friday reflections

Do you know your worth?

"Tell yourself you are a great individual and believe in yourself, for if you don’t believe in yourself, it will be hard for others to believe in you."  -- Walter Payton, one of the greatest American football players. (Source: The autobiography of Walter Payton NEVER DIE EASY. Walter Payton with Don Yeager) 

The world is too big. There are an abundance of opportunities. If you believe in yourself (know your self worth), there is always room at the top for your talents somewhere in this world. Pravin Shah 1965.

Life gives you exactly what you bargain for; nothing less or nothing more. (except in this story)

Story Line:

This is the story about a fellow who, several years ago, left his job and went into the consulting business. After he had finished a presentation about his services to a potential customer, the Vice President of Operations of the customer company asked him to come to his office  to work out the terms of the agreement.

Istock_000002469996xsmall When the fellow arrived, Mr. VP handed him a piece of paper and asked him to review and fill up the required information. This fellow was surprised because he was expecting a lengthy, legal terms and conditions type documents. Instead, there were only four words on that entire piece of paper. Rate…….Hours…….Others Conditions.

Never having expected this in his wildest imagination and still in a state of disbelief, the fellow told Mr. VP, “I will take whatever is the going rate with your other consultants with similar experience.”  After further insistence from Mr. VP that he must fill up that information himself, this fellow put down certain $$$ and Hours.

After a few months, as their work relationship became closer and the fellow had delivered good results, Mr. VP told him, “I know that you have not been in business for yourself before, but whether it is your own business or a job, you must know your worth all the time. We were willing to pay you twice as much because that is what we had assessed in terms of what you could do to save our biggest customer from moving away.”  He continued, “So now that we have been able to regain our customer’s confidence in us with your help, how much are you worth?” And he again gave him a piece of paper to fill up. It had the same four words as the first one.


It is hard to believe that such things could happen in business world where some one  would be so gracious to  increase the compensation rate without negotiations. But I have seen it happen more than one time.

But the key point of this real story is the lesson that Gary Remmen (Mr. VP, now retired in Florida) taught this young fellow. Whether you are in a business or an employee, you must regularly do an analysis of the portfolio of your capabilities and services (talents) and determine what it is worth. This allows you to:

1. Constantly look at the return your customers as well as you get on your personal assets (your talents and what you offer)

2. Explore new opportunities to expand the scope of your existing talents.

3. Develop the new skills and thus grow your portfolio of capabilities and services and your value.

SO WHAT ARE YOU WORTH?  (Share  your comments and stories below.)



Very good and pertinent one!

Very good lesson. I'm sure I will remember this one.

I once heard a story that is both similar and different. A guy goes to get his car fixed at an auto repair shop. The job is completed and the essential problem fixed, but the customer isn't satisfied and he comes back to complain. At this point the wise mechanic says to the customer, "Please pay me whatever you think this job was worth". The customer was caught by surprise to be ceded the control of the argument. Of course there is a risk that some customers in such a situation would pay nothing and leave feeling triumphant. But more often than not, a customer will agree to pay at least a part of the original asking price. And probably, that customer would be inclined to return for future business!

The need and the ambitions-these keep oneself most of the times act strangley or inscrutable

Good Article. Years ago, I did analysis of my worth at the advice of my mentor. I am worth a lot more now because that helped me improve my skills and value to my clients.

Too often, people determine their self worth by looking at the people next to them or around them.

Benchmarking your talents against what you want to bring to this world sounds like it would lead to a much happier and productive outcome for people.


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