Photo “Beauty Is Simplicity” courtesy of Reji, on Flickr
We express value, and we hold values. Honesty, authenticity, courage, beauty, integrity. Our values are conceived in the abstract realm and negotiated in the material world of objects. They are subjective but indivisible from our relationships with other living beings.
Value can be measured. Each day on eBay, thousands of bidders answer the question What is it worth?
What about loyalty, truth, or faith? We frown on the idea of putting dollar amounts to values. Loyalty transcends cash. Our values are precious and priceless. Money can’t buy you love.
A skill is an abstraction. So are competence and intelligence and professionalism. No one has an objective number indicating the value per hour of your skill or professional value. Yet, for business to happen, a value must be determined.
Value and values intersect. One of your clients recommends you. She says that you’re honest, reliable, professional, and pleasant. None of these things can be auctioned on eBay. They are values. They are also value.
Your value increases as its intersection with values becomes more clear and compelling in the mind of your customers. This is not a cheap marketing gimmick, it is an insight into value.
You can choose to make a widget, or you can choose to enrich people’s lives by doing something that supports and nourishes their values.
The choice is yours.