Growing Your Market Value
Posted by Todd Smith
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If you are not growing in this competitive work environment, you are losing ground to your competitors. Living a status-quo life where you are not pushing yourself to improve will likely have negative consequences. Over time, your market value will decline, you will lose your edge, your self-confidence will take a dive, and people who are hungrier than you will replace you.
In Brian Tracy’s foreword to my book, Little Things Matter, he said, “We are living in a turbulent and challenging world today. And, if anything, the achievement of the success you desire will be more difficult and challenging in the months and years ahead than it has ever been before. You need everything possible going for you if you are going to survive and thrive in the ‘new reality’ in which we live today.”
A close friend, who’s a highly successful money manager, sent me an email in response to Tuesday’s post How Much Money Do You Need to Retire? He wrote, “For those people who have not saved for their retirement, the clock is ticking. Incomes are shrinking and the expenses you can’t control (taxes, fees, inflation, etc.) are the ones that are going to hurt everyone in the wealth-building process. The best option for those who want to enjoy a comfortable retirement is to focus on growing their income NOW.”
Building Your Income
If you are serious about growing yourself and building your market value, my best advice is this:
1. Identify, focus on, and master the little things related to your job description.
2. Identify, focus on, and master the little things that make you a better person.
Let’s take a close look at both.
Mastering the Little Things Related to Your Job Description
Regardless of whether you are a business owner, an independent contractor, or an employee, you have core responsibilities that must be fulfilled for you to earn an income.
Do you have a written job description provided by your employer? If so, review it and evaluate how well you are performing each of your responsibilities. Think of ways you can improve.
If you don’t have a written job description, write your own. Make a list of all your basic responsibilities. This includes the things you are expected to do—the tasks you are paid to do. Identify the little things you can do that will improve your performance. Then add to your list the unassigned, unexpected little extra things you can do to enhance your value.
As an example, volunteering to help a co-worker or picking up a dirty coffee cup in the parking lot. Remember that every little thing you do beyond your designated duties makes you a more valued person to your company and community.
As you go through this process, write down every point that comes to mind. Set a goal to make a list of 100 things. Break the big tasks down into little things. Become aware of all the things you must do, and then strive for excellence as you perform them.
Post this question on the wall of your workspace: “How can I perform my responsibilities at a higher level today?” Read it daily and continue to look for ways to improve whatever you do.
I would also suggest asking your employer and respected co-workers for their advice on where you can improve. It takes courage, but what you learn may be the most important thing you can do to increase your value.
Mastering the Little Things That Make You a Better Person
Far too often, people focus exclusively on the things they need to do to achieve their goals and overlook who they need to become to be worthy of achieving their goals.
Jim Rohn, one of my favorite teachers, said, “For your life to get better, you must get better.”
Brian Tracy said, “To achieve what you’ve never achieved before, you must become someone you’ve never been before.”
Most people in the U.S. are simply trading hours for dollars and doing the minimum to get by. I see fewer than 5 percent of the people putting any real effort into growing themselves and less than 1 percent who are striving for excellence to be the best at what they do.
Growing personally is something you can do today to build your value. It doesn’t require going back to school, taking risks, or changing careers. It just requires that you have the desire to grow and become a better person.
The benefits go far beyond the money. You will feel great about the person you are becoming. Your energy and motivation will grow, resulting in increased productivity. You will be more likable, respected, and influential. You will be more fulfilled, and your life’s journey will become more enjoyable.
I challenge you to step up your game by mastering the little things that increase your value in the marketplace. Remember, income follows value, so if you want to increase your income, you must first increase your value. Make this the year that you push yourself harder than you have ever pushed before. Will you do it?
If you are truly committed to growing and developing yourself, I highly suggest reading my 280-page hardcover book or listening to my audiobook, Little Things Matter. It contains more than 100 lessons that have helped me average over one million dollars a year in earnings for 20+ years.
Performing your basic responsibilities well is only the beginning. Going the extra mile at your job and doing the little things to become a better person will make you stand out from the crowd in your field and in your community.
In the comment area below, please share how you plan to increase your value to the marketplace or become a better person.
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