What is Value?

What is Value?

Do you know your true value and worth? Imagine if someone said to you, “You are not worth the salary you receive” or questioned the value of your packaged sponsorship assets. Could you justify or explain where the value is delivered?

This came up recently in two different conversations. One was with a McMaster University – DeGroote School of Business MBA student that I have informally mentored over the last couple of years. It is an awesome relationship as I watch her grow, continue to develop, and excel at school, in the community, and at jobs she has undertaken. As she graduates this month, we talked about the monetary value of her MBA—as to what salary she should expect in the marketplace. She wanted to make sure that she was not taking “too low a salary” based on her MBA graduate value while also hearing from peers in the MBA program of the $120,000+ starting salaries they were getting. We talked about how value comes not just from the wage granted, but the culture of the organization, the job itself, and other factors. And the graduate who has no real work experience versus MBA graduates who worked in the industry before going back to school to get their MBAs will have a different value based on their real life experience (beyond just a co-op posting). You need to know your value, but also the value of what you are delivering.

The second occasion preceded this.

We are very transparent. We have a billing rate of $375 per hour, and if you want to hire us to consult with you for 10 hours, that will be $3,750. Recently, I had someone say to me, “That is outrageous. I would never pay someone $375 for an hour of their time. No one is worth $375 an hour.” (I wish I could have looked at him when I replied, but due to COVID, we were on the telephone.) I calmly replied, “You are not paying $375 for an hour of my time. You are paying $375 for the insight, knowledge, and experience of the last 30+ years I have spent in this industry.” There was dead silence at the other end of the line as I waited for him to respond. Finally, he said, “Oh, I never thought of it like that.” But it’s true. When you hire us (be it me or any one of our team with as much or more experience), you are paying not for the hour of time, but the expertise, knowledge, and insights we have. You are paying to avoid the mistakes we have made personally or watched others make. You are paying for the insights into how things operate or how to make a plan work. You are paying for the knowledge that comes over time—not for the hour you want to “pick my brain.”

It is important to know what you are worth. It is important also, when you are buying a service or product, to know what value that product or service brings to you. You may buy a mixer to make a cake, because the $149 investment will save you a ton of time, make sure your wrist does not get sore from whipping, and ensure that you get enough air into the batter to make a great cake. Sure, you don’t need the blender, but you are willing to pay for it to lighten your load. The value of the parts, marketing, and packaging is not $149. It includes the technology behind the mixer as well. You are paying for more than just the mix master.

So, if you want to hire us, understand that it is $375 per hour. You are not paying for the hour of time, but rather for the accumulation of knowledge that will be made available to you during that hour.

Please remember to stay HIMPS! (Healthy, Isolate when possible, Masked, Physically distanced and Safe!).

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