Defining Your Price Tag

Most people have high expectations of their first paycheck.

The promise of getting your first job is like a treasure chest containing wonderful jewels of life — like independence from your family, a ticket into real adulthood, the promise of defining your own life and finding your way in the world.

And depending on the profession you’ve chosen, you will either be satisfied with your first paycheck, or completely disillusioned. I think it’s safe to say that your initial ‘price tag’ — or salary — might not be what you imagined it would be.

I discovered Jim Rohn a few years ago and loved his definition of how we bring value to the marketplace: “You don’t get paid for the hour. You get paid for the value you bring to the hour.” It took me a while to assimilate this but it eventually helped me to get free from connecting my income to my sense of worth.

Your salary is not a determination of your worth. It is a remuneration of your current skills set. Your salary is a cost to your organisation in exchange for the benefit of your service. Earning a salary is a great way to start out your career and gain experience — but in the light of the fourth industrial revolution, it’s short-sighted to make that a long-term plan.

So many university students that I’ve been interacting with are teeming with entrepreneurial ideas. Some already have start-ups on the go as they take on their first job, knowing that they have a side business that can eventually turn into their full time gig.

Increasing your value in the marketplace

 

The world doesn’t owe you anything. Entitlement in the workplace, in any form, is not rewarded.

Never be limited by your salary and don’t let your job title define you. Give your best at work, serve your company and your clients as if you were an owner in that business. What you don’t realise is that your work shapes you.

As you expand your skills set, gain experience and learn how to solve problems, your value to the marketplace grows simultaneously.

One of Rohn’s refrains is also: “If you do more than what you get paid to do, soon you will get paid more for what you do.” Some might scoff at this idea but I’ve found it to be true in my own life. We all you have a choice to make: you can either be limited by your salary or you can be guided by your salary.

The answer is not to focus on getting more — but to better manage what you have right now. If you learn to manage what you have well, then you will soon receive more to manage.

Most people want the increase in salary — but they don’t want the increase in responsibility that comes with the higher pay package.

So if you want to define your price tag, decide to show up for yourself everyday. The best way to future proof yourself in the rapidly advancing world of work is to inculcate an entrepreneurial mind set.

Become someone who takes initiative, who thinks creatively, who is adaptive and flexible. Make the commitment to lifelong learning. Be realistic about what you have to offer. Resolve to know yourself better than others do. Be open to constructive feedback.

Stay humble and keep growing.

Eventually, you will get to determine the price tag on your work — once you’ve proven your value to the market.

Work week reflection question: What is my current value to the market? How can I increase my value to the market in the short to long-term?

Don’t Let Doubt Steal Your Dreams

image of a person in an iron mask

If the dawn of a new year scares you because you feel stuck in a private cycle of futility, then you could be letting self-doubt get the best of you.

Doubt is tricky to pinpoint because it hides itself behind so many other internal barriers. It’s easier to blame our lack of progress on our boss, or family background – or even on our own poor estimation of our capabilities.

Dictionary.com defines doubt as to be uncertain about; consider questionable or unlikely; hesitate to believe. Every successful person on this planet talks about how the battle with doubt is a constant one. So there will never be a day when you get up in the morning and it will have suddenly disappeared. 

While you need to accept that the struggle with doubt is part of the human condition, you don’t need to accept its potentially debilitating factor in your life.

Doubt blinds you to your true abilities.

Have you ever witnessed someone excel in a certain area (like public speaking or problem solving or bringing a team together) and then hear them talk about how incompetent they said area?

It’s astonishing and mind boggling – and yet most of us paint over our full colour brilliance with the whitewash of doubt every day. It’s like we have an invisible apparition strapped to our backs of the hideous monster we think we are, compared to the generally ordinary person we present to the rest of the world.

If we really knew what doubt was costing us, we might be more willing to address it.

 

Five Ways Doubt is Stealing Your Dreams

  1. It causes you to hesitate and lets opportunities slip through your fingertips:
    • We lose so much of what could belong to us because we allow fear to snatch it from our hands. We don’t apply for that amazing job because we feel we’re not ready yet – or that we don’t deserve it. We say no too quickly and then live with that regret for too long. People who have developed confidence act quickly when a good opportunity presents itself because they have been preparing themselves for success behind the scenes.
  2. It gives you the perfect excuse to avoid the work to bring your best self to the world:
    • Are you allowing doubt to gnaw at your optimism and potential? At the root of doubt is fear. What if I’m not good enough? What if I fail? What if I really suck at something that everything things I’m good at? When we worry more about what people will think or say by any particular course of action we wish to take, we are choosing to keep ourselves enslaved. Blaming others is the perfect excuse to stop trying.
  3. It’s makes you wait for the day that never comes:
    • When we keep making others a hindrance and using them as an excuse for our lack of progress, then we are keeping ourselves in a holding pattern. “One day, I will go on my dream vacation,” we say… but never do the research of what it will actually cost and start saving. “One day, I will get the love I deserve…” but we keep making choices that prove the opposite.
  4. It robs you from relationships that help you grow:
    • The weaker your sense of self-esteem, the stronger your doubt will be. We might desire to have healthy relationships with strong individuals – but we’re often afraid of looking weak in comparison and so we never reach out. If relationships are only challenging you negatively, they will never be able to help you grow. We are all a work in progress – there are no perfect people out there. Once you can give up the delusion that you need to be perfect, you might find the courage to engage in relationship that stretch you in all the right ways.
  5. It breeds negativity that stops good things flowing to and through you:
    • When doubt has taken over your life, he invites his friends – Negativity, Defeat, Failure, Misery, Loneliness… all the people that makes for a great pity party. If you let doubt consume you, you will find yourself playing the victim card in every situation. Why does it seem like good things don’t happen to  people who are constantly negative? Well, the main reason is that they have a negative expectation. Bad traffic, lousy neighbours, too many bills – these are things they didn’t know they’ve been asking for.

The antidote to doubt is faith.

How do you start believing in yourself when you find out that you haven’t been?

Firstly, start taking stock. Look around – and be grateful for – all that you do have in your possession. Not just material things but also the latent gifts and talents that you can put to work to help you become prosperous.

Then, take the time to reflect on what your life looked like a year ago this time – five years ago, ten years ago. Even if there are still some areas of your life that could use a massive overhaul, you have made some form of progress over the years. I sometimes consider my current life and all the things that God has added to it and it astounds me.

I had lived in a place of desperation and fear for so long that I didn’t know what freedom would look or feel like. And now that I am growing in my understanding of the freedom available to me, it humbles and motivates me to keep going along this path, to see what else is in store for me if I stay committed to my growth. 

If you’ve tied yourself to the opinions and approval of others, you can untie yourself from it. You also have to be willing to face your fears and start seeing yourself in a new reality.

Don’t study the thing that is tripping you up – study all the ways that you can learn how to run into freedom. The thing that is tripping you up will take care of itself. What we focus on, grows. 

So if you focus on belief, instead of doubt, a whole new world of possibility opens up to you. Don’t you want to be free?