Photo by John K Mendy via an iPhone 5

Your Attitude Toward “Wealth Generators” Determines Your Growth Part 1

It’s not very often successful people talk about “wealth generators”. More like the secret to success; the wealth generators are pillars to any meaningful growth. And because not many can figure out the way/s that leads to them, they are referred to secrets as well. In most of my blog posts, I try to make my readers understand the concepts am trying to drill into their minds before diving into the actual content of the piece.That’s almost every article’s mission and I guess all experienced writers’ target. But anyway, in this blog post, I will focus on the concept of growth, what are wealth generators, types, and how it can lead to growth in a business environment by taking a closer look at Jack Ma [Chinese Businessman, founder of Alibaba] and his use of the “wealth generators” in order to drive growth at Alibaba.

What are wealth generators? These are the pillars of any business that drive growth[ The process of improving some measure of an enterprise’s success]. Others will argue that business growth can only be achieved either by boosting the top line or revenue of the business with greater product sales or service income or by increasing the bottom line or profitability of the operation by minimizing costs. There is literary no counter argument for that premise, but to them, I will always ask “How important are people to your business?”. Wealth generators are people centered and have a strong bond with prioritizing [who comes first in making you stay in business]. They are classed into 3 categories and who come first depend on company strategy. These 3 groups of people are:

  1. Customers: This set of people is the reason why businesses are built. Every business dream of making money out of this set by solving a problem so they will get cash in return to increase revenue.
  2. Employees: This set of people are what makes up the work environment. They do all the dirty work to make sure the customers pay for a service/product in order to stay in business.
  3. Shareholders:They put in money to push growth in any given company and expect to get a good return in terms of profits, the winning lottery ticket of investing in a startup (aka IPO) and shareholder value creation on the other end of the tunnel.

Every business values these 3 set of people differently. To some, the numbers are 1 2 3, others 3 1 2, 1 3 2, 3 1 2 etc. depending on company strategy. Just like cash 3 players when selecting lotto numbers. They have options to choose “straight box”, “box” or “combo”. More winning will depend on how you select your numbers. The same apply to business when selecting who comes first and that has a direct impact on company growth.

Jack And The Alibaba Group:

Open sesame, gates unlocked, there is no doubt Jack Ma is one of the most successful people in business. Just like the original movie “One Thousand and One Nights”, he discovered a “secret”that helped him and his Alibaba Group raise $25 billion in September 2014 leading to the largest IPO in U.S financial history. At a conference in 2010, Ma revealed that he has “never actually written a line of code nor made one sale to a customer” but yet his job title is Founder and executive chairman of Alibaba. Someone would ask how is that possible? Well, ask me about people skills as well. What runs the business background at Alibaba is centered around people. “To me, the customer comes first, then the employees and then shareholders.” Here, Ma questioned the loyalty of shareholder when he later said they will never want to bring the money if a bad situation arises but your employees will stay to do all the dirty work but again he went further to advise founders by saying if you want to gauge employee give them stock option instead of huge salary. If they reject, know that they don’t believe in your dream. This set of people [employees] are are not for company growth and is poison to work culture.

In the early-2000s, when Alibaba was almost on its knees and only $5,000,000 in cash to support its entire operation. With a team of 100, Jack had little option in keeping his workforce. This was a time when most shareholders took the exit route and most of his employees[the loyal ones] stayed because they believe in his dreams and his ability to turn things around in the company. To test their faith, he gave them stock options and the response was priceless, “Jack if you want don’t pay us, we’ll work for you”. This is every founder’s dream, employees you can trust because the road to unicornism or let’s say scaling is nothing but thorny where he/she is faced with financial hardship, social exclusion, etc.

Jack knew turning things around will bring back shareholders but nothing can be traded for customers and employees. We [organizations, companies, enterprises] are in business because employees are solving problems of customers and in return, they pay for a service which we call revenue. I am not saying startups don’t need shareholders’ money to support company growth. But in prioritizing the three wealth generators, Jack ranked them the number 3 because when the prospects are glittering[not necessarily having a belief in your dream]nothing can stop them from putting in money but once things start going south in company X there is nothing you can do to keep them around. In his in 2015 Davos interview he said, “ my job is making sure my team is happy because if my team is happy then my customers are happy if our customers are happy then we are happy”. Now this is what you called appreciating the wealth generators. Because of them, you become the CEO of a great company.

Verdict:

People are the most valuable asset anybody can hold. They are your family, friends, customers, employees, and shareholders. In business, I would rank the “wealth generators” accordingly

  1. Customers

2. Employees

3. Shareholders

Just like Jack Ma, be assured once the customer is happy; everybody is compensated be it printed money, conscience or professional satisfaction.

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