sense. How can a simple rope hold down the world’s most powerful and majestic animal?

The fact is, it does this very successfully. The rope keeps this enormous strength under total control at all times.

How is this so? Wouldn’t the rope simply break or the peg leave the ground the instant the elephant applied even the smallest amount of force.

The answer is yes, it would absolutely break with little effort. However, this would only happen if the Elephant was able to break (not the rope), but its years of training and the way it was taught to think: – it’s Mental Rope.

What most people don’t know is that Elephant trainers could never do this with a wild Elephant. This is only possible with an Elephant they have trained since it was barely able to walk.

They manage this by taking the baby Elephant and tying its leg to a very deep stake with a solid chain that the baby Elephant is incapable of breaking with its relatively limited strength. After constraining the baby Elephant this way for some years, it begins to realize pulling and trying to escape the chain and stake is impossible.

As the Elephant grows and gets used to the idea that the stake and chain is unbreakable, the trainer can attach just about any old flimsy rope to the Elephant’s foot and tie it to a stake of limited strength, relative to the Elephant’s abilities, and the Elephant will be secure. Now Elephants are extremely smart if you observe their behavior. But human beings are even smarter right? We have incredible brains and ability to use logic better than any other animal on earth.



We go to school and many onto higher education. Yet many people after all this education still struggle as they have no idea about how to become successful in life.

Only a limit of us ‘make it’ and the most intriguing question is… why is this so?

The answer is pretty simple, much like the rope on the elephant’s leg. Our education system teaches us nothing about this success or wealth creation, or provides us any direction or useful skills in this area.

In fact it’s designed to do the exact opposite of this. Our education system through school and university prepares us as ‘workers’, and not as entrepreneurs.

It takes us when we are just little elephants, and makes us conform, follow rules and become part of the ‘system’. It institutionalizes us, it removes much of our uniqueness and creativity, and it tames us from the very first day we enter until the day we leave. It encourages us not to take risks and to simply follow the crowd.

This is not a recipe for success.

We are in fact chained and constrained by the very education that is supposed to free us.

Success in business comes through re-learning set of many interlinking skills and consistent practicing these skills. Achieving a black-belt in Karate for example, does not come with one karate lesson. You must learn then practice and master a certain level before you can move on to the next level and so on. After years of learning and practice finally –  success comes.


Paul Duncan

Small Fish Business Coach Perth 


Just thought I would share a beautiful poem my daughter wrote about how conveys the world we share…


Woman of the Future

“I am a child of the 21st century

I am all I see

Teens communicating to screens instead of faces

Girls wearing more revealing clothes each day

Gangs of young kids fighting for no reason

I am all I hear

Police sirens and ambulance calls, people needing saviours in their time of need

The shuffling of invisible feet as u walk home

The thud of bodies being flung against walls

I am all I feel and taste

Metallic blood filling mouths

Acid drops on burning cheeks

Viscous anger welling up inside

I am all I remember

Slamming doors, locking you out of the world

Daddy and “our little secrets”

I am all I’ve been taught

Only speak when spoken to

“One smoke won’t hurt”

I am all I think

Secrets, wanting to burst out

Lies, betrayal

My good vs. evil

I’m like a broken toy, left on the shelf, but one day

I will be remembered


I am the woman of the future.”

Rachael Duncan


Paul Duncan

Business Coach




The thought of losing part of your rental income to a managing agent may seem extreme? But as you will discover by reading on, it is a small price to pay and gives peace of mind.


Before I go any further I would like to point out that when I first dabbled in the rental arena I looked after all my rental properties. I soon found out that in the long run using a fully qualified Property Manger will not only save time but money as well


 The issues and challenges that are associated in managing rental properties can be both complex and confusing. There are a number of legal obligations and government regulations that landlords need to adhere – to when managing their own properties. Sourcing reputable Property Management Company can relive ongoing problems and most of the headaches that come with being a D-I-Y landlord.


What I found when doing it myself was that not only was I collecting the rent weekly or monthly (Often done electronically these days anyway?) I was also spending time on attracting & screening great tenants, conducting regular inspections and sourcing good tradesman for ongoing maintenance just to name few.


When considering doing it yourself rather than outsourcing these responsibilities to a professional property manager you need to ask these simple questions.


  • How do you deal with pressure & stress? Are you a tolerant person?
  • How many rental properties do you have? How many do you want?
  • Do you live close to the property-Can you visit often enough?
  • Are you experienced in Maintenance & Repairs
  • Do you have the time & ability to get your property rented?
  • Are you willing to be on call 24/7 ( 365 days)
  • How will you handle late payments or eviction of tenants?
  • Do you know and fully understand land & government laws and legislation?


Your situation will be different from others and the decision of whether to go alone or bring on a property manager should boil down to, is it’s a good fit with your lifestyle and financially the best use of your time. Looking at the tax benefits and time spent doing it in house; the answer is “Yes”


A saying I once heard rings true…


“You can spend all your money and keep making more- but once you have used your time its gone forever”

Paul Duncan

Small Fish Business Coach Perth 


On Friday evening I had the pleasure of attending a local Joondalup Business Association (JBA) networking event, which was hosted by the team from SearchSmart.

This was a  great opportunity to meet some more local business people, find out more about their businesses – and also learn some more about eMarketing.  It really was traditional business networking coming face-to-face with its digital equivalent!

If you are in business in the northern corridor of Perth, I encourage you to come along and attend a JBA event.  If you do,  I look forward to seeing you there!

And might I add, a special thanks to Hillarys Harbour Resort Apartments for the door prize…. 🙂

Business Coach in Perth

Kristian Reiss

Kristian Reiss
Small Fish Business Coaching
Perth, Western Australia

I was recently asked by a friend in Business “How do I become a better Leader in my Organisation?”

So I thought I would share some tips on how to become a better leader.

1.      TALK ABOUT THE FUTURE- Leaders think about the future and direction the company is going, Keep your team involved in moving the business forward.

2.      TEACH SOMEONE SOMETHING NEW- Be committed to your organisation and the growth of your team. Nothing sends a stronger message than taking the time to teach and communicate.

3.      SEEK NEW IDEAS- Be proactive and look for new initiatives and ways of streamlining operations. Better ways to make work easier for your team and increase efficiency. Ask your team for feedback?

4.      TELL SOMEONE TODAY THEY DID A GREAT JOB- Do not be afraid of praising your team when a job is done well. This encourages trust and loyalty.

5.      BE MAD, THEN GET OVER IT AND MOVE ON– Leaders have passion for the business that can sometimes lead to anger or frustration. You are only human. Don’t let a small challenge waste a good day.

6.      SAY HELLO AND MEET SOMEONE NEW TODAY- Say Hello to all your Team every day and meet someone new in your organisation or alternatively outside your company. It’s guaranteed you will lean something new today that you did not know yesterday.

7.      SAY MORE “YES’S”- Leaders are not afraid to make a commitment and agree on decisions. Find ways of saying YES more often in your business. This proves you have trust in the eyes of your team.

8.      ALWAYS ACTIVE LISTEN- they say “TWO EARS-ONE MOUTH” Many leaders talk far more than they listen. Listen to your team, you might learn something?

9.      BE ENERGETIC- Have enthusiasm and energy each day. This will, transfer to your team. Lead by example and watch how your team will change.

10.  HAVE FUN- Business is FUN. Live it and enjoy. People will follow someone who enjoys what they do.

Paul Duncan

Small Fish Business Coach Perth 



Damn You Auto Correct

Damn You Auto Correct

Interesting experiences with my iPhone

I just had an interesting experience with my iPhone, and the Auto Correction feature.  It is set to auto-correct my spelling errors and typos (is it just me, or are those letters are just too small and too close together at times!)

Well, for me it was just a bit frustrating that I couldn’t enter what I wanted.  Then I stumbled across this site (be careful, some of the content on this site is not suitable for young ones – but terribly funny though, at least to me!).  Wow – some funny situations can certainly be blamed on that feature…. and for some people, it must have caused some quite embarrassing moments.

Has anyone else had any funny (or embarrassing!) situations with this feature?  Feel free to comment….

Business Coach in Perth

Kristian Reiss

Kristian Reiss
Small Fish Business Coaching
Perth, Western Australia

With the current pricing wars over Milk in our major stores and supply chains-I came home last week and found a  2lt “HOME BRAND” packaged white milk in my fridge and yelled “Wot The?” My first thought was “Have we given in to PRICE over QUALITY?” After the in- house taste test was done all in my house-hold could not tell the difference between the home brand and premium label. Home brand milk : survey

This was re-enforced by choice magazine in their latest testing. Home brand milk ‘like premium milk’

Choice spokeswoman Ingrid Just said.

Participants did not know which brand of milk they were tasting when they took part in the test, which was conducted in March. Results found participants could not taste the difference between the supermarket brands and the premium brands.”You are not sacrificing drinking taste when you spend less on your milk,” Ms Just said.
 As an experienced Barista and Coffee Connoisseur I have always believed in “Good quality milk produces Great Quality Coffee” After my Morning coffee this morning from my semi- automatic group coffee machine, I confidently produced a fantastic coffee from the “Home Brand” milk and have altered my perception .Which made me consider “Doesn’t most milks start from a Cow”? Just as long as we look after the local farmers. Milk can be Milk and cheaper.   

Paul Duncan

Smallfish Business Coach Perth


I understand how important the web is in marketing, and have started to grasp the idea of communicating through the multiple platforms of social media.  Businesses (including ours) are starting to realise the importance and usefulness of social media (and the web in general) as part of the marketing mix.  There are so many platforms, and it can become a bit overwhelming.

When you have Facebook, Linked-In, Twitter, WordPress, Vimeo, You Tube, Google, Yahoo (to name just  a few…) – where does one start?  Not only that, it seems that these networks have the ability of being used in a “leveraged” way  to communicate your message.  (For those that don’t know me, leveraged is one of my favourite words!)

So, with a background in IT and communications networking, it was a natural for me to try to understand the concept of social networking with a network diagram.  (Perhaps that says more about me than it does about my background!!).  So  here it is:


The Mesh

The Mesh - Social Networking seen visually


There are different groups of people using the different social media platforms, and each of them can be used in different ways.  I realised, what we are trying to do is create a “mesh” with our social networks, to maximise the opportunity of our message getting to as many relevant people as possible.

At this stage I just wanted to share with you my general idea about “The Mesh”.  By explaining “The Mesh” visually – I hope that it will help you better understand social networking.  It certainly helped me.   I plan to write more about “The Mesh” in future.

Business Coach in Perth

Kristian Reiss




Kristian Reiss
Small Fish Business Coaching
Perth, Western Australia


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