Financial Literacy: Master Your Financial Numbers for Personal and Business Success

Financial Literacy: Master Your Financial Numbers for Personal and Business Success

As we celebrate Financial Literacy Awareness Month this April, I’m thrilled to explore the crucial importance of understanding our finances—both personal and professional. Whether you’re managing household budgets or overseeing a business, gaining clarity on your financial status is empowering and transformative. 

Master Your Daily Expenses: A Key to Personal Financial Literacy

Are you aware of what your lifestyle truly costs? From essential bills like rent and utilities to discretionary spending, every penny counts. Tracking your expenses may seem daunting, but the insights gained are invaluable. Being mindful of where your money goes could help you start saving more—perhaps as little as a quarter a day, but it all adds up toward building a more secure financial future.

Enhance Your Business Financial Literacy: Know Your Costs and Profitability 

For entrepreneurs, understanding the numbers is even more critical. Essential questions such as, “How will I make payroll?” or “What are my operating costs?” are crucial for sustaining and growing your enterprise. It starts with understanding your monthly financial needs, which lays the groundwork for strategic planning and ensuring the longevity of your business.


Begin Your Journey to Financial Literacy

Embarking on your financial literacy journey can start with a simple step: understanding where you currently stand financially. To assist you, I’ve developed two easy-to-use financial assessment tools available on my website—one tailored for personal finance and another for business owners.

For Personal Financial Growth

The Personal Financial Awareness Questionnaire helps you evaluate your financial habits from budgeting to estate planning. This tool is designed to identify your strengths and areas for improvement in managing your personal finances.

For Business Financial Management:

The Business Financial Awareness Questionnaire focuses on key aspects of business finance, from revenue analysis to cash flow management. This tool aims to deepen your understanding of your business’s financial health and guide strategic decision-making. 

How I Can Help Further

I am here to guide you through this enlightening process. Download the relevant financial assessment tool to get started:

When you’re ready, I encourage you to book a discovery call with me. During this call, we can discuss your financial situation in more detail and explore ways to not only understand but also enhance your financial landscape.

This Financial Literacy Month, let’s commit to improving our understanding of our financial numbers and take control of our financial destinies. It’s not just about making ends meet; it’s about making strategic moves that empower us today and secure our tomorrow.

Are you ready to step into greatness? I’ll be honored to be your guide as realize your organization’s greatest potential. Schedule a discovery call to explore how we can work together.

The Difference Between Business Strategy and Implementation

The Difference Between Business Strategy and Implementation

A successful endeavor begins with a clear objective — and a carefully crafted plan to accomplish it. However, many times, visionaries are left on one of two sides. They either launch full force with an idea and no clear path, “building the plane while flying,” and jump into changes before they’ve thought the process through. Or they focus on each individual step and revise their business strategy to the point of delaying concrete action and not realizing their vision.

Both extremes can be detrimental to your organization, and today, we’re discussing the role each component plays in a successful venture.

What Is Business Strategy?

Alice: “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
The Cheshire Cat: “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.”

At its core, a strategy is a plan that brings your organization closer to its objectives. Creating a business strategy requires you to take stock of your starting point and your ultimate goal. Then, it’s time to measure the gap and outline the resources and steps you will need to take to reach that goal.

A thorough strategy comprises many moving parts that work together, from specific action items and milestones to individual performance metrics that amount to success.

Strategy is a broad term, and it has multiple layers within an organization. There is an overarching corporate strategy that dictates where the organization is moving as a whole. There is also a strategy for each business unit to produce outcomes that support the organization.

Each organization’s size and structure dictate how many layers there are, with bigger, more complex structures requiring more. A multinational tech company’s strategy will be vastly different from a small SaaS team operating locally.

The Core Elements of Business Strategy

Regardless of the size and complexity of your organization, strategy comprises a few key elements that amount to success.

Objectives. Any successful strategy begins with a laser-focused objective. What are you trying to accomplish, and why?

Analysis. What is your current situation, and how does it compare to where you want to be? It’s best to use quantifiable data and metrics for a more accurate assessment. Similarly, you’ll want to analyze how you fare against competitors and your industry as a whole. SWOT Analysis is a great tool for this phase.

Resources. These are the money, human capital, and other tangible or intangible assets available to you. Your available resources dictate what a realistic objective is and how you can work to achieve it. And your strategy guides how you will leverage these resources. Some examples include software, connections, workforce, and brand recognition.

Tactics. Here is where the work gets done. Many visionaries use the terms tactic and strategy interchangeably, but in reality, a tactic is a practical step or a specific function within your organization that builds momentum to realize your strategy and reach your objective.

Measures. Once you begin implementing your tactics, it is time to measure the results. In most cases, results build up over time, so it makes sense to track progress periodically, perhaps monthly or quarterly, instead of at the end. This approach allows you to pivot if things aren’t going as expected or find opportunities if a tactic performs better than you planned. The quantifiable data you identified during your analysis will serve as a benchmark for this step.

Common Failures of Strategy Implementation

No Clear Objective

As I mentioned above, a laser-focused objective is essential for success. In an ever-changing business environment, it’s tempting to react to the market immediately instead of taking the time to assess the situation, but doing so results in improvisation and, generally, a lack of results.

A Half-baked Strategy

An effective business strategy must be comprehensive and account for as many scenarios as possible to lead to success. Change is natural, and there is no way to predict everything that can happen throughout your strategy. But preparation is essential. Elements like a risk management plan allow you to prepare for worst-case scenarios and overcome obstacles.

Lack of Resources

There is a lot of merit to being resourceful and doing more with less. However, working with limited resources strains your team and limits their ability to deliver greatness. A well-thought-out strategy establishes a realistic objective based on the available resources and leaves room for adjusting along the way.

Your team needs the systems and processes to leverage their tools and skills and execute your strategy for maximum impact.

Organizational Silos

Not everyone requires access to every bit of information; in fact, I’d argue that over-sharing can hurt your organization as much as over-compartmentalizing information. Still, implementing a strategy requires alignment between the involved parties.

Breaking organizational silos may look like implementing DevOps or RevOps. Or perhaps, it requires your department heads to work closely together as you walk toward your objective.

Strategy Is Your Roadmap. Implementation Is Your Vehicle

Implementation is where the magic happens. If your business strategy is the brains of the operation, your implementation is the muscle. At this stage, your team is executing your plans and approaching your objectives.

Implementation is also the scary part, where you risk everything to chase that objective. But with the right strategy, you minimize the risk. If you have a clear, valuable objective that drives your desired outcome, committed leaders, an aligned team, and the resources to work sustainably, you’re well on your way to achieving greatness.

Are you ready to step into greatness? I’ll be honored to be your guide as realize your organization’s greatest potential. Schedule a discovery call to explore how we can work together.

Digital Transformation: Who You Need at the Table

Digital Transformation: Who You Need at the Table

Have you ever used software or automation to reduce the amount of effort a task required — and thus, expand your capacity for other tasks? If so, you’ve had a taste of the power of digital transformation.

A boutique agency owner automating workflows with Zapier, effectively expanding the agency’s capabilities without bringing in more people or impacting customer service. A healthcare provider offering widespread telehealth on demand. A government agency transitioning from printed diplomas and certificates to NFTs in a centralized system to increase security and prevent fraud. These are all examples of digital transformation in action. To summarize, digital transformation is the act of using technology to enable better outcomes for everyone involved. Digital transformation has made it possible for companies of all sizes to increase profits, decrease costs, and improve the customer experience — all while optimizing the use of resources and reducing the team’s burden.

It all sounds wonderful. But how do you successfully achieve digital transformation?

What Can You Achieve Through Digital Transformation?

The use cases highlighted above are only a sample of what digital transformation can mean for your organization. In reality, technology can enable you to reach your most far-fetched organizational objectives — if you do the upfront work required for success.

Among the top benefits of digital transformation, you will find:

Streamlined services and processes. Applied to an organization’s processes, technology can apply software to automate repetitive tasks. This optimizes the use of staff’s skills and time, increases their productivity, and prevents human error by using data to drive decision-making. For example, a company can use HR software to improve the hiring process, create repeatable onboarding protocols, and set up automatic payroll.

Improved customer experience. Improving customer experience is one of the primary goals of companies implementing digital transformation. Similar to the use of technology for HR, technology can help create cohesive processes and experiences for customers along their entire journey, from the first point of contact to their final interaction.

Increase speed to market. Digital transformation relies on tools like artificial intelligence, machine learning and cloud computing to achieve results that previously relied on humans, which created significant barriers to development and growth.

Scale. Small and large businesses alike can benefit from digital transformation. It’s become increasingly common for small teams — and even teams of one — to grow into the six or seven figures by leveraging automation and technology to scale. This is the case of Visualizing Value, a husband-and-wife duo who began by selling their services and soon scaled through the productization of their expertise.

Drive profit. Digital transformation increases profit by reducing operational waste, freeing up employees’ time, and increasing capacity at low costs. The ultimate goal of any business.

Digital Transformation Examples You Can Explore Today

Revenue Operations

Revenue Operations, commonly known as RevOps, is a business function that removes the silos between marketing, sales and customer service with the goal of creating a cohesive experience for prospects and customers from beginning to end.

RevOps places a heavy emphasis on scaleable systems and relies on technology to enable teams to do more with less. It automates the three teams’ functions and provides timely attention to the customer based on their unique needs.

Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence

Oxford defines artificial intelligence (AI) as the “theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages.”

Just recently, we have seen the boom of ChatGPT, an AI tool that responds to human prompts to create complex text. People have been using this software for everything from social media content to client emails — and it is a small sample of what AI can do for your business.

Internet of Things (IoT)

Internet of Things refers to the tangible objects in daily life that have sensors and other means of connecting digitally. For example, your smart home or manufacturing equipment that’s interconnected and sending signals to other devices.

Smart manufacturing and logistics significantly increase efficiency, lower production costs, and prevent loss of inventory. They also collect, store and analyze countless data points to enable teams to make informed decisions that drive growth.

Developing a Digital Transformation Strategy

Digital transformation strategy spans many different business areas and will often impact the organization as a whole. So the first step in any successful initiative is to create a digital transformation roadmap. Yours may look like this:

First, assess your business and identify the gaps. We can largely place these gaps in three categories: Operations or processes, your business model, or customer experience.

From there, you will need to evaluate the market and available technologies to determine the best approach. Putting in the work before you present your case to leadership is essential in earning buy-in. During this stage, use tools like a SWOT or STEEPLE analysis to collect data to support your findings and demonstrate that your proposed idea can achieve a positive effect.

Use your data to set objectives and an actionable plan, assemble your team, and get to work. But remember, digital transformation is never truly complete. Instead, it is an iterative process that requires ongoing learning and pivoting.

Are You Ready To Embrace Digital Transformation?

Your digital transformation team needs to include decision-makers like the CEO, CFO, COO, and CTO. Depending on the scale of the project, you’ll need project managers and a Chief Transformation Officer. And, of course, the team that will carry out the necessary tasks to complete the project, which will likely include staff from different business units.

If the time has come to effect meaningful change by embracing technology, schedule a discovery call now to learn about my expansive tech expertise and how, together, we can bring your organization into the future and realize its fullest potential. I’d be honored to walk this path with you.

Crisis Management in Cancel Culture

Crisis Management in Cancel Culture

In today’s world, cancel culture is a phrase all too often used to describe the destruction of a person or business’s reputation, often caused by a public misstep. But, whether it’s a minor mistake or a catastrophic incident, how you approach crisis management in the wake of those situations is crucial, especially when everything feels urgent and drastic.

It is better to have crisis planning or crisis management guidelines and not need them than to be blindsided in the middle of a PR nightmare. A crisis today is not just a mistake blown out of proportion. It can destroy your reputation, cause you to lose your hard-earned trust as a person or brand, and be a costly nightmare that, if not handled properly, can become your professional demise.

First, What Is Cancel Culture?

Cancel culture has become a snowball effect on social media and the news regarding someone or something that has shown little to no regard for their actions, words, or behaviors and how it affects others. “Cancel culture refers to the mass withdrawal of support from public figures or celebrities who have done things that aren’t socially accepted today. This practice of “canceling” or mass shaming often occurs on social media platforms.”

Unfortunately, when a crisis arises, social media users can breed a mob mentality, decreeing the cancellation of a person or brand. If not handled delicately, methodically, and swiftly, canceling that person or brand is likely.

In its simplest form, cancel culture is the manifestation of generalized outrage that comes from a person or brand’s public actions. Normally, the public doesn’t differentiate between ill intent and honest mistakes, although the way you respond to the backlash does have an influence on your chances of surviving the crisis.

Why Having Crisis Management Plans Matter

Cancel culture places the power in the hands of the audience. In contrast, crisis management resumes a sense of control.

A crisis management plan is a contingency plan to help you navigate unexpected issues methodically. Even though you can never know when a crisis will pop up, there are measures you can take when the situation arises.

Crisis management plans outline the organization’s policies in the face of critical events that could jeopardize your reputation, profits, or operations to minimize damage.

Now that most businesses have an online presence, one of the biggest steps you can take when making a crisis management plan is your communication strategy. The policy should outline who will be your spokesperson, what channels you will use, how and when to respond, what types of information you want to express, and who should handle the responses.

Your marketing and PR experts, along with legal teams, will be able to guide you. Even though it is challenging to know what will cause a crisis, having a foundation outlined in a communication policy will help diffuse the situation more quickly.

How to Respond During A Crisis

While you may not have intended to be harmful, your humility shows that you understand your mistakes and take accountability for your impact.

Consumers now interact more with any brand or company than ever before, significantly influencing the market and creating a more complex process for you as the provider. Managing emotions and expectations is the core of responding to urgent problems amidst cancel culture. When you do respond, businesses should consider the following advice.


A little bit of empathy can go a long way. Most of the time, those upset and demanding the cancellation of a brand seek compassion and understanding. They see fault in the actions, words, or behaviors of those they are outraged by and want to know that their feelings and opinions are valued.

Therefore, you must take an empathetic approach during a crisis to respond to the situation. If not handled with a sense of understanding, or at the very least, showing that you are open to hearing why the situation has turned out differently than you intended, you run the risk of being canceled rather quickly.

Counteract With Positive Content

One of the worst things you can do during a crisis is to dismiss the opinions of others or get defensive and try to justify your actions. Receiving feedback from customers is a learning experience. Now, more than ever, customers have the upper hand when engaging with brands, offering opinions (whether good or bad), and using online spaces as a mouthpiece for their customer experiences.

Cancel culture demands an immediate response. Unfortunately, a quick, sympathetic response may get buried in negative feedback and comments. So how do you climb out of negative PR? By taking extra measures toward positive comments and feedback. One way to do this is by creating new content geared toward addressing the situation. Another way is to emphasize positive reviews and feedback.

Another way to address negative feedback is by showing your steps toward regaining trust in your customers. The proper response to your audience’s feedback is to take actionable steps to improve things. For example, brands have pledged transparency in their hiring processes to improve diversity, equity and inclusion as well as reduce the gender pay gaps. And others have committed to recycling or reforesting to make up for their carbon emissions.

Transparency and Accountability

While some brands have many filters they go through before publishing a nationwide advertisement, their message may still miss the mark. A recent example was Ulta’s poorly-phrased campaign regarding Kate Spade, a brand whose founder died by suicide in 2018.

One of the best ways to respond amid the urgency of cancel culture during a crisis is by being honest, acting from a place of accountability, and moving forward from a desire to make amends. Quick turnarounds may be part of the problem in today’s agile business world. But because fast expectations will remain, crisis management requires transparency and accountability.

Society today is tired of letting businesses get away with the same old tactics, and they’re demanding accountability. So your best bet is to create a crisis management plan for not if but when a situation arises is the smartest move you can make.

If you or your team could use some guidance in creating the best crisis management plan for you, book a discovery call today!

Who Is the Chief Transformation Officer, and Do You Need One?

Who Is the Chief Transformation Officer, and Do You Need One?

Change is the only constant you can expect in life and business. And healthy, thriving organizations are those that can adapt to it and embrace it in their quest for growth.

The term CTO (Chief Transformation Officer) has boomed in recent years due to the raising unpredictability of the business world resulting from the pandemic, evolving technologies, and shifting international markets, which has made it essential for businesses to test and pivot quickly to meet market demands.

But who is the CTO and what do they do? Let’s explore this novel role and how they can benefit your organization.

The Role and Responsibilities of a Chief Transformation Officer

A Chief Transformation Officer (CTO) is an executive-level (C-suite) role in charge of leading initiatives for the organization’s growth. The rise in popularity for this role is a result of the speed of technological advancement and the way markets continue to transform. In the case of tech companies, changing customer dynamics and the increasing complexity of the B2B buyer’s journey have also played a role.

At its core, the role of a CTO is to orchestrate the people, systems, and key functions that drive the organization forward. In practice, this looks like leading product development, digital transformation, and change management initiatives with a holistic approach — focusing on both the technology and the people who work with it for truly impactful growth.

Department managers and directors lead day-to-day operations and report to the CTO, who has a full-picture view of any given initiative, especially when there are multiple departments involved.

A CTO may focus on improving customer experience, developing or refining the business’s architecture, or designing new project management methodologies to optimize the use of resources across the organization. One thing all of these areas have in common is the need for employee training to ensure successful adoption. So it is safe to say that the CTO’s primary role is to create a space and give employees the tools for successful transformation.

Chief Tranformation Officer vs. Chief Technology Officer

It may seem like these roles can be interchangeable. And there certainly is an overlap between both functions as they focus on technology advancement and implementation. However, the Chief Transformation Officer takes on a broad set of responsibilities that includes cross-functional teams like product, marketing, and customer experience to effect change. The Chief Transformation Officer is more of a leader that enables their team to evolve and achieve a positive impact.

Conversely, the Chief Technology Officer focuses specifically on technology. In order to excel at their role, a Chief Technology Officer must stay up-to-date on the latest trends and make informed decisions about the new technologies that will help the organization grow. The Chief Technology Officer role evolved from the Chief Information Officer, who used to oversee the management of information and technology. But increasing technological demands made it necessary to divide the CIO into two roles — the CIO and the CTO. Now, the CIO uses data to make IT decisions, while the CTO focuses on the implementation of technology that aligns with and facilitates a company’s goals.

Effecting Change as a CTO

As we mentioned earlier, the Chief Transformation Officer is a C-suite role. In order to succeed, a CTO must have the ability to break down organizational silos to see the full picture of the change they’re looking to bring. A big part of this stems from having a background in cross-functional roles like R&D, revenue operations, customer experience, and business development. Above all else, a CTO is an effective leader who connects with and manages to inspire their team to reach their personal best.

An effective CTO is also an effective customer advocate, as much of their role is to understand customer insights so that the organization can better serve its audience. Likewise, they must be willing to innovate and pivot according to the latest demands, updating company policies and overhauling products, systems or tools to meet and exceed industry standards. It’s this innovation that allows their company to remain ahead of the curve and position itself as an industry leader.

When Should You Have a Chief Transformation Officer?

There is no clear-cut answer as to when or why an organization may need a CTO. No number of employees or yearly revenue will give you that answer. Instead, there are more nuanced reasons to make the decision.

The first sign that your organization needs a CTO is a constant struggle to stay relevant and competitive in your market. If this is the case, it may show that the company is falling behind and failing to adapt to the new demands of its audience.

Mature large and mid-sized companies are usually the ones that benefit most from having a CTO on staff. The reason is simple: This type of company tends to carry cost structures and business models resulting from decades of history — while trying to compete with more nimble newcomers that pivot quickly in response to the same market shifts that may stifle their older competitors.

Another sign that your organization may benefit from having a CTO is that the CEO is already at capacity and needs support from a senior leader who can take charge of large-scale transformation projects.

And one final consideration is whether the transformation you’re seeking affects a single function or multiple areas of the business. For the former, you may rely on that function’s leader, while for the latter, you may benefit from a CTO or a consulting service.

Are you ready to level UP? Book a discovery call now to learn more about my technology and digital transformation consulting services to bring your organization up to today’s speed.

Leadership in Times of Transition

Leadership in Times of Transition

Facing an economic crisis, transitioning between remote and hybrid models, adopting a new technology… regardless of the situation, one thing is certain: Change is an intimidating prospect for most people. So much so that there’s an entire professional field to help teams of all sizes navigate change.

Change management is an umbrella term that encompasses the frameworks and processes a leader can implement to guide their team through an organizational change. Unlike project management or productivity tools, change management focuses on the human side of organizations, lasting from before a project is ideated all the way to its successful completion.

Effective change management empowers your team and brings your organization closer to realizing its fullest potential. And all you need are five simple steps, outlined below.

The Change Management Process


The first stage of project management is initiation. It revolves around preparing the scope, budget, and time for a project to take place. Similarly, the first stage in the change management process is preparing your team for the project and gaining buy-in from everyone involved or affected by the upcoming change.

Many leaders try to force or impose change instead of gaining buy-in, but as the saying goes, “you’ll catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.” In these early stages, it’s worth focusing your efforts on communicating the challenges you’re currently facing and how the proposed project can address them. Gain buy-in by placing an emphasis on the benefits of the new solution, educating employees about how it will work and how they can use it, and providing support.


This stage of change management aligns with the planning phase of project management in that it is time to delineate strategic goals, metrics, stakeholders, team, and scope for the project.

This stage is crucial as this is the time for everyone to start the collaborative process. At this stage, you will want to listen to skeptics and address their objections. For example, if you’re transitioning from in-person to online training and one of the objections is the cost of this shift, present a detailed budget that breaks down the costs compared to the traditional program. It could also be a good time to present a prototype or demonstration, if possible, to get the team excited and appease their doubts.


Implementation in project management focuses on completing the work on time and up to the project’s success standards. And the same phase in change management emphasizes the human side of the process, empowering your team to stay engaged in the project and accomplish the tasks required to complete the project.

Throughout the implementation phase, you’ll want to monitor performance, ensure that milestones are being met, and celebrate the wins to keep morale high.


It may seem like implementing a project is the final step in the change management process. But in reality, the work is only beginning at this stage. After your project is completed, it’s time to launch, or deliver, the project.

Adoption is essential for project success. And it is where many teams fail. You may have experienced it firsthand at your organization: The marketing or sales team proposes adopting a new project management platform, creates the company account, invites the staff, and migrates projects to the new platform. But only a handful of people start using it, and soon, it is abandoned in favor of old habits.

People tend to revert to old patterns, so adoption is an ongoing effort to ensure that the change is lasting and brings the intended benefits to the company.

To increase your chances of successful adoption, provide resources, training and guidance so that the staff gains confidence in the process. And encourage them to participate in the change and raise questions or concerns; this will help them feel like part of the solution.


A project is considered successful when the original objectives are met. After delivering the project, you’ll need to revisit the objectives you set at the beginning of the project and evaluate the results.

Beyond tangible metrics like revenue, productivity, or customer churn, you’ll want to measure satisfaction, adoption, and whether or not the implemented project brought you closer to organizational goals. From there, you’ll have new insights that will serve to improve future projects.

The Biggest Obstacle To Change Management

The biggest obstacle to organizational change is resistance. Whatever change you’re promoting, you’ll likely face critics and skeptics who have valid reasons to oppose your proposition. People are naturally scared or hesitant to adopt new things, whether it is technology, a working model, or a new process. And it is up to you to address their concerns.

Gaining support from skeptics begins by recognizing their concerns empathetically and understanding where they’re coming from. They may have valid points you haven’t considered yet, so listen to their objections carefully and study the possibilities.

Similarly, you may have doubts yourself despite leading the change, and it is ok to share them candidly. However, you’ll want to highlight the benefits and ensure that the process is perceived as an overall improvement, despite the challenges it may represent. Seeing your openness will help resolve some of the defensiveness detractors may feel and encourage them to share their perspectives.

Is your organization going through or planning to experience a significant transition? Book a discovery call with me to learn more about my change management and technology strategy services.