I have a business colleague that I met and began working with in 2014. He is an older gentleman that for nearly 50 years lived a very colorful and successful life in New York City. The stories he tells of dining with Bill Blass, his friendship with Cary Grant, and shooting photos of Cheryl Tiegs in the Isle of Capri, completely blow me away. He and I talk daily, sometimes 20 times per day. We discuss and debate ideas, we analyze numbers, we celebrate the highs, we mourn the lows and we disagree on a lot of things. In the process of what we call our Modus Operandi, we learn from each other and reach a lot of “A-ha!” moments. I had one of those “A-ha!” moments” on the phone this week.
One of the basic rules of business is that you can either be a quality company or a low priced company, but you can not be both. I have always believed that quality and value is better than low price. While you may pay more today, in the long run, you gain.
Over the years, without really seeing the growth and change that I was going through, I started making personal decisions the same way I was making business decisions. Does this investment now add value to my life over the long term (quality and value) or is this a short term investment that works for the now (low price)?
Short story, I have been dating a guy, and I use the term dating loosely here, who is a very cool human. He has a lot of good qualities; he is a kind southern boy, honest, funny, active and into living a healthy life, has a good job, educated, smart, outgoing. I could continue to list all sorts of qualities about this person, but for some reason I was not into him and I kept saying to myself, “Amy, he is such a great guy, what is wrong with you?” I realized during that “A-ha” moment with my colleague, that I needed to look at this relationship the same way I look at business. Does this person add value to my life over the long term or is this a short term investment?
Many people think this way when they shop too, “Oh, it is only $30 so if it falls apart after 2 washes, no big deal.” Instead of “It is $90, but if it lasts me for 250 washes, it is worth way more than that cost.” We focus to much on “what is this going to cost me now vs what is this going to cost me then.” I wanted to share with you my personal value questions that I use to base my decisions off of, particularly when it comes to investing my time and energy into opportunities, people and relationships.
1. Does this person make a better person and make me want to be a better person? (Does this job or opportunity make me a better person or want to be a better person?)
2. Do they challenge me? Intellecutally? Personally? Professionally? Spiritually? (Does this job or opportunity challenge me intellectually, personally, professionally, and spiritually?)
3. Do they support and encourage my dreams, no matter how big or crazy they seem? (Does this job support, encourage, and foster my dreams, no matter how big or crazy they seem?)
4. Can I build a life with this person or this merely a lifestyle relationship. **A life and a lifestyle are two very different things. (Is this a job or opportunity that I an build a life on or is this a lifestyle situation?)
I have a few more “Value” questions that I ask myself, but these 4 are the most important for me. While, it does not always provide me immediate gratification, I have found that good things really do come to those who wait.
Do you have value questions? I would love to hear them!