3 Strategies to Begin Using in 2014—and begin building value in your business!

by Chia-Li Chien | Jan. 02, 2014

Chia-Li Chien, 3 Strategies to Begin Using in 2014Who is ready for 2014? Are any of us ever really as ready as we think we could or should be or as much as we want to be? Probably not. We’re all business owners, which means we are constantly pushing our business and ourselves, are always looking toward the future, and are maybe even just a little bit competitive.

As we begin the New Year, there are three strategies I’d like to see us all put some focus on, and continue, or begin, to build value in our businesses for a successful and prosperous 2014.

Let’s start with—


When it comes to stages in your business or business cycles, there are many different theories, beliefs and concepts on which to base your own plan. But you can pretty much always count on a start-up stage and a growth stage. However, in thinking like any professional investor, a business owner should also plan for an exit stage. There should be an end in mind.

Award-winning Charlotte author Chia-Li Chien received "HONORABLE MENTION" from The 2013 New England Book Festival on Dec 23, 2013

by Chia-Li Chien | Dec. 23, 2013

Award Winning "HONORABLE MENTIONS" in the 'BUSINESS' category of the 2013 New England Book Festival.

Bert Woodard, Next Level Communications (www.nextlevelcom.net)
For Chia-Li Chien/Work Toward Reward (www.valuegrowthinstitute.com, www.chialichien.com)
336-978-0021 , bert@nextlevelcom.net


CHARLOTTE – Chia-Li Chien has earned "HONORABLE MENTION" Award for her latest book, Working Toward Reward, by 2013 New England Book Festival Awards. The 2013 New England Book Festival News announced the winners and finalists of The 2013 New England Book Festival AWARDS on Dec 23, 2013. The award celebration is held at Omni Parker House hotel in Boston, to be held on January 18, 2014.

Implementation Is Key To Equity Growth—Part 2 of 2

Exploring Agility and Little Bets

by Chia-Li Chien | Dec. 23, 2013

Implementation Is Key To Equity Growth by Chia-Li ChienIn Part 1 of this article, in which we explored the 4 Disciplines of Execution, we addressed how business goals can become too big, and over time, instead of being able to accomplishing anything, nothing is accomplished.

Remember, the key is to make goals smaller and more achievable.

But how can a business owner change and accomplish what is big in small, doable stages? Let’s explore two other areas of research that may help.

2. Agility


Agile development methodology provides opportunities to assess the direction of a project throughout the development lifecycle. This is achieved through regular cadences of work, known as sprints or iterations, at the end of which teams must present a potentially shippable product increment. (http://agilemethodology.org)

Implementation Is Key To Equity Growth—Part 1 of 2

Exploring the 4 Disciplines of Execution

by Chia-Li Chien | Dec. 16, 2013

Implementation Is Key To Equity Growth by Chia-Li ChienOver the years, I have often seen a disconnect in the goals and objectives the business owner sees for the business and what the business can actually produce. This is often because the owner, due to leadership skills and entrepreneurial spirit, is unable to focus on one important, achievable goal and instead is prone to picking up any shiny new penny that happens to appear. It’s only natural.

When that happens, in terms of time, money and effort, the return on investment (ROI) of any business may greatly decrease and the ability to grow the business in value diminishes.

Or, the goals become too big, and over time, instead of accomplishing anything, nothing is accomplished. It’s the Law of Diminishing Returns—the more you try to do, the less you actually accomplish.

The key is to make goals smaller and more achievable.

For example, if you decide you can increase revenue through the development of a new product, you must first:

•    Go through product development  (Goal #1)
•    Set small time frame and test to see if product will mature (Goal #2)
•    Launch product (Goal #3)

But how can a business owner change and accomplish what is big in small, doable stages? There are three areas of research that may help.

Building a great team is like cooking perfect rice

For best results, just let the rice cooker do its work

by Chia-Li Chien | Nov. 27, 2013

In a recent article, we discussed the Americas Cup and how the Oracle team applied energy, decreased resistance and put together the right crew in order to take home the cup. (http://chialichien.com/cal/blog/508-3-innovations-from-the-americas-cup.html)

As I got into that discussion, I realized I should expand on what it takes to create a team that can help you reach the finish and win. And that’s when I thought about one of my favorite kitchen tools, the rice cooker.

While the Oracle team was made up of the top people with their expertise from all over the world, most business owners simply don’t have access to that type of talent. And even if you do, you might not be able to afford it or be able to keep them on your team for very long due to high demand.

That means that you must:

* Start with the best talent you can afford and attract
* Begin to invest in making them what you need them to be from day one
* Give them the platform to reach their career goals and objectives within your company

When I make rice, I start with the best rice I can find for the purpose I need it for. Sticky rice for some recipes, basmati rice for others. But I make sure I have the right rice for the desired end results.

Choose carefully, then rinse

I worked with a client recently who had no official Project Manager, but I felt they could really benefit from someone in that position. I recommended we begin project management training with twenty or so people already in the company.

3 Innovations from the Americas Cup

Apply what the Oracle Team has learned to your business

by Chia-Li Chien | Nov. 27, 2013

Recently, while watching an episode of Nova on “making stuff faster” on PBS, my ears perked up when I heard the narrator say, “Civilization was built on the human drive to invent.”

This comment helped answer a question I’ve always had: “How did anyone ever know about the need to invent fire?”

It was human drive, curiosity and innovation. That’s all—and that’s everything.

The narrator went on to surmise that the need for speed drives innovation. Hmmm. What do you think about that? It’s certainly a faster world than it was even just a decade ago. And for the most part, that speed has benefited our lifestyles and business. My husband gets annoyed with me when I’m sure a website is “broken” when it doesn’t respond in a nano-second. The need for speed creates the desire for speed creates the expectation for speed.


Still, what about innovation?

The process of innovation can be long. What seems to be a sudden, a-ha moment has most likely, in fact, been the result of months or years of research, teamwork, creative process and blood, sweat and tears. The Americas Cup Oracle Team is a great example of this.

5 Things To Know And Do To Increase Your Business Value

Add These Action Items To Your Daily Routine

by Chia-Li Chien | Nov. 10, 2013

Chia-Li Chien, Increase Your Business ValueI’ve grown to really dislike the word “diet.” It implies that I’m going to have to give something up. That I will have to stop doing something. That there could be suffering and disillusionment.

Okay, maybe that’s a bit dramatic, but I’ve decided for myself that perhaps adding to my day what it takes to make myself eat healthier and develop better habits for a lifetime, is the way to go for me. The philosophy is that by adding in behaviors and choices that are better for me than say, a fast food burger, I won’t want the fast food burger because I’m already filled up on things that are healthy.

Likewise, I may forgo stopping for a Frappuccino or a pre-dinner adult beverage and replace it instead with a trip to the gym or taking a class I enjoy. Then, I don’t have time to indulge in a high-calorie way to spend some time, because I’m already spending that time burning calories instead. You get the idea.

It may be the way for your business to go, too. Do you tire of all the experts and pundits telling you what to avoid, what to stop doing, and what you’re doing wrong? We all want things we can do—positive actions and ideas we can add to our business day.

And with that in mind, today I wanted to give you five action items you can start adding to your routine to increase your business value, reducing time wasted on activities that do nothing to grow your business. These activities can replace what doesn’t work and become a part of an overall more effective way to approach your every day life in business.