In this series, we’re exploring the biggest causes of failure that are holding people back. (If you missed number 4, you can see it here.) Today we look at the third deadliest, which is…
You’re Unable to Demonstrate Your Value
This one is HUGE, for millions of people. Because in their case (and possible yours), they’ve actually done the work to become good at what they do. They’ve paid the dues, learned the lessons, and found the right path for themselves. Meaning they have found something they love to do, and they’re good at it, but they’re not succeeding financially.
At some point in their life they heard the following expression, or something similar: “If you build a better mousetrap, the world will be a path to your door.”
Guess what? That was probably true in 1950, and maybe even it was still true in the 80s. Although I doubt it. Today, the guy who is on Instagram with photos of dead mice is getting all the business.
The world has changed. There is now so much competition, so much white noise, that simply having a better product or service will no longer guarantee your success.
Many professional speakers tell me, “I need to find someone who can create all my bookings, so I can just appear on stage.” Hold my beer.
If you’re a speaker, author, coach, etc., you are the main product. And there is no one in the world who can better articulate the value you can provide than you.
I have an author friend who is one of the most gifted writers alive today. He’s a modern day Mark Twain. And he has sold a lot of books. But when a new book of his is released, he doesn’t even mention it on his Twitter feed or blog. That’s just crazy to me. I think he’s sell a whole hell of a lot more if he wasn’t keeping the fact his books come out a state secret.
Sometimes your inability to demonstrate your value is a self-esteem issue. We won’t look at that now, as it will play huge when we look at the #1 deadliest cause in a few days. But often, it’s simply a case of the belief your better mousetrap is going to market itself.
It won’t. Here’s the new reality:
- You have to have true value.
- You have to be able to demonstrate your value in a compelling way.
- You have to promote your value in a compelling way.
Sometimes the issue isn’t that you’re afraid to ask, but how much you ask for. Let me share with you an example from my own life…
I was maybe 23 or 24 years old, working as a manager for a restaurant chain, earning $270 a week salary. I was approached by another company that I has been recommend to, to see if I was willing to fly to another state and have an interview with them. I flew up and spent a day with them, sharing my thoughts on how I would handle the food and beverage director position they wanted to fill. They loved my interview and said the job was mine; name my price. I summoned all my courage and said I wouldn’t take the job for less than $325 a week. They agreed instantly and hired me. A month later I was on the job, doing my first payroll. That’s when I noticed the F&B Director before me, they one they had fired because they weren’t satisfied with, had been earning $400 a week. That lesson stayed with me.
Sometimes I’m shocked to see the low prices people set for themselves, whether massage therapists housekeepers, or consultants, coaches and professional speakers.
The mistake they make is setting value in terms of the cost to themselves – not in terms of the benefit to their clients or customers.
You shouldn’t price Moby Dick by the cost of the printing and binding, nor the Mona Lisa by the time it took to paint it. It’s the same if you’re an employee asking for a raise, an artist setting a price for a piece of work, or an entrepreneur selling a stake in her firm. You have to do your best to think in terms of the outcome you are providing.
Know your value. Own your value. Ask for your value.
For this series, I’ve come to these conclusions, based on my work coaching with some of the most brilliant people in the world through my Breakthrough U coaching program. Due to demand, I am opening up five additional spaces. If you think you’re ready to operate at that level, apply quickly.
In tomorrow’s post, we’ll explore the 2nd deadliest cause of failure. And I’m betting it’s the one you’re going to hate, and argue against the most!
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