Get Inspired to Create Value in Your Business

A look at real-life operations of top businesses can motivate and inspire you!

by Chia-Li Chien | Apr. 30, 2012

It hurts more to see your own child in tears. I was heartbroken when I saw my daughter Con-Ning in tears on how disappointed she was about her SAT score earlier this year. “It was so unfair!! Many of my high school friends did better than me and I know they did not study as much as I did!” said sobbingly “and I want to re-take the SAT!” Sometimes peer pressure can be a better motivator. That being said, as parents, we just can’t tell her “life is not fair!”

TC (my husband) and I tasked Con-Ning to plan our spring break this year. It’s her first time to plan for a trip for us. She is aspiring to become a veterinary and there are only 28 veterinary schools in US. So it’s pretty easy to narrow down her choices at east coast to visit. She picked four universities to visit during spring break; she made the appointment with universities directly and provided us the itinerary. However, before we left for the spring break, she told me that we don’t need to go to University of Pennsylvania (ranked #5 out of 28 in veterinary and is an Ivy League university). Why bother, right? Well, I told Con-Ning on the contrary “Let’s go get inspired!

There are plenty of public traded businesses out there that can help other businesses get inspired too. Such as a visit to Disney, Boeing, MicroSoft, ( is the parent company), NYSE, etc. Many of the industry leaders take these opportunities to get inspired and ideas to help their business stay on top of their game.

In small – mid size privately-held businesses mostly rely on organizations such as Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO) or Women Presidents' Organization (WPO) to visit members’ businesses. Annually, you will see Ernst & Young entrepreneur award, Inc. 5000/500 Fastest Growing Companies, just to name a few to showcase successful privately-held businesses.

Discover and visualize the path.

When a man does not know which harbor he is heading for, no wind is the right wind.”
~ Seneca

The idea of campus tour is no different than visiting famous or successful public traded businesses. These inspirational visits not just to inspire entrepreneurs, instead is to help them discover and visualize their own path. That been said, most of these tours are not focus on business model in “Value Growth.”  It is entirely up to the entrepreneurs to self-discover further. Unlike most of the campus tour that is structured, they map out requirements, career opportunities; walk on campus and actual discussion with current students.  Sometimes even visit the specific department and have discussion with them. There are very few that is structured for privately-held businesses to see the “Value Growth” business model. In some cases, mentors who own/run “extreme value creation” business can help entrepreneurs discover and visualize the path. In some cases, the right business strategy advisors can help entrepreneurs discover and visualize the path. The most important thing is recognize the fact that “Value Growth” needs to be carefully map out. If you can’t see it or don’t want to see it, the “extreme value creation” won’t happen for entrepreneurs.

Follow the path with an action plan.

We cannot predict the future. But we can create it.”
~ Jim Collins & Morten T. Hansen, Great by Choice

The moment we stepped onto each of the university, Con-Ning was inspired and motivated. Her three new top 3 choices are now clearly aligned with her passion. Because she was so inspired by these universities and can visualize her in it. Now she is motivated far beyond just peer pressure or from her tiger mom.  After the visits, she prioritizes and planned a study-schedule. She can follow the path with an action plan. To retake the SAT in Oct., she is scheduled to take SAT subject tests (June), AP (May) and complete her Gold Scout Gold Award project before summer.

“Victory awaits him who has everything in order – luck people call it. Defeat is certain for him who has neglected to take the necessary precautions in time; this is called bad luck.”
~ Roald Amundsen, The South Pole

Exit is neither a bad word nor about losing your social status. It merely means re-positioning your NEXT JOURNEY®— whatever that might be. This requires fundamental business value in order to successfully and profitably exit the business regardless to whom they sell.

What if you don’t have access to EO, WPO, or any of these awards? Regardless if you visited other successful privately-held businesses or not, can you visualize your “extreme value creation” business model? Have someone help you map out the path to reward/compensate yourself with the risk you took to create/run your business?

In my BVD annual study you will see great VALUE creation privately-held businesses. Perhaps you have not taken advantage of reading these extreme value businesses. I invite you to read them at BVD annual study websites Companies like Northwest Companies, the BENHAM Companies just to name a few to inspire you and help you visualize your “extreme value creation” business.

About Chia-Li Chien

Chia-Li ChienChia-Li Chien, CFP®, CRPC, PMP; Chia-Li “like JOLLY!” She is chief strategist of Value Growth Institute dedicated to creating business value that transforms your world. Chia-Li is also a Midas Advisor to MidasNation, a community dedicated to helping private business owners increase the value of their firms.  She is the award-winning author of Show Me The Money and faculty member of American Management Association. Her blog and newsletter was named a top small business resource by the New York Times “You’re the Boss” blog. To book Chia-Li for a workshop, keynote, or strategy session, contact her at: or 704-268-9378.


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