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Increase Your Compensation

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote that “each person is compensated in like manner for that which he or she has contributed”. Known as “The Law of Compensation”, it has been studied and proven over and over again by philosophers, psychologists, and researchers. It simply means, you reap what you sow. Notice the word “you” in that statement. You have the control over your compensation.

Self-help expert and business success, Earl Nightingale, may have said it best by breaking it down into these three components:

“Your Compensation is directly related to the

  1. need for the service you provide,

  2. your ability to do it, and

  3. how easy it is for you to be replaced.”

The exact key to your compensation lies in the second part of this equation, “your ability to perform the service”. If you focus on that, you will differentiate yourself and become irreplaceable, thus taking care of the third part.

We all know people (and companies) who out earn everyone else, the "winningest" salesperson, the regional manager who nails it year after year, the stylist, the interior designer, the real estate agent, etc. What do they do differently than others in their field and how can you learn from them?

Here are three actions they all have in common that if adopted that will lead you to greater compensation:

1. Consistently put yourself in your customers’ operating reality:

Want to earn more? “Solve your customers’ problems and you’ll solve your own”.

This means that you shift your focus from your perspective to the customers’ perspective. In other words, see problems and challenges as they exist through their eyes.

It’s sounds easy, however it takes focused effort. Most people listen with an attempt to reply, however those who excel at being in their customers’ operating reality have adopted Steven Covey’s habit #5 of actively listening in order “to seek to understand to before asking to be understood”.

If you approach your work with the mindset of solving your customers’ problems, rather than the mindset of getting to your goal, you will gain trust, differentiate yourself, and be able to craft solutions and relationships that your customers can’t believe they lived without.

2. Become a continuous learner:

Your ability to meet your client needs today, may suddenly change tomorrow if you are not constantly focused on increasing the value you bring. Think of it this way: you provided a service, you were paid, you are even. Your competition is not standing still and neither is your industry.

The way to increase your income is to increase the value you provide. The way to increase the value you provide is get better at what you do. Put your effort into

a. learning more about the industry your customers are in

b. the drivers of change and

c. how your organization addresses these drivers to solve both current and future problems that your clients may have.

Here’s a good test to see how equipped you are. Answer the following statement that’s sits in the minds of your customers: “Tell me about what’s happening in the industry and how your company can contribute to my company’s success in the face of this change”. If you can’t answer these questions with facts and data, you have some studying to do.

3. Give more than you need to