In my work helping businesses to sell, I define true value as “the precise optimal mix of services or products that your entire business can provide your customers business, such that they’d be better off than they would be by keeping their investment.”
It’s an ideal to aim for, and it involves the organisation selling to explore everything they could be potentially providing customers, to test if it’s of value or not, whilst ensuring it’s not overkill.
A simpler way of saying it is it’s the perfect lean solution, that maximises ROI over time, no more, no less.
That’s true value. It’s worth trying to achieve when adding value to people in your personal life too.
There’s a hidden price tag on everything. The monetary price you see is a fraction of the true cost.
The true cost of something is the time, money, and effort it costs you (including physical, mental and emotional drain) not just in acquiring it, but in keeping and using it, maintaining it, improving it, and eventually even selling it…
…all the lost opportunity costs it prevents you from investing in instead!
Or put a simpler way, the true cost of something is how much life it sucks out of you over time.
Now you have two ways to improve your decisions in work and life;
1. Optimise true value to others and enjoy maximising your win:wins
2. Minimise the “life-suck” of investing in or buying certain “shiny” things.
Doing this well requires a level of care about other people, empathy, and emotional intelligence, and taming your impulses and being discerning about buying new “shiny” things.