What are you really worth?

I can’t be alone in detesting those adverts that tell you you’re worth the pricey shampoo/hair colour/whatever – they make me want to shriek and hurl something at the screen.

It strikes me there’s a subtle message behind them that this is all we’re worth: paying a bit more for an everyday product to make ourselves feel a bit more valued – we should stop there and be content with a small return.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m as depressed by a bad hair day as the next woman but I can deal with it without paying over the odds and I know that there are many, many more important ways to evaluate my worth!

Were you brought up as I was by a mother who always put herself last? Were you indoctrinated by the situations and the people around you into believing that you are not the kind of person who takes (relatively) bold action or has the capabilities to achieve, for example, business success?

It probably wasn’t a deliberate attempt to squash you – more likely they were just unthinkingly passing on the attitudes they’d been brought up in themselves.

So what are you really worth? How do you judge it?

I have a friend who teaches an art class to a group of retirees and she’s been thinking about putting up her fee: she’s still pitching it pretty low, though, because “they’re pensioners”. Well, really, that’s their concern! It’s up to them how they spend their money and what proportion they spend on the class.

What she (and they) should really consider is what value the class is to them: there’s the sociable element, the keeping their minds active, the pleasure they get from producing their own work and the access to the wealth of talent and knowledge she brings. That’s a lot of value!

So try that point of view on yourself: what value do you bring to the people around you? In simple terms, how much would it cost them to replace you – if they could?!

And if it’s not something you can put a monetary value on, how difficult would it be for them to find the same thing elsewhere?

You can add value to somebody’s day by something as simple as smiling at them – just think how much everything else about you can contribute. That’s what you’re really worth!

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