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You're Worth More Than You Think

you are worth more than you think necause there's a worth gap

❝Until you value yourself, you can't expect anyone else to do so.❞ -John Frederick Demartini

Pablo Picasso is sitting at a restaurant in Paris when a woman approaches him. She asks him to draw a picture on a napkin. He scribbles a sketch down on the napkin and tells the woman it will be $10,000.

The woman is astonished. She replies, "But it only took you 30 seconds!"

"No," Picasso said, "It has taken me 40 years to do that."


A homeowner is frustrated with a squeaky floorboard and calls a handyman to come to fix it. Upon arriving, the handyman steps on the floor a few times, takes out a nail, and hammers it into the floor, thus fixing the squeak.

The handyman writes an invoice for $100 and hands it to the homeowner.

The homeowner is a bit frustrated and confused by such a large bill for such a short amount of time. The handyman replies by writing an itemized invoice. On it, he writes, "One nail, $0.50; knowing where to put the nail, $99.50."

pablo picasso napkin story


There are things that you are naturally good at. You might be a naturally gifted athlete, able to pick up new sports with no problem. Perhaps you are good at math, taking advanced courses throughout your education and finding it fun to solve math problems. You might be a fast reader, taking in information quickly with no problem. These are your strengths.

Everyone has different strengths, though most people are uncomfortable talking about their strengths. Nonetheless, in areas where you have a lot of strengths, things will be a lot easier for you than others. But because it comes naturally to you, you will automatically devalue what you do. Things that are easy to you feel like things that should be easy to everybody.

easy doesn't make it cheap


You already know this, but you get better with practice. Perhaps you cultivated one of your strengths, or maybe you've been practicing on something that is a little bit more difficult for you. Either way, the more you practice, the better you get. The better you get at something, the more efficient you become.

Being efficient at something means that you can get the most output with the least amount of input. This creates a little bit of tension in us if we are in the position of selling ourselves. The better we get at something and the more efficient we are, the higher we can charge. But having a higher rate can feel uncomfortable. We start to think that we couldn't possibly charge so much because it didn't take very long.

practice makes you skillful not cheap because of the worth gap


As humans, we are very good at getting used to our surroundings. When good things happen to us, we are joyous for a while until this becomes part of our daily routine. We get used to it, and we take it for granted. This adaptation doesn't only work on the upside. When bad things happen to us, we are devastated for a while, but we get used to it.

Because we're so good at adapting to the world around us, we very quickly get used to how good we are at something. For example, if you are a good runner, you quickly get used to what it's like to be a good runner. It makes it more difficult to remember that there are people who aren't good runners.

What we end up with is a disconnect between how easy something is and how valuable something is.

there's no relation between how easy something is and it's value

There's a difference between the value of an action and the value of the knowledge behind that action. Don't discount something just because it's easy for you.

You are worth more than you think.

You get one life; live intentionally.

With gratitude,


If you know someone else who would benefit from reading this, please share it with them. Spread the word, if you think there's a word to spread.

Related Money Health® Reading
References and Influences

Gilbert, Daniel: Stumbling on Happiness

Godin, Seth: This is Marketing

Haidt, Jonathan: The Happiness Hypothesis

Hefferon, Kate & Ilona Boniwell: Positive Psychology

QuoteInvestigator: Time Art

Seligman, Martin: Authentic Happiness

Seligman, Martin: Flourish Snopes: The Handyman's Invoice

Note: Above is a list of references that I intentionally looked at while writing this post. It is not meant to be a definitive list of everything that influenced by thinking and writing. It's very likely that I left something out. If you notice something that you think I left out, please let me know; I will be happy to update the list.



About the Author

Derek Hagen, CFA, CFP, FBS, CFT-I, CIPM is a speaker, writer, and coach specializing in financial psychology, meaning and valued living, resilience, and mindfulness.


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