First lesson of economics, we primarily get paid for value. That’s lesson one. Bringing value to the marketplace. That’s how you get paid. You don’t get paid for the time. I know it takes time to bring value to the marketplace, but you get paid for the value, not the time.
Now, since that’s true, here’s one of the key questions of the evening. Is it possible to become twice as valuable at the marketplace and make twice as much money in the same time? Could you become three times as valuable? Make three times as much money in the same time. Is that possible? The answer is yes, if… and it’s always if right?
Life is known as the big IF. Harry Truman once said life is iffy, how true! And here’s the big IF we’re going to consider it tonight. It’s possible to do much better at the marketplace if you go to work primarily on yourself. And that’s the theme of our seminar tonight, learning to work primarily on yourself.
People have asked me for the last 24 years: how do you develop an above average income? And the answer is become an above average person. Develop an above average handshake.
Some people want to be successful they don’t even work on their handshake. As easy as that would be to start on, they let it slide, they don’t understand.
Develop an above average smile, develop an above average excitement. Develop an above average interest in other people. Develop an above average intensity to win. See that’ll change everything.
Probably one of the most frustrating experiences in life is looking for an above average job with above average pay without becoming an above average person. It’s called Frustration.
And Mr. Shoaff gave me probably the greatest clue he gave me when I first met him. He said, “Jim, if you want to be wealthy and happy, the rest of your life, just learn this lesson well.” He said:
“Learn to work harder on yourself than you do on your job.”
Then Mr. Shoaff gave me probably one of the most important clues among so many things he taught me but this was in those early days. Mr. Shoaff was very kind, but he was also very abrupt. And he had these interesting questions to ask. I’m giving him a little run down one day on how things hadn’t worked out for me.
He said, Mr. Rohn, I’ve got the answer for you, if you will listen carefully. And listen carefully I did that day and for the next five years. If somebody’s wealthy and happy, he got a list. He said, Jim, I’ve only known you a short time. But he said it’s already my honest opinion that for things to change for you, you’ve got to change. That wasn’t quite the answer I was looking for.
But that’s the answer he gave me and I pass it along to you on this warm summer evening in Anaheim, California 1981. For things to change for you, you’ve got to change. Otherwise, it isn’t going to change.
Before I met Mr. Shoaff, I used to say, I sure hope things will change, right? That seemed to be my only hope. If it isn’t going to change, I’m in serious trouble. And then I discovered it isn’t going to change so I’m in serious trouble.
See, I can tell you what the 80s are going to be like. You have dropped into the right place. I did a seminar one time for Standard Oil executives and management in Honolulu. And we’re having a conference one day on this big conference table.
And one of them said to me, “Mr. Rohn, you know some fairly important people halfway around the world; what do you think the 80s are going to be like?”
I said, “Gentlemen, I do know the right people. I can tell you.” So they all listened very carefully. And I said “Gentlemen, based on my wide experience, I can really honestly say to you, in my opinion, in the 80s it’s going to be about like it’s always been.” Aren’t you glad you came that’s inside, I don’t pass that around just everywhere.
Now of course, I said that to make a point but I also said it because it’s accurate. It’s going to be about like it’s always been, it isn’t going to change. The tide comes in and then what? It goes out. For six and a half thousand years that we know of recorded history, and probably long before that, so it is not going to change.
It gets light and then what? It turns dark. Six and half thousand years; see it’s not likely to change. And we’re not to be startled by that.
If the sun goes down, the guy says what’s happened? What’s happened? It means he hasn’t been here long, I guess right? It always goes down about this time.
The guy says, “Well, I don’t like that arrangement. Well, you got to talk to somebody besides me, right? It gets light, then it turns dark.
In rotation the next season after fall is what? Winter. Pray tell how often does winter follow fall. Every year regularly for the last six and a half thousand that we know of. See it is not going to change.
Now some winters are long and some are short and some are hard and some are easy, but they always come right after falls. It isn’t going to change. Sometimes you can figure it out. Sometimes there’s no way to figure it out. Sometimes it goes well, sometimes it gets in a knot.