Reward Yourself for Your Risk—Work Toward Reward!

A look at what it takes to build value in a business.

by Chia-Li Chien | Oct. 10, 2012


Chia-Li Chien, Work toward RewardWhen speaking to a room of hundreds of owners, I often ask them, “What are the three major factors impacting privately-held businesses?” Here are some of the most popular answers: Enough capital to expand; customer retention; innovation of products/services; the right employees/team; the right economy; and more answers. These are all important factors, however, the correct answer is: Timing, Timing and Timing. You see, the goal for any owner is simple—to be able to cash out anytime profitably.

Many owners are confused about using the terms exit or cash out or ROI when speaking of retirement. Ninety-five percent of owners tell me that they believe to exit or cash out means retirement. Do you think Mark Zuckerberg (CEO of Facebook) is going to retire any time soon after successfully cashing out Facebook through the IPO earlier 2012? If you said, “No,” you are right.

Many owners end up waiting until their exit is triggered by the five major exit triggers before even thinking about or planning their exit or cashing out. Unless you build your business with the intention to create equity value, you may or may not be rewarded for the RISK you took to start and operate your company over the years.

As the owner, you deserve to know what makes a business valuable from the investors’ or buyers’ perspectives, considering that huge risk you have taken. By learning about and applying the three major categories of mission critical activities explored in my newest book, Work Toward Reward, you can begin to build business equity value. That’s right. You must decided to work toward reward—the reward that equitably compensates the risk you’ve taken!

When I wrote my first award-winning book, Show Me The Money—Run Your Business like a Prosperous Investor in 2009, I uncovered many statistics about privately-held business revenue, industry, growth rate, etc. However, there was very limited information about privately-held business owner financial behaviors. The financial behaviors I talk about in detail in Work Toward Reward refer to the mission critical activities owners intuitively conduct in their business with or without any external guidance.

These mission critical activities help many successful owners create equity value in their company, allowing them to be in the best position to have the option to cash out their business anytime—regardless of external environment changes such as economic conditions, competition or industry. 

Our study shows that 67% of owners are in business because they want to make more money and become financially independent. Their company success mostly comes from their passion and their ability to leverage the right set of mission critical activities. Yet many owners, especially women owners, tell me that they are not in business to become the next Mark Zuckerberg (CEO of Facebook). However, our study shows 80% of owners need to and want to know more about how to convert the value of their company into cash

Through two years of studies with hundreds of owners, the data collected through the assessment of these twenty-three mission critical activities indicated that owners are missing a huge opportunity in their companies—an opportunity to create owner’s equity value that can sustain financial independence in the long run. That data is at the center of Work Toward Reward.

Find out more about my new book, Work Toward Reward with a <sneak peek of my cover jacket below.>

For a sample chapter, go to your Kindle, iBook or Amazon account and download the first chapter for free, then enjoy the entire book digitally for just $9.99. Order the printed version below.

Chia-Li Chien, Work Toward Reward
When you’re finished, make sure you have something to show for your efforts.

In Work Toward Reward, Chia-Li Chien, Succession Strategist at Value Growth Institute and award-winning author of Show Me the Money, presents the results of her Business Value Drivers Study. This two-year study reveals challenges business owners face and the Mission Critical Activities crucial to building a business in value.
Chia-Li Chien Chia-Li invited business owners to participate in the study, answering questions such as:
$ Why are you in business?
$ What have you created from your business (job, lifestyle, 3x to 5x value)?
$ What gets you going in the morning?
$ What keeps you up at night?
$ What are the most common problems in your industry?
Chia-Li Chien, CFP®, PMP; Chia-Li “like JOLLY!” Succession Strategies for Women Entrepreneurs. Using examples of business owners she interviewed in the study, she illustrates the successes and challenges of their businesses to inspire and motivate us to focus on value creation through Mission Critical Activities—and how those activities can transform not only a business, but communities and even our world as well.
Chia-Li Chien, Barnes &amp; Noble, Work toward Reward Chia-Li Chien, Work Toward Reward, Amazon
Chia-Li Chien, Work Toward Reward, Kindle
Work Toward Reward helps you start building your business in value, and when you are ready, cash out with the reward you deserve after the risks you’ve taken and the years you’ve spent!

(In praise of Show Me the Money) “With empowering advice for understanding true business value, attaining financial independence and knowing when to quit, Show Me the Money is a fine guide to making a profit.”

John Burroughs, Midwest Book Review, Oregon, WI

About Chia-Li Chien

Chia-Li Chien

Chia-Li Chien, CFP®, CRPC, PMP; Chia-Li “like JOLLY,” succession strategist for women entrepreneurs, award-Winning author and speaker. She is Chief Strategist of Value Growth Institute, dedicated to helping private business owners increase the equity value of their firms. She is the award-winning author of the books Show Me The Money and Work toward Reward and a faculty member of the American Management Association. Her blog and newsletter was named a Top Small Business Resource by the New York Times You’re the Boss blog.


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