Every year Warren Buffett auctions off a lunch meeting in which individuals bid for the opportunity to meet Warren Buffett. This year’s auction bought in a record haul as the winning bidder paid $2.6 million dollars for lunch with Buffett. The proceeds raised from the lunch are donated to a charitable organization that helps to feed the hungry. The winning bidder likely saw the purchase as an investment that is well worth the $2.6 million dollar price paid. We now know how much a lunch date with Warren Buffett is worth. How much is a lunch date with you worth?
Before you say nothing, take the time to think about it. How much should someone be willing to pay to learn from your expertise or pick your brain? Everyone has some area of expertise that others can benefit from learning about. Buffett’s expertise just so happens to be in making money by investing in the stock market. This is in great demand because so many people are interested in making money. With a $50 billion dollar net worth and years of investing knowledge, $2.6 million dollars is actually a bargain for the knowledge that can be gained in a few hours.
Assume you were auctioning off three to four hours of your own time on eBay. People would have the opportunity to bid to learn from you. They could ask you questions and get insights from you.
- What topic or area are you the most knowledgeable about?
- What dollar figure would you attach to that?
- Is your knowledge marketable or is it useless?
- What is the single most important thing that someone could learn from you?
- How many people would be better off after spending a few hours with you?
I think that exercises like this are important because they help you to determine exactly how much your time is worth. Every minute of every day, your time is either being used in a productive manner or is being wasted. Do you spend more time learning and growing or engaged in activities like watching reality television? You should take a week and chronicle your time. Write down everything that you do so you can see what you do with your own time. This helps you to focus more of your energy and resources on the things that will yield the greatest results in your life.
Companies Rent Your Time
That is what your job is all about. Your company is paying you a sum of money on a weekly or biweekly basis for your knowledge, skills, and expertise. A company is basically renting your time from you. If you are considered a major asset to the company then you are compensated accordingly. Your time is considered valuable so your pay reflects your value to the company. You are rewarded for your knowledge because it helps to generate revenue for the company.
If your pay is low then it is for one of two reasons. The first reason is that your company is taking you for granted. You could be one of the underemployed who is paid less than their skills are worth. More and more people are finding themselves taking positions that are below their skill level. You may have been forced to do this but this should only be a temporary situation. You do not want to be caught working in a position for years that does not challenge you or help you grow. The second and more likely reason is that you need to increase your knowledge base. Employees that are easily replaceable are paid lower wages because companies believe that they can get anyone to do their jobs.
So, how much would a lunch with you go for? What price would you place on your time? Does your employer value your time?