My Business Isn't Moving Fast Enough - Fridays with Ferne: Episode #37

Jan just started her first small business making and selling candles. She loves what she does, she loves being creative and working with her hands, and of course, getting paid for it. Day and night Jan makes candles and works on her social media. She comes up with social media campaigns, she reaches out to people and comments on their posts. She does everything her mentors suggest and really puts in the effort.

While her business is getting some traction, she feels like things aren’t moving fast enough. Jan is starting to feel discouraged and doesn’t know what else she can do to move her business forward or if this business was the right idea in the first place.

Episode Transcript

[00:00:05] Kim Ades:

Hello, hello. My name is Kim Ades, I am the President and Founder of Frame of Mind Coaching™ and the co-founder of The Journal That Talks Back™. You have just joined The Frame of Mind Coaching™ Podcast, and today is Fridays with Ferne, where my daughter Ferne comes on to the podcast and gives me these random cases to work on. I have no idea what she's going to give me every time we talk. Ferne, welcome.  

[00:00:28] Ferne Kotlyar:

Hello! Thank you for having me. How are you today?  

[00:00:32] Kim Ades:

I'm good, I'm good. It's Friday, so it's an awesome day, looking forward to the weekend. It's been an amazing month so far, looking to what comes next. How are you?  

[00:00:43] Ferne Kotlyar:

Pretty good. Settling back into life. Things are slowly starting to come back to life, but not fast enough, I feel [chuckles].  

[00:00:50] Kim Ades:

Not fast enough. All right. So what do you have for me today?  

[00:00:54] Ferne Kotlyar:

All right. So today we have a case about a woman named Jan. And Jan started her first small business, she's really passionate about it, she makes candles and other home goods. And she's working really, really hard, like really very, very hard on this project. She's super passionate about it. Day and night she's making candles and working on her social media and trying to reach out to people, trying as many things as possible.  

But despite doing everything her mentor say and really putting in all that effort, she feels like she's not moving fast enough. She feels like, yeah, she gets some followers every day, she gets a sale maybe once every two weeks, but it's not enough for her. And she doesn't know what to do to make it move faster.  

She's starting to feel a bit discouraged, and like maybe this wasn't the best idea. And I guess the question is, what advice would you have for Jan in terms of her business and in terms of kind of her view on this whole location in life? If that makes sense.  

[00:02:03] Kim Ades:

Can I ask you a few questions? How long has she been doing this for?  

[00:02:06] Ferne Kotlyar:

She is pretty new, so she's a year in.  

[00:02:09] Kim Ades:

Okay. And in a year, has she made any sales?  

[00:02:14] Ferne Kotlyar:


[00:02:14] Kim Ades:

Okay. And where have those sales come from?  

[00:02:19] Ferne Kotlyar:

Some of them, her friends who have supported her, and some, some people she found on the internet, some social media people. And then some people from ads and stuff like that.  

[00:02:29] Kim Ades:

Okay. And does she love making candles? Is this like, her passion, her life, her future? This is what she wants to do, she has that creative side to her, so she wants to spend every moment making candles?  

[00:02:42] Ferne Kotlyar:

Well, I don't know that it's necessarily exclusive to candles, but she really does love making art, and catering things towards the people. 

[00:02:53] Kim Ades:

Okay. The issue, it sounds like she doesn't know who her people are.  

[00:02:58] Ferne Kotlyar:

Why do you say that?  

[00:03:00] Kim Ades:

Well, because when you say "the people" I say, who did she sell to? You kind of give me a hodgepodge. It's not clear who her client is. Right?  

[00:03:11] Ferne Kotlyar:

Well, I'm sure--  

[00:03:12] Kim Ades:

I'll give you an example. When I look at who are my clients, Frame of Mind Coaching™ clients, they're highly driven individuals who tend to either have a senior executive leadership position in a corporation, or they are business owners and their senior leadership team. 

Those are Frame of Mind Coaching™ clients. We know who they are, we know how to find them, and we're really, really narrowly focused on our market. Does Jan know who her market is?  

[00:03:40] Ferne Kotlyar:

I think she's trying to figure it out, but she has a pretty good idea. I think with candles it's also a bit more general. No?  

[00:03:48] Kim Ades:

No, there's nothing general. And that's the issue. When we think that our market is general, our messaging becomes very wishy washy. It becomes unclear and we're not honing in, we're not able to find the person who's in love with candles and has a million candles and just wants that one more. Right? We don't know who those people are. 

And so the first thing that I would tell Jan is look back at the people who have purchased your product and try to understand who they are and what made them buy. If they were friends who just wanted to support you, put them aside for a moment. But if they are people who purchased your product, or her product, and they have a certain location, they have a certain age, they have a certain interest, they belong to certain groups, they do certain things. We want to really hone in on who is the market that we're targeting. So that's thing number one.  

Thing number two is if Jan is determined to make this business's a success, I would say to her, you know what? It's business, we have ups and downs. We have a rollercoaster ride that we're doing, but one of the things I would do is seek out... she said she has mentors, but seek out other business owners who are doing something similar. Not exactly the same, but something similar, and connect with them and ask for help, ask for advice. 

It could be people who sell other products that are just like that, and she can connect with them on LinkedIn and say, "Hey, I'm new to the industry. I'm young, I'm trying to figure things out, I'm banging my head against the wall here and there. I'd love to get some advice". And so you might find someone who takes an interest, or she might find someone who takes an interest in what she's doing and says, "you know what? Let me introduce you to this person or that person". 

But at the end of the day, when you're running a business, it's like... you cannot stop. You have to try and knock and bang on every door. And every time a door opens, it leads you to a hallway that leads you to the next door, and you have to be okay to go through dark hallways to get to the next door. You just have to be.  

But for me, from my perspective, as I'm hearing you, it sounds like Jan really needs to identify her market, identify her buyer. She has to hang out where her buyers hang out and that might be physically or online. She needs to kind of find out where people who are interested in candles exist. 

Are they on Pinterest? Do they create art of their own? Can you collaborate with some of these people? Or can she collaborate with these people? Et cetera. And so you want to find out who your target is and where they are. And then the next part is to kind of, it sounds like the mentors aren't necessarily experts in her field. 

And so what we want to do is find mentors who have more experience specifically in what she's trying to accomplish. We want to connect with those people and use our youthful energy to say, "can you provide some insight? Some help?" Trying to figure this out, don't know which way to turn. There are lots and lots of people out there who are very eager to help a young person open a door.  

The third thing that I would suggest is there are all kinds of interesting grants out there that are available to a young person to help them with their business, to help them with their marketing, particularly if she's a female business owner that she should investigate and look into. And so that's another option as well.  

[00:07:30] Ferne Kotlyar:

And so what would you do about her feelings of discouragement? The fact that she's not as excited about it, because things aren't really happening. Is that something you would give her practical solutions to? Or is it more of a mindset thing?  

[00:07:43] Kim Ades:

Well, part of it is a mindset thing, part of it is a practical solutions thing, right? 'Cause when you keep trying and you're not getting any results, one of the questions I always want to say is, where did you get results? And how did those results come? And what I find a lot of times, business owners, especially entrepreneurs, they acquire success and then they forget about the success they acquired, and then they go and they try a new strategy.  

Instead of really blowing up the strategy that worked. So pursue that and ask, you know, where did your success come? If you had some people who bought, who are these people? Let's look at how that happened. Let's see if there's anything we could do to multiply those efforts.  

So that's number one. I would definitely look at her strategy and the things she's doing, but also I would talk to her about what it's like to be an entrepreneur. As a coach myself, but I think of myself as more of an entrepreneur first, then a coach. And as an entrepreneur, sometimes you bang your head against the wall. Sometimes you make poor decisions. Sometimes you work super hard and you make no progress. 

But I will say that over the years, when you put in effort consistently over time, results come. And sometimes it's about looking at what you've done, the effort you're putting in, and the results that are happening as a result of the effort and tweaking and tweaking and tweaking. So it's effort, analysis, tweak; effort, analysis, tweak.  

That's what you have to do when you're running a business and you have to adjust what you're doing sometimes. But you have to be in it for the long run, you have to have mental stamina, you have to have physical stamina. 

And for me, one of the questions I asked is, is this what she wants to do with her life? Because for me, when I look at my business, there's nothing else I ever want to do with my life. I never want to work for anybody else. I never want to... This is what I want to do. There are no other options for me. This is my passion. 

And so if that's not the case for her, that's a whole other conversation. And I would say, well, what is your passion? Let's discuss that. Maybe this isn't necessarily the best fit for you. So lots of things to discuss and investigate. There's her mindset, there's whether or not this is aligned with her skillset and her dreams and desires. 

But there's also strategy for sure, because it seems like she's kind of just trying random things, but not really honing in on a strategy that makes sense.  

[00:10:16] Ferne Kotlyar:

That makes sense to me. So if you were to give her one last piece of advice, what would it be?  

[00:10:23] Kim Ades:

I would start off with who's my market, and am I talking to those people and am I finding them. So I would look at the strategy first and then we would talk about mindset. And then we would-- actually, what I'd start with is, is this what you really want to be doing? And then if she says, yes, then we talk about strategy and then we kind of fortify her resilience to ride out the bumps along the way. 

[00:10:46] Ferne Kotlyar:

Yeah. A lot of bumps.  

[00:10:48] Kim Ades:

A lot of bumps. But for those of you who are listening, you're maybe starting a business, maybe you're going through your own bumps along the way, lots and lots of questions to ask yourself. A lot of times people ask themselves, "what should I be doing differently?" And that's an important question because strategy is important. 

But the first thing you want to ask yourself is "how do I think about this differently? What am I thinking that isn't necessarily working?" Or "what do I believe to be true that isn't really lined up with the goal?"  

And so in the case of Jan, her belief is "this isn't working", and perhaps it is, because she's had some success in the past, she isn't just not paying attention to that. So we need to follow the trail of success and see how we can blow up the things that have worked in the past.  

[00:11:35] Ferne Kotlyar:

Make sense to me. If only it were that easy. 

[00:11:39] Kim Ades:

If only, yeah. It's not easy. You got to have a stomach for running your own business. 

[00:11:46] Ferne Kotlyar:


[00:11:48] Kim Ades:

For those of you are listening, I hope you took something away from this particular episode. If you have a challenge that you want to hear about on the podcast, please reach out to us. We'd love to get your cases. Ferne's always looking for new material to work with. So Ferne, how do we reach out to you? 

[00:12:06] Ferne Kotlyar:

Email me! So my email is And please, honestly do email me, because I will use your cases.  

[00:12:20] Kim Ades:

And if you want to reach out to me as well, please do. It's As well, please check out our website! We renovated the Frame of Mind Coaching™ website, please take a look. It's cool, it's got some new colors, a new look and feel. We'd love to hear what you think.  

And in addition to that, if you know a young person who's looking for coaching, please send them to In the meantime, we'll see you next week. Have a great week! 

[00:12:50] Ferne Kotlyar:


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