By Cindy Krischer Goodman
One of the most interesting places I went this week was the Women's Success Summit. It made me think about how I spend my time and energy and whether I'm spending it in a way that pays off. It made me realize that focusing on making money makes some people uncomfortable. At the conference, dozens of experts shared their thoughts on how to make more money as a business owner and how to spend it wisely to get more return.
Michelle VIllalobos (pictured above), founder of the Women's Success Summit, explained to the hundreds of women business owners in attendance that we must get into the money mindset. It's not that difficult to inject money moneymaking mojo into our business or career, she convincingly argues. We just need to dream big and be ambitious! We also need to figure out whether what's holding us back from making more money is a mindset, strategy or execution challenge.
If we're going to spend our time in ways that pay off, we need to know our strengths, our weaknesses and our million dollar value. (how can we create a business or restructure it to make us a million dollars?) To find your million dollar value, you need to dig deep and get away from being constrained by the hours in the day. If you're in a business where you make money by selling time, you need to think bigger and maybe even raise your prices. "Ninety percent of the time when I work with women, their pricing is too low."
Michelle was followed by Mina Shah, who told us where we are going wrong in our myths about making money.
1. Being smart doesn't guarantee success
2. Working hard is only one ingredient to achieving financial success.
3. Making a lot of money doesn't guarantee financial success.
Shah (pictured here), who previously worked for Tony Robbins, said many of us are afraid of making money or managing it. Some of us are too quick to spend the money our business earns and then they feel guilty. She urged us to replace our previous emotion about making money with a new, more positive one and to tell ourselves we deserve to make more money and take our business to the next level.
Karen Talavera of Synchronicity Marketing told us, if we want to make more money, we need to know who are customers are and where they are: "Fish where your fish are swimming," she said. She also wants us to get clear on the progression path for getting customers and moving them toward buying more and spending more with us. "You need to know after the initial purchase, what comes next."
Business coach extraordinaire, Jody Johnson, founder and owner of ActionCOACH in Coral Gables, told us to examine whether there is a disconnect between our strengths and our business model. If there is and we're not making money because of it, we need to refocus our business model or figure out our weak spots and plug them. That could mean hiring someone, creating a system for handling a process or taking a course to plug our gaps.
And, if we're going to partner in business, Jody advises we chose someone who has complementary strengths, not the same ones, a mistake many make.
There's plenty of opportunity to shout "Show Me the Money" and earn more from refocusing marketing efforts, and tweaking strategy. But, you might be surprised that you also can gain from giving away money.
Jessica Kizorek, founder of Two Parrot Productions, produces mini documentaries to help non profits market themselves and raise make money and gave this insight:
"If you're in the business of making money, authentically aligning yourself with a charitable cause can make you even more profitable," she said. "You can't just give in secret though...you have to effectively tell that story (hopefully through photos and videos) to your customer in a way that tugs on their heart strings and makes them fall in love with you."
I wasn't able to make it to the second day of the Summit, but I heard that Simone Kelly, founder of the Give N Take Network, made an awesome presentation on the art of bartering. Stay tuned because I'm going to try to track her down and interview her for a future blog post.
Workplace columnist Cindy Krischer Goodman is a provider of news and advice on how to balance work and life and the host of The Work/Life Balancing Act blog.