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Finding Our True Calling in Business with Minimal Risk

Every business owner wants to improve cash flow and profitability. But many of us don’t know where to start or what to do. Often, we don’t know if the decisions we’re making are helping or hurting. We don’t know which levers we need to pull to improve profitability. It shouldn’t be so hard to run a business that has a strong financial future. 

In today’s uncertain economy, it’s more important than ever for business leaders to make the right bets. But how do you de-risk your decisions and ensure that you’re making the best choices for your company? 

I’ve concluded that starting a business and running it for 15 years is like one big experiment.   

I started in the middle of the Great Recession and wanted to help business owners become better financial managers. My past banking clients told me that I listen well and helped them remain calm. I also love to teach/coach. There was a banking crisis and my start was helping businesses negotiate their way out of the bad part of the bank and find financing.  

I then found that those that I was successful with asked me to help them with a monthly financial review of their business. Finally, about 3 years ago, those business owners I’ve coached started to ask me about helping them plan their business exit which led to business exit planning. Looking back, I think I’ve learned two important points to be successful:

  1. Fire bullets, then fire cannonballs. This means starting with small, low-risk experiments to test your ideas. Once you’ve validated your concept, you can then go all in with a larger investment. This approach helps you to avoid making costly mistakes and gives you time to course-correct if needed.

    I believe my bullets which became cannonballs were profitability coaching and then exit planning. The scope of work has increased, and my average revenue per client has increased over time. 
  1. Find your true calling. This means understanding what you’re truly passionate about and what you’re best at. Start/run a business with those components. Once you know this, you can focus your resources on activities that are most likely to lead to success.

    Because my desire was to leave a legacy of making business owners better financial managers, this meant we take time to understand the accounting in their financial statements, what those financial statement trends were telling us, and what course of action we need to take. I love to coach and live for those “light bulb” moments when financial confusion becomes financial clarity. The opportunity to listen to business owners share their stories of where they are and where they want to go helped me find my true calling and gives my life purpose and meaning. 

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