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One plus One equals Power

How often are you feeling stagnant in a sea of concern that your message is not being conveyed to those who have the final say? How many times have your ideas fallen on deaf ears? What is separating you from the celebration other successful leaders and business people are finding in their achievements?

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We see (and share!) many articles of women being paid less than their male counterparts and getting the shorter end of the deal lately. Some are finding challenges in getting what they need to succeed in their corporate positions. They understand what’s needed, but getting it from their superiors is as challenging as moving a building by hand.

We’re seeing other women advocating that we all need to lean in and take what’s rightfully ours. I believe all points are valid, however, I think there’s one missing link in all I’ve read and seen so far.

First of all, not all women are challenged. Kevin O’Leary from Shark Tank (“Mr. Wonderful”) is betting on women to run his investments this year. He stated that previous investments run by women had the highest internal rate of return. Women are in fact succeeding, so the question is again, what separates those who forge ahead?

For women in leadership and business, I think there is a strong, yet subtle, reliance on someone else to understand the financials and/or statistical data with regards to the business. We’ve heard there’s enormous strength in numbers, which is true, but not the way the quote implies. There’s strength in numbers, yes. KNOWING, understanding and being able to powerfully articulate what they mean is where the difficulties lie for any woman trying to earn her worth.

Mr. Wonderful even noted that those who come to the Shark Tank and know the numbers inside-out get what they want.  Think about it.  In negotiating, the strongest leverage one can have is knowing the true value of whatever you’re going after and starting from there.

In corporate America, the same rings true. If you’re going to lead, the most valuable player understands the bottom line and how their leadership impacts it. If one is looking for capital, the most valuable player understands the power of financials, and projections.  First, it shows you understand your business model, the market and your competition. Second, it rolls out the red carpet for an investor to see a return.

The bloodline of any business is sales, which ultimately leads to profitability; if a viable plan is developed and executed properly.

There are varying sets of numbers, depending upon your role in business. If you’re in corporate America, seek to find how your role impacts profitability and dare to be well versed in the numbers specific to your role. If you’re in business for yourself, you’ll find things like profit and loss statements, balance sheets, cash flow projections, etc. available on the internet.

However if you’re really want to stand out from the rest, become well-versed in lifetime value of the client, break-even analysis, market share growth, acquisition cost, etc.

These, along with your skills, expertise and experience, set you apart from any and everyone else.

Go get ’em ladies and don’t let nobody tell ya, you can’t!

This article originally appeared on P3 Blog on February 9, 2016.

Lisa Thomas