Perhaps the most difficult professional question one can ask him/herself honestly is “how much value am I”? Not a guess, gut feeling or hubris just a very honest analytical answer as to how much do you bring to the table. I posted a story a few weeks ago on the economic impact Lebron James (Professional Basketball Player) will have on Los Angeles now that he is a laker. It is estimated that he will bring in $300 million dollars of additional revenue to L.A.’s economy in the form of ticket sales, jerseys, vendor management, restaurants etc and that is verified by this country’s noted economists. That’s value folks. Now, of course I’m careful in making the argument that a professional basketball player’s impact on a city’s economy is equivalent to the impact a corporate executive has on their organization however the thought process on interpreting one’s true value in today’s business climate has some equivalency.
As someone who has now embarked on middle age I am constantly reevaluating my real value in business…and yes in life as well. I never thought at my age I would be out on my own as a management consultant hustling as if I was 25 years old. Like a lot of experienced business people out there I’ve had to re-purpose myself, take on new learning’s….find my value proposition. At least once or twice a month I’m contacted by old corporate acquaintances who were either laid off or decided to venture out on their own to pick my brain on how I’m achieving this miracle. My first question to them is not meant to be a smart ass or curt, I inquire “are you ready to cry”? Any entrepreneur regardless of age will tell you there are times when you just breakdown, however, juxtapose to those times can be exhilarating because when you’re on your own you really appreciate the small victories. The victories that you took for granted when you were receiving a check every other week. When I go on to explain the crying phase it’s merely to imply that it will be one of the only times in your life where you’ll be forced to realize your true value. Being an African American male who’s middle-aged with tons of experience the personal “value talk” is a conversation I have with myself daily. Understanding your value especially at the latter stages of your career can be very difficult and I certainly do not want to underplay that sensitivity but it’s a temperature check of competencies that EVERYONE should evaluate in themselves.
What if the “tangible asset” is YOU?
As a management consultant the product is me. I haven’t invented anything tangible but myself, no earth moving app or latest diet supplement…it’s just me and my brains. Again, as an African American male without a top management consulting firm on my business card understanding my value proposition is quite frankly keeping me eating. Unless I understand completely why a company should hire me it would be foolish for any organization to take that kind of risk. Selling experience and intellect is tough business…especially when comes from somebody that doesn’t look like the norm. To this point I’ve only given the angle of entrepreneurship however the subject of determining one’s value also applies to the corporate environment. I have plenty of clients that I work with 1-on-1 who are in the sterile places of corporate America, and who often complain about how their value is perceived. This not only applies to middle management and below I often here this from CEOs…yes leaders of companies. Everyone wants to feel valued and reassured that they are providing it. However, from my unscientific research/experience feeling devalued is probably the #1 reason most people either quit their jobs or move into the wonderful world of entrepreneurship. My realization is that YOU are responsible for your “value-development” regardless if you decide to stay in the corporate world or not. Determining what tangible asset(s) you bring to your professional career and how you parlay that to whatever goal you aspire too is 100% on you.
Your age is NOT an excuse!
If I received a dime every time I heard “I’m too long in the tooth, who’s going to hire me”? I’d be a $VALUENAIRE (lol!). Yes, there are companies out there who wouldn’t look twice at an experienced probably high priced candidate when they can hire someone younger at a 1/4 of the price, that decision is based on economics. However, companies are starting to come around from that thinking understanding that on-boarding a newbie can be just as pricey. Nonetheless, that should be a warning sign for the mature professional to start the re-purposing process…yes…value branding. I don’t believe age is a death sentence to understanding and rejuvenating your value.
“Billionaire Warren Buffett is known as one of the richest investors in the world, with a net worth that seems to grow by the day. But the “Oracle of Omaha” wasn’t always as filthy rich as he is today. In fact, 99 percent of his immense wealth was earned after his 50th birthday, reports Business Insider.”
In a crazy sense I’m thankful for a Warren Buffet because it means I still have time (lol!). The point however is that age has nothing to do with imagination, inspiration and reincarnation.
Experience coupled with wisdom is a priceless value-proposition, the trick is packaging it in a way that communicates value that’s worth paying for.
Let me help you identify your true VALUE: (Take a look at my Personal Leadership Development Page) Get an “S.W.O.T Physical” today! Click on below link:
(AH2 & Beyond Consulting)