It’s Not Personal, It’s Just Business!


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It’s not personal, it’s just business.
Really? I’m not buying it for one second.  Never have and never will.

I started Moxie Trades in 2006.  In 2008, I appeared on Dragons’ Den.  In 2009, I totally lost who I was.  I won retailers, lost retailers.  Won business partners, lost business partners.  Hired staff, fired staff.  Lost money and lost money. Obviously, I struggled and survived Moxie Trades as I’m still ticking away in my Moxie footwear world.

At the time, Trump’s opening line on the Apprentice was “it’s not personal, it’s just business.” Huh?

As an entrepreneur, if it’s not personal, what is it?  I have cried, thrown temper tantrums and been emotionally depleted. Financially… my personal finances took big hits as we re-mortgaged our home AGAIN.  I hired staff that were cheap and incompetent as I could not afford to hire the best.  I feared taking someone away from a stable job to join my shaky start-up.  As a result of an unskilled team, the 250 hours of staffing I paid for every week was a waste.  I would get up at 4am, go into the office or work from home, then off to meetings, have dinner with my family and back to the office until 1 or 2am to finish up the work that my team was not able to complete.  I tried to coach and created system after system to catch mistakes but I failed miserably. I could never understand how I could get it done and they couldn’t.  To this day, I feel like I was robbed of money and time.

Personally, my life was on the brink of complete deterioration.  I don’t know how we hung on; it must be love.

I gained an education; it’s been expensive but I have experience that I am grateful for.

I have traveled the world; China, Germany, France, England, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Bali, Singapore, Thailand, Hawaii and many other states in the USA.  I know Canada from coast to coast and love every city in our awesome country.  I worked with a Federal Minister in 2014 and enjoyed another tour across Canada this fall with StartUp Canada.

Today, I am in Sosua, Dominican Republic.  I get up early before my babies and my husband.  I wake up, hearing the ocean waves hitting our beach that is steps away.  I make my morning coffee and work away on the veranda.  This week is about planning and writing.

Screen Shot 2015-12-28 at 9.16.32 AMIt couldn’t be more personal than this.  My business has afforded me the opportunity to travel the world, fail big, live wholeheartedly, meet the best people on the planet and work from the beach.  It’s pretty personal.  I believe that if it’s not personal, then you won’t be able to stick through it.  The privileges of entrepreneurship are gifted to those who have made it personal and stayed in the game long enough.

For the next 12 weeks, I will be sharing my insights and my recommendations to get you into a place of personal success. My tricks and tips for starting up and staying up, happy and peacefully.

 Hope you join me.

New Canadians are coming….

My note to the team of people who helped provide boots for the Syrian Refugees coming to Canada.
“I wanted to send everyone a note to say Thank-you.  You all dropped everything and prioritized these orders so that we get to say that we were a small part of something significant.
I was greeted into Tootsies stores by a team members that said, we got a note that “you could take whatever you wanted.”  A girl’s dream walking into a shoe store!
TTG, my distributor who keeps me in business, hustled to pick orders and pack ’em but I knew you would because you are totally awesome.
Neil Melnick expedited inventory lists and had people driving to ship orders within minutes so that we could complete the orders.  Neil also ran from store to store and called other suppliers so we had access to more inventory when and if we get that big order for the rest of the refugees that are coming home to Canada.
Late Wednesday, we received a note that we were short 22 pairs so back to TTG I went yesterday morning.  My daughter and her friend said they were coming with me, they are both 10.  What a great lesson on compassion and being Canadian that we were able to teach them.  And now, they will always remember “When the Syrians came and the 4am drive to deliver boots for them.”  Sara’s Mom also pointed out that two business women are working hard and together to make this happen.  So… The girls now have a business plan and want to give all their money to charity.  (I pointed out that money is good and we need to make profit first.)  However, all in all – amazing lessons learned by 2 inspired and tired kids.
Jody, thank you for calling me.  I am so blessed to know “the woman the government calls when 25,000 refugees are coming to Canada.”  Thank you
We all know, we are in business to make money but not many get to experience these magical moments.  These moments are not lost on me and are in fact, my driving force but you all probably knew that already.
Thank you everyone for staying with me and supporting me.  I totally get to enjoy the perks and privileges of being an entrepreneur and staying in the game long enough to enjoy the good stuff.
I am really grateful!!
Thank you and Happy Friday!”

The Elephant In The Room

Being a social responsible business ownerLiterally, I have this beautiful painting of an elephant. As many events in my life the day this elephant came into my life was significant.

One of the groups I have connected with is Ladies Who Lunch Ottawa (LWL.) It’s for super-connectors, philanthropists and women in business. One of the posts that flew through by LWL newsfeed one day was about Bob Parsons; CEO, Founder of GoDaddy. He went on a $50,000 expedition to Africa. The report highlighted how he helped a community by murdering an elephant who was visiting nightly with his family and eating the crops. Hero Bob thought his good deed would include night vision goggles, guns and a plan of attack. Hero Bob killed the elephant and a community of people became savages and ripped the dead carcass apart. Continue reading

Startup Canada Podcast Show – Finding Your Moxie with Marissa McTasney


“Dream big, think the impossible, love passionately, and give generously.”

Below is what Start Up Canada wrote about an upcoming podcast I did with them that is being released today ( Sept. 29th, 2015).

“Dream big, think the impossible, love passionately, and give generously.” This is the mantra Marissa McTasney created for herself. When McTasney started Moxie Trades, she didn’t have the skills, knowledge, experience or even a mentor. All she had was an opportunity. She dove in head-first, quickly landing a big contract with Home Depot and made a deal with Brett Wilson from Dragons’ Den. Now Moxie Trades is a successful handy-women apparel line that can be found in large retail stores across North America. Continue reading

Suck It Up Buttercup… OR Not!

Suck it up Buttercup… or not?

Yep… that’s the advice I’m given all the time.
You are busy – so what!
You have a family – so what!
You are running a company – so what!
You have bills to pay – so what!
All of these comments end with an exclamation mark, not a question. But it’s the question mark that really matters.

I have found that over the years, there have been many sleepless nights, 4am wake-ups with a pounding heart and a stomach that aches with anxiety. I’m a hustler. I love working. I love being an entrepreneur. I will always be busy and productive. However the price for my Type A personality is that it can be overwhelming at times. That alone has been my biggest challenge and struggle as a lone entrepreneur. Continue reading

The Privilege is Yours…

How to become a good team leader. LeadershipThe privilege is yours…leadership

There are leadership blogs and posts – Top # of Traits of a Successful Leader and Leaders do these # of things every day.  In researching this blog, I even found this one: Top 100 Leadership and Influence Blogs. (seriously?)  The ego reads these and goes… OK, I’m good – yep, got that one… OK, yep, I’m in the 5am club; OK yep, I’m a good listener,  OK yep, I’m brave… Ego says, booya – I am a leader.  

Hold up chief, not so fast! Continue reading

I Don’t Care About Your Emotions.


The reality for me is that I want acceptance and validation.  Is that the same for you?  I really do wonder.  At Moxie… the only thing that has kept me going is the gratitude and praise that I receive from our Moxie fans.  I continue to be overwhelmed with gratitude when women send me photos of themselves wearing my work boots or showing me the shoe box with the boots still inside.   I dreamed about that moment.  We have really pretty tissue paper and round hang tags. Continue reading


It occurred to me the other day in a heated debate… I am not the customer. When I started the business with the Original Pink Work Boot, it took me five months to develop the concept that included a men’s work boot that was pink, a pink tool belt, safety glasses and hard hat. We had combo packs; pink, blue, green, red, tan and black. That’s a total of five months to source what would launch Moxie Trades. Within four months of my presentation to Home Depot, I had a website, 1-800, logo in for trademark registration and products distributed through Home Depot.

Continue reading

Know More About The Most Adored Business Woman in Canada

Who encouraged and supported her and their support finally paid off. With the crucial support of her well-wishers and her hard slog, she finally lived her dream by creating Pink Womens Steel Toe Work Boots

Welcome to, the official website and blog of Marissa McTasney. The founder and Chief Work Boot Wearer of Moxie Trades Ltd, Marissa McTasney is renowned for creating the original Pink Work Boot especially for women. Apart from being a dedicated wife and a mother, Marissa is the most adored and appreciated businesswomen in Canada who has given her everything to establish Moxie Trades Ltd.
Marissa McTasney started the trend of Pink Womens Safety Boots Canada and now it has become the first choice of every daring and hardworking women all across the US and Canada. She wanted something different from that of traditional men work boots and thus, she came up with a brilliant idea of pink work boots that could keep women safe and sound on the inside and out yet looked girly. Continue reading

Part 3: The Inner Tutu and The Boycott!

Part 3 – The Inner Tutu and The Boycott!

This blog is part three of my inner tutu wholehearted living story…. In retrospect, the boycott has become an honour. It has sparked a fire in me that has reminded me of who I am and that I will fight for that right to live wholeheartedly for all the things I stand for. More importantly for all the lessons I want to teach my children.

As Robin Sharma has shared in his teachings.. “critics don’t come out to play when you are doing average work, they come out when you are approaching mastery and doing great work”
So I know the older I get, the bolder I get, the louder I get, the more criticism I will face – but then that’s how I’ll know I’m achieving something magnificent.

Recently I watched this Brene Brown video on “Why the critics aren’t the ones who count” – Watch this!

The boycott started about questions about photo of women in construction. The conversation very quickly became about pink and some ridiculous woman who wears a tutu in pink work boots. It included women questioning this chick’s skill in the trades. It included women attacking a successful woman – a construction worker from Saskatchewan. Criticism on steroids.

My main concern became, wow with all the good that I aim for and the intent in my daily actions, isn’t there a better cause to fight? And if you read some of the emails, I’m blessed to receive, you might feel like a putz.

The truth is I wanted work boots that fit and were pink. Plain and simple. I thought that if I looked like myself, we could all get over the fact that I was a woman in the room with hammer, then we could get to work. And yes, I can build shit, did receive a scholarship from my women in skilled trades program but more importantly I built a magical Harry Potter dressing room for my daughter, a train table for my son and a family room in my basement that my best friends and family enjoy till 4:30am on party nights.

Despite the very few critics, there are way, way, WAY huge amounts of women and men who encourage me. Beyond my wildest dreams, women email me photos of themselves in our footwear, they tell me stories about how I gave them the courage to follow their dreams, whether it’s with a hammer, ipad or blender. This gift is invaluable and I’m full of gratitude that women have taken the time to share their stories with me. I am daily filled with tears of gratitude – quite honestly I wonder if I’ve already achieved the goals that are important and can’t imagine what else there is. (but then I find another dream and another idea)

I have re-mortgaged my home, sacrificed time away from my family, faced the dragons and lost my ego the day I put on that pink dress with pink work boots. Many women have worn their husbands work boots for an entire career. Women have told me what they need, want, love and hate. Isn’t that the wonderful thing about women, they are fearlessly opinionated and their desires are endless.

Thanks to Andrea Gordon from the Toronto Star for “getting it” and sharing it with the thousands of readers who frequent the business section. I’ve never been stronger in my mind, heart and soul since I owned my true wholehearted self. I am a woman, a wife, brilliant, strong and I can build S#!t! And for those that hate pink, I will share, I’m not a big fan of green – it’s really not in my colour wheel, I’m never green with envy and although it’s the colour of money – Canadian money comes in many colours so big freak’n deal – still not a fan of green.

One woman stated that she wears mens’ work boots to blend in. We’ve sold thousands of pink work boots, not one thousand or two thousand – we’re in the tens…. I was disheartened that the very women I’m working to keep safe and happy on the inside were criticizing me for doing so. I would never criticize how anyone earns a living. If “blending” in helps one cope – I support that too. It is tough out there and I don’t take it lightly but I also won’t whisper. I will scream, shout and kick in my pink work boots that I am here until you see me. And that is where the difference is made. Progress is not made with whispers, it is made with roars.

So I am honoured to have been boycotted for the colour pink, dancing in my tutu with my daughter and showing my children how to find their own moxie. Moxie is the ability to face fear with spirit and courage. Women are miraculous, I intend to celebrate it! We can make humans, swing a hammer, lead a team, run a board meeting or bake a cake. If you don’t think that’s something to celebrate, you are not living and you really need to find your own moxie… I dare you!

If you missed Part 1 and Part 2, click on the links.