“If you only place a small value upon yourself, rest assured that the rest of the world will not raise the price. And as a result of your own low self-esteem and poor sense of self-worth, you will fail to make a positive difference in the lives of others because you’ll think you have little to offer.”

John C. Maxwell from his book “Intentional Living”

One of the dictionary definitions of the word value is the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something. Depending on your perception, you can place a high value on something that actually has a low value and vice versa. Why is it so important to have a healthy self-esteem? John C. Maxwell in the same book says,

“…it’s impossible to consistently behave in a way that is inconsistent with how we feel about ourselves on the inside. Self-image dictates daily behavior. How we see ourselves regulates what we consistently do, and our regular behavior is what defines us, not what we might do on a rare occasion.”

Your perception of your value will affect the way you relate with others as well as the way you work. As a result you will either be pleasantly satisfied with your life, neutral or heavily dissatisfied.

Place two people with different perceptions in the exact same situation with the same potentials and limitations. The one that has a positive perception will view the limitations as opportunities to find solutions and generate new ideas. Regardless of how he/she feels emotionally, his/her mindset powers him/her up to step beyond the circumstances. However, the person that has a negative perception will emphasize the limitations, magnify them mentally, and as a result even the potentials seize to matter because they are so focused on the limitations they have blown up.

Our actions are activated by our thoughts. Your knowledge of your identity and true value will affect the decisions you make. We are intelligent beings with extremely high potential however some people never manifest their highest potential because they do not believe that they inherently have all they need.

One day after running around for a client and being tossed around, I was extremely frustrated and unhappy. My mum, who I expected to console me, asked me, “Why are you letting people treat you like a roadside tailor when you are a designer?” That hit me hard! We do not disrespect or underestimate roadside tailors at all. The point here is that I am much more. I had designed an outfit for my client from scratch and tailored it myself. I met her at her convenience, outside my workshop, more than twice for the measurements and fitting. In addition to all this, it was an order I took at a very short notice. I went over, above and beyond to try and satisfy this client because I viewed her as an important person but I made a huge mistake because I allowed her to toss me around and pay me peanuts at the end of the job. Because she was a C.E.O. of an important organization, I had exaggerated her value as a client and belittled myself thinking I had to do whatever it took to try and gain her as a client. The big mistake that I made was in perceiving the value I could offer as very little. In the process, I ended up selling myself very short and getting very frustrated in the process. By the end of that order I was physically and mentally exhausted. From that day I decided no more! I will not belittle my value as a person nor the value that the business offers ever again. Regardless of whether I am serving the president or my neighbourhood friend, they will meet me at the true value I offer. For me, that is a call to increase my value as a person by improving my skills even more and enhancing the value of the business in every aspect of its operations (process) and product so that when I ask to be paid a certain amount, the value for money is guarantied without question or appreciated despite question.

I had another contrary experience where I got an architectural work client. I was going to offer him a certain price but instead of telling him what I was thinking of asking for, I asked him what his minimum budget for the work was, to get an understanding of his offer. To my pleasant surprise, he told me a price that was three times what I was going to ask for. When I smiled slightly, he asked if the amount was too little. Again I had underestimated my value! And this time, I realized this client perceived my value at a much higher level than I thought he would! Friends, these illustrations are more than crystal clear. We need to have a proper perception of ourselves, and the value we bring to the table at any given time. That value can keep increasing, so we need to work on enhancing our skills and developing our minds.

Finally, I want to leave you with this question: what is the value of your time per minute? This week, I got a personal revelation that I shouldn’t focus on working longer hours to earn more, I simply need to increase the value of my minute and hence my hour. Basically, I need to increase the financial value of my time. I can do this through enhancing my skills and charging people right for my time because no matter how high my value is, if I do not let people know it, they will be more than happy to give me a lower value, in most cases. It does not mean that some time can’t be given for less or no cost, especially with good reason. It simply means that I will be more intentional about getting proper monetary value for my work.

So again, I’ll ask, “What is the monetary value of your minute?”

Our focus shouldn’t be on increasing the number of hours we work but rather, on increasing our value per hour.

Have a beautiful week.



NOTE: Most of the images used on this blog currently, are downloaded from the internet through random searches. Where an image source is not acknowledged, this blog DOES NOT claim ownership of it and we therefore acknowledge alternative ownership. Thank you.

Author: Keziah Elaine Ayikoru focuses on creativity in various fields especially Architecture, Fashion, Creative Non-Fiction and Poetry. Keziah aims to encourage the creative in you to live life fully, happily and wholesomely.

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