Can you build a business if you hate math?

Here’s a phenomena I’ve noticed since I started coaching. Well, maybe it’s not so much a phenomena as it is status quo for a lot of entrepreneurs.

If you come into my office and survey my desk, you’ll get an accurate picture of what’s important to me for building my businesses. When you sit down, to the immediate right is my phone, the instrument for having sales calls and closing them.

To the immediate left is a fat calculator, the other tool I use to determine what kind of money I want to make that week, price my services, calculate earnings and as well as help clients price their offerings and meet their sales goals.

What’s interesting to me is that, as I’m finding out, many entrepreneurs don’t use the calculator as much I do and for lots of people, it seems like they don’t use it at all.

On sales calls, people will say to me their next goal is to reach $5,000 or $10,000. But if I ask them what they’re selling, for how much, multiplied by how many units, and I tell them the answer, the reaction I get is always a mixture of surprise and bewilderment. I have been told lots of times, “I had no idea you can figure it out like that” or “Wow, I didn’t realize that’s what I would be earning” or “That’s so cool what you just did.

Maybe it’s Asian values or being born into a money–conscious culture. Somehow we’re wired (or shamed) with profit instincts. It’s not just that Asians are good at math. It’s that Asians are excellent at profit math, the handiwork of numbers that turns ideas into cash flow, cash flow into streams of profit, and streams of profit into empires.

It all starts with profit math. Profit math opens your mind to possibilities and lets you play with your ideas before you invest your heart and energy into them. It lets you get curious about how you can literally build something out of nothing, and how a seed of an idea can mature into a huge business that not only feeds you and your family, but others as well.

My contribution to this world, I wholeheartedly believe, is to use my vision and power to create a big economy. That’s why when I think business, I think big business. In my heart, my ideas and businesses must become so big that I can take care of thousands if not tens of thousands of workers and their families and give them employment, a home, food on the table, education, freedom and hope. My dream starts with my humble little calculator. So does yours.

Profit math is about developing a relationship with the financial side of your dreams and not only that, it means investigating — and improving — the value of your work, your craft, your know–how and the viability of your ideas.

Your modest little calculator holds the answers to so many key questions about how to create what you want to create. To me, it’s also an oracle that helps you discover your highest potential. Here’s an example:

When I started designing websites at Intuitive Picture, I began by charging $250 for a site. I didn’t know what the value was or what my skills were worth and at that time, $250 felt like a lot. However, in just one year, the price of my websites quickly climbed to $6,000 and now it’s at $8,000 a pop. How did I get there? By messing around with my calculator, to start.

And when I played with profit math even more deliberately, I realized that I want to get into the product business — because of volume. My desire to sell in volume allows me to envision what I need to create and who to sell it to.

The calculator is a compass. The calculator also helps you time–travel in practical and productive ways, by helping you measure last year to this year to the vision that you’re working toward, and whether your day–to–day decisions are in full alignment with your financial intentions.

It’s astounding to me that so many entrepreneurs are fixated on marketing metrics — things like optin rates, open rates, click rates and et cetera, which are indicators of customer interest — not sales. I’ve seen entrepreneurs spend precious time perfecting the metrics that they’ve forgotten the goal in the first place: to sell. I’ve even seen business plans where sales is not even mentioned. What other purpose does a business plan serve if not to position for profit?

I’m not saying you need to start becoming overtly profit conscious. I’m not saying you need to get the glazed look (as in, when I watch real estate TV shows, I’m always amused when brokers ask their clients about the price range of homes they’re looking to buy. The buyers respond and the next thing you know, some brokers’ eyes are totally glazed over and you just know they’re calculating their commissions in their heads). I’m not saying to become that person.

What I am saying is, there are lots of heart–centered entrepreneurs out there who say money is not that important to them. Yet in the same breath, they want to start or grow their business.

But here’s the thing: business and money are inseparable. If you don’t really like the idea of working with or even making money, then business isn’t going to be fun for you.

Get to know your calculator. Play with it some time. You know, a calculator is not just a tool to figure out what 25 percent off is when you’re out shopping. It’s not to figure out what you should tip your waiter. Your calculator is not an instrument to help you save money or help you spend the least amount money.

Your calculator is an instrument for projecting profit. Appreciate it and regard it that way. It’s your moneymaking device, companion, truth–teller and compass. Stop using it only to figure out how to save money. Start using it to plan how you will make money.

Then, Ms. Entrepreneur, the world will be yours.

Hi, I’m Ana Coeur

I teach entrepreneurs how to create their business straight from their soul. I offer a complete Intuitive Business Suite to help you create, design, write and sell all from your intuition. Here’s the services you can take advantage of to empower your business: Intuitive Web & Brand Design, Intuitive Copywriting and Intuitive Selling. If there’s anything I can help you with, I would love to hear about it! You may email me at

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