Benjamin Cutler is the Founder at Project Family and Experts Connect. He has 25 years of wealthy and progressive experiences ranging from restaurants, retail, and professional fundraising, through to data and technology and living overseas. He has spent more than a decade in sales, management, technology, and working with small businesses, and nearly a decade with bootstrapping startups, selling, and supporting B2B software. In this previous life, Benjamin brought a successful and innovative new technology to market, and also produced and presented a series of live webinars and LinkedIn Live events for WinPure with 10k+ views on YouTube.
I left an abusive, 10-year marriage in 2019. Divorced the first time in 2020. Remarried in 2021 to someone else. Divorced again in 2022. Reunited again in 2022 to break up again in 2023. I’m launching two companies in 2023 and I’m writing this article from a mountainside paradise in Colombia.
When was the last time you were involved in launching a business or a new product? When was the last time you were hiring and managing a team remotely? When was the last time you’ve seen so many layoffs and when was the last time you’ve seen so much uncertainty? Leadership is tough in 2023.
My name is Ben Cutler and I’m just coming out of a very successful tech career where in December of 2022 our small bootstrapping startup finished up another record year, solidifying its position in a new market, with new strategic client engagements to help pave the way of the future, and I said goodbye.
I passed on my book of clients, passed on all my final suggestions for the product roadmap and as much knowledge transfer possible, and I received a big letter of thanks from the Founder, the Founding team, my junior, my clients, and several of my business partners. Everything squared away.
There is so much fear and uncertainty in 2023. So many people afraid to speak. People are seeking meaning, truth, and support. People are seeking value, purpose, and real relationships. As I move on to navigate my own journey, I look at all the people around me, perhaps less certain about the future.
I’m here to tell you that we’re going to be ok. It’s going to be ok. And if this isn’t the type of story you need to hear right now then please feel free to continue scrolling. It’s not the end of the world, at all.
Let’s start by clarifying a very important business concept. At a minimum, successful people and business ideas will have these two very important components:
- Strong Value Strategy
- Strong People Strategy
The best ideas deliver a ton of value (output), require very little time, sell themselves, and cost little in comparison (input). In the year 2023 we’ll see that the best ideas with the best strategies for people and value, will become very disruptive. Everything else should be secondary.
The two characteristics above should be the foundation of anything we do in business. If we break things down to the basics, we’ll see that our visitors, subscribers, customers, employees and business partners alike, these are relationships, and we should feel a connection with the business.
Employees want to feel supported, valued, and challenged. Customers want to be supported, valued, and happy with their investments. Business partners want more meaningful relationships and want to grow with our businesses. This is peer to peer value creation.
Economic value creation sits at the center of trade. A friend of mine, Bill Schmarzo, says that the concept of economic value creation is one of the most important concepts in our history. He says that business leaders (especially CDO’s) need to be strong creators of economic value.
Scott Taylor, the Data Whisperer, and visionary leader, says that businesses are designed to deliver value through their relationships at scale.
How are you creating value through your relationships? Are you a good team player? Are you a good listener? Are you empathetic and genuinely concerned with the well-being of others around you? Are you a problem solver? Do you like to connect the dots? Whatever it is, hone in on that in 2023.
How we create our own marketplace value is something that we as individuals need to understand. And all teams and brands are made up of talented individuals sharing common purpose. Vanity metrics have nothing to do with value. Value is something akin to being tangible. Value is usually observable.
A lot of people and companies are suffering today but a lot of others are doing really well. Not everyone lives in FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt). I’m sharing this for learners and for business leaders across the globe. Seek to reinvent and to multiply the way that you create value in the marketplace in 2023.
What else can we say about value creation in 2023? Start by looking at what’s working and what’s not working, starting with your own friends, family and business partners. Look at the science. Companies like Amazon, Uber and Netflix did really well during mandatory lockdowns.
Look at your client base. Are you more resilient due to existing relationships? It’s because you have relationships with those people and because they recognize and appreciate your value. Hone in on the value being exchanged in those relationships.
Whether you choose to double down on existing relationships and value propositions in 2023 or to reinvent, you’re still channeling some of the same basic strategies for people and value creation.
Keep it simple and stick to people and value.