Why Money Follows Value

You work hard every day fighting for that next promotion. You put in the extra time hoping you get noticed. Yet your paycheck seems to shrink rather than grow.

What’s going on?

Your paycheck may not be related to all the hard work you have been doing and may be related to the organization’s perceived value of you.


Let me explain. Personally, I’ve been on a journey to get a promotion at my day job. I look at the people currently in this position and know I have the same skills and experience as them yet am not in the same leadership position as them.

Since I can remember, I was taught to always work as hard as possible each every day, don’t rock the boat, and good things will occur naturally. For the most of my career, this has held true…. until now.

From talking with my mentors, I realized that the same skills that have gotten me this far may not be the same skills that are needed to go to the next level.

So, I have spent the last several years adding “tools to my toolbox”. I joined Toastmasters to improve my communication and leadership skills. I have taken several assignments to make me uncomfortable and broaden my skillset. I have even worked a part-time job to not only payoff my kid’s medical bills but gain management experience………… still I’m struggling to make the jump to the next level.

So what gives?

I stumbled upon an article from Garret Gunderson, founder of the Wealth Factory, in which he talked about how Money Follows Value, NOT the other way around.

It was eye opening!

Until recently, I always thought that the income people earned or the position they held was the catalyst to adding value and eventually earning more money. In other words, I thought that the position or title a person had led to income generation and then value creation.

I was wrong.

Money is an exchange of perceived value between 2 people. An example was a car that I was in the market for a few years ago. During the scouting process, I came across a car that I liked but felt that the owner wanted way too much money for it. We negotiated for awhile but unfortunately could not come to an agreement, so I decided to walk away from it.

 The perceived value he thought the car was worth was not the same value I thought it was worth.

Your career can operate the same way.

In order to prove to management that a person deserves that exemplary bonus or next promotion, value creation needs to be established. A person must produce like people at the next level before the next level income can be earned.

In other words, money follows value.

It follows like a dog on a leash. When value is created, people will quite literally hand over their money. Doing well, helping others, and providing value to others will enable a reputation that is earned for being a “go to” person who delivers and worth working with. People notice a person who create value for others.

When achieved, this is when the money starts coming in. Working hard, keeping your head down, and hoping for good things to happen is not the formula for success.

Earning a reputation for providing value to others leads to higher income generation. It’s a domino effect.

For example, let’s say a small business owner is just starting out and trying to gain clients. At first, it’s hard and not much money flows in. As people get to know the owner and a reputation for providing value is developed, people want to work with that owner because trust is created. They literally will line up to work with that person. As this happens, the business grows and clients hand over money because they find value in what is provided.

Another great example is a good friend of mine who is in sales. He took a leap of faith with a new company and unfortunately was given a really underperforming territory. The other reps literally divided up the best producing territories for themselves and handed him the garbage left over.

He has a reputation for being a turn-around specialist (which was why he was hired in the 1st place! 😊). In a span of 18 months, he turned that territory from being the most underperforming to the best producing territory in the region.

How did he do it? He provided value to his clients. He listened to and addressed their needs. Then he produced and earned a reputation for delivering on time and with quality.

As a result, he recently earned a promotion and oversees a bigger territory where he now coaches other reps how to increase the value provided to its clients. In other words, he provided value 1st to his clients and putting their needs above all other things. The money (his promotion and larger bonuses) followed thereafter.

How to Do It

Now for the $10,000 question: How to Create Value?

Let us go back again to Garret Gunderson, founder of the Wealth Factory, to describe what he calls the key to success:

The Value Equation

It’s a simple formula that can have a profound effect.

Here is the formula:

Value Equation = Mental Capital x Relationship Capital

The formula is simple, and the concept is powerful.  When understood how to implement in life, it will unlock a person’s capabilities and unleash potential not previously tapped into.

Once I figured out how to implement, it’s put me on the path toward success.

Mental Capital

Mental capital is defined as what you know. This includes ideas, skills, education, experiences, insights, wisdom, tools, systems, or any other type of knowledge. Also, it almost always involves specialization.

A person can be a jack-of-all trades and this is a way to add mental capital. However, specialization is key because, often, people need others who have a depth of knowledge. This is where the full potential of mental capital is unlocked.

To become an expert and gain expertise, add to your mental capital daily by spending time reading, watching online videos, and in general learning about your specific area of interest.

Remember, people value not only knowledge but experiences and expertise as well. This is something that cannot be acquired from watching YouTube videos. Don’t discount it.

Mental capital allows a person to create value that can be exchanged with others and is vital to the equation. Without mental capital, quality people won’t want to stick around you long, which limits the second variable in the equation.

Mental capital makes you valuable to others and enables the development of relationship capital.

Relationship Capital

This is the 2nd variable in the equation and simply put is who you know. The people you are connected to from your personal network, organizations you are associated with, people you mentor or mentor you, friends, family, customers, acquaintances, etc.

Developing relationship capital helps you to associate with high-quality people who think at a higher level and can also teach new things.

Everything in life is a team sport. No one is successful strictly by their own knowledge or skills (1 of the many lessons I have learned). No one builds a successful business all by themselves. It takes a team.

Establishing connections enables team building.

As stated by Garrett, relationship capital comes from the connection mindset. This is actively looking to not only connect but deepen relationships at every opportunity.

Deepening relationships can be accomplished in 2 ways:

  • Asking probing, open-ended questions
  • Using active listening to understand their needs

One of the best ways to deepen a relationship is with open-ended questions. For example, ask them about their goals, what they are working towards, and what are their passions.  Ask what is stopping them or slowing them down. Ask about their obstacles. People love to talk about themselves so give them the bandwidth to do so.

Another great way to deepen relationships is to practice effective (active) listening. And just what is effective listening? A basic human need is to understand and to be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to what they are saying. Good listening skills help us understand the other person’s paradigms and point of view. This, in turn, helps us to make better decisions.

Focus on listening for both what they are saying and what they are NOT saying. The answers you hear (or don’t hear) can tell you where the person is at and where they need help. If nothing comes up or you need more clarification, then follow up and ask them more questions to clarify your understanding. Listen carefully and watch for opportunities to learn about them.

Specifically, listen for two things:

  • What Makes Them Tick
  • What Help They Need

First listen to understand what drives and motivates them. What are their passions and makes them tick.  Understanding what makes them tick leads to understanding how to provide value. Fill the value gap they need to be successful and you’ll end up being successful as well.

Next, understand what help and support they need. Then figure out if you can personally help to provide this support or know someone who can. This is where the magic happens. If able to personally help out… great! 😊

If not, tap into your network to see if you know someone who can. This is where the exponential growth can happen. Much like in leadership when delegating smaller tasks to subordinates, helping others to become connected leads to an exponential growth in adding value for others and can lead to more opportunities for you.

People are grateful for receiving help and want to give back….. even when least expected.

This is where I discovered the reason why I struggled to find success. I spent the past several years increasing my mental capital because I thought I was deficient and was hindering my success. I realized that what was holding me back is the development of my relationship capital and how to use this to provide value to others.

Once I discovered this, everything started to make sense! Now, I have spent the past year or so cultivating as many relationships as possible and looking to expand my network and influence as much as possible. I see every new connection as an opportunity to provide value to others and add meaningful, deep connections.

I used to always see the people who go on coffee breaks in the afternoon and wonder, “how do they ever get work done or even keep their job”. I now realize that what is really going on is that people are spending a lot of time cultivating relationships. This is how they seem to be “in the know” and get things done more efficiently.

Other Ways to Add and Grow Value

There are other ways to grow both your relationship capital.

Advertise Your Work

For others to recognize the value being provided, it’s important to also advertise your success. While being humble does have its virtues, it is also ok to advertise the value you provide. It’s not bragging… it’s applying for the job! Lol 😊

While nothing is better than “word of mouth” advertising, there other methods that can draw just as much success such as:

Using LinkedIn

I have a co-worker who does a marvelous job of using LinkedIn to advertise all the good work she is doing. It gets her name out to her entire network which includes a lot of fellow employees and displays all the value she provides to the company. The best part is it flags people when she has posted new content. No need to constantly reach out to people to discuss her “wins”. 😊

Using Social Media

Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc., have been the new “go to” medium for quickly advertising to the online community which can include people in your network as well as others outside your network. The benefits are very similar to LinkedIn except LinkedIn is seen as more of a professional platform versus the more relaxed atmosphere of social media platforms.

People can see an individual when they “let their hair down” which makes it easier to develop valuable connections. Don’t overlook the benefit of social connections for advertising the value that can be brought to the table. It’s a forum that enables a person to literally reach thousands of people simultaneously including people you haven’t been formally introduced to. It’s WAY more efficient than in person meetings.


Making your purpose in life to serve others can be rewarding in many ways other than financially. Turn the focus outward and brainstorm all the ways you can provide value to others and positively impact the lives of the people around you.

When people think they have a money problem, it’s really a mental capital and/or relationship capital problem. Lack of money is the symptom not the cause.

The more people that can be reached with mental capital, the more value that can be created and more money made.

The more deeply we reach people and develop relationship capital, the more lives that can be impacted and the more money made.

Bottom line, money follows value. Always has and always will.

Live the Life You Want, Love, and Deserve! 😊