Tag Archives: careers

Why you should not focus on earning money if you want to secure your future

If you want to earn a lot of money, first ask yourself this question: why?

For most people, the purpose is safety. They want to feel that they will never be poor, that they will always be able to make enough money to support themselves and potentially also a family, and live a good life.

So they start collecting and amassing money. Seeing that number in their bank account grow makes them feel safe.

But there is a big problem with this approach.

The problem is that money is not permanent. During your lifetime, things will happen that will make you lose your money, or more accurately, the value that that money represents. Inflation, wars, government taking your assets, bank runs, and many other things that you cannot do anything about.

What you cannot lose, however, is what’s in your head.

Your knowledge is the most valuable thing you possess. Why? Because your knowledge determines your ability to make more money. And your ability to make money is permanent.

In the story if the golden  goose, a goose started laying golden egg for its farmer. But the farmer got greedy and killed the goose in order to pluck all the golden egg at once, only to he disappointed to not find any Egg inside the goose. In the process, he had also killed any hope of new golden egg in the future.

Let us for a moment pretend that there were a bunch of golden egg in the goose. Who has more freedom, who is more secure, who has more prosperity? The farmer that collected a bunch of egg, or the farmer who got one egg a week forever?

The farmer who waited would never have to worry about survival again, and he could do whatever he wanted with his time. The farmer who killed the goose could go and buy something really luxurious and cool, but then he would have to go back to his farm and spend his time producing food, and worrying about the future. Would you rather be the farmer with the cool thing, or the farmer who never again has to worry about survival and can spend his time on whatever he wants?

What would you do with your time, if you didn’t have to spend it earning money for survival?

If you think this type of freedom might be degenerating because it will make you lazy, I think you have a bigger problem. That of purpose and drive. If you need to be forced to do something in order to not fall into laziness, you unfortunately have lost the connection to what drives your from within. That passion for living, curiosity and internal drive to do something because you enjoy it, because you enjoy growing, and because you enjoy the feeling of pride in having contributed to something bigger.

But now we’re digressing. I guess what I’m trying to say is this: stop focusing on amassing money. Focus on growth and development. Focus on increasing your value to the market. Focus on learning things that others will pay you money for. That is the ultimate freedom, the ultimate security, and the ultimate path to creating it source of income that doesn’t rely on your time.

The Value Of Sales People For Society

I think that sales people are really valuable, not only for their employers (as the bringers of cash), but also for their customers. My belief is compounded by the fact that the sales profession generally ranks high in the salary league (at least in complex B2B sales, and if you are somewhat successful of course) – remember, I am a strong believer in “your paycheck strongly correlates to the real value you create for humanity”.

But I don’t think people appreciate this value enough. So in this post, I will explain how this value is created.

Sales People Accelerate Change

Sales people’s job is really to understand the customer’s needs, and propose solutions based on those needs that the customers weren’t aware existed. By doing this, sales people actually act like the “oil in the machinery”, or accelerators of change and improvement. For customers, it can be difficult to make time to look for improvements. Day to day activities might have higher priority and it can be difficult to look for long-term improvements, unless this is a specific part of your job. Even if it is, it takes a lot of time to sift through a lot of information and it can be difficult to understand the differences between various products and what value each provide. Sales people, being experts in their area and having experience with other customers using their products, can articulate these differences more accurately and help potential customers understand how their product can make their lives easier.

References is a big part of the “filtering mechanism” that companies use to find areas of improvement. But sales people also help them “filter” the products that fit them from the products that don’t. Since sales people have experience with multiple customers who’s problems have been solved by their products, they can more effectively spot when their products can add real value.

Researching this before contacting companies is a big part of a sales person’s job. So when a company is contacted by a sales person, they have already saved a lot of time by not needing to research good product fits for their problems. The sales person has done it for them and the company just needs to decide if they want to move forward with the proposal or not.

Indeed, this is the reason that sales people still do exist. Because many transactions wouldn’t happen if the sales person hadn’t put in the time to research new potential customers, and summarized their proposal into a short and easy to make decision upon value proposition for their target to base a quick “go or no go” decision on.

Account Managers Are Their Customers’ Change Agents

As an account manager, your job is to understand your customers in-depth and seeing where value can be added by selling a variety of services and products that your company has. Then, presenting these possible improvements to the customers in a way that is easy for the customer to understand.

As such, the sales person is actually the customer’s own “expert in a product area” who can recommend the best solutions for the company. Again, this makes the sales person a change agent for the company and a valuable resource. A company that has a good account manager looking after them don’t need to put in as much of their own resources into researching how improvements can be made. Their various account managers do this job for them. This job creates real value, and the sales person’s compensation corresponds to this value add.

Sales People Drive Administration And Negotiations

Getting a a bit more down to earth, each change project is associated with a certain amount of administration and negotiation that needs to happen in order for the change to start. This is yet another area where sales people add real value. They are the engine driving, or entirely taking care of, this work.

Explained simply, this involves negotiations, contract drafting, pricing, project planning and securing the necessary resources for starting off the implementation project.

Sales People Are Their Employers’ Eyes and Ears

For the employer, the sales person is an important tool for understanding the world. The sales people act not only as the company’s mouth, but also as its eyes and ears.

A sales person can be a strong influencer of company strategy, either directly by talking to different management levels, or indirectly through the reports that the sales person generates.

Especially if a company has well defined sales related reporting systems and processes, the sales force contribute to information that helps the company understand its customer base and its competitors. The sales force thus provides valuable information both to marketing and product management.