Do you want to increase the amount of money in your wallet? Then you’ll need to increase the value of yourself. It’s that simple. But how do you increase your value to the world? If you’re already working for someone or you’re self-employed, the best way to increase your value is to learn more about what you’re doing.
25 years ago I started working for a company with knowledge of the aircraft I used to fly while I served in the Navy. I didn’t know much about computers, but I was hired to do data entry. Eight hours a day for six months, I entered inspections that had been performed by various entities. The program we used was an old DOS based program called dBase IV. It was a flat file system. We entered information into 16 fields for each record. I knew there had to be a better, more efficient way logging this data. Around that time Microsoft came out with Windows © and, along with that, programs that would run on that platform. One of them was Microsoft Access. There I found the power I was looking for: Relational Databases.
I created my first database using MS Access, and we went from entering 100 records a day to over 300.
I’ve since gone on to receive a handful of certifications from the University of California at San Diego (UCSD). My salary has grown with my experience. I am worth more to my company because I bring more value and knowledge to each customer.
One of my favorite quotes regarding this comes from Jim Rohn:
“If you want to have more, you have to become more.”
I was recently at a seminar in which a speaker tapped into this same subject. It was about this engineer who had an exceptional gift for fixing all things mechanical. After serving his company loyally for over 30 years, he happily retired. Several years later his company contacted him regarding a seemingly impossible problem they were having with one of their multi-million dollar machines. To no avail everyone had tried everything to fix this machine. In desperation they pleaded for the retired engineer to take a look.
The happily retired engineer reluctantly took the challenge. He spent a whole day studying the huge machine. At the end of the day he marked a small “x” in chalk on a particular component of the machine and proudly stated: “this is where your problem is.” The part was replaced and the machine worked perfectly again.
The engineer billed the company $50,000 for his service. The company’s executives demanded an itemized accounting of his charges. The engineer responded briefly, “One chalk mark, $1. Knowing where to put it, $49,999.” The executives gladly paid the bill and the engineer returned to retirement.
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