How Do You Determine Value?

Bernard Wealth Management |

Ken's friend, Lynne Golodner, wrote the following article on The Meaning of Money. It is certainly thought-provoking. Lynne is a marketing consultant and accomplished writer ( whose contributions appear in Forbes. We hope that you will find it valuable as well.

It was the late 1990s, and I was in the thick heat of an Iowa summer, studying poetry at the Iowa Summer Writers Workshop while attending daily lectures by various writing instructors. Barbara was an editor at Harper's, and I was a freelance journalist looking to improve my first-person narrative writing. 

After the lecture, I walked up to the stage and peered up at her. Introducing myself, I said, “Can I pay you to edit my essays?” She scribbled her address and phone number on a piece of paper (it was the '90s after all), and I left, eager to print out and seal in an envelope a piece of my writing for her wise eyes. 

Barbara charged me $10 a page for her feedback. She red-penned my essays, writing all over them with questions and comments, then mailing them back to me. Sometimes we talked on the phone to discuss her feedback. I'm sure she spent an hour or two scrutinizing my words and carefully considering what to say. She might have charged $30 or $40 for that effort, but it was worth so much more.

How could I truly calculate the value of her input? Of her mentorship? Of her guidance?

So much more than a specific dollar amount, but dollars and cents are the way we show how valuable something or someone is to us. As I've grown in my career and my craft, now I am the one offering guidance, mentorship and input on writing and work. Barbara taught me to be generous of spirit but not to work for free. She embodied the message that expertise and insight is of value. There was no question I would pay her for the service I requested - and over the years, as our friendship has grown, I send her gift baskets and thank you notes, showing gratitude in many different ways. 

It is never enough, and it is always worth it. 

There are two reasons people say they cannot do something: they either don't have the time, or they can't find the money. What they are really saying, though, is they don't see the value. Because we move mountains to clear time and scrounge together savings for what we really want.

I used to hold tightly to money, worried I wouldn't have enough. Money represents more than currency - love, security, connection, or something else. 

Money is energy; it must flow. Money must leave me in order to come to me. When we approach a transaction as a transformation, looking for the mutual benefit, it becomes easier to part with money, knowing that in sending it out, we will receive something of value in return.

What would you do if money were no obstacle? Is that outcome or destination valuable enough to find a way?

Here is a webinar I led on the Meaning of Money.

I work with people in two ways: helping schools and universities find words and build strategies to grow enrollment & revenues, and guiding writers to realize their unique voices and share them with the world. In both cases, it is essential to believe in your own value.

That phrase, you have to spend money to make money, is just another way of saying money is a tool to get closer to your goal.

So, what is your goal, right now?  What investment can you make to get closer to it? What will be the pain of that investment? And what will be the payoff?

Finding the words, cherishing the moments…