One of the most important rules of personal economics I ever learned was from Jim Rohn. Jim’s unique philosophy is this,
“we get paid for bringing value to the marketplace. It takes time to bring value marketplace, but we get paid for the value, not the time.”
My whole life I learned about hourly wages. About punching a clock and getting paid x dollars for the time I put in. I quickly learned that thinking was wrong. Jim challenged me and in this post I want to do the same for you.
Why is it that one person can make only $20 an hour, when another person can make $100 an hour? Why is it that with the same background, the same ethnicity, living in the same country and with everything the same, one person can make two times, three times or five times the money that someone else makes? The answer, value. Value makes the difference in economic results. And when I observe the champions of our world, they’re focused on providing more value than their being paid for. They go above and beyond their peers through work ethic, thoughtfulness and generosity. They do more than is expected.
At Venture for Canada training camp I met a lot of champions. One in particular, caught my eye quite literally. Camp was a casual setting with most people dressed relaxed. We wore jeans, t-shirts and sneakers. Ryan however, was always dressed professionally. He wore a clean button down with dress pants and shoes. He was sharp, respectful, and walked with an air of confidence. He immediately stood out as someone who respected himself and how he was perceived by others. I knew I wanted to get to know him.
As I got to know Ryan better, I quickly understood that dressing professionally was only one of many ways he did more than expected. From being the first member of his family to go to University, all the way to running for Fredericton City Council in a municipal election, Ryan consistently goes above and beyond what is expected. Born and raised in Riverview New Brunswick, Ryan’s first exposure to the profile of a champion was through his father. Owner of a local funeral home, Ryan’s father instilled in him the importance of giving time, energy and respect to others no matter their background.
Clearly those early lessons paid off. Today, Ryan’s willingness to do more than expected has shown up in his value to the marketplace.
In my opinion there are three reasons to do more than expected.
Your Example Empowers Others
In both his social and professional life, Ryan has become a servant leader. He believes the first responsibility he has as a leader is to those surrounding him. Anyone reading this that aspires towards getting promoted, making more money, and feeling more joy and fulfillment can benefit from embodying this thought,
“You can be a champion in your own life, but you can always be a champion in someone else’s life.” – Ryan Cobb
It wasn’t until Ryan became a servant leader that his true value was realized. In his second year of University, he decided to become a residence assistant. An RA is tasked to facilitate the social, academic, and personal adjustments of first year students coming into University. A role that already presented a myriad of responsibilities, Ryan became a pillar for his students to lean on. He took it upon himself to be the best role model possible.
Ryan intentionally dressed sharp. Was always smiling. Was respectful with every student. He Showed up early for class. And was cheerful and enthusiastic everyday. He believes that no matter the personable stresses and troubles we’re dealing with, we can always choose to have the right mindset. Ryan shared a story with me about a young man in his first year who was skipping classes and had a poor attitude. After a few months of watching Ryan’s example, greeting people in the halls, attending every class, and being excited about his time as a student, the young man approached him. He said, he had been skipping class all semester. But after seeing Ryan’s example, hadn’t missed a class since the Christmas holidays a few months before.
What type of example are you setting for the people around you?
Are you giving your best self today?
Do you showing up with a contagious enthusiasm that will empower others to feel the same way?
The champion does. The champion leads from the front. They set the tone. They’re always willing to sacrifice whats easy for whats right. The champion does not forget the “small things” like thanking those around them, working for others, and always lending a hand. They know there’s great impact in the small things.
You Will Be Valued
If you want to quickly add more value (making you more money), get promoted into a leadership role. Leaders with the habit of doing more than expected virtually always cultivate the most respect, admiration, and work ethic from their teams.
Completely unqualified, Ryan told me about his job working for a truck driving company. Put in charge of a team of twenty truck drivers double his age, most people would expect to be discounted for being young and inexperienced. Not Ryan. His habit of doing more than expected meant that he took time and energy to get to know each and every driver personally. He had empathy for them. He knew how hard it must have been for them to put in ridiculous hours on the road. To live in their trucks and be away from their family for weeks.
“If you want to be valued, value other people first” – Ryan Cobb
The personal relationships that he built payed huge dividends. It meant that his team felt comfortable with his leadership. They were able to have difficult conversations. And ultimately, when Ryan left the company, eight of the drivers came into the office to wish him well on his next journey. Completely unheard of in that line of work.
Do you want to be truly valuable to your company? To your family? To your friends?
Than take heed on Ryan’s advice as I am, value others more than expected. The champion gives people they care about their time, energy, and patience. At the end of the day you will be valued and respected.
You’ll Begin To Think Big
Just like a young child, the champion is a big thinker. They believe in possibilities for themselves and society most people can’t imagine.But, if you’re not a big thinker today, it’s okay. Neither was Ryan.
Ryan shared that he didn’t always do more than expected. He didn’t always believe in himself. As he was growing up, he learned to be afraid of being wrong. That fear crippled his thinking.
He had thought for a long time about running for the Municipal Government. Yet, like most people, he was afraid of what people would think of him. Afraid of embarrassing himself. Afraid of rejection and a potential loss that would crush his confidence. He wasn’t thinking big. He was focused on the obstacles instead of the possibilities.
I asked Ryan what had changed. Why did he finally decide to run for office, despite the feelings he had recently experienced? Here’s what Ryan said,
The accumulation of my experiences from my Undergraduate degree, being an RA, living alone, and managing many teams made me realize that I’d be better off losing, than living with the regret of never trying.”
All of Ryan’s experiences of doing more than expected lead to a clear boost in his confidence. When you empower others, you empower yourself. When you value others, you value yourself. As Ryan developed as a leader, he built the belief necessary to think big. Without big thoughts, you will never be willing to venture out, take action and execute on your ideas.
I know that Ryan has an incredible future ahead of him. He’s demonstrated the willingness to be and do more than expected. He’s dedicated to adding value to his peers, community, and his companies. I know without a shadow of a doubt, this young man is a champion.
The purpose of this series is to help you recognize some of the traits necessary to become a champion. It’s important to remember that each trait of the champion is a learnable skill. As an example, right now I’m focused on doing more than expected by being hyper diligent with my follow up with people. I’m adding new people I meet on LinkedIn. I’m sending them an email. I’m thanking them for the opportunity to connect. I’m asking them if there’s anything I can do to help them. And I’m going out of my way to make sure that I add more value in the relationship than I’m taking in return.
Ask yourself what one area of your life can you do more than expected. Is it in your homework? Is it taking out the garbage for your partner? Is it by dressing sharply by Ryan? What’s it going to be?
Choose right now what one thing you will do to add more value to your peers, community, and company that you weren’t doing prior to reading this. Even the slightest shift in value, can give you tremendous upside in return.
Till next time, stay on the offensive. Aggressively pursue a better version of yourself. And remember what Jim Rohn said, “You cannot change the destination of your life overnight, but you can change the direction”.