I recently arrived home after traveling around to various cities and presenting motivational workshops. I had my mind set on unwinding in my most comfortable chair and putting my work aside for awhile. As I walked up to the door, I waved at the landscaper riding his tractor across my lawn.
Once inside the house, I collapsed into the aforementioned chair, and was instantly met by my wife who told me I needed to talk to the landscaper because he needed some business advice. I can honestly say I felt like saying, "I’m fresh out," but anyone who knows me would just laugh at such a ludicrous thought.
I walked outside a few minutes (and sighs) later, and waved him down. He sheepishly said to me, "So, you’re the guy who teaches people how to make more money."
"That’s one way to put it," I replied. He waited for more so I turned the questioning to him. "How much are you charging me per hour for that tractor?"
"$75," he replied quickly.
"And how much for your time?"
$15 an hour," he said.
"So your equipment is worth more than you are. The answer to your challenge here is that you need to increase your value as a service provider or I will find that I have more need for the tractor than for you."
I then advised him that while he spent 8 hours a day riding a tractor, he could be listening to audio books that would give him numerous tips for increasing his business and his value. "Make your ultimate goal to become more valuable than your tractor," I said, and walked back to my comfy chair.
I was once sitting on the proverbial tractor. There I realized that my true value should be measured by what I bring to a client in terms of knowledge and skills, not replaceable equipment.