In terms of salary, how much is enough?
The question of CEOs earning £millions and zero-hour contract workers earning the National Minimum Wage of £7.20 an hour is a topical one. As well as a minimum wage, this week Jeremy Corbyn has suggested introducing a Maximum Wage.
Whatever your political views and whatever the rights and wrongs of minimum and maximum salaries, the question of what salary is ‘enough’ is an interesting one.
Is it £50,000 or £500,000 or even £5,000,000?
If you can earn £50,000 and pay the mortgage, run a car or two, go on a family holiday and have dinner out occasionally and put some savings aside, is £50,000 ‘enough’?
A couple of points to consider before you answer.
Firstly, our earnings reflect the value we deliver in the marketplace. Now I know the marketplace isn’t perfect and it does require some regulation. However, the brutal truth is that we get paid what we’re worth. If you consistently deliver more value than you’re paid, at some point someone else will come along and offer you more money. (Hopefully you’ll get a pay rise before then). If you’d like to earn more then perhaps you need to think how you can deliver more value. The same holds for businesses – the more valued the product or service you provide to the marketplace, the more the marketplace will reward you.
Now before Mr. Outraged fires me an email, I’m talking about our value to the marketplace. We also have intrinsic value as a human being and value as a sibling, spouse, parent, child, friend, etc.
Secondly, £50,000 is ‘enough’ if it’s your absolute best. If you have the potential to contribute more and in the process earn £500,000 then £50,000 is not ‘enough’. As Jim Rohn said, “Enough is not an amount, enough is doing your absolute best.” If the consequence of contributing excellent, highly appreciated service to the marketplace is a salary of £500,000 then that’s fine – as long as it’s your absolute best. You can still choose to live on £50,000 and donate £450,000 to worthy causes (obviously you’ll be donating some of that to the common good via HMRC!).
So, in 2017, are you going to be giving it your ‘absolute best’? Should you be challenging yourself to be better and contribute more? Unless you’re feeling stretched and even uncomfortable, you may have more to give? Or perhaps you need to invest some time and money developing your talents and skills over the coming months. Or even engaging a Coach who’ll push and stretch you.
As we used to say in Scouts, “I will do my best.”
PS Should you suddenly start earning more money than you know what to do with, Victoria Armstrong at The Oasis Centre in Gorton will put it towards the building fund for their new, dedicated centre. In fact, any small donation is always gratefully received.