How Much Are You Worth?

According to whom?

My employer? $33k a year.

A sales organization trying to offer me a job I refuse to take? $100k a year.

A new potential employer? Nothing less than $80k a year with an equity package and an expense allowance since I’ll probably have to do real work. Corporate housing and a vehicle would be greatly appreciated too.

A life insurance company that wants to hire me? Less than nothing, as they want me to pay for my own tests that I myself can’t even pass. Yet they won’t stop emailing me.

A startup? Anywhere from .5% all the way up to 33% equity, depending on how experienced the team is and how necessary my involvement and role would be. Or a handful of cash. Or a cupcake.

Society and the marketplace? Nothing. Or what my old employer used to say at an investment fund. That I’m invaluable. Which I always translated as without value. But he probably meant the exact opposite.

My bank? A grand or two.

My retirement accounts? Five figures.

The lending institution that carries my student loan? Negative five figures.

My credit card companies? Nothing.

My landlord? The exact face value of my rent check. Not a penny more.

My mom? Enough to cover rent and food and get herself a free ride through life, as all she needs to do is say I love you son.

A lover? I’m yet to find out.

A friend? However much value they place into someone whom they can share experiences and confide into.

A business partner? An equal value to them, as I’ll figure out how to minimize costs and maximize revenue.

An apprentice? Whatever weight philosophies and a decade of first hand business experience holds.

To someone who failed? A second chance.

Or myself? I’m worth the weight of my beliefs, philosophies, knowledge and wisdom, or lack there of. What that translates to as far as value goes, it’s all theoretical, so who really cares anyway.

Originally posted on Quora.

Leonard Kim consults startups and writes books like The Etiquette of Social Media: How to Connect and Respond to Others in the World of Social Media

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