September 3; The Check’s In The Mail MANAGEMENT BY THE BOOK: 365 Daily Bible Verse & One-Minute Management Lessons For The Busy Faithful
Chapter Nine: Finance; September 3
Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,
when it is in your power to act.
|The Check’s In The Mail|
Question: What does a manager do when the company can’t make payables?
Answer: Don’t pay.
Marc Louis Milecofsky offers advice on what to do when there is a conflict between your personal brand and cash flow. He deserves our attention. He turned $5,000 into a billion dollar fashion and lifestyle company.
He is better known as Marc Eck?, the founder and Chief Creative Officer of the organization that bears the identifier he used as a graffiti “artist.” He writes of his early days where,
We only had $8 million in sales, but we spent like we were a $20 million company…We spent so much money. We were so [heck]-bent on investing in the brand that we overindulged at every corner of margin.
We dropped $100,000 on trade booths, we booked splashy ads in Vibe and the Source, and we threw party after party…We felt it was critical to establish the “theater of the brand,” and we kept making promises that someday would need to be fulfilled. Perception is reality, right? (Eck? 2013) italics in original.
So Eck? had lots of bills to pay. He would delay and delay actually cutting a check and paying the invoices due. And then he would use more resourceful delaying tricks.
In the old days many companies would mail the check without a signature. (“Oops, I forgot…” gaining another few weeks of cash flow.) But Eck? took the non-payment payments to a new, let us say, creative level.
His company had the challenge of most growing companies – the rule of thumb is if you are expanding at greater than 20% percent a year, you will need to sell equity or buy debt to fund payables. Eck? had a great many management challenges and understood that the golden rule is to never run out of cash.
He has written a book on his experiences and directs readers on the anatomy of a personal brand as demonstrated by the Authenticity Formula…
Eck? defines authenticity as “truthfulness…imagination.” He uses a little flexibility on the personal motto. He uses “imagination” while sacrificing “truthfulness.”
Eck? gives an example of this financial “imagination,”
You know how when you write a check, your bank numbers are printed at the bottom? If you lick your thumb and smudge those numbers, the check has to be processed manually, as those numbers are typically machine scanned.
If the machine can’t read them, this could inadvertently buy you another thirty days before the banks cash it…So we smudged every check before we sent it out. Wet as a Slurpee… (Eck? 2013) p 121.
And so a billion dollar hip-hop power-house was launched. However, a true test of authenticity and creativity would have been to not hold back paying the invoices and to find a way to get the bills paid.
It would appear that management requires more creativity than art.
Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act. Proverbs 3:27