Exchange of Value

Your sheep will provide wool for clothing, and your goats will provide the price of a field.

Proverbs 27:26 NLT

Money is defined as a medium of exchange.  In the simplest of terms, it’s a representation of value. We can see how this medium of exchange has evolved, from barter, cattle and cowrie shells to gold, modern coins, paper currency and now digital currency. The emphasis is not on the medium itself, but on what is being exchanged – VALUE.

The money I have reflects the value I have provided.  So, the value I have and who I offer it to ultimately determines the amount of this ‘medium of exchange’ I possess.  In the same way, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, value is in the eye and in the context of the appraiser (what they value and the level of urgency).  Some people value good service and are willing to pay for it.  Some people could care less about service – they just need a working product, something functional and aren’t interested in the whistles and bells that come with it.  As a consultant, I have had dicussions with clients for similar work but with different reactions to our fees.  I learnt over time that it was a function of what the client valued, what they were trying to achieve and their recognition of what we offered.  As a young consultant, i thought it was all about our technical work, but as i matured, i realized it was a function of the brand and what it presented.  Our brand had a reputation for quality and integrity and this was a value some clients were willing to pay for.  

When you don’t understand your value in the context of the appraiser you will often be underpriced.  This summarizes the biblical story of Esau who sold his birthright (his inheritance, his position) for a bowl of soup.  But that’s a different story.

Back to value. Thankfully, none of us come to this world with nothing.  We might not have money, but we are never lacking value.  The challenge for us is to determine what value we have to offer and where we can offer it to the highest appraiser.  Our challenge is also in continuously refining and upgrading our value over time, so we expand our capacity to earn more.  Inventory your life – what do you have that you can exchange? What do you have that if further cultivated can be exchanged for an even greater value?  We often think of our skills as the only thing to be exchanged; but your energy, your strength, your integrity, your reliability, and your personality are all things that could be exchanged. 

Stop pursuing the medium…. cultivate value and exchange it.