“It’s no way fair that they should earn that much when I only earn what I earn…and basically we both work really hard the same long hours”

That was a comment passed in conversation earlier today as I chatted with friends and the subject of not having enough / not earning enough money came into play.

I asked why it was they think that.

The reply along the lines of “no one can be worth that much more”

And so we have to then look at the important question “What makes something or someone worth something? Where do we get value from?”

If you think just loosely and quickly…which sections of the overall population earn the highest incomes?

I am not speaking about historical wealth or elitist families in such industries as oil and power…more those who make money and earn themselves into wealth brackets.

And maybe even exclude entertainment or some sports where they are possibly excused…although I don’t think they need to be.

You see wealth or value is always pinned to knowledge or skills.

The top banking and finance people…aside from disgusting corrupt practice that has tainted them most recently…along with top company executives and high earning industries like software and computing…these industries have paid a huge amount out in incomes to staff because they had to buy the skills. If you possess skills in these fields you are needed and command a higher than average wage.

It is knowledge and skills that set aside the potential worker from the rest and thus elevate the person into a ‘in-demand’ category. A good old fashioned ‘supply and demand’ dynamic means that when shortage of skills the price for these skills is pushed upwards.

And it works in all areas the only thing that sometimes changes is the balance of supply.

And so we come to the world of small business ownership. What makes a small business owner command success in a similar field where many others are not? Indeed what makes one person’s business succeed in a geography where many others are not. Is it the field of business? Is it the geography location of that business?

Or is it the knowledge of the business owner that caused them to do something a little differently and thus attract and enjoy more fortune?

You see the same applies to small business ownership as to many career paths. It’s what you learn and then how you apply what you learn that pays of. Education is the key.

Ironically, many business owners as parents will push and encourage their own offspring to go on to further education when faced with potentially leaving school at 16. Why? Because they value education. As a parent they know it helps the child improve choices and definitely can elevate them into social circles where connections count. There’s also a blatant recognition that it is often about ‘who you know not what you know’.

Why then do so few business owners practice in business what they preach as parents?!!

Ask typical business owners when was the last time they actually deliberately took on a course of learning? When was the last time they honestly admitted that they have a lot to learn (as we all have) and accepted guidance instead of proudly denying that there is anything that they need to learn?

In small business land, it is knowledge and skill that sets the edge.

How good is your marketing?

How much can you track results?

If you cannot track results, what is your actual cost of sale (including marketing not just products)?

If you don’t know your actual cost of sale how can you know if you’ll make a profit?!!

Then what about Social Media and the myth…what do you know that you can action there?

Or Internet lead generation?

Or follow up systems converting last years enquiries?

Or on the ‘who you know’ front (around the adage they glibly spout) …what do they do differently to deliberately get to know influential people? In their industry sector? In their geography?

Each way you look it leads us back to the start.

Income is about knowledge and action creating value. When you have an edge you become rare…and shortage or rarity always adds to price and value because of the supply and demand factor.

The plain fact is if anyone near you moans about not earning enough please tell them “start learning more and you’ll start earning more”. The message for each and everyone of us is that we must actively commit to deliberate learning and push to one side the arrogance and pride that often becomes a barrier if we want more income and success. Learn, share, grow.

And I wish you well with your learning too!

It’s a pleasure chatting and let’s keep being open and honest and helping each other.

Here’s to a fabulous week ahead!

Cheers

Ben