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How Much Are You Worth?

A few years ago they were gasps of amazement when it was revealed that Wayne Rooney was being paid £300,000 per week to play for Manchester United.

Then, a few years later, the gasps were even louder when it was announced that Gareth Bale was being transferred from Tottenham Hotspur for a fee approaching £80 million.

How could anyone be worth that much money?

Through that same period Mark Zuckerberg was announced as being one of the youngest billionaires on the planet.

Although a big story, it didn’t raise the same emotional reaction as the news about Rooney’s and Bale’s earnings.

For some reason we don’t seem to mind if entrepreneurs, musicians and film stars make huge sums of money but when it comes to our sports stars the same doesn’t appear to be true.

Of course this is a bit of a British thing because the Americans celebrate the huge salaries of their top sports stars.

Around the same time that the announcement of Rooney’s salary came out, Reid Hoffman, the founder of LinkedIn, in an interview said that he had reached a point where he would only spend his time on a project if it had a minimum value of $350,000 to the business.

Maybe you are asking why these inflated price tags are relevant to you?

The reason they are relevant is because inside each of us we are holding a view on the a value that we  think we are  worth.

And here’s the kicker.  

Whatever that value is, it morphs into a kind of ceiling over what you will achieve.

You may have met people who proclaim...

“I am not interested in money”

I certainly have and funnily enough they are the people who do not have much of it.  I have also met people who have bucket loads of the stuff, and the main difference I can see that exists between them is that they have the money because they are interested in it and they believe they are worth it.

It was the French cosmetics company L’Oréal, which coined the phrase “Because I’m worth it” back in 1973.

It has now become a modern day adage.

If you are career-minded, what you think you are worth links directly to the jobs that you decide to apply for.  And  if you have more of the entrepreneurial spirit, it will determine the nature of the business you set up and how you go about building it.

When Reid Hoffman said he would only work on projects with a value of $350,000 he was setting a value in his mind of what he thought he was worth.

But also, he was sending a message out to the world about the way they should value his time as well.

The consequence was that the value he brought to his business started to grow accordingly and some years later he was able to sell LinkedIn to Microsoft for $23billion.

So what do you think you are worth?

  • £400/week
  • £1000/week
  • £10,000/week
  • £300,000/week

There is a reason that chief executives, earning seven  figure salaries, have PAs and highly developed skills in delegation.

It enables them to focus their time on the jobs that hold the value they believe they are worth.

So you might say that doesn’t apply to the likes of Rooney and Bale.

They aren’t running businesses: all they have to do is kick a football. True.

But they also have to perform at the peak of their abilities in front of a huge live audience and a global TV audience, and they have to do it consistently.

And they can only do this because they believe they are “worth it”.

History is littered with examples of one hit wonders who made the big time but couldn’t stay there because they either didn’t believe they belonged there or the one hit fulfilled their dream and they then no longer retained the drive to stay at the top.

We see this play out with celebrities who live a public life but it affects us “normal” people as well.

I remember well the feeling when I was promoted to director level of a big media organisation, with my big, glass walled corner office on the 22nd floor of the Canary Wharf tower.

“What the hell am I doing here?”

I thought. And when I did, I had reached my “Am I worth it?” limit.

It is actually very easy to work out how much you think you are worth.

There are two things you have to do, but please be aware these two things might not make comfortable reading.

  • First: write down everything you’ve done in the last week with regard to your job or your business. But you need to do this in detail; hour by hour, day by day.  When you have done that, put a value as to how much you would be prepared to pay someone else to do that job for you.
  • Second: make a list of all the people you associate with both at work and in your private life. This list will be a reflection of the type of person you think you are worthy of associating with.  If you want to earn more than you are earning now you have to start doing the things that have that equivalent value, as a minimum.   And you have to start associating with the people who also bring, as a minimum, that value to what they do.

“Because I’m worth it” is not just for make-up and hair care. It is the most important phrase you hold in your mind.

Dene Stuart

Dene Stuart

Chief Thinking Officer at The Thinking Revolution

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