Entrepreneurs need to care for themselves before they can really take care of everyone else.
I met my mentor Rob Slee in a restaurant at the Hotel Marriott in Charlotte, n.c., around 10, purely for my next two meetings in the same location. Rob and I were discussing the importance of having the right vision when starting a business. Often, we are so busy working in the field that we forget to look at our business in terms of “what’s in it for you”.
In the book of Slee, Midas Marketing, he defines the “what’s in it for me” as a value proposition, or a solution to customers, suppliers, consultants, employees, shareholders and the local community. WIFU is the value proposition for you, the owner.
Rob and I were discussing a client of mine-let’s call her Rachel-who is a successful woman entrepreneur. But we were having a hard time finding the right woman to mentor her. Ideally, the right mentor possessed many businesses, successfully sold for profit expected and is a good match for the client. Rob has concluded the same thing at the same time and at the same time, said: “women take care of everyone else in the world but yourself!” There is a lot of WIFM (“what’s in it for me”) from a female perspective, but very little WIFU (“what’s in it for you”), the owner.
Our ValuePositioning method defines a business as having four phases-survival, growth, positioning and relevance. Each stage has a different focus and behavior. Some companies are going through the phase of growth and return to survival time. In today’s economy, some companies are in the process of survival regardless of how well they did before the recession.
Rachel has been in business for 25 years and has been named one of the 50 fastest growing companies in the United States in 2007. She has been featured in many magazines for outstanding achievements. Now the biggest problem is cash flow, for her business and personally. Because of the company’s cash flow, she plows more money from his personal savings in the business. My partner David completed a personal financial plan for her, and one of its recommendations was to sell its retail vacuum building because it was a drain of money for you personally. Lack of resources derailing his plans to build a store.
I have a completely different vision of the empty building. We discussed at length its options. One, you can keep doing the same thing-that is, to keep plowing cash into the building. Two, you can keep doing the same thing with strategic changes in its vision of global business. Three, you can sell the building as David suggested. It’s obvious that the numbers do not work in his favor.
Rachel chose to go with option number two – doing the same thing with strategic changes. Instead of selling or closing the empty building, has the potential to transform the empty building into office suites and earn extra income for herself. His current Office can move into that building upon completion. Office rent you currently pay can pay the mortgage on the building while she earns extra income.
Why did you choose this option? Finally he realized he needs to start using the “what’s in it for you.” Has to do what’s right for you and take care of herself before anyone else. The good news is that by resolving its liquidity problems, is also able to continue to take care of its employees-WIFM equation-at the same time.
Women as entrepreneurs we nurture our businesses as our children. We want the best for them. But before you get your gut on WIFM, try the WIFU before. Ultimately, you’ll get WIFU & M-”what’s in for you and me!”