294 MINISODE Michele Williams: Know Your Value

Michele Williams is a certified “Profit First” professional who helps creative business owners and entrepreneurs focus on the financial health and profitability of their companies. CEO of Scarlet Thread Consulting, Michele shares actionable tips on how to know your true value, why you need to know your numbers, and why you have to let go of the inner control freak to grow and scale a business.

Melinda Wittstock:         Michele, welcome to Wings.

Michele Williams:           Hi Melinda, thanks so much for having me.

Melinda Wittstock:         It's great to have you on and I always want to start with what's inspiring you right now?

Michele Williams:           You know what is inspiring me, is honestly StrengthsFinder 2.0. I did a StrengthsFinder Assessment years ago and focused on my top five strengths and was challenged to go back and look at my bottom five strengths. In StrengthsFinder there are 34 strengths and they are ranked based on what you're best at to maybe what you're not so great at. Of course it's all very positive focused. However, your bottom five are your blind spots and as an entrepreneur and a business owner, I want to know what my blind spots are. So that's really been inspiring me to dig into that and really see not only what I'm great at and to strengthen that, but to be aware and understand what I need to kind of navigate because it's not my strength.

Melinda Wittstock:         That’s so awesome, the blind spot, because we don't know what we don't know and maybe those bottom five are really a clue to who you should be hiring.

Michele Williams:           Exactly. So there are all types of ways who you would hire. For me, it's who I allow to coach me and what I want them to help coach me in. Just being self aware as an entrepreneur is a huge part of our success. Knowing where we need help or at least knowing where we think that maybe it's not our natural way of thinking.

Melinda Wittstock:         This is so, so important. And so, everybody has challenges in their business life as entrepreneurs. No matter what stage you're at or where you are in the journey. What are some of yours right now?

Michele Williams:           The challenges that I currently have, I'll say in my own business is just always looking at the best way to scale for the season of life that I'm in. Really thinking about scaling at one part of my life might have looked one way, now it might look a little bit differently with how to merge that in with the other goals that I have. So that's one of my own personal challenges. Then the other challenge that the majority of my clients have is not understanding their financials and not really understanding maybe why they aren't earning what they need to be earning. I serve a lot of creative business owners and so that whole creative brain gets them going and they produce, and then they really struggle with how to price themselves and how to stand up for the value of something that maybe is a little more subjective to some people.

Melinda Wittstock:         Oh gosh, thank you for saying that. The cardinal rule, know your numbers, but the second one, maybe even more important, is know your value. Yes.

Michele Williams:           Yes.

Melinda Wittstock:         Oh, yes. So-

Michele Williams:           And you know if we do not know our value, how do we really know if our numbers, we might know our numbers, but how do we know if they're representative, if we don't know the value? I just don't think we can price anything, including ourselves, our products or our services until we truly understand the value.

Melinda Wittstock:         Oh, amen. So I guess that's a great segue into what you're top three go to pieces of advice are for women in business and female entrepreneurs.

Michele Williams:           Sure, so my first piece of advice is to own every part of your company, every aspect. And by that I don't mean that you have to do all the work, but we certainly have to have oversight and ownership. Because what we own, we can change and we can guide. But if we take our hands off the proverbial wheel, we don't own it, we don't look at it, we can't guide it, we can't change it. So that would be my first piece of advice.

Melinda Wittstock:         That's a really interesting one. I want to follow up on that because on some level to scale a business you do have to be able to let go, so it's kind of let go of the doing, but don't let go of the ownership.

Michele Williams:           Exactly. Exactly. Delegation is one thing, but we all know that when the rubber meets the road at the end of the day, it's the owner of the company that really has the final say and if that is us, as the owner of that company, I don't want to do it all. I mean I currently have nine subcontractors and just hired another one today. If I've got that going on, I can't manage the day to day detail, but I can own the outcome, and I have to own ultimately whatever decision they make, which then makes me very … what's the word I'm looking for … it makes me responsible for educating them properly, putting them int he right position, going back to the StrengthsFinder and making sure that they are fully equipped to do the role that they've been hired to do.

Melinda Wittstock:         That's awesome. So what's advice number two?

Michele Williams:           You kind of brought it up earlier. Know and be able to articulate your value.

Melinda Wittstock:         You know easier said than done. What stops people from doing that? Really knowing their value?

Michele Williams:           I think … well for women, I think there's this tension about feeling braggadocios, that's what I've ran into.

Melinda Wittstock:         We're so afraid of that, aren't we?

Michele Williams:           Yeah.

Melinda Wittstock:         We're afraid of singing our own praises.

Michele Williams:           Right. Of going, hey I'm the boss at that. I remember when my son was 13. He had no problems telling somebody else he was the best one on the basketball court, but we would never walk out in general and say that, even if we thought it, and then if we thought it, we would almost feel embarrassed that we thought it, as if it were too prideful.

Melinda Wittstock:         Yeah, that's all got to stop. As women we need to back each other up at that. I've noticed often that women are very good at singing other women's praises, if we all sort of get together and do that, but I think there's some sort of fear that maybe we won't be liked by other women.

Michele Williams:           I would agree with that.

Melinda Wittstock:         It's other women, isn't it? Is it other women or is it also men? I think it's more other women that we-

Michele Williams:           I think it's first more other women and then I think if we really articulate our value and stand up for it, then I think we're fearful of being pushed back by the men because our voice might be too loud.

Melinda Wittstock:         Oh yeah. Well I got a loud voice. So that's just the way it is. So what about advice number three?

Michele Williams:           Well it fits right into the others, and that's charge what you're worth, every single time. I just … I think we have to charge what we're worth. We have to be able to put a number on our knowledge, our expertise, our team, the attention to detail and just the overall value that we bring to any type of product or service.

Melinda Wittstock:         Wonderful. So Michele, how can people find you and work with you?

Michele Williams:           Sure, they can find me on scarletthreadconsulting.com and I've set up a special page for your listeners, Melinda, which is scarletthreadconsulting.com/wings.

Melinda Wittstock:         Lovely. Thank you so much. I appreciate you putting on your wings and flying with us today.

Michele Williams:           Thank you I enjoyed it.

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