Recently I was meeting with a friend who is helping me assess and improve the value proposition and supporting marketing and sales strategy of Misty River Consulting.  During our conversation it occurred to me that one of my struggles has been about not knowing and promoting my worth, of not stating clearly what value I have contributed and can contribute in the future.  If I wasn’t clear in my mind about my value, it is more than likely invisible to my clients and perspective clients as well.

So, I turned to my friend, who works for a media company, and asked, “Do you know your worth?”  “Do you know what value you provide?”  It was off topic; she looked at me like I was nuts and then thoughtfully noted that she didn’t know precisely.  The questions led to a larger discussion about how she felt while at work.  For her, the degree of respect and acknowledgement of her contribution fell far short of what she thought was appropriate.  And she noted that this was causing her to become frustrated, angry, and even at times unsure about her competence and value.

I was totally there; I understood as many small business people and employees do what it is like when the recognition is not there.  When the demand for your services is not there and when you do not perceive that you are valued, the impact of this on a person’s psyche can be profound.  It makes you wonder about your worth.  It makes you question whether you provide value of any kind to anyone.  And those feelings underpin a gradual erosion in your confidence, assertiveness, and eventually your attractiveness to those around you who potentially may find you and your services valuable.

Before our meeting ended, we did estimate the value that she brings to her company.  Since her arrival she has not only single handedly stopped the gross revenue loss trend, she has increased revenues radically.  The impact she has made, the value she has contributed, has created a 25 fold pretax profit return on investment from her salary.  That is a 2500 % pretax profit return on investment.

She didn’t know this.  She was shocked.  I asked her, is this accurate?  Is this overstated?  She in somewhat of a shy way said that yes, this was accurate and maybe on the low side.  “Does your boss, the owner, know this?” I asked.  She said that he should know it.  I asked again whether she thought that her boss knew this.  And with a twinkle in her eye she said that he probably didn’t.

The “twinkle” was eye opening, because their lives the “gold” of both marketing and individual empowerment.  Boldly going to this assertive place within you that normally we don’t tread is critical.  It is truly empowering when we do go there and proclaim, “I am valuable!  And this is what value I have contributed!  And here’s the data that provides the evidence of my contribution’s value!”  Hearing yourself say it assertively and having the evidence to back it up when questioned about it makes you powerful, it makes you attractive, and it makes you marketable.

Her assignment this week is twofold.  First, it is to fine tune the numbers and develop a set of talking points that will prepare her to boldly and assertively present to those around her an awareness of the value she provides and the worth of who she is when the time is right.  Second, is to use her talking points assertively and with courtesy when the time is right to the benefit of her and her company.

As for me and my marketing strategy, I guarantee a 100% return on investment in the first year and I have evidence that the change initiatives that I’m part of have returned at minimum a 500% return on investment.  “Maybe” Misty River Consulting needs to boldly and assertively know and proclaim its worth too.


Donald A. Kerper is an Industrial Organizational Psychology practitioner based out of Stratford, WI serving clients across the United States.



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