Law of Value

Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.

-Albert Einstein

Law of Value

The Law of Value:

Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment.

I was fortunate enough to have a brilliant professor during my studies at Illinois State University’s College of Business.  Dr. Taylor is a fantastic professor in many respects; he cares, works hard, loves what he does, but one thing stands out more than any other – he is well equipped. The man is brilliant. One of the many things he taught me was a simple concept of value that I have clasped on to and refuse to let leave. I have since spent a lot of time reflecting and dwelling on it and make use of it regularly. It is a simple equation:


Value =  Get / Give Up


Value received is equal to what you get divided by what you give up to get it. If we intend to provide value to others we would do well to consider this equation. How can we be more mindful of the value equations that we participate in every day? They are all around us. How can we manipulate this equation for good? Increasing what people get in their dealings with us while we hold constant what they give up or the other way round. Even increasing what is got while decreasing too what is given in the same go – all the better. Everyone likes a good value.

Value is a concept I hold dear to my heart. The idea of value propositions freely given and freely received is something that allows us to serve each other. To work together for good in meaningful and sustainable ways. Value proceeds progress. A beautiful thing indeed.

-A takeaway from The Go Giver by Mann and Burg

As always good books, takeaways, stories, and/or lessons learned on the subject are most appreciated.