Get motivated, get inspired, and get your reward!
The journey to getting what you want from your business.
by Chia-Li Chien | Apr. 04, 2013
I’ve always believed that “English was my second language!” For years and even through my corp. executive career; I used that as an excuse to avoid presenting in front of people. You see I was born and raised in Taipei, Taiwan. I came to the U.S. at the age of 21 and did not start learning English as the way I would have to communicate until then. Because of my determination to master English, when a close friend of mine in Taipei recently asked if I could translate my books to Chinese, I came to the sudden realization that I am now totally WESTERNIZED.
Well, you can judge for yourself if I’m truly westernized. I really came here to talk about you, and your business and whether or not you are building business equity value.
Are you creating the value in your business needed to make financial independence a reality?
Is owning and operating a successful business a skill that can be learned or trained?
Well, I think so! I have created Work Toward Reward; a look at business success stories designed to help businesses make effective decisions in creating value in their businesses.
Let’s start with Victor Zhang, who, while an engineer at FoxConn at 24 years old, one day said to himself; “I CAN DO BETTER!” You see, he saw the massive market opportunities in electronic connectors and launched his business, TSP in 1999. Today, TSP employs well over 600 employees globally and has three manufacturing plants in China. Victor insists that his company is in the PEOPLE business. He told me, “Building and maintaining a TRUST relationship is in everything we do. MY EMPLOYEES ARE MY FAMILY,” he says.
In Work Toward Reward, I’ve sought to illustrate how numbers don’t drive business performance ALONE—IT’S THE PEOPLE!
So now, let me ask you this—Do you have an aligned mission statement? Are you thinking in terms of your business mission statement?
Take a minute right now to jot down, your mission statement or statements. In the meantime, I’d like to tell you about Tim Flanagan. Early in his career, Tim developed an aligned personal and business mission statement.
To help people become leaders and achieve the success they desire.
Today, Tim Flanagan’s company, H.F. Financial, ranks in the top three largest area financial planning firms of 2011 in Charlotte. What was the magic in Tim’s aligned mission statement? Tim’s father let him chart his own course and come to the realization on his own that the business acts as the vehicle that allows him to grow in his personal and business mission statement. Here are three valuable pieces of advice Tim offers every entrepreneur —
1. Invest in the right path and stay on that path
2. Expect and live in six core values: Integrity, Conviction, Accountability, Service to Others, Professionalism and Growth
3. Focus on only what’s important in values, goals and aspirations
Okay, so, what’s your mission statement? How aligned is your mission statement to your personal life and business? If you are still stumped by what your mission statement should be, I think you’ll be inspired by the stories of featured businesses in Work Toward Reward. In the meantime, I want to share with you one more business.
How many of you are sushi lovers? Even if you aren’t a fan, you have probably noticed the beautiful assortments and packaging at sushi bars—and even in your upscale grocery story. Which leads us to our next business success story.
When Philip Maung was an 8-year-old boy, he worked at his parents' fried pork belly business in Burma (the largest country by geographical area in mainland Southeast Asia; now known as Myanmar).
Philip is now CEO of Hissho Sushi. Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, Hissho Sushi is a food service and distribution company —named for four consecutive years by Inc. 5000 as a fastest growing company in the U.S. They have now close to 500 locations in 31 states and employ well over 200 contractors/employees. Company partners include Dean & DeLuca, Carolinas Medical Center and Charlotte/Douglas International Airport. Philip and his wife, Kristina, started Hissho Sushi from their dining room in 1998.
Philip’s passion is to inspire people to improve their lifestyle, and his mission is to make his company a fun place to work for his more than 200 employees. "HAPPINESS is not all about the money," Philip says. He is what I call a Business Architect. Through years of working with business owners, I’ve come to the conclusion there are three categories of entrepreneurs: Technician, Manager and Business Architect:
Technician—Your business provides you a salary of less than $100,000 a year. (Please make a note here; I said “salary” not “revenue.”)
Manager—Typically, you’ve managed to create a lifestyle in which the business provides you a salary of around $250,000 a year.
Business Architect —Business provides an annual salary of greater than $250,000 for the owner/architect, and there is usually also a minimum of three to five times of business equity value back to the owner when you become the Architect of your business.
The keys of Philip’s success are:
1) Having the right platform
2) Focusing on the best customer service a company can offer and
3) Taking care of his employees/associates.
These three keys create consistent sustainability for Hisso Sushi. So allow yourself to think BIG on developing the right platform to substantially increase the equity value of your business—just like Philip. Over the years, I have worked with and observed many successful businesses, like the few we’ve just talked about, and have determined that certain mission critical activities are crucial to reaching their objectives. By focusing on those objectives, these business owners created equity value in their businesses and for themselves.
I identified a total of 23 Mission Critical Activities (MCAs) for my Annual BVD study (By the way you can find that in the chart on Chapter 3 of Work Toward Reward.) Still wondering where to start? The study revealed these three areas that are most important to business owners: 1) Increase Ability 2) Increase Challenge and 3) Increase Drive.
1) Increase Ability –
My study indicated that more than 50% of participants need more training or information in order to be able to create value in their business.
To increase ability, business owners or entrepreneurs must:
• Simplify business operations
• Seek resources for completing the MCAs
• Work with a mentor or advisor to gain more insights about MCAs
2) Increase Challenge
The Business Value Drivers study, in reference to Mission Critical Activities, also indicated that more than 50% of participants need more challenge to enable them to create value in their business.
To increase challenge, business owners or entrepreneurs should:
• Redefine their mission and vision.
• Approach things differently such as creating a new customer base, packaging new products or services, or even considering a new geographic expansion.
• Re-ignite the fire you had when you first began the business.
3) Increase Drive
My business drivers study also indicated that more than 50% of participants need more drive in order for them to create value in their business.
To increase drive, business owners or entrepreneurs must:
• Revisit and realign passion. Drive is about passion. It is the internal force that moves us forward.
• Increase risks. There is no business growth unless the owner takes some risks.
• Build up your people.
With the foundation we’ve just outlined, along with proper discipline, accountability and structure, any business owner can build the equity value you deserve from your business — and achieve those core objectives of making more money and gaining financial independence.
Today, I’ve shared the success stories of several business owners, and in my book I go into much more detail in order to fully illustrate WHAT DRIVES them and WHAT FACTORS led them to building their business equity value.
And remember to pick up your copy of Work Toward Reward now—which I will be happy to sign— and then read the entire book. I believe it will inspire and re-energize you to step, back, take an objective look at your business, make a plan, and begin to WORK TOWARD REWARD. I can’t wait to hear YOUR success story very soon!
About Chia-Li Chien
Chia-Li Chien, CFP®, CRPC, PMP; Chia-Li “like JOLLY,” Succession Strategist of Value Growth Institute, dedicated to helping private business owners increase their company equity value. She is the award-winning author of the books Show Me The Money and Work toward Reward and a faculty 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. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or (704) 268-9378 .