The Marketplace Pays For The Value It Receives

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This morning I received an e-mail from Steve Clauson, a well-known business development consultant, who spoke at our recent TopLine training workshop for new consultants. Steve and I usually talk sometimes twice a week bouncing ideas off each other that can help not only improve his business, but improve the businesses of other TopLine consultants. Steve is one of the most creative consultants I know and always delivers value to our discussion, to those he trains, and to the marketplace that hires him and pays him for his expertise and the results he produces for his clients.

In Steve’s e-mail, was a link to a video that talked about “entitlement” and gave the viewpoints of various college students and what they expected from potential employers or from the marketplace as a result of their educations. There were also comments from employers or business owners and what they expected from the people they hire to work for them. I found the video and the viewpoints expressed by both sides very interesting and revealing.

Capitalism and the free enterprise system is what keeps our economy moving. When businesses are successful, meaning they have more money left at the end of the month than what they spent to develop, purchase, and deliver the products and services they sell to their customers, as well as the operating expenses that it takes to run the business, they’re considered to be profitable. Profits are the name of the game in business.

Business Profits Are Not Only Desirable, They’re Necessary

When a business is profitable it can do things and provide benefits that business that are not profitable cannot do. For instance, profits can enable a business to hire top-level employees, pay its onboard employees higher wages, provide improved working environments and conditions, and offer better benefits. With profits a business can upgrade its equipment and production facilities, increase the number and/or the quality of the products or services it offers to its buyers, and enable the business to spend more on advertising and promotions so it can generate more clients and better quality clients.

When a business shows an increase in profits, or the money it has left after deducting all expenses and operating costs, the stockholders, shareholders, and owners of the business can be paid more for the investment or interest they have in the business enabling them to get a positive return on their investment and provide a better lifestyle for themselves and their families.

It’s a big risk for someone to give up a paycheck and perhaps position or seniority from a job and invest their life savings into a brand new business with the hope of bringing needed and desired value to a market, providing jobs, improving the economy, and enhancing their own personal lifestyle. When someone embarks on such a project they have every right to expect that if they do things right and what they have to offer is what the marketplace not only needs and wants, but is willing to pay for, that they should receive a fair price for their offering and a positive return on their investment.

Notice that I said if they “do things right. Among other things, that includes hiring the “right” people; people who rightfully believe they are “entitled” in the proper way. The “proper way” means that they “give an honest days work for an honest days pay.” In other words, they don’t believe they’re entitled to something (a job, a particular level of income, or certain working conditions) just because they have an education, have student loans to pay off, or that the workplace owes them a living. They believe they are entitled because they are able to provide value to the marketplace that is equal to, or greater than the amount of money their employer compensates them for the work they do.

Entitlement “Just Because…”  Can Kill A Business

The idea of entitlement “just because…” can make life miserable for a business owner and the employees and customers of the business, and can kill profits that could otherwise be used to provide more and better benefits and value for the employees of the business, it’s customers and clients, stockholders and investors, and for the person or persons (i.e., business owners) who have made the investment in the business in the first place.

TopLine consultants, such as Steve Clauson, help business owners find ways to improve the profits of their business owner clients by helping the businesses run more effectively and more efficiently by cutting costs and increasing revenues resulting in an increase in profits.

The Two Ways To Grow Business Profits

In reality, there are only two ways to grow the profits of a business: you can spend less, or you can make more. If the revenues of a business stay the same, but costs and expenses are reduced, the result is an increase in profits. And conversely, if the costs and expenses remain the same, but there is an increase in revenue, the result is also an increase in profits. Good consultants can oftentimes find ways to both decrease spending and increase revenues. And when that happens the profit increase can be exponential, business can be more fun for everyone, working conditions can improve, and the prospects of job continuation can improve.

So what about you? What kind of value are you providing the marketplace you serve? Are you being appreciated and compensated for what you contribute? If so, how can you enhance or improve it so your rewards are even greater? If not, what steps do you need to take to make it so, and when are you going to do something about it? There’s no future in just thinking about something… you have to take action. Your future is up to you. If there is anything I can help you with that will enable you to assess your situation and provide value that the marketplace wants, needs, and is looking for, please let me know. I’m more than willing to help in anyway I can.

As always, I am interested in your comments and thoughts.

Martin Howey, CEO
TopLine Business Solutions

11 Comments for this entry

  • Matt Eve says:

    Great post and video. I agree totally that we are paid on value. Just having a degree or education entitles you to nothing, it just about gets you on the starting block. Thanks for sharing this Martin.

    • Martin Howey says:

      Thanks, Matt… Nice to hear from you. Way too many people are in the “entitlement” mode today, and expecting someone else to take care of them “just because…”. It’s really sad. A degree or education mean nothing by themselves. It’s not what you know, how much money you spent to learn it, or where you went to school that counts… it’s what can you do for your employer, your customers or clients, or your marketplace that has value. Too bad things have degenerated to “gimmee what I want because I deserve it.” Big difference between “deserve” and “earn”!

  • Jim Palmer says:

    Martin, thanks for sharing this video, it is very well done! It should be required viewing for every school!

    • Martin Howey says:

      Thank you, Jim… I appreciate your nice words. You’re a class act, and I’m so blessed to have you in my life. Every time we talk I come away with more that I had before, so your comments mean the world to me.

  • Ian Marsh says:

    Hi Martin,
    As usual, you hit the nail on the head. Too many people are quick to hold their hand out and say gimmee, as you put it(it is even worse in Australia than America)rather than ask themselves, what can I do to help and add value to the company that I work for. BUT you must keep the faith, there are great employees out there and it is our responsibility as advisors to help the business owners realise that a large part of their success is the team around them, and that must ALWAYS have their staff rise to meet their standards, rather than what I regualarly see where the the owner comes down and meets the employees standards.
    I love your insights Martin, please keep them coming
    Ian Marsh

    • Martin Howey says:

      Thanks Ian. Yes, I know about the Aussie economy and how so many things are “free”. But of course, when you have a tax rate of 40%, it’s possible to fund a lot of “free” stuff. We all need to get back to the personal responsibility mentality. So often, we hear about “sell-made successes”. But we never hear about “self-made failures”. When people are successful, they are only too quick to claim credit for their successes. But when they fail at something, it’s always someone or something else’s fault. We’re all in this thing together, and none of us can make it without the help of others at some point along the way. And the way we can all succeed is if we all pull not only our own weight, but we help others pull theirs, too. And that has nothing to do with giving it to them. You do great work with your clients and those who look to you for help, Ian… keep it up. We can all learn from you!

  • Ron Drummonds says:

    I run 2-3 businesses myself and have been self employed for over 20 years and I think every prospective hire should be required to view this video as a prerequisite to being hired and then have a question and answer session after their viewing to get their take on it

    Well done.

    • Martin Howey says:

      Thanks for your comment, Ron… I agree, every prospective hire should be required to watch it. In fact, every student (high school and college) should be required. But employers could also benefit. It’s very revealing, and unfortunately, portrays too well what is going on in our “gimmee just because” entitlement society.

  • Tom Bushnell says:


    Great to see you on the mend and back to what you do best. Thanks for the video and article, some good points that I was reminded of… Blessings to you and the family, keep up the great work!

    Tom 😉

    • Martin Howey says:

      Thanks, Tom… Yes, I’m back. 18 months of fighting and recovering from Stage IV cancer. Still having a few struggles, but overall I’m doing great. While I was flat on my back for 15 of those months, I had a lot of time to think. The predominant thought was, “If I get out of this thing… if I’m given a second chance… what will do? How will I spend my time?” There were, of course, lots of options… some selfish and self-serving (see the movie, “The Bucket List”), and others selfless… devoting my time to helping others in a variety of ways. Dealing with health issues (specifically, cancer) was one; helping people overcome struggles, trials, and challenges was another; and getting the most from their lives and businesses was still an other option. So that’s what I’m doing. With my good friend, Jim Palmer, we wrote a book that deals with that, and included interviews from other very well-known and successful entrepreneurs and their struggles and successes. You can find it on Amazon titled, “It’s Okay To Be Scared.” I appreciate your comments and friendship, Tom, and hope you and your family are all doing great. Much love and success to you and your U.K. friends!

  • Martin,

    Having owned several businesses in the past, this video and article was spot on in its content. Most people have never owned a business before and therefore don’t realize the stress that the typical business owner is under. When a business is successful, and the owner is reaping the rewards, those same people will look at that owner with envy. I call them Monday morning quarterbacks. They see the end result, but not the work or risk it took to get there. Business owners are not “entitled ” to succeed. They work hard, hopefully work smart as well, and with a little luck thrown in they become successful. The students in this video should apply these same methods instead of thinking that they are entitled just because they went to school.
    Thanks, Martin.

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