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Get Cash Keep Control BLOG

Converting growth potential into profitable reality — with resources that keep YOU in control


Archive for June, 2008

By Stefania Aulicino

Yes you can! That is not a political statement for Obama, but a reminder of the power of passion.

As a business builder you already have all you need to build the business you really want because there is currency in your passion. Self-sufficiency for a business builder means tapping your own unique currency. When you tap the currency in your passion you become a magnet for the passion of others and that creates synergy – a force multiplier were 1+1 exceeds 10, which is how you can exceed even your own greatest corporate ambitions.

Too often entrepreneurs fall into a trap, thinking that lack of cash is their biggest obstacle to achieve their goals; in reality, the most devastating obstacle is not sharing your passion- effectively.

The problem is not every one can understand your passion. Creating a future that does not yet exist is the unique genius of the business builder. Others can’t see what you see- until you can translate it for them. You need a Corporate Resume. Like a personal resume, its short- 2 pages. But, unlike a personal resume, which only documents past accomplishments and leaves the future to the reader’s interpretation, a Corporate Resume details your company’s current distinctions PLUS your passion about the future you want. To capture your passion succinctly, a Corporate Resume uses the universal langue of business- dollars and cents: a set of financial projections based on you doing what you do best funded as if you won the lottery so all the money needed to grow is your own. The distinctions of what you do best today makes your future credible, just like your past job experience makes you a great candidate for more responsibly in the next position.

A Corporate Resume is really 2 tools: a “story” for everyone and a “confidential document” only for selected recipients. Both the story and the document work to make your future tangible enough for others to buy today. Writing your Corporate Resume in stages builds momentum by capturing your passion to create immediately usable results.

The “story” is something you –the visionary– can source directly by liberating your vision of the company you want to build. But like a fish in water, you lack objectivity. Conversely, the “document” is designed to benefit from a “team discovery meeting” in which your multi-discipline team contribute their inputs. Think of the team discovery process as analogous to the story of the 8 blind men describing an elephant – individually, the guy holding the ear vs the one holding the tail believe they are dealing with unrelated animals, but together they accurately describe an elephant which neither could accurately describe alone. Don’t underestimate the value of getting team input to finalize your Corporate Resume document. But don’t wait either.

In fact, the 2 Corporate Resume tools have different uses. Use your story immediately with everyone you interact with, customizing levels of confidentiality. Vendors don’t need to know about your customer profit margins to get excited about the growth and size of the market you address; Family and Friend investors don’t need to become industry experts to buy your execution prowess. The story alone will source all kinds of funds you might never have thought to ask for. The confidential document, however, should be shared selectively, perhaps with Angel investor candidates, only after you have verified their “shared passion” based on the story version.

When your future is bigger than your past, an updated Corporate Resume, just like a personal resume, keeps you economically self-sufficient, ensuring you always get full credit for what you deserve. Yes you can! The highest valuation is not just a good idea, it’s a confirmation you have effectively shared your passion so others can give you credit for your future today. Yes you can! Your Corporate Resume is your blue print to avoid lack of cash as an obstacle to your goals. Yes you can!

Stefania Aulicino is founder president of CapitalLInkUSA. For 20 years Stefania has helped business builders uncover the right capital for their optimum growth strategy so you get cash and keep control to build the business you really want.

By Stefania Aulicino

Passion is the business owner’s strong medicine against frustration. When you start a company you put yourself into a special league- you are an entrepreneur. When you decide to grow your company you are in even more rare company; as a business builder, you must confront the challenges of making your vision of your future a reality.

Lots of people play sports but most stay amateurs and enjoy a sport where everyone knows the game- be it golf, bridge, football etc. But when you commit to grow a company, you commit to design your own game, create your own rules, mold a team, and be your own referee- to keep score with honest evaluation of your progress against visionary goals. Pursuit of your vision gives your life more meaning and a sense of purpose. Perhaps that’s why challenges to your vision are emotionally impactful.

When you operate from a stance that your company has the potential of a really big future, it can be frustrating. Each setback is personal, palpable and quantifiable; you lose the opportunity to serve a customer; you miss a profit goal; you don’t have cash to invest in infrastructure to prepare for tomorrow.

While most entrepreneurs believe that lack of money is their biggest hurdle holding them back, let me tell you what I’ve learned as a serial entrepreneur and undercover Wall Street investment banker: the biggest hurdle for business builders is not sharing your passion.

Just like playing football, when you have possession of the ball, you control the plays and momentum works to your advantage. It’s easy for the team to be operating “in the zone”. Sure fans follow their favorite teams regularly, but attendance goes up during the playoffs, the World Series, America’s cup, Wimbledon, the Masters Tournament. Why? It’s a shared experience of winning big. It’s passion of a vision. Get people rooting for you. In business, customers and investors like to play to win too: they are attracted to passion of a vision and the opportunity to play a big game.

There is currency in your passion. When you tap the currency in your passion you will discover more funding sources than you ever imagined possible; not just investors, but non-equity sources limited only by your creativity. When you pursue your passion, your growing company represents an appreciating currency. Economic self-sufficiency for a business builder means taping the currency in your passion and sharing the FUN of why you are building your business.

Passion is the business owner’s antidote to frustration. Now that you know you can get cash to fuel your vision, what will you allow yourself to do with your passion? Entrepreneurship is a wasting asset, unless you capitalize on it NOW. And it’s FUN!

Stefania Aulicino is founder president of CapitalLInkUSA. For 20 years Stefania has helped business builders uncover the right capital for their optimum growth strategy so you get cash and keep control to build the business you really want.

By Stefania Aulicino

What is the best economy to get funding and grow your company? A robust, stable economy or an uncertain, weak economy? If you are an innovative entrepreneurial company, the time to strike is now. In today’s economy, it takes an entrepreneur to thrive.

Think about it: entrepreneurs typically build businesses based on innovations which rock the status quo.

Problem is, in good times, customer have no need to try new things. Customers are fat-dumb-and-happy. Their profits are secure and doing what was done yesterday is always more comfortable.

However, nothing shocks a customer out of their comfort zone like an unstable economic environment. At times like that, customers must search out new solutions to protect their top and bottom line, which makes them very receptive to innovations. And where demand goes, investors are sure to follow.

A classic example is the “green revolution”. As long as oil was below $50 a barrel it was hard for any innovative entrepreneurial company with energy efficiency solutions to gain traction. Marvelous innovations including electric cars, transparent photo voltaic window panes that generate energy, and energy saving light fixtures were doomed to unreceptive investor attention; it was all too easy to squander cheap oil. However, as oil now soars above $100 a barrel, the gas pump tips over $4 a gallon and oil wars loom, even the most staid customers have become receptive to new products with energy efficiency.

An unstable petroleum based economy has ushered in “Green” as the new Siren call for both corporate American and the venture capital community. Any entrepreneur that can claim a green aspect to their product or service is greeted with open arms, accelerated buying decisions and even premium prices. Supported by the wave of customer demand, investors open their pocketbooks.

This point is not just about Green innovations. The conclusion is that a rising tide lifts all boats. While you – and everyone else– can grow in good economic times, you- the innovating entrepreneur have an advantage to also grow in a weak economy. Innovation allows you to profit from change, excel under uncertainty and thrive in economic times where others can’t even survive. And that’s catnip for investors who are challenged to put their money to work in the best of times. Weak economic conditions are when your innovative company becomes more valuable so you can get the cash you need without selling your soul.

Now is the time to capitalize on your ability as an innovator to get funding to grow your entrepreneurial company and discover your power to be economically self-sufficient.

Stefania Aulicino is founder president of CapitalLInkUSA. For 20 years Stefania has helped business builders uncover the right capital for their optimum growth strategy so you get cash and keep control to build the business you really want.

By Stefania Aulicino

You, the entrepreneur, are the most advanced specs on the planet. Entrepreneurs alone have the ability to create a future that does not exist- until you make it. Yet many take this willingness to change the future for granted. If you don’t share your passion with the world about where you want to go, you don’t have an asset to sell: an unshared future is a lost asset. Confidence to share your future creates your biggest asset. When you share the future you are really passionate about it becomes an asset others can understand and even help you achieve. Your future is an asset of greater value than most entrepreneurs realize. You see, you, the business builder, are the Golden Goose. A franchise is a classic example of turning your future into an asset others (franchisees) are willing to buy. But you don’t have to franchise your business to get credit for the asset of your future.

Credibility turns this asset into your own valuable currency. The more credible your future the more valuable is your currency. The fastest way to build credibility of your future is the mosaic approach. The concept of a mosaic, applied to finance is based on the principle of divide and conquer. Divide your financial needs into small pieces, like so many flecks of color, each with their own risk-taking appetite. Conquer an ever-widening range of funding options, as each piece you put in place lowers the uncertainty and risk to the next. As you assemble those funding sources, like the Italian artisans of old Pompeii, you create your own financial solution- now that’s a valuable work of art! Best of all, with a mosaic approach, no single creditor is responsible for your success and you are hostage to none.

With your own unique currency you can finance the future you want because there is currency in your passion. But not everyone can see your future to give you all the currency in your passion: only those who share your passion. When your future is bigger than your past, you need to make your future tangible enough for others to see. You need a Corporate Resume. Unlike a personal resume which details only past accomplishments leaving the future to the reader’s interpretations, a Corporate Resume uses past accomplishments as credibility of the future you intend to create. A Corporate Resume translates your passion of that future into a language others can understand. To be succinct enough to fit in a 2 pager, a Corporate Resume translates your passion into the universal language of business- dollars and cents using a set of financial projections in which your business strategy dictates your funding strategy. A Corporate Resume converts your passion into a currency you can tap to get credit for your exciting future today. Tapping the currency in your passion makes you economically self sufficient.

Most entrepreneurs think it’s lack of money holding them back, but in reality it’s not sharing your passion that causes them to lose control, which is key to sustainable, profitable growth.

Like a personal resume, a Corporate Resume can be hard to write because you are a fish in water and it’s hard to gain objectivity. Fortunately, a Corporate Resume is 2 tools: a “story” and a “document”. Even before you complete your Corporate Resume, the experience of crafting it gives you prowess at making your future tangible enough for others to give you credit for that future today. That’s ideal because the story is for everyone, while the document contains confidential information designed for selected recipients. As soon as you begin work on your Corporate Resume you build momentum and create an immediately usable result.

When you let your business strategy dictate your funding strategy, fueled with the currency in your passion, you enter a world of abundant resources so you are in control of your own perpetual cash making machine. You become a Golden Goose. Control puts you in the ideal position to capitalize on today’s volatile and changing economy where innovation and passion are the key drivers to build value. Which future you do you really want?- – it’s your Corporate Resume When you make your future tangible enough for others to buy you have cash and control to take your company to successive levels of profitable growth, faster safer than you ever thought possible– your own sustainable engine.

Where are you in the process of converting your passion into a perpetual cash-making machine – your own Golden Goose? Don’t let this be just a fairy tale for you.

Stefania Aulicino is founder president of CapitalLInkUSA. For 20 years Stefania has helped business builders uncover the right capital for their optimum growth strategy so you get cash and keep control to build the business you really want.

By Stefania Aulicino

As an innovative Entrepreneur, you have more control over your company’s future than other businesses do in today’s economy- including the ability to access cash for growth.

Today’ economy is challenging many business owners. No, the principles of successful entrepreneurship have not changed, but the game board has:

The size of the playing field has expanded due to globalization

The rate of success, or failure has accelerated because we operate in internet time.

Taken together that has introduced a phenomenal degree of uncertainly and volatility. But there is a positive effect as well; the scope of possibilities has increased exponentionally. Today, innovation is the key driver to build value.

That puts you- the entrepreneur – with your unique skills, in the ideal position to capitalize on today’s economy—IF you are careful to distinguish between traditional growth and proactive growth. Let me define my terms: traditional growth is when you “find” a fast growing market, jump in and then just follow its trajectory. In contrast, proactive growth is when you identify a problem, innovate a solution and design your own optimizing growth strategy. Proactive growth is what differentiates entrepreneurs to investors.

Traditional growth is very risky. You find yourself coping with all kinds of risks factors imposed from the outside and beyond your control. Today’s volatile and uncertain economy makes this reactive mode of traditional growth overwhelming and exhausting. In contrast, proactive growth actually takes advantage of dynamic market changes, as fuel!! Proactive growth is built upon what YOU do best. It leverages all your natural strengths. For an innovative entrepreneur that means your biggest risk is that of opportunity lost. A sure way to lower risk of your next growth stage is to grow proactively.

Let me offer an example. I’ve always been fascinated with what I perceive to be the transformation of the sneaker industry which today we call “athletic footwear”. A couple of decades ago, no one would say that sneakers were a hot growth opportunity. In fact the other day, I saw someone wearing a flat canvass lace up shoe and thought to myself, how uncomfortable that looks.

Well, Nike made the same observation, a few decades ago. They identified the problem of comfort for people active in every day sports. Nike experimented with waffle bottom designs used by the competitive sports professional and Nike introduced cushioned, comfort “sneakers” for the consuming public. But did not stop there with one shoe for all, but one for basket ball, one for tennis, and another for jogging, etc. And Nike continued to innovate within the industry they knew well-
Not one shoe for all, but one for each.

Can you remember how much a pair of sneakers cost back in the ‘80’s? Perhaps $10 bucks. Contrast that to how much Nike’s athletic footwear cost today: over $100.

While Nike capitalized on proactive growth strategies, a brand name in the sneaker marketplace, KEDS succumbed to the risks of traditional growth and lost its dominant position.

Pursuing an ambitious proactive growth strategy was not risky for Nike because Nike knows “sport foot comfort”. Nike has been rewarded with the transformation of a market in which they remain the leader today. Even as new entrants follow, Nike just keeps innovating and profiting from their unique understanding of a market they created.

This kind of proactive growth can position your company to access a new and exponentially higher level of business performance. Let me share the 3 predicable results of proactive growth:

Exponentially higher profit from innovative energy you are already investing,

Dramatically lower risk as you accelerate revenue building upon your unique strengths

Enhanced shareholder wealth as you maintain control over your destiny in the face of a volatile economy.

This is what makes you attractive to cash.

Are you taking full advantage of your innovative entrepreneurial talents to pursue proactive growth to keep control over your company’s future?

Stefania Aulicino is founder president of CapitalLInkUSA. For 20 years Stefania has helped business builders uncover the right capital for their optimum growth strategy so you get cash and keep control to build the business you really want.