Hello everyone! Glad to have you here for episode #6! Today I talk about my key takeouts from interviewing Claire Wivell Plater on the TV show this week. We talked about the power of partnerships as well as looking at JVs and raising capital…
Takeaway #1 – Divide and Conquer
This may be great in battle but is not so much in business! When the business environment is too competitive, achievement is not recognised very well and teamwork just does not happen. Individuals strive for their own targets and the workplace can become cut-throat and unpleasant. Food for thought is that businesses adopting an attitude of collaboration are seeing great results!
Takeaway #2 – Diamond Hunting
Opportunity can come at unexpected times! Often there is a gap in the market during tough times or when people are running away from starting businesses.
Takeaway #3 – Bootstrap!
If you can knuckle down and bootstrap a start-up, you don’t need to involve investors and the decision-making is all yours. If you will need to raise capital, be stingy! It’s your business. If you can hold off until you have a more mature business, your investors will expect less of the pie. The other thing is to make sure you are bringing on more than just money with investors – look for those who bring a way to drive the business forward.
Speaker 1: Want to know what successful people are doing with their money to create wealth and use it consciously for the greater good? Welcome back to Wealth Unplugged, the weekly podcast that gives you diamond tips on creating conscious wealth from changemakers, world shakers and wealth creators. Now, here’s your host, Barbara Turley.
Barbara Turley: Hi, everyone and welcome back to the show this week. I hope you all had a great week and are starting to get into the groove with listening to this awesome plugged podcast. My aim so to make it nice and short with the quick key tips I’ve picked up from my guests on the Feminine Wealth TV show so that you can easily fit it into your day while you’re cooking dinner, or even on your way to the supermarket, or after you’ve dropped the kids to school. It’s usually 10 or 15 minutes long so you can just pop your earphones in and get your tips really quickly.
To get things kicked off, I want to tell you about what a great week I’ve had this week. It took me a while to figure out what was really going right for me this week. I managed to isolate a very simple key thing that made it so productive for me, so simple I’m embarrassed to admit. I cleaned my desk. Yes, last weekend, I actually cleaned my desk. I have this habit of allowing paper, and filing, and all that jazz to build up on my desk, not to mention Post-it notes, and random photos that I want to put on the wall, and to-do lists. It all gets to the point where I’m totally overwhelmed and then I just can’t do anything. I feel quite down on myself.
I wouldn’t mind but I’m also a massive user of all those online productivity tools and I’ve got everything synced with my iPhone, and project management tools for everything. All these things, they’re supposed to make life a lot easier and it does. For some reason, I always get a few days where it all goes to pot. The Post-it notes start again and everything just spreads like lava all over my desk. Then I’m just in total overwhelm. I know lots of you will be resonating right now and wondering why do we do we do that. It was out with the filing cabinet, dustbin and the Windex earlier on this week, and it’s all back to normal again so we can all have a collective sigh of relief.
Speaking of cleaning of loose ends in your business and in your life, I had the pleasure of having a woman called Claire Wivell Plater from The Fold Legal here in Sydney on the Feminine Wealth TV show this week. It was actually quite serendipitous that she ended up on the show because, again, a few weeks ago, I was all caught up with a business issue and after plenty of procrastination, I went out and finally sought advice. Enter Claire.
I was introduced to her by an industry colleague and just totally clicked with her when I met her. She’s every bit the savvy entrepreneur that I want to connect with and be inspired by. I was so delighted when she agreed to come on the show. As always, I finished the show wondering how I could whittle down the discussion into just a few bite-sized pieces of gold for you. Just stick with me and let me delve into the ones that I finally settled on for you today.
The first one is something that really resonated deeply with me. As I’ve experienced it firsthand in my own career, I knew exactly what Claire was talking about when she brought it up. Basically, divide and conquer. Great in battle, not great in business. Let me explain. Claire started out her career in a relatively small boutique law firm. Basically, by the time she was 30, she had reached partner. She arrived, I guess. She was starting to wonder what the next phase in her career was going to look like. She moved on to a slightly bigger firm. Then that firm, over time, it started to corporatize. As Claire put it herself, that was the beginning of the end for her.
As the firm corporatize, the environment became really competitive. Instead of achievement being recognized, people started to be pitted against each other. Now, this is definitely not the recipe for a thriving business when it’s brought into a team who are supposed to be working on the same outcome, which is the development of a company as a whole, and not just the individual. Isn’t that what the whole concept of team is about?
Unfortunately, we see this culture in a lot of the big corporate institutions, and I’ve seen it in my career definitely where everyone is after their own targets, their own bonuses and the individual is more celebrated than the team. There’s a lot of pushing, striving, competing and far too much zero-sum gamesmanshift, sorry, zero-sum gamesmanship where the implication of somebody winning is that someone else has to lose.
Now, you might be thinking, “Lots of those big institutions are really successful, so how can we say it’s not the recipe for a thriving business?” Well, what about if they could be even more successful with a different approach? I’ve been reading a lot recently about the triple bottom line accounting that some businesses around the world are now adopting. Basically, the triple bottom line accounts for people, profit and planet.
Now, what’s interesting is that studies have been done that show that companies who incorporate this more rounded approach to business and basically what they’re doing, I guess, is balancing up the masculine energies of pushing, striving and winning with the more feminine energies of creation, collaboration, community, of course, vision and purpose. These kinds of companies who do get this balancing act right, they actually achieve higher profits and have more sustainable business models than those that don’t. It’s certainly food for thought. Even if you’re not running a huge global business, still think about what kinds of practices might be missing in your business either from the masculine side or the feminine side and ask how is this impacting your bottom line?
Moving on to my second key takeout from my chat with Claire, now this is what I love because it’s all about being opportunistic in business or, as I like to call it, knowing how to spot a diamond. Basically, we talked about when she started her own business and I wanted to know if it was her vision. This business that she started, did she just have this vision and purpose, and then she launched a business? Actually, she said, “No.” She did have aspirations to have her own business. When the idea came along, it was very much opportunistic for her. She met a colleague who had a business idea. There was a lot of industry change going on in the industry she was in, which was financial services. They saw a need for a compliance and legal structure that would suit mortgage brokers, financial advisers, insurance brokers, et cetera. Because so much regulation was changing, there was a big gap in the market. Obviously, this was an opportunistic move and she said, “Sometimes, you have to be in the right place and spot that gap and know that there’s a business opportunity there.”
Now, again, I love this one because I talk about diamond hunting in my programs and blogs, et cetera. It’s very, very important to know how to spot a diamond opportunity. It reminds me of the time … The biggest diamond in my career definitely occurred when basically there was blood on the streets and nobody else could really see it. Well, there was a few people who could see it but not a lot. I got an opportunity to be a part of an entrepreneurial group of people who were doing things differently in the financial industry. The markets were imploding. Everybody was selling everything and nobody wants to take risks. Nobody wants to invest. People were losing their jobs. We got this opportunity to launch a firm, an asset management business.
In 2009, everybody thought that was a mad move. Now, five years later, that business has grown from strength to strength to strength and continues on. I’m so proud that I was part of that and actually took that opportunity when I was fearful at the time. Sometimes you need to know when things are turning, or when there’s a gap in the market, or when there’s a customer out there that needs something and you know how to fill that gap. Then you go for it and you be strategic about how you build it.
While you might have your passion and something that you love to do, you also need to think about what is the angle. Where is this business going to fit in? Who is this customer and why is it an opportunity for you now? Then you strategize and then you go for it.
Finally, we got onto the hot topic which I was dying to get onto, of course, of capital raising and bringing new investors onboard in your business. One of the big topics out there right now is this whole concept of women entrepreneurs and whether they’re actually getting airtime in terms of investors and people who are willing to give capital to women who are launching great ideas. Women are saying out there that the investors are not there. The investors are saying that the women and the ideas are not there and the actual business models are not totally coming to the fore, particularly in tech, for example, not a lot of women are stepping up.
I talked to Claire about this and we both have this view that with a lot of businesses, it’s probably better to bootstrap early on. By that, I mean, just knuckle down, keep an eye on your expenses. Get your head into it. Do the work and then you’d be laughing all the way to the bank in the end with your own company. She’s done that in her business and that’s what I’m doing in my business.
We did also agree that some businesses, they do need capital to make it big, particularly tech style startups, or if you’re building apps, or big software platforms, you do need some capital. When you’re going to investors, Claire’s advice, and I love this, the first thing she said was if you’re going to investors, be mean. Be stingy. It’s your company. Basically, the earlier you go to investors, the more they’re going to want from you. Whereas the more mature your business is, the less they’re going to want or expect from you. They take their pound of flesh. If you go early in a business and you don’t really have much going in that business yet, you’re going to end up giving a lot of that business away, which leaves less obviously on the table for you and potentially not enough on the table for you in end. That has happened to a lot of entrepreneurs around the world so just be aware of that.
It also constraints your ability to raise capital from other investors later and at times in the future. It might stop your ability from bringing new skills into the business that you might need later because you early investor might actually want to be always the capital partner and may not want other investors onboard. I personally thought that was a pretty interesting point that potentially could be something that you would want to think about later.
“Make sure also,” Claire said and I love this point, too, “make sure that it’s not just the money that they’re bringing in.” The investors that you bring onboard, what you really want is an investor who’s also going to bring expertise, mentorship to you, someone who can actually maybe provide partnerships, or joint ventures, or new distribution channels, new ideas for your business. It’s not just about the money, but they actually bring a way to drive that business forward as well. I think that’s really, really, really important when it comes to capital raisings.
I want to leave you with that thought for this week. If you’ve time, then check out the whole interview over at energisewealth.com. It’s episode … What are we up to? It’s over on energisewealth.com and I think it’s episode six. Yes, episode six. As always, if you enjoyed today’s show, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below or even over on the Energise Wealth blog. I particularly like to hear from you if you’re considering raising capital right now for your business. Any challenges or successes that you’re having, that would be awesome to hear about. This is a community for you to share in and grow in so keep the comments coming. If you’re game enough, I’ll be starting a Twitter chat every Monday lunchtime, which is Sydney lunchtime. The hashtag I’m going to be using will be wealth unplugged. You can join the conversation there, too. We’re going to kick that off next week.
Also, remember to come back next week and tune in. I’m going to be talking about what I discovered about our teenaged girls and how they think about money and wealth. That’s after my interview with Marina Passalaris of Beautiful Minds Australia, an absolutely beautiful woman with a beautiful mission. Be sure to tune in next week. Have a great week. I’ll see you then.
Speaker 1: Thanks for tuning in. Come and join us on energisewealth.com to continue the conversation. Get your free video training Seven Steps to Energise Wealth and watch the video interviews that were the inspiration behind this episode.