“You can have everything you want if you just help enough other people get what they want.” Zig Ziglar
In this world, it seems that everyone wants to be paid more. Many have convinced themselves that they deserve to be paid more. The rate of pay that someone earns is often considered an injustice. Why? It depends on the person but generally it’s for whichever reason may seem justifiable.
Sometimes these concerns are quite valid, sometimes they are less valid but they are always subjective.
Have you ever heard anyone say, “I think my employer pays me great and I am not worth a penny?” Clearly nobody says this, or if they do, it is probably as rare as a beautiful diamond falling into your lap.
But how do you know if you are compensated properly? There is research you can do that can help substantiate your claim if you are feeling slighted, but that is not the focus here. If you believe you are underpaid and undervalued, rest assured that your company is likely to hold the opposite view.
Since we are all concerned primarily about our self-interests, it makes sense that this type of bias would be on display from both ends of the employer-employee relationship.
Luckily, these subjective opinions can be addressed by a shift in attitude and the change in mindset can play a massive role in setting the stage for future success.
Sympathy for the Devil?
Depending on your ideological persuasion, you may view the almighty dollar as the greatest thing to ever happen to the world, or as Satan’s favorite trick. It is popular in our culture to accuse others of being selfish, greedy, and unethical. This is an especially popular form of animosity to direct at companies and especially the ones for which we work.
These are usually arguments that spring from deeply rooted political worldviews or life experiences. It is okay to have whichever views you believe in but when these affect the type of employee you are or your attitude toward your employer, you may be putting yourself at risk just from your mindset!
It Costs ‘A Lot’ to Hire People
When you apply to a job, you may think, “this is a $15 per hour job, they should pay more, they are cheap.” You may believe it’s ridiculous how much more the CEO makes, and you may have a point. However people who have never signed employment checks often underestimate how much it costs a company to employ people.
Just in terms of raw numbers, the US Small Business Administration (SBA) estimates that the cost of employing someone runs 25-40% higher than the salary. These statistics tend to only account for measurable costs such as benefits, workman’s compensation insurance, and the match they must apply to your social security contributions.
Three important additional factors should be considered:
First, costs such as paid time off, holiday pay, retirement matches, and other benefits vary widely between companies. Companies must compete with each other on these perks, just like they need to compete on hourly rate or salary. If they don’t pay enough or offer enough perks, they risk missing out on the best employees, who will decide to work elsewhere.
Second, human resource professionals know that the cost of training new hires is enormous and this is often exacerbated by employee turnover. Other largely unquantifiable costs include lost productivity from poor performers or even mediocre employees.
Third, the potential for litigation when firing certain legally protected classes of people such as new mothers or racial minorities is also a concern worthy of mention. Even one lawsuit can drain a company’s resources or place it in jeopardy from a public relations standpoint.
Control what you can Control
There are certainly cases where an employee is worth the extra money to a company and they are willing to pay more for this person’s labor. Unfortunately, the question many people ask is: “Why do they treat me so unfairly?” Here is a better question to ask: “How do I make myself into a person they are willing to pay more?
Consider this: Would you rather have a million dollars or a million dollar attitude?
Could your ‘road to riches’ be paved with a simple attitude adjustment? Well, it depends, but the answer is, a resounding – maybe!
Anyone who has held multiple jobs knows there are plenty of reasons to be satisfied or dissatisfied with an employment situation. Check out the following story about an Executive Assistant who was severely dissatisfied with her job from legendary motivation guru Zig Ziglar.
Is there a company in America big enough to manage a poisonous attitude in an employee without some level of harm to their business? Scale helps companies handle this but too much of a negative attitude can sink productivity.
From an employee’s perspective, enjoyable jobs are stressful enough, so it is crucial that we do not invent reasons to enjoy our jobs less.
After a struggle, between Ziglar and the Executive Assistant, she ended up listing 22 reasons for positive appreciation. Here are 13 of them referenced in the video:
- They pay her
- They pay her above average
- She gets 3 weeks of paid vacation
- She gets a retirement plan
- She has profit sharing
- She gets health Insurance
- Life insurance
- And accident insurance
- She lives less than 10 minutes from the work location
- Has influence over management decisions
- The company sends her on paid professional development seminars
- She has her own private office space
- She has her own private parking space
When she learned to view the positives in her situation, it was clear that her negativity was overwhelming her ability to see the full picture.
This is NOT Old School Mumbo Jumbo
According to Ziglar, “I like my job” is the same as saying “I’m grateful for my job.” An attitude of gratitude leads to a less judgmental, and more generous disposition. This gets noticed by people who surround your personal and professional spaces.
In the above video, Ziglar claims you can transform yourself from a “fault finder” to a “good finder.” Which of these approaches would be more likely to lead to success? Can you thrive in your career if you are suffering from what unofficial doctor Ziglar describes as “stinkin’ thinkin?”
Takeaways and Application
There is a simple but powerful lesson here. Negative self-talk may not kill your chances of success but you can be sure that it will be a hindrance. Positive self-talk may not guarantee your chances of success but you can be sure that it will be an asset. Positive self-talk has enormous benefits.
Zig Ziglar famously said “You can have everything you want if you just help enough other people get what they want.”
You may read this and think, “this is not fully true.” Congratulations on being technically correct, but here’s what matters. How many things do you tell yourself that are negative in nature but also not fully true?
Why not let more of the positive into your mindset?
When you learn to find reasons to be grateful instead of frustrated or angry, it may just transform your career and your life.
There is no downside.