The following is a guest blog post from S. Anthony Iannarino of the . His regular blog posts can be found on http://thesalesblog.com/. To sign up for his weekly newsletter, which features “some of his biggest and best ideas … that’s never published on the blog,” visit . The following was featured in Iannarino’s September 1, 2013 newsletter.
This week I read a story about a group of fast food workers protesting their low wages. They start at $7.25 per hour, and it’s impossible to survive on a wage that low. In fact, minimum wage isn’t intended to be a living wage; it is intended to be the wages paid for an entry-level job for those who don’t yet have the ability to create enough value to command a higher wage. Sadly, some people are trying to survive on minimum wage.
Set aside your politics; set aside whether or not the government can or should do something to force employers to pay more. Set aside your beliefs about society’s responsibilities in educating and preparing people for the real economy in which they now find themselves. Even set aside your feelings about a company’s profitability and whether or not they can easily afford to pay a higher wage.
I’ve heard some people suggest that the wages the employees in the story above should be determined by what is fair. Have you ever felt as if your client was getting the better end of the bargain, that the price you were forced to take was unfair? Who determined what was fair?
I’ve heard other people recommend that the government should insist that the companies that provide these worst-of-all-possible dining experiences should be required to pay a living wage, a wage on which the employee can survive—and maybe provide for their children. Have you ever felt as if your business or future was threatened by your inability to capture the necessary profit to survive?
What is at issue here is that a group of people believe that they create more value than they are capturing, and the group of people to whom they are selling their labor believe that they are not creating that value. Does this sound familiar to you?
This is exactly what has been at issue in the last two newsletters, namely your ability to capture an appropriate amount of the value that you create.
And how exactly are we different from these low paid employees?
The One and Only Answer
There is only one solution for the low paid fast food workers, and it is the same answer for you: increase the perception of value you create.
You have choices:
- You can learn to create more value for your clients.
- You can learn to change your client’s perception of the value you create.
- You can reject the business of those who don’t perceive the value you create and spend your time with people who do perceive that value. (Does that make you feel any better than someone telling you that if you don’t like what you are being paid, walk across the street and get a different job?)
Here in the United States it’s Labor Day weekend. It’s the time we honor the American Worker. But it really honors the American Worker of a time long past; it’s a holdover holiday from the Industrial Age. We now live in the Disruptive Age.
I wrote a post for new magazine, , which just launched this morning. The changes in our Disruptive Age economy have been brutal on low paid, unskilled workers. And they haven’t been especially gentle on the rest of us either. The recipe for this Disruptive Age, as far as I can make out from here, is to create more value, to work like the Devil to increase the perception of value you create, and to work even harder to capture some of that value.
Are you creating the value that your clients need from you? Are you doing everything necessary to increase the perception of the vale you create? Are you capturing some of that value?
Until next week, go and create so much value that no one would ever dare deny you your right to capture more. This is the only certain path forward.