34. Created Value versus Inherent WorthJun 26, 2023
An exchange of money does not have to equal extraction and exploitation.
But when we witness corruption that leads to lives being valued below profit,
AND also hear phrases like "charge your worth",
it can lead to thinking that our worthiness has something to do with our ability to be productive or fit in to pre-existing agendas, values and flow structures.
In this episode, I make the case that your inherent worth is infinite - and separating the value of what you create from your inherent self worth, means you can consider HOW and to WHOM you communicate the value of what you create, without attachment.
Hey, sibling, so today I want to talk about created value versus inherent worth. Because these get conflated. And it is really important, when you're someone who is creative and working in a creative field or starting a business or you are doing something that means creating something of value that didn't exist before. This is going to be really important in your journey. And I really want to just spell it out because there's something in the culture, especially because entrepreneurship and this idea of, you know, like, the, the here are the things that I hear, right? charge what you're worth, you're worth it, you deserve it, no, you're worth. And I really wanted to unpack the ways that the value of what you create, and your inherent worth have nothing to do with each other. And yet, they so often get conflated. And worse, they get conflated in this kind of self empowerment, personal development space, of, you know, the idea that if your self esteem increases, then you're what you're charging increases, which may be true, right? But the idea that what you're charging is a reflection of what you're worth, we've really got to dismantle that coupling. Okay, so, first, I'm going to share some thoughts about okay, what is the difference between the value of what you create and and your inherent worth? Why do we conflate the two? And what becomes possible when we don't conflate the two? All right, so what is the difference? The difference between your inherent worth and the value of what you create a new offer out and you put into the world, as a freelancer, as a business owner, as a creative as an artist, as someone who's creating something? Right from your own? Body brain time energy ingenuity, insights, right. The difference is that your inherent worth is infinite. unquantifiable. And that's it. Right? Your inherent worth is infinite. You are a being you have life, there is no amount of money that can match anywhere up near to that. Pause. Your inherent worth is infinite. And you might be thinking, yeah, no, but you should still charge what you're worth, right. But we want to be really careful about the language that we're using. Because sometimes the language that we're using it does things, right, it's like keys that open up that that triggers, things that queue things in our body, that create things in the world, right? So we want to be really careful about the language that we're using. Words are spells, spelling and grammar. So thoughts become things, all of that, right. So we want to be careful. So your inherent worth is your inherent worth. It's infinite. It's proven by the fact that you have life and End of story. And so anything that you create is completely separate from that. Right? It's nothing there's nothing that you can create or not create that has any factor on your inherent worth. There is no amount of resources and no lack of resources that has anything any bearing on your inherent worth. The poorest human on the world on earth, and the richest billionaire Their lives are both of infinite worth. Right. And now when we come to the idea of okay, creating something, then I want to talk about creating something of value. And what that means when we create something of value, what we're doing is creating something that has a positive impact on something or someone else in the world. And that is recognised as such. And it's that recognition of the value of something that gets us twisted up. And that is because value is in the eye of the beholder. Right, so the value of what you put out in the world, is not something that you can quantify and determine as a fixed thing. And we know this, because of the example of the bottle of water, right? When you're offering a bottle of water to someone who's in, you know, when you're in the airport, and the only place to get water is the shops in the airport. And therefore, they can charge a ridiculous amount of money. And yet, water is also free in other places, right? So it, they can charge that amount of money, because the value of it to you in a position of that being a rare resource. And that being the only place means that it has added value. And that value is represented in the money that you then pay for it in that particular exchange. So value is not a fixed thing, the value of what you create of what you offer out into the world, is determined by how it's perceived by the people who it's for. You with me. So when we're thinking about, okay, charge your worth, what we really need to be thinking about is charge in a way that is a reflection of the value and how I'm communicating that value to the person it's for. So if you're creating an artwork, a body of artwork, the value is not fixed, it's not an inherent thing in the artwork itself. It's so often about the perception of that value to someone else. And that's why in art, there's all these other factors that contribute to the value of a piece of work, right? You might consider that the same is true of art, that it has inherent worth it's infinite world that's up for debate. But in terms of the value that it represents in the world, and the exchange of value in terms of money as a representation of value, then it's determined by a lot of factors that are around that piece of work, that imbue it with meaning. That is, what constitutes the value. So who are you as the artist? What's your career? How much social proof and societal or institutional approval? How's it gained? Where is your social standing? What are the ideas that you're working with? Are they of the moment? Do they reflect what is being valued in the art industry, the art market, the art worlds that you're in? So the value of something in terms of an artwork is often to do with less about what the artwork itself is, and so much about the context around it, and the system of attributing value to artworks, that it's existing within? When you're offering a service? There's a slightly different model, right, which is, the value is in terms of who is paying for the service? And what is the experience that they're having? What is the impact of that service? And therefore,
the market decides the people who it's for decide, yes, this is of enough value to me, the value is stacked enough in my favour based on the price that I'm willing to pay that amount. I'm in agreeing with that valuation, and the context being in my life, what I need, how much money I make, and so on, right? So when we're thinking about offering a service, this isn't an idea of charge what you're worth, but rather charge in the advantage in favour of the person who is paying. Right stack the value in their favour. So that the value that comes back to you as a result, is not only just a fair exchange, but benefits them, right. So that would be the logic around offering something of value. When you're a freelancer, you're working in the creative industries, or you're doing something like that. There is things to consider in terms of what you might charge, where you're up against. People whose jobs it is to make everything cost less, so that they can increase the amount of profit, right? So then it becomes about demonstrating and positioning yourself as a professional, as someone who's doing things in the world, in terms of in terms that can be understood by the person who's commissioning your work, or engaging you as a freelancer so that they can see and understand the value of what you're bringing to the table. And this is where we get into all sorts of complicated societal biases, archetypal communication, brand branding, positioning, all of the nonverbal stuff around, hey, this is something important, this is something of value, this is going to solve a problem for you. This is why you want to work with me, here are other people who also recognise the value of my work. Here's how I demonstrate the value of it to you. Right, so those are just some examples of the idea that I'm wanting to offer you that created value isn't a fixed thing. It has nothing to do with your inherent worth. And it's determined by the person who is paying for it. Right? And I want to talk now about well, why do we conflate the two? We conflate the two, and I've hinted at it just now, we conflate the two because we enter we encounter structures and people that are corrupt, who are doing things because they can because of greed, because of corruption. And in the encounter with that agenda, what is often happening, I would say is always happening is that we are asked to put our own selves, our own material sustenance, our own being around values as lower down than monetary value. So our self worth, which is infinite, actually starts to seem like it's not infinite. And there is a price tag on it, because it has started to come into the equation, as know that starts to come secondary to the pursuit of profit. By and we're seeing that across every single industry. Every everywhere, right? The level of corruption that we are encountering, where you have h&m talking about sustainable, sustainable business models, and offering recycling centres for your clothing, and then they sell those clothes that you've dropped off to poor countries. And a lot of those clothes end up in places where that have already been devastated by colonialism by corruption and by extraction, right. And it's not sustainable for the humans involved in the entire chain of extreme Change of value. It's not sustainable for the planet. We also live in a world or in this case in this country, where in the pandemic, you had something like a do not resuscitate order. The people who had pre existing health conditions, disabilities, were being asked to sign to say that if they fell, ill due to COVID. That, that the hospital was not required to resuscitate them, right. So another instance where the value the inherent infinite value of a life is being placed lower down, then profit and I say profit even in a country that has an NHS because of how much is that NHS has been carved out and sold off, and is now being driven by a profit model. There is nothing wrong with wanting to create profit, if it doesn't come at the expense of people's lives and existence on the planet. So we conflate the value of our life with the value of money, because we have so many overwhelming amounts of examples, where that is being done. So these systems that we're in these financial, financial systems, these systems of value exchange are for thought because they are the flow of exchange, the flow of value is been structured around extraction and exploitation. And not regeneration, and mutuality, and mutual sustenance and a proper stewarding of resources. And this can have a seeing ourselves in terms of the value of money. You know, and you also see it with Nestle, offering sugar and sweets, but also diet pills. You see it with like media giants who own newspapers on both sides of the divide that they are creating. We see it with people who are climate migrants escaping war zones. And the response of governments is to tighten the borders to devalue lives. So we're literally seeing this everywhere you've experienced it, you've likely had people asking you to take responsibility for the ways in which that their organisation is being mismanaged. And this has us making these messed up conclusions like I need to charge my worth. Right. So created value and inherent worth, we need to separate them out. When we don't conflate the two or becomes possible, we can start to see. Okay, this is the current value of what I'm creating as it's being recognised in the marketplace. And what can I do about it rather than see it as something to think less of ourselves for or that it's a reason to feel shame, or a reason to not put our work out there. Right to not have it be visible. And to understand that, okay, if someone's not recognising the value of what I'm contributing, it's because either or sometimes both. I'm not communicating that value in a way that they can recognise it. Or it's there, I'm dealing with people who don't share my values, whose structural way of setting up exchanges of value doesn't reflect my values.
The exchange of money is the exchange of value that flows according to values. And that is capitalism, right? But capitalism is not the same as extractive capitalism. Value flows, according to the values of the people inside of the system inside of those structures, the people who set those value flow structures up, what their agendas were the degree of corruption, what their values truly are, whether they're living up to those values, the degree of integrity that they have. This is a really important conversation, I think, because as people who are creating things that didn't exist before, if you are someone who has an idea, something that you're wanting to create a vocational shift that you're wanting to make, you're wanting to switch maybe to free loans or self employed or starting a business, this becomes really important because your relationship to value of what you're creating your understanding of your own inherent worth being nothing to do with that, this becomes really important because our relationship to money, and to the value of what we're creating is such a huge part of what our experience of doing that is going to be, right? If you looked at these corrupt systems that we're in, and made the conclusion that having any money at all, means you've done something bad, then when you receive money, you're gonna want to get rid of it straightaway, because then it otherwise it means that you've done something bad, right. And I want to offer that it's possible to exchange money in ways that has involved on your part, and on their part, no corruption. Obviously, there are tools, there are systems around us that we're engaging in the fact that I'm recording this, the fact that I can edit it on a computer, the fact that that computer may have had components built in factories where there was exploitation, right, there are there are elements of their home, there are so many elements of existence, that are that are part of crop systems, right. And there are degrees to which we can have an impact on that. As a consumer, there are degrees that we can impact that in terms of the choices that we make. But I want to offer that you creating something that someone else sees value in, that shares your values, and wants to contribute to your material existence and valleys what you've created enough to exchange money for it. But that doesn't necessarily have to mean that corruption has happened. So created value is determined by the eye of the beholder, to no end up another way to say that it's according to what someone values. And it's nothing to do with your inherent worth. And I want to add one more layer around this idea of creating value, and people being able to perceive the value in it. And to offer that sometimes we exist in worlds that d value, the skill sets that we bring the insights that we have the bodies that we're in the abilities, the experiences, the perspectives. And in those instances, I don't think it's about our No, I need to go and fit in with someone else's model of what's valuable. It's no, I'm going to decide that this two is valuable. And I'm going to communicate about that value to the people for whom that is true. So if you consider that solar systems for me, it's really built on me deciding and really being influenced by Mel bags, formerly Amanda bags, who was a disability activist, and you can find their writing online. I was really influenced by their writing to consider that no, this what is called an artistic way of seeing that there there is something of value here. And building accordingly, right. Deciding No, this isn't just deficits. This isn't just about this is a body that went wrong, no, this is a body that exists. And based on that there is something of value here. There is something of value in everything that exists. So what is it that you value? What is it that you feel like has been undervalued in terms of what you bring to the table what you're able to contribute? And I would offer that any you life, any human. There is something in their existence that is of value to the collective. And if we're not seeing that, it's mainly because we have been too much brainwashed and steeped in the idea that value looks like this thing. And that only these people get to see themselves and what they bring and what they represent as valuable. So when you're creating something of value, it's also about not looking to what is already being valued As the determining factor on what's valuable, but really making your own decision based on your own values. And considering that maybe there are other people who would resonate with the idea that that is also of value. All right, TED talk over. I've confronted probably quite a lot of things. If your experience of listening to this podcast is confusion and a bit of cognitive dissonance, just know that that's okay. I've maybe I've said some things that go along different lines to a lot of the narrative out there. And maybe I'll do a whole other podcast on money beliefs is definitely something I'm bringing into solar systems, to the siblings in the programme to those I work with, because there are so many disconnects in, in a relationship with the idea of what is valuable, and with money, and the tool of money that stops us from fully expressing our gifts and offering them out to the world. But I hope this has given you some food for thought and something to consider. And, yeah, to really ground in the idea that your inherent worth has nothing to do with what you create your ability to create things that are already valued. And how much are not value of what you do is recognised and to encourage you to consider that there are people in the world who will share your values, who will recognise what you are creating as being something of value, but also how can you take up your full responsibility to communicate that value and convey it in the world to be someone who is using the power of spelling and grammar to encode new possibilities in our collective existence, where we understand and have a different relationship with resources with value, as stewards not only of the gifts that we have, but also of what other people bring and that none of it. None of it means anything if we are operating in ways that devalues the life forms that exist on Earth.