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Friday, December 22, 2006

Value For Value Living

Your New Year’s Resolution---
Value For Value Living

By Terry L. Brock

"An individualist is a man who says: "I will not run anyone's life - nor let anyone run mine. I will not rule or be ruled. I will not be a master nor a slave. I will not sacrifice myself to anyone - nor sacrifice anyone to myself."
-- Ayn Rand in “Textbook of Americanism"

It’s that time of year when we look at what happened over the past year and look forward to what the future may hold. A big part of the New Year is making resolutions for changes we want to happen next year.

This week I want to give you something that will help you and your business as you formulate your New Year’s Resolutions and think about a way to boost your business and personal life in 2007.

Live your life with a commitment to value for value.

This is a way of living life to the fullest and as we begin a New Year it’s a great time to realize it. Living your life by a value for value approach means that you provide those products and services in business that others deem worthy of their own hard-earned money. Buyers are willing to exchange their money to gain the value which you have created through your products or services by exercising your brain and brawn.

It also means that you embrace value for yourself by paying for quality products and services. You know that you have to pay for products and services that make your life better.

Value for value living is the opposite of “something for nothing” living. This is a mental disease that has afflicted many through the years. It is the belief that something of value can come about without any effort. In the real world – where we live – you have to expend time, money and effort to generate value. Successful people know this and demand value for value in all they do.

For Fee Or For Free?

This morning I was speaking with a client about this subject regarding a program she did for a group recently. She is a professional speaker and knows her content very well. She has a PhD in her area of expertise and is very good at what she does.

This particular group asked my client to speak for one of their meetings for free. Since my client is a speaker and pays her bills by speaking for a fee, it created some concerns as to how it can best be approached.

You face this also in your business. Giving something for free can generate new business or be a complete waste of your time and money. How do you know when to do it? More importantly, when you give your services away – for exposure for future business – what should you do to make sure you get value out of it?

Benefits Of Giving? Think Investing

It’s the oldest trick in the book when the prospect looks you in the eye smiling and says something like “Do it for free this time and next time we’ll have lots of business for you.”

Yeah, right!

Often this just turns out to be a good deal for the cunning prospect who never converts to a buyer. But there are techniques you can employ to increase the likelihood of future business.

Instead of giving away your services or products in the “hope” that something will happen, grab the bull by the horns and increase the odds of getting new business. Plan before you give how you’re going to follow up on the lead and turn prospects into buyers.

Give Away Your Service For Free – But Only In Exchange For Real Value

Remember your life has to be based on value for value. First if someone does not embrace value for value and instead thinks of trickery to get something for nothing, they are not people with whom you want to be associated. Don’t think you’ll get business in the future from “something for nothing” people. You have to see the value. It might not always be in the form of money. Think of how you can benefit.

In my client’s case I suggested that she give a special report of value to those in attendance if they provide her with their business cards with phone numbers and a real e-mail address. That way she will give them substantial value and to “pay” for it they give her the opportunity to establish and build a business relationship with them.

She can place them on a mailing list to stay in touch for future business. They would have the chance to opt-out at any time in the future but this gives my client something of value. The chance to connect with serious future buyers is worth something and, depending on the audience, can be worth making a free speech.

Value For Value Living

As you begin the New Year, think value for value living in all you do. Always demand value for value – never walk on others and don’t let others walk on you. Think of Howard Roark’s line from The Fountainhead, “I will not sacrifice myself for others nor will I ask them to sacrifice their life for me.” Good words of advice for the beginning of a New Year – or any other time in our lives


Terry Brock is a regular columnist for Business Journals and a marketing coach who helps business owners market more effectively leveraging technology. He shows busy professionals how to squeeze more out of their busy days using the right rules and tools. He can be reached at 407-363-0505, by e-mail at or through his website at

Copyright © 2006, Terry Brock, All Rights Reserved Internationally. No portion may be reprinted or used in any way without prior written permission.