I wrote an article recently extolling the greatness of motivational speaker Jim Rohn, and one of his greatest philosophies has me thinking a lot lately. He stressed so often during his career the importance of increasing our value in the marketplace.
That is such powerful advice and we’ve all seen it play out over many years with famous people and products. It’s exciting to realize that we have the power to make our own lives into one of extreme abundance, just by simply following his philosophy. I know that you hold a great deal of value within yourself that would be life changing for other people. The world needs us all.
In order for abundance and fulfillment to take place, you need to publicize your value (and so do I) so that awareness is created in the marketplace. One thing that I keep losing sight of; there are tons of people and companies who have the income and budget to pay us sums of money that we have never seen before.
That means that our earning potential is as unlimited as our value in the marketplace.
Bring Awareness To Your Value Proposition
What we consider to be a lot of money is a drop in the bucket to others, and if our value is high enough, no one will have an issue with paying us for that value. But we have to let the world know that we exist and are here to serve with the unique value we possess.
When I talk about money and its importance, I’m speaking only in terms of if we are doing something that we have the skills for and are passionate about. Something that we would not only do for free, but something that we have already done for free many times over the years.
For me, that is what I am doing right now; writing. When I look back over the course of my own life’s history so far, this lesson has repeatedly taken place in the lives of people that I admired, I just never recognized it until recently.
Eddie Murphy Did It At Age 19
When Eddie Murphy debuted on Saturday Night Live in 1980 at the age of 19, he was already a very talented guy.
The world didn’t yet know that, but week after week, Murphy showed his incredible comedic gift and his obvious star power. Because SNL was such a high profile and well known television entity, he was able to publicize his value all over the country.
Once his immense value had been established, he began receiving film offers, and that led to his first movie, 1982’s 48 Hours.
By the end of 1983, Murphy was a 22-year old multi-millionaire and the hottest comedian in the business. Yes, SNL was giving him weekly exposure, but his incredible stage presence and brilliant comic timing in both 48 Hours and his second film, Trading Places catapulted him into a whole ‘nother realm of superstar.
Commensurate with the publicizing of his value as an entertainer, his income skyrocketed and it showed in his demeanor, clothing, jewelry, vehicles and houses. As an example of how significant his value had become by 1984, Murphy was paid a reported $1 million for an inconsequential cameo in the box office flop, Best Defense.
That was an enormous sum way back in ’84, but it was pennies to the studio that ponied up the cash because studios have very deep pockets. When a star the caliber and popularity of Eddie in the early ‘80’s appears in a film, paying him gigantic sums of money is more than worth it because it’s likely (the studios hope) that the film would more than recoup that money in ticket sales.
Michael Jordan Supercharged His Market Value
Another example is basketball icon Michael Jordan. When he joined the NBA in the autumn of 1984, he was playing under a contract that would pay him less than $700,000 per season. When he turned out to be an immediate superstar beyond everyone’s expectations, his value rose tremendously. This caused companies to come out of the woodwork to sign him and line his pockets with even more money.
Those companies were flush with cash, so paying him lots of money was a smart investment and therefore, a no brainer. By 1990, Jordan was a millionaire many times over thanks to a wealth of endorsement deals; most notably with Nike Inc. His NBA salary was meager compared to what his value in the marketplace was.
Those enormous discrepancies in his basketball pay vs his actual value were somewhat made up for in the 1996–97 season. For eight consecutive years, MJ’s annual salary from playing in the NBA was just $4 million. But Chicago Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf paid Michael $30 million for the ‘96-‘97 season.
For 1997–98, Jordan earned another $33 million to make up for years of being underpaid. Unsurprisingly, those numbers were still far below his actual value in the marketplace, but by that point in time, his net worth had ballooned to around $500 million! He is currently a billionaire.
Howard Stern’s Shocking Salary
Shock jock Howard Stern is another phenomenal example of an individual capitalizing on their massive value in the market. He’s been a polarizing and highly controversial radio personality for many years, incurring fines for the stations and himself as he cultivated a reputation of an obscene content producer.
Despite all that, Stern rose to celebrity status and gained a huge following thanks largely to his on-air antics and controversial hot takes, which resulted in enormously high ratings for the radio stations.
When he finally left terrestrial radio and began his new chapter on SiriusXM satellite radio in 2006, his deal was reported to be worth half a billion dollars. That type of money only becomes possible when we publicize our value and that value is embraced on a grand scale in the marketplace.
Kevin Hart Might Be Small But His Value is Enormous
Comedian Kevin Hart languished in obscurity for years as an aspiring comic, then kept progressing while earning minor movie roles and opportunities in television. Within the past five or six years, Kevin has been one of the most consistently visible celebrities on the planet, starring in a slew of films and touring the globe for his increasingly innovative and successful comedy tours.
It’s no wonder that Netflix paid Hart a reported $40 million for his stand up comedy specials. That deal never happens if his value as a huge crowd drawing comedian had not been on display for years. Remember, paying someone millions of dollars is impossible for us mere mortals, but it’s nothing to multi-billion dollar people and companies.
JAY-Z Has Mastered The Art of Proving Value
I read somewhere that hip hop icon and business mogul JAY-Z was paid $100,000 in 1999 for writing Dr. Dre’s electrifying verses on the smash single, “Still D.R.E.” That was 21 years ago, so what would he be paid nowadays? The key reason that JAY-Z was able to charge such a premium is because by that point, his value in the marketplace as an artist, lyricist and songwriter was extremely well known and coveted, especially within the industry.
Without the public’s knowledge of his enormous value as a songwriter, he would never have been able to command that kind of price. Even more impressive is the fact that JAY-Z was already so financially set even then, that $100,000 was not going to make any difference in his life whatsoever. Also, the fact that Dre was more than capable of paying that fee is exciting to those of us who possess our own brand of special value to share with the world.
For The Rest Of Us
I’m excited that building awareness of our value will help to create the vision and lifestyle that we seek. For me, writing is likely my most elite skill, I have an unlimited amount of strategies that I can use to publicize that and increase my value, especially to you.
One of the most underrated and in some cases, unknown ways to build up our value and publicize it is to offer our skill or service free of charge, especially to people in powerful or advantageous positions.
The more that a person has an audience or is in some way popular, the more opportunity there will be for the public to know who she is. Companies and advertisers love people that have an existing audience and they will invest in someone who brings that to the table.
All told, there are so many great ways that we can publicize our value. Do whatever it takes to get the courage to put yourself out in the world and show what you have to offer. You’ll be amaze at what will come from that as long as you never give up.