Well, this week finds me here on the job in beautiful southern Michigan. I am working with two customers and one of them asked me..."how much is it worth for us to have you to work with for the next six months?" I know, most of you are thinking, 6 months with Mike Roberts - that would be "priceless". The only problem here is that a few of you are thinking it would be a valuable experience to work with me for 6 months, and the rest of you are thinking - what would you have to pay to excape from being around me for 6 months. Either way, the answer could be "priceless". So how should I answer this question? Here's a couple of essays on how I would answer the question......
1. I personally believe that one measure of the value of an individual is the quantifiable results that are produced by the work you do. For example, I expect the project I am leading now to result in a minimum cost savings of $250,000 annually, and I expect the project to be completed in less than 6 months. In that case, I guess you could argue that my value is $500,000 per year less the costs of getting the process in place. If this were right, and the savings extended over a multi-year period, my efforts, discounted to present value, could well be over $1 million.
2. I try, on every assignment I get (especially now that I am getting older) to provide training to the younger people I work with, so that they could use some of the same techniques I use in the future. If 5 of the 20 people I am working closely with eventually use these techniques successfully - what is that worth? I don't want to claim any credit for it, but I like to think I helped. It makes me feel good. My view - no charge - but it has been worth something to more than one person...lol. If nothing else, my "mentees" learned some important mistakes to avoid. How much could it be worth not to make the same mistakes Mike Roberts did.....I guarantee you...that would be "priceless".
3. Using simpler thinking, I sold my consulting practice to another company - I was absolutely tired of travelling every week. My record year in business for myself I paid income tax on $750,000 - so is this what I am worth? I don't think so - I don't want to do that again - I was divorced the next year. Worst of all, between the divorce and the tax man - I worked like a dog for nothing. So my view, is even though I "earned" $750,000 - I'd never do that again - so I must be worth something less than that number.
4. Still simpler - after my professional consulting experience - I went to work at the International Paper Company in Memphis, TN. for less than 1/3 of my consulting income. But, I didn't have to travel (too much) and had a nice simple life as a corporate jr. exec. Not bad. Is that what I am worth? I am not sure - Corporate BS is really not for me and my head was starting to hurt.
5. Now, I am in Michigan. Working with my friends. The weather is beautiful. Nancy will be up here soon. We are getting a summer cabin, with a hope of enjoying weekends together and with old friends and new friends. This is where it gets tough to figure out......
When you get to thinking about it that way it make me wonder; "HOW MUCH Do You Think I Should HAVE TO PAY THEM -TO LET ME WORK HERE?"
All the best,