Nick Zea-Smith is Director of PR and Branding for Accountable Equity, writer, and photographer. A corporate communications director for more than 20 years, he has written and worked also for national newspapers and financial publications.
IN the sixties, Michael Caine was sharing a flat in London with Vidal Sassoon. The legendary hair stylist complained one evening how tiring his business had become for so little money.
His issue was trying to maximize business in 9-5 opening hours in London, but there’s only so many people’s hair you can cut and only so long you can stand on your feet.
Caine told him he needed something working for him while he slept, and to make his own shampoo. The throwaway line resonated with Sassoon, who spent the next year creating his own shampoo and haircare product line.
The business was an instant success, which Sassoon later sold in the 1980s for more than $100m, whether and what he tipped Mike is another matter.
It’s a great example of using human capital, adapting your mind first and reverse engineering so you know what outcome you want.
Never heard of human capital? It’s the new people power, focusing on the person – and that’s you!
Every day you use your skills, knowledge, experiences, and personality traits to achieve your goals, and remain innovative in what you do. You might now be aware of it, but it’s the biggest asset you possess and of huge value to you, your business and even your country.
It’s the best – and cheapest – cash loan note you’ve got, so put it to work. The pandemic has been a once in a generation example of this. You’ve got zero data to rely on, every given factor you use is no longer there as a reference point. No comfort zone, what do you do?
Levers — what revenue lever can we pull? Look around at your team – who’s got something? What are we doing today/right now that allows revenue to come in tomorrow?
During the pandemic companies kept drivers employed and van fleets moving by switching from traditional businesses to delivering food to supermarket home customers or medication to people who couldn’t leave home.
Vehicle fleet businesses call it power by the hour. The longer it’s sitting still, the more cash it burns, so keep the wheels moving. It’s paid for, get it to earn something. Even out of hours.
When you’re looking for something of value, your head, and heart do the thinking – sometimes gut instinct and ‘feel’ are right. It’s core to the first step of your vision and journey when creating a good fundraising strategy or taking a path to financial freedom.
Look at every deal you’ve ever made. What cliched it? It wasn’t the deal or the numbers (although they were probably fairly good). I’m 99 percent sure it was mostly about you, and your human capital offering that sealed the transaction.
Are you maximizing your human capital to its fullest potential, or selling yourself short? If you are, look around, right now – or maybe take a shower and wash your hair for inspiration.
– Nick Zea-Smith