How to make yourself more valuable

When value exceeds price, at least in the buyer’s mind.  A person will usually be compelled to purchase.  If all things being in line as well.

So the question is this.  What determines value? How do you determine value? What does value mean to you?

Seth Godin who is an author and speaker, addressed value in his book titled Linchpin, subtitle: Are you indispensable?

He addresses the definition of value head on and states that the market determines value this way.

He said that value is like a stair case.  The least valuable at the bottom and the most valuable at the top obviously.

At the bottom and working your way up you begin with:

People who can lift. Simple enough, people who can pick things up.

People who can hunt. These people know the target and go find it.

People who can grow. Take something that already exists and help grow it.

People who can produce something. These people can get you results in something or get others to produce.

People who can sell. These people can influence others to make a purchase.  As I always say, successfully persuade someone to separate with their money to solve a problem they might have.

People who can connect. These people are so influential that they can connect the right people with other people.  They connect the right companies with other companies.

People who can invent/create. Lastly, the most valuable on the hierarchy are the people who can create or invent something. They create something that didn’t exist before that can enhance your life or solve a problem.

If you want to become more valuable to yourself and to your company.  You must figure out a way to bring more value to your company.  All of the categories on the list are needed, but like everything in life and in business, some things are just more valuable.

Valuable usually means there is less of it, or fewer people who can do it.

As you look at the list, the last three fall in to the latter category. Fewer people can or are willing to do it.  Which is why it is so valuable.  Very few people want or can sell.  If you can’t sell, you aren’t going to be very good at connecting people or businesses, because you aren’t very good at selling.  And then lastly, if you create or invent something, you must be able to sell someone on why they should use it.

Do you want to become more valuable to your company?  One of the best ways to do this, is become more responsible and connected to the revenue of the company. You can do this by being in sales (you already are and you just don’t know it), or you can become better at selling. Or you can become a connector or an inventor as well.  You can do this where you are or you can become more valuable to the market by doing these things for yourself and the market.

To your success and your future.

3 ways to increasing your income

I am around a lot of people who want to increase their income.  I think that is a worthwhile and valuable goal to have.  It is a goal that most of us have on some level, I know I do.  Now is the time when I can hear some of my readers saying: “It’s not all about money”, “What about being happy”, “Work-Life balance”.  This post isn’t for the ones saying that, so you might want to stop reading now.

No, this post is for the ones who do strive to Be Happy and Make Money.  For some reason our culture thinks that if you want to make a lot of money, you have to work 24/7 and be miserable.  That just isn’t the case.  The goal should be to do work that matters, and to do work that you love.  When you are doing both of these things your income will go up and you wont be miserable.

What does it take to increase your income. I can only speak for me when I give advice in this area.  My suggestion is this.

1.  Do work that matters and you love:  If you are miserable. Stop doing that.  If the money is too good to quit, then you need to work on an exit plan. An exit plan could be going back to school to increase your skills.  Taking a class on a certification of some kind. Your exit plan could also be a side job that you are passionate about.  I know some people take side jobs for the money.  Well, that is only motivational for a period of time.  Doing something for the money regardless of how lucrative it is eventually becomes hard to do on the side.  You eventually lose that motivation.  It has to be something you are passionate about, that you want to do.

2.  Work: This is obvious right?  I think it is as well.  Most people are putting in a lot of work.  But a lot of work towards what?  A lot of work in the job that pays them a good salary.  Sure, you should do that.  But you eventually hit a ceiling.  Yep, a ceiling on what you can earn.  In Seth Godin’s book, LinchPin, he discusses the org chart of value.  The more value you bring to the marketplace, the more money you can earn.  The top three tiers in that chart are in this order from bottom to the top (there are other ones as well):  Sales, Connecting, Creating.  If you have the ability to sell, you bring a lot of value to the marketplace and your company.  If you can sell and can connect the right people, and have the right connections, you bring a higher value to the marketplace.  And then lastly, if you can create something you create your own value in the marketplace and the earning potential is endless.

Sales, Connecting, and Creating all require work.  The key is finding the time to do it.  Maybe you already do this in your job.  If not, think about how you can get yourself on that path.

3.  Invest: Using your own money and putting it into something where you seek a return or a profit.  I believe the best investment you can make is in your own personal and self-development.  The second best investment is into something that will give you a return on your money invested.  I personally like real estate. Stocks and mutual funds are great as well. Investment into a business where you can get a return when the company is successful can be a very lucrative way to increasing your income as well.

I am a person on this journey of life, like everyone else, just trying to figure it out.  Sometimes I think I have it figured out and then I realize I don’t.  But I know that the three things I mentioned above will get you closer to the income you desire.

To your success and your future.

 

Are you a LinchPin? My notes from this book

I read LinchPin (Are you indispensable) from Seth Godin a month or so a go.  In my weird filing and ranking system that I have created, I ranked this book 8 Stars out of 10.  It is a book that gets you thinking about how you can do more and be more, because as humans we have the ability to do whatever we want to do, if we choose to do it. So I thought I would blog my highlights from this book. My highlights are the takeaways for me from the book.  I put those notes in my journals and read through them once a month.

Here are my takeaways.  BTW, This is a nice summary of the book, however, I would encourage you to still read it.

Also, an artist as he refers to it in this book, is your unique talent and how and what you do to expand on your art and truly become a linchpin.

  • Stop asking whats in it for you and start giving gifts that change people. Then, and only then, you will have achieved your potential.
  • The attendance based compensation process if over in America.  There are fewer and fewer good jobs where you can get paid for merely showing up.  Instead successful organizations are paying people for who make a difference and are shredding everyone else.
  • The web has made kicking ass easier to achieve, and mediocrity harder to sustain.
  • The hierarchy of value:  There are always more people at the bottom of the stairs, doing hard work thats easy to learn.  As you travel up the hierarchy, the work gets easier, the pay gets better, and the number of people available to dot he work gets smaller.  Lots of people can lift.  Thats not paying off anymore. A few people can sell, Almost no one puts in the work to create or invent. Up to you.
  1. Lift
  2. Hunt
  3. Grow
  4. Produce
  5. Sell
  6. Connect
  7. Create/Invent 
  • Exceptional performers are starting to realize that it doesn’t pay to do factory work (Any job) at factory wages only to subsidize the boss.
  • Markets are crying out.  We need you to stand up and be remarkable.  Be human. Contribute. Interact.
  • Consumers say that all they want are cheap commodities.  Given the choice though, most of us, most of the time, seek out art.  And we will pay for that art.
  • I am good at school:  Being good t school is fine, if you intend to do school forever. For the rest of us, being good at school is like being good at frisbee.  Its nice, but its not relevant unless your career involves homework assignments, looking through textbooks for answers that are already known by your supervisors, complying with instructions and then, in high pressure settings, complying with instructions with limited processing on your part. 
  • What should they teach in school:  2 THINGS ONLY:
  1. Solve Interesting problems
  2. Lead
  • The law of linchpin leverage: The more value you recreate in your job, the fewer clock minutes of labor you actually spend creating that value. In other words, most of the time, you’re not being brilliant.  Most of the time, you do stuff that ordinary people can do.
  • The problem with mediocrity, you spend a little more time trying to be less mediocre than the guy next to you. This will wear you out.
  • Real leaders Solves problems that people haven’t predicted, see things people haven’t seen, and connects people who need to be connected.
  • The linchpin feels fear, acknowledges it, then proceeds.
  • The problem with meeting expectations is that its not remarkable. 
  • The linchpin says “I don’t want a job that a non linchpin could get.
  • Emotional labor is the task of doing important work, even when it isn’t easy. 
  • Emotional labor is difficult and easy to avoid. But when we avoid it, we don’t do much worth seeking out. 
  • An artist is an individual who creates art.  The more people you change, the more you change them, the more effective your art is.  WHAT IS YOUR ART?
  • Art is the product of emotional labor. If its easy and risk free, its unlikely that its art.
  • The moment your willing to seek your time for money is the moment you cease to be the artist you’re capable of being.
  • The passion isn’t in money, it is making a difference, solving a problem, creating change that could help millions.
  • The act of being generous makes your rich beyond measure, and as the goods or services spread through the community, everyone benefits. 
  • When its time for layoffs, the safest job belongs to the artist, the linchpin, the one who can’t be easily outsourced or replaced.
  • The combination of passion and art is what makes someone a linchpin.
  • An artists job is to change us.  When you have a boss, your job is to please the boss, not change them.  But the mount you treat a person like a boss, like someone in charge of your movements and your output, you are a cog, not an artist.
  • Emotional labor is more valuable than physical labor, emotional labor changes the recipient, and we care about that. 
  • The future of your organization depends on motivated human beings selflessly contributing unasked for gifts of emotional labor.
  • Optimism is the most important human trait, because it allows us to evolve our ides, to improve our situation, and to hope for a better tomorrow. 
  • Shipping:  This means create art and ship it.  Don’t wait around for it to be perfect because it never will be.
  • Any project worth doing involves invention, inspiration, and at least a little but of making stuff up. 
  • Successful people are successful for one simple reason, they think about failure differently. 
  • One way to become creative is to discipline yourself to generate bad ideas. The worse the better. Do it a lot and magically you’ll discover that some good ones will slip through.
  • The race to make average stuff for average people in huge quantities is almost over.
  • Becoming more average, more quick, and more cheap is not as productive as it used to be.
  • Fear is the most important emotion we have.  It is what keeps you alive.  
  • Accept that everything in life is a draft.  Which means you can keep perfecting it.
  • You can’t sprint everyday, but it’s probably a good idea to sprint regularly.  It keeps the resistance at bay.
  • Generosity generates income.
  • The market doesn’t care about your defense. It cares about working with someone who can accurately see what was, what is, an where things are headed. 
  • Perhaps the biggest shift in the new economy is self-determination. Access to capital and appropriate connections aren’t nearly as essential as they were.  Linchpins are made not born.
  • Linchpins don’t need authority.  Authority only matters in a factory.
  • Real change occurs when someone who cares steps up and takes a risk.  People will follow because they want to.
  • TRANSFERRING YOUR PASSION TO YOUR JOB IS FAR EASIER THAN FINDING A JOB THAT HAPPENS TO MATCH YOUR PASSION. 
  • Dignity is more important than wealth.
  • The only thing that separates great artists from mediocre ones is their ability push through the dip.
  • Understanding your only job is to make something happen changes what you all day.
  • If you actually work for an organization that insists you be medicare, that enforce conformity in all of its employees, why stay? What are you building? The work can’t possibly be enjoyable or challenging, your skills aren’t increasing, and your value is the market decreases each day you stay there. 
  • We can’t profitably get more average.

Are you a  linchpin?  Please share with me your thoughts on this book summary.  Did you find it valuable?  Would you be willing to read more of them?

Thanks

Brian Willett