Last week, I spoke on Unlocking Private Company Wealth before three audiences in New York, Philadelphia, and Las Vegas.
- Exit Planning Institute, Greater New York City Chapter
- Philadelphia Chapter of the American Society of Appraisers
- Family Business Summit of MassMutual Academy, Las Vegas
It is always great to get out on the road, because I learn so much. My two key takeaways from the trip were referrals to two resources:
- Simon Sinek’s Ted Talk, Start with Why
- The book, The 12 Week Year, by Brian Moran and Michael Linnington
Simon Sinek’s talk resonated with me because he talks about the “why” of people doing business. He says:
The goal is not to do business with everybody who needs what you have. The goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe.
Why? Because they know you understand their why.
Unlocking Private Company Wealth addresses the why behind working with clients from a valuation perspective. The value of a business, any expected distributions along the way, and the expected value of the business at the business end game of a business owner have everything to do with the ultimate success of the business end game in setting up the owner and his family for a happy, productive, fulfilling and reasonably financed rest of their lives.
Sinek’s TED Talk tells us that people buy based on their why’s, and that companies who communicate and sell based on their why’s are far more likely to succeed.
Unlocking Private Company Wealth attempts to focus on the why of the importance of business valuation. Listening to Sinek’s TED Talk is a cause for reflection on how better to focus on the why.
Brian Moran’s book, The 12 Week Year, was mentioned to me in three separate conversations during my travels last week. So I bought the Kindle version and read it on the flight to Memphis from Las Vegas. Moran’s book is the leading edge of a personal management system that is available online (for a price) and in paper form (for a much lower price). I’ve tried neither, so can’t comment. However, I can comment on some of the ideas in the book.
- “Annualized thinking” causes us to devalue time to an extent because there is always time for the year-end crunch that brings a business (or a salesperson or professional) to their year-end goals.
- The book suggests breaking the year down into four 12 week periods. The 13th week of each quarter can be used for rest, relaxation or planning.
- Planning for a 12 week year calls for looking at goals in the context of one’s longer term goals and setting a limited number of specific goals for the 12 weeks. Work is scheduled by week in order to achieve the goals by the end of the “year.” Then the process begins.
- A week in a 12 week year is like a month in a regular year. The shorter timeframe creates intense focus on goal achievement, and helps a person realize the importance of every business day and every business week. With four 12 week “year-ends” during a regular year, the normal “annual” crunch in December, say, is spread over the course of the regular year.
- The book makes a number of claims about the potential impact of implementing the 12 week year. I took those with a grain of salt to a certain extent. But I did listen to the four disciples of the method who I encountered in three conversations last week.
- One piece of advice that is not new, but I needed it again. Limit your email read/return and mindless tasks to specific times of the day and stay away otherwise. And that means texting during the business day on personal matters. The recovery time to productivity after interruptions is simply too long and too expensive.
One thing I can say for sure. After reading the book, and focusing on personal business and personal longer term goals for a portion of the long day of travel, I had the most productive Monday I’ve had in a long time, and that included speaking on a long-scheduled two hour webinar, two scheduled conference calls, and one unscheduled conference call. In the few hours left, by focusing on a few key things, I moved in the direction of my “12 week year” goals in two areas.
Tomorrow is another day, but I plan to keep these lessons in mind. And I ordered the paper version of the 12 week year to give it a try.
So I enjoyed the speaking engagements. But I enjoyed the learning opportunities the past week presented. Take a listen to Simon Sinek’s Start with Why TED Talk. It might encourage you to focus on the why’s of your customers and cause you to consider changes in the nature of the conversations you have.
And take a look at Bryan Moran’s The 12 Week Year. If you’re like me, you may need a bit of personal productivity coaching every now and then.
Feel free to comment on this post below. In the meantime, let me ask a question: How focused are you on the why of why your customers purchase your products or services?