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If people like you, they'll listen to you, but if they trust you, they'll do business with you.
-- Zig Ziglar


Wednesday, December 13, 1995

You’re worth more than you think

You probably have some idea of your current net worth. Or do you?

Chances are, you know approximately what your house is worth, how much money you have in the bank, the value of your investments, the value of your pension plan, and how much debt to subtract from all that.

However, those tangible assets are trivial compared to the hidden, intangible assets that you possess. No matter what you’ve managed to accumulate to date in material wealth, it cannot compare to the wealth that lies hidden within you. One of the most powerful things you can do is to become aware of this wealth, and start using it to your best advantage. Once you understand all the treasures that you already possess, unlimited possibilities open up for you.

Spend a few minutes to begin an inventory of these assets, and you’ll understand what I mean.

Start by listing the skills that you possess. These include anything that you do well. Are you skilled at operating, programming, building or repairing computers? Can you write a good business letter or sales letter? Are you skilled at making presentations in front of groups? Are you good at talking on the telephone? Are you good at teaching or training or explaining a concept to someone? Are you a good negotiator -- when you go to buy a car, or furniture, or an appliance, do you pride yourself on being able to get the best deal? Are you artistic? Think of all the skills that you utilize in every area of your life and make a list of everything.

Next, list all the special knowledge you have. You can start with your formal education and the knowledge that you have about your current job. Then think about the hobbies and interests that you have. What things do you know more about than the average person? Write them all down. Do you know a lot about a specific industry or manufacturing process? Do you have knowledge of national politics, or college football recruiting, or stocks and bonds? Do you have a knowledge of history, ecomomics, dancing, art, model railroads, Italian cooking, rock music, or any of a thousand other subjects? Write these on your list.

Finally, make a list of all your relationships. Start with the people you work with -- the people you work for, the people who work for you, your customers, vendors, professional advisors and all the other contacts you have through your work. And add all the people you’ve worked with in the past. Then list everyone in your family -- parents, uncles, grandparents, cousins, in-laws, nephews, brothers, sisters, nieces, aunts, children, spouses and everyone else in your family. Add to that all your friends and acquaintances, no matter how old or how long it’s been since you’ve seen them. Don’t forget all the people you knew in college and high school. And finally, include all the people with whom you conduct personal business -- the convenience store clerk, the butcher, car dealer, dry cleaner, plumber, hair stylist and others.

Now, are you beginning to get a better picture of your true net worth? Chances are, just by beginning this list, you’ve reminded yourself of some very valuable assets. Your skills, your knowledge and your relationships are more valuable than anything you could ever put in the bank. Just knowing what you have will enable you to see opportunities for enriching your life in just about any situation.

Look at all the unique, valuable assets that you possess. Wouldn’t it be a shame to let them go to waste? Wouldn’t it be a shame to not get the very best use from all of them? Keep this list handy and continue to add to it as you think of more skills, knowledge and relationships. It can be a powerful reminder that will help you see endless possibilities.

— Ralph Marston

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Copyright ©1995 Ralph S. Marston, Jr. All Rights Reserved. The Daily Motivator is provided for your personal, non-commercial use only. Other than personal sharing, please do not re-distribute without permission.