One of the benefits of visiting in LA is getting to hang with Corey Whitaker. Corey started off as my personal assistant (gofer kinda dude) around 7 years ago. He was just a (very mature) teenager back then, recommended by his then girlfriend (now wife) Anna Whitaker, who had been my Mary Poppins for a couple of years.
Today, Anna and Corey are the founders of Evolved Finance and manage ALL of my company financials, my personal finances and the finances of several well known business owners in our online industry.
They’ve been through it all with me — making millions, giving it all up, filing bankruptcy and re-building it all from nothing back to WAY better than before.
Corey and I were just chatting about the impact that a great financial team makes on a business owner’s life.
I didn’t realize it back in 2006, 2007 and 2008 when I first started making serious money, I wanted to pay as little as possible for financial management and dealing with what I considered to be “legal technicalities and red tape.”
It was just something I had to do, but didn’t see how it could actually help me in my life or business. It was an expense. I avoided it as much as I could. Tried to pay as little as possible and give it as little as possible of my time and energy.
That was a costly mistake.
Millions lost. Conflicts, lawsuits and heartache that could have been avoided.
And the worst part is that I see it happening again and again and again behind the scenes of the businesses of the top marketers and sales trainers you know.
Yes, I said marketers and sales trainers. (I thought about saying business owners, but the truth is it’s the marketers and sales trainers who tend to have these problems right before they are about to uplevel to actual, real business owner or CEO. I’ve been there myself, I was stuck in Business Level 2 – enterprising entrepreneur trying to leap to empire builder for years – so I can say this from experience, not just theory.)
Marketing and sales are crucial parts of business. Without a way to make sure people know about what you offer and they buy what you create, your business won’t be in business.
But once you’ve got the bare minimum of that down and people start to know of you and buy what you offer, you must move from the marketing director or head of sales of your company into the role of CEO. You do this by getting serious about your financials (and your legal.)
You invest in great financial and legal management for your business unless you are happy to be in a constant cycle of losing what you’ve created and then wondering what happened when things were going so well.
I’ve been hearing lately from various entrepreneurial women (all marketers or sales trainers who are in the process of upleveling from Enterprising Entrepreneur to Empire Builder and from marketeer to CEO) who are coming to me after the shit has hit the fan in their respective businesses
- one lost $900,000 (not a typo),
- another is getting sued by a former “independent contractor” claiming to be an employee,
- another had her intellectual property stolen by a former team member,
- another has had a client mutiny on her hands, and
- and there are more …
in every case it’s because she didn’t have her financial and legal shit handled. Even though she thought she did.
That’s part of what Corey and I were talking about. There’s a massive lack of knowledge out there about what it really takes to run a business, especially when it comes to finances.
Investing in the financial management of your business immediately uplevels you and your work and makes your business sustainable. It’s the barrier most people never breakthrough and I’d bet it’s the #1 reason small businesses (who already have products and people who know of them) go out of business.
Here’s a good place to start:
Instead of asking “How can I spend the least possible on managing my financials and getting my legal details handled?”
Ask … “What is the most I can I invest to have the highest caliber and quality of financial and legal management in my business such that I am able to make better decisions that make me more money, close more deals more quickly and easily, and capitalize on more opportunities?”
I’d love to hear about your perspective on financial and legal systems. Do you think it’s just over your head? You don’t really need them? You are too small? It’s only for … Or, do you feel like you’ve got it handled? How do you know? What is your process?
If there’s interest, I can lay out the bare minimum of financial management and legal systems needed for the three different business levels — True Sole, Enterprising Entrepreneur and Empire Builder. Let me know if you want that.