059: Chris Thomson | Embracing Commitment over Motivation

Season 1 | Episode 56
49m | May 29, 2023

Welcome to the "Go Big to Give Big" podcast with Randy Molland and Steve Arneson! In this episode, we are talking about why motivation is not enough to achieve success with Chris Thomson. Chris is the Head Coach at Student Works Management Program in Eastern Canada. Originally a student business owner/operator, he was successful in that role and got the opportunity to take on more senior positions – VP, partner – until he purchased the business in 1993. He has a long history of helping university students develop practical skills they can use to start a business. Chris and his team recruit entrepreneurial-minded students who are taught (15+ hours each January) and coached as leaders to market, sell, recruit, and run student painting and window cleaning businesses across Eastern Canada. They have over 14,000 clients annually and are growing.


In this episode, Chris joins the show to share his inspiring journey as the head coach for the Student Works Management Program. He discusses his background in teaching, swimming, and entrepreneurship, and how he seized the opportunity to buy into the program. Chris highlights the challenges of lacking a controller or admin team and reveals two business opportunities he capitalized on. He delves into the topic of the millennial generation and their drive and commitment despite generational traits. Emphasizing his own business values, Chris believes in working hard, playing hard, having fun, and being part of a results economy. He also discusses empowering VPs, coaches, and operators by asking questions instead of providing solutions. The conversation concludes with Chris and Steve discussing the power of charitable giving, drawing inspiration from Steve's wife Helen's experience with MS.


This episode is sure to leave you feeling motivated to make a difference in your own life and in the lives of others through generosity!


[00:00 – 14:20] Discovering the Power of Your Word

·      Chris started his career in Student Works painting and eventually became the owner and head coach of the company.

·      Chris is known for his leadership skills and ability to coach young entrepreneurs to become successful business owners.

·      Chris's passion for coaching and teaching stems from his own experiences with impactful teachers and coaches during his youth.

·      Results and effort are key metrics Chris focuses on. He emphasizes the importance of being true to one's commitments and the impact of their actions.


[13:03 - 28:31] The Traits of Successful Leaders

  • Motivation doesn't work; it's commitment that drives success.
  • Authenticity is key when incorporating giving into a brand's identity.
  • Consumers prefer working with organizations that have a giving component.
  • Giving back to the community can enhance an organization's credibility and create a positive work culture.
  • Grit and a strong drive to achieve are essential qualities for long-term success in any endeavor.


[28:31 - 40:23] Embracing Visionary Thinking

  • Setting good habits and being influenced by mentors at a young age can have a significant impact on personal and professional growth.
  • Businesses are moving beyond a sole focus on making money and recognizing the importance of supporting communities, teams, and clients.
  • Personal stories of resilience and triumph, such as dealing with a diagnosis like MS, showcase the strength and determination to turn adversity into an opportunity for growth.
  • Sharing experiences and embracing visionary thinking can motivate individuals, instill empathy for others, and bring about a positive shift in the world's consciousness.


[40:23 - 46:15] Quick Questions

·      Brag one about a charity you like:

o  The Cancer Society

·      What would get you more excited? Donating a $1 million check or spending a week physically helping others:

o  Spending a week physically helping others would excite Chris more than donating a $1 million check.

·      Who inspires you with their giving?

o  Bill Gates and Warren Buffet.

·      Do you entrepreneurs should start including a giving component in their business from day one, or wait until they've seen some success and have some money in the bank:

o  Chris believes entrepreneurs should start giving from the beginning of their business, even with small amounts that can grow over time.

·      What is the first thing that you think of when you hear Go Big to Give Big:

o  Go Big to Give Big represents the belief in achieving great success to create more opportunities for giving.

·      In one word, describe the feeling you get when you give

o  Joy

·      Do you believe that money can buy you happiness?

o  Money cannot buy happiness, but it can amplify happiness by enabling generosity and supporting others.


[46:15 – 48:35] Closing Segment

·      Reach out to Chris

o  See the links below 

·      Final words


Tweetable Quotes


" Motivation doesn’t work. What works is commitment.” Chris Thomson




Connect with Chris by following him on Twitter, and LinkedIn or by checking out his webpage at





Join our Facebook Group


LIKE, SHARE, AND SUBSCRIBE! Listen to the Go Big To Give Big Podcast

on different platforms.


Apple Podcast


Amazon Music






For more information, you may visit:

Advertising Inquiries:
Audio Player Image
Go Big To Give Big