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Value: The Root of Financial Success

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“Price is what you pay – value is what you get.”
Warren Buffett

One of the most common goals people have is to improve their financial well being.  For some this means becoming a multimillionaire, for others it means simply having the freedom to work and achieve their goals with out the dark cloud of debt hanging over their head. No matter what your goals are, it is difficult to focus on achieving them when you are stressed and worried about how you are going to pay your bills.

The obvious solution to achieving such goals and alleviating these worries is more money. But what exactly is money? Think beyond the green pieces of paper with dead presidents on them. At its core money is a medium of exchange and a measurement of value. It is given in proportion to the amount of value received.

Value is now Valued more than Ever

The secret is to stop asking, “How can I get more money,” but rather, “How can I provide more value?”

This understanding leads us to ask, “How do I provide enough value to make someone want to exchange money for it?”

This doesn’t just apply to entrepreneurs and wannabe millionaires. Today’s job market demands value from employees as well. Every time a business spends money, the first question they ask is, “What’s the return on investment (ROI)?” They want to be assured that whatever money they invest in providing you a paycheck, you are going to generate even more money for them in return. This is true no matter what line of business you are in. Businesses aren’t charities; they are in business to make money.

We are living in unprecedented times. Old boy networks, connections, pedigree, and where your diploma is from matter less than ever before. Today it’s about getting the most value from every employee or business where money is spent. As more people are looking for work, employees are getting more picky about who they choose to hire. As consumers are getting more options, they are getting more picky about who they choose to do business with.

But there is opportunity in challenge. The playing field is continuing to level. You have the same potential to provide value as the next person who’s trying to eat your lunch. It may not be easy, it may not be immediate, but your potential to increase your value is in your own hands.

Translation: In the long run you are ultimately responsible for how much money you earn since money is exchanged for value and you can increase your value.

Increase Your Value through a Series of Self Questioning

Start by asking yourself, “What value am I currently providing?” Ask yourself, “If I left my employer, if I dropped my client, or stopped providing my service, how much of an impact that would have on them?”  How hard would it be to replace me?  These are not easy questions to answer honestly. But doing so is the first step in becoming invaluable.

Once you have answered these questions, you have formed a basis to start probing deeper. What potential do I have to improve myself to a point to where I am providing extremely meaningful and notable value? Value that employees, clients, and customers can’t live without.

Translation: How can I become invaluable?

Next ask yourself, “How can I help my partner, my employer, or my client reach their goals?” Because that’s really what it is all about. Everyone who gives you money has self interest in mind. Take a second to see from their eyes. What would it take for them to consider you valuable?  If you’re not there yet, what would it take for you to get there?

And Finally, the Action Items …

  1. List everything you think you would need to be, do, and accomplish to start providing the type of value that would in turn give you the financial freedom you desire.
  2. Once you have listed these things, make a blueprint.
  3. Break the blueprint down into bite-sized chunks.
  4. Set goals and timelines for achieving each bite-sized chunk.
  5. Get busy becoming invaluable.
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