To earn what you’re worth, you need to find and eliminate the bottlenecks. Consider this: When you’re outproducing what you are earning, that creates friction. It creates a bit of tension. And in most well-run organizations, the organization says, “this person needs to be compensated more.”

And if that’s not happening in the organization you’re with, if you are outproducing what you’re earning, it means that there are plenty of opportunities for you somewhere else that will actually recognize and appreciate that value and reward you accordingly.

David: Hi, and welcome to the podcast. In today’s episode, co-host Jay McFarland and I will be asking the question, are you earning what you’re worth? Welcome back, Jay.

Jay: Hey, David, it’s great to be with you again. And as I was thinking about this question, I realize I’m not sure I know what I’m worth. I know some people that say, you know, my time is worth this much money, and if I’m not making it, then I’ve got to change something or do something. I’m not there yet. I’m just not.

David: Yeah. I think you’re not alone. I think there are a lot of people who struggle with this, and the real challenge comes in the last half of the question, you know what you’re worth because can’t answer the question until you determine that part of it. Are you earning it?

Well, I don’t know. I have to know what I’m worth. Or I have to decide what I’m worth, choose what I’m worth. Choose what I think I’m worth. I think, and I’ve said this to a number of people over the years, the reason that I ended up getting into business myself is that I couldn’t find anybody else who would be willing to pay me what I thought I was worth.

Right? , you work in different jobs and you say, okay, well I feel like I’m worth more than this. Well, when you start your own business, you’re earning what you’re worth because if you’re not producing anything, you’re not earning anything. And if you start earning stuff, then whatever you’re producing justifies it.

And so essentially you’re earning what you’re worth. But still, even with all that, a lot of times, those of us in sales or those of us who own businesses, may feel like the work that we’re doing is costing us too much in terms of time and energy and effort and not producing what we’re looking for in terms of financial results, which is the reason I ask the question.

Jay: Yeah. I think it is so important that there’s other ways to be paid for your worth. You know, if you’re in a place where you get job recognition, where they listen to your ideas, where you can climb up the ladder, for a lot of people that’s worth more than the bottom line paycheck. Now, if they’re not getting enough to pay their bills, then obviously cash is king.

But all of the surveys I’ve seen say that people would really take less money if they felt like they could get rewarded in other ways. Now, when you’re working for yourself, that equation changes completely.

David: Yeah. And I mean, a lot of times people start their own business. They do their own thing because they figure it’s going to give them all sorts of time freedom and things that they don’t have in a regular job. And very often they find out it’s exactly the opposite.

I think it was Michael Gerber, the author of the EMyth who talked about the fact that there are a lot of people who work for other companies and they say to themselves, “okay, this guy’s a jerk. I’m going to start my own business.”

And they stop working for a jerk and they start working for a maniac… themselves. And when I heard that line I’m like, “that is so true.”

So often we will do things in our own businesses that we would probably never do for another employer in terms of the amount of hours that we’ll put in, the amount of thought that we put in, and all that sort of thing.

Now, there are employees who do that. There are employees who are really focused on that and who really give their all to a job. But when you are an entrepreneur, particularly if you’re a solo entrepreneur, when you’re kind of doing your own thing, you’re the business.

And so the things that you do have to count, they have to matter. And the actions we take have to generate. enough of a result that we’re able to get the kind of money that we need to make just to maintain the business, let alone earn a good living.

Jay: Yeah. And don’t you think we kind of romanticize what it is to be an entrepreneur, to be a small business person?

You know, we picture all the good. , you know, all the freedom that we’re going to have and everything else. And sometimes what we did is we gave ourself twice the work and half the pay. And so, it becomes hard when you think, you know what your worth, but you just can’t figure out how to get there.

David: Yeah, exactly. And it is very romantic in the early stages because you have this idea of what it’s likely to be like, which is often very different from how it actually works out.

So whether someone is an employee or an employer, the idea of earning what you’re worth starts with identifying, okay, well, what am I worth or what would I like to be worth in terms of dollars, in terms of time freedom, in terms of relationship freedom, all that sort of thing.

Because it all plays into it. If you are a people person and you like interacting with other people, and suddenly you’re forced to work by yourself from home, that’s going to be an issue for you.

So for some people, currency is interacting with others. And so we have to think in terms of what’s important to me as far as my work life is concerned?

Does it involve interacting with a lot of other people? Does it involve learning things? Because there are some people who are real learners and they like to constantly be learning new things and testing new things and applying new things.

And for them that can really get them fired up and that can be a form of currency as well –learning new things, growing within a job, growing in terms of responsibility. Because all of that is designed to increase your worth to the business, but really, ultimately to the market, which is the most important thing.

If you’re able to increase your value to the market, the people who buy from your company, then your value goes up. And sometimes we try to increase our value to an employer, and maybe the employer just has a certain view that’s not going to line up with that.

So I feel like whenever we focus on trying to increase our value to the marketplace, we’re likely to create better results.

Jay: Hmm. I think that’s an excellent point. I think also if you can really establish what your time is worth, if you can come up with an equation, then you can start knowing when and how you should delegate, right?

Because if you are doing things that are not worth your time, then you’re wasting time. You know, we talk about time capital, right? And we talk about delegation a lot on this podcast.

But if you think your time is worth $150 an hour and you’re doing something that you could pay somebody $18 an hour, well, then you’re not going to make what you think you need to make. And so you’ve got to figure out those equations. And sometimes it takes time to do that.

David: Yeah, exactly. And it’s also important to think in terms of what is it that’s holding you back? We need to focus on what is the bottleneck that is keeping us from earning the amount of money we want to earn or whatever it is that we want to earn as a result of the work that we’re doing.

And just as in manufacturing, in the book The Goal by Eli Goldratt. He talked about the idea that there’s usually one primary bottleneck in a manufacturing organization. And it’s easy to visualize, because if there’s one machine in the middle of a company and that’s designed to churn out the product and that machine is broken, you’ll have people on the front end of the machine who are trying to load it up and they can’t do it.

And people on the back end of the machine who can’t unload it. And shipping people who can’t ship it, and salespeople who can’t sell it, because they can’t produce it because of that one thing.

When you are in sales yourself or when you own a business yourself, it’s not always easy to see the one thing that’s keeping it from happening. Particularly when you’re in sales.

Because we think of sales as reaching out to people, talking to people, having conversations, closing sales, delivering product, that sort of thing. But within the sales process itself, there are various stages.

Is the bottleneck in the prospecting that I’m doing? Am I reaching out to the wrong people? Am I attracting the wrong people in the marketing that I’m doing? Are my conversations not going the direction they need to go?

Am I not being persuasive enough? Am I not responding to questions and concerns? Am I not addressing complaints? There are a lot of different areas there, and just one of them can be the same bottleneck as the bottleneck in the manufacturing facility.

If you’ve got one particular thing that is slowing you down, the most important thing you can do is to identify that one thing. Because everything else you do around that is not going to produce the result. All the potential that you have for growing is behind that rock, essentially.

If you’re going down the street and you come to a place where the road is completely blocked off, there’s a gigantic boulder and there’s no other way to get there, you got to figure out, “how am I going to get around this boulder?”

Same thing in sales. We have to. What is it that is keeping us from earning what we feel we are worth? Now, sometimes it could be we just think we’re worth more than other people think we’re worth, at which point we either need to start our own business or we need to prove it.

We need to generate results that are far more in excess of what we’re being paid to demonstrate that we’re worth it. And when you start to do that, when you take responsibility, it’s a whole lot easier to start moving toward getting paid what you actually feel like you’re worth.

Jay: Yeah. Yeah, that’s exactly right. you talked about that boulder in the middle of the road. I think that we have a tendency to get tunnel vision. Like, this is what works for us.

This system has worked for us for years. This is what we do. But if you don’t have an awareness of the market and you don’t have possible contingency plans, then you can find yourself flatfooted. I mean, right now at the moment of recording this, we’re hearing a lot of talk of a recession.

So in your business, are you thinking, okay, how are we going to survive if we go into a recession? Does that impact our business model? Does it impact our strategy? I think in this way we can have multiple income streams, possibly? And like you said, multiple approaches? Multiple advertising vehicles? Perhaps we have to adjust our pricing to get through something like a recession.

We saw the very same thing during the pandemic. I mean, the businesses that survived during the pandemic shut down were the ones that could pivot and find new markets and still be able to provide a product, but in a completely different way.

David: Yeah. If we just think in terms of taking responsibility for our results, a lot of that will end up allowing us to take more responsibility for what we’re going to ultimately earn. Because when you’re outproducing what you are earning, that creates friction, it creates a bit of attention. And in most well-run organizations, the organization says, “this person needs to be compensated more.”

And if that’s not happening in the organization you’re with, if you are outproducing what you’re earning, it means that there are plenty of opportunities for you somewhere else that will actually recognize and appreciate that value and reward you accordingly.

Jay: Yeah, and I think one of the other things is if you’re doing gangbusters you’re not really thinking about systems or potential roadblocks. I mean, what’s the saying in sports? Winning is the best deodorant, right?

So things are just screaming along, oftentimes you’re not thinking about systems. You’re just fulfilling orders. things are going great. And then the minute market forces change or something else, you have no clue what to do because you were just in the right place at the right time to produce that level of sales.

And that can be really dangerous if you’re not thinking ahead and creating these contingency plans.

David: Yeah, it’s great when you’re riding the wave, you don’t have to think a whole lot. You just keep doing what you’re doing and that works out great. But then, when the ocean is still, you got to start paddling.

Jay: Yeah, that’s exactly right. Great discussion, David. How can people find out more?

David: You can go to, that’s Schedule a call with myself or my team. We would be happy to sort of walk you through where you are, where you’re looking to be in terms of visibility, sales, and profit, where you are now versus where you want to be in terms of what you’re earning versus what you’re putting into the business.

These conversations have been so helpful. I’ve had so many people who said, “wow, this is great.” And again, even if we never work together, if the conversation is helpful to you, we’d love to.

Jay: Yeah, sometimes it’s just hearing the words come out of your mouth and having a sounding board, so we really appreciate that you offer that service. David, it’s been great talking to you.

David: You too. Thank you, Jay.

Are You Committed to Earning What You’re Worth?

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