My Philosopher Dad always used to tell me, “If you don’t value yourself, nobody else will!”. It didn’t really resonate with me when I heard it the first time… but I was only 20 then.
He said it while I was considering lowering my commission on a real estate listing.
My Dad and I worked together as a real estate sales team in the 80’s when mortgage interest rates were averaging 20% and the real estate market was lean and mean — in more ways than one!
My Dad was the Real Estate Broker. I was the Sales Representative.
Dad was an excellent teacher and mentor, and taught me that people will always negotiate the best deal “for them.” Fair enough, I thought. So I just needed to learn how to negotiate the best deal “for me.” That’s sales. That’s commerce. That’s capitalism. That’s the reality of the world in which we live.
As a sales representative in real estate, it was my job to get the best price for my client – the seller. It return for my sales, marketing, and negotiating skills I charged the seller a commission for procuring that sale.
My Philosopher Dad used reality to convey to me a system that is really pretty simple: NOTHING happens in the world without salespeople, so they are a valuable commodity that should be revered – not ridiculed.
But, salespeople tend to be ridiculed. Why do you think salespeople have such a bad reputation? Where did it start? The Fuller Brush Salesmen? Car salesmen? Insurance salesmen? The peddlers who would walk the streets in a trench coat lined with sub-standard products, and flash the open coat to passersby with a “wanna buy a……”?
Like anything, the bad stories and experiences of people being manipulated or cheated in sales tend to drown out the multiple good stories and experiences that people have with sales. When people have a good experience, they might tell a couple of people. When people have a bad experience, they tend to tell everyone they meet.
The majority of salespeople, in this century at least, invest LOTS of time and money to educate themselves, pretty much the same way lawyers, doctors, plumbers, engineers, and teachers do. So, why is the measuring stick different? What makes the education of a lawyer, doctor, plumber, engineer, or teacher any better – or different – than the education of a sales professional?
My Philosopher Dad had the answer for me.
Institutions are created to fulfill a mandate devoted to the promotion and endorsement of the members who subscribe to that mandate. The perceived value of that promotion and endorsement is set and perpetuated by the members who enlist governments and corporations to recognize “their” piece of paper as being more valuable than someone else’s piece of paper.
Educational institutions have become business enterprises that sell a commodity, and like any commodity the value is determined by market conditions and the strength of the institutions providing the commodity… and the connections of the institutions to keep the market value high.
So, what’s your piece of paper worth?
I have LOTS of skills that I have learned, developed, and honed over the years, and I have LOTS of paper. The only difference is that all of those skills and all of that paper have come from different institutions.
That’s how I learned to value myself.
Thanks for another great lesson, Philosopher Dad.
Learning to value and love ourselves is one of the most challenging things in life to learn.
It definitely helps if we have parents, teachers, and peers who encourage us. More often than not, though, we end up looking outside of ourselves to fill a void that wasn’t filled in childhood. Sometimes that can result in addictions, a series of bad relationships, or a job that doesn’t feed and fuel our talents.
I was fortunate to have the “value” lesson early in life… however, the “love” lesson tends to be taking a bit longer!
I spent 22 years as a broadcast journalist in mainstream media. I’m embarrassed to admit that it took that long for me to finally realize that the mandate of mainstream media is to perpetuate fear and doubt.
When we expose ourselves to mainstream media, we are exposing ourselves to messages that are constantly negative…. we are never good enough, thin enough, smart enough, rich enough – and on and on and on. We are manipulated into buying things that promise to make us feel better. That’s sales. That’s commerce. That’s capitalism. That’s the reality of the world in which we live.
It’s no wonder that learning to love ourselves can be challenging in a world that tells us we are never enough.
In 2010, I founded an online community and radio program to spread positive media in the world, and to convince people that there are far more good things and far more good people in the world than bad.
I encourage everyone I meet to “Take the diet that really works: a media fast. Don’t watch, read, or listen to news and see how much your life improves!”
Get your media fast plan NOW at www.TheGoodNewsOnly.com
Meanwhile, Live Well – Laugh Often – Love Always – and Stay Positive 😀