Make Yourself More Valuable

Regardless of what any Financial Advisor says, saving more and saving smarter will only get you so far. It also pays to get creative and figure out ways to increase your earnings. You can’t invest what you don’t save, but you only save what you’ve earned. And in a world where the Financial Crisis has had a dampening effect on wages and wage growth, taking the initiative to improve your earnings is critical.

I want to plant a seed and encourage you to continually search for ways to make yourself more valuable. This is a point Tony Robbins makes in all his books: In the long run, success and wealth flow from making yourself valuable to others—offering a service or a set of skills that makes you stand out from the crowd. Warren Buffett is fond of saying that the most powerful investments he ever made were those he made in himself: “Invest in as much of yourself as you can,” he says, “you are your own biggest asset by far.”

The great scientist Albert Einstein recognized this essential truth as well: “Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.”

Entrepreneur and speaker Jim Rohn, who mentored countless businessmen, put it this way: “If you want to have more, you have to become more. Success is something you attract by the person you become.”

The effort to increase your value can come in many forms: reading, attending classes, adding new skills to your toolbox, or just taking better care of yourself and developing a better daily routine.

A big part of increasing your value is understanding where your present value comes from and then improving upon it. This is the power of focus. You may have learned about the Pareto Principle, also known as the 80/20 Rule: 20 percent of your tasks contribute 80 percent or more of your value. So, understand your unique strengths, where your value comes from; focus ruthlessly on that 20 percent; refine it; simplify and don’t let minor distractions dilute your focus.