Did you hear the recent story about Shaquille O’Neal?
Apparently, and according to the … let’s say, “journalists” … at Inside Edition, the retired basketball star was jewelry shopping at a store in Atlanta, when he overheard a young man talking with the salesperson about layaway terms for an engagement ring.
So, Shaq pulled out his credit card and paid for the ring.
I love that story – and not just because any video involving Shaq is an opportunity to gawk at how insanely large he is.
It’s just nice to see, and the kind of thing we all hope we would do were we also unnervingly rich.
But it does highlight the opportunity that arises when there’s a large gap between the value to one person and the cost to another, of a given thing.
Here’s what I mean…
The value of that engagement ring to the kid? Super high. He was definitely going to buy it, it was just a question of negotiating a payment schedule he could manage.
But the cost to Shaq of buying the ring? Effectively zero, given his wealth. To him, it was just a nice gesture, the way you or I might hold the door open for someone walking up behind us.
Look for the Overlap
When it comes to your business, these types of “value imbalances” (I put it in quotes so it wouldn’t sound like something I just made up 30 seconds ago) also present an opportunity.
In fact, it’s precisely within this overlapping Venn diagram – between what’s easy for you to provide and what your clients perceive as high value – where you want to situate your services.
Let’s use me as an example, since I’m sitting right here and I’m sure you’ve got better things to do.
I specialize in email newsletters, something I’ve been doing for nearly 20 years.
And while it’s true that I do other types of things for clients – web site copy, marketing coaching, training programs, etc. – all that stuff is actual work.
Newsletters, on the other hand? Those I find easy.
And enjoyable. And no matter how many hundreds I’ve written and published over the years, somehow, like looking at a photo of George Clooney, it just never gets old.
For reasons that I don’t quite understand, this one odd thing – not writing in general, not marketing overall – is a perfect match for what I’m both good at and what I enjoy.
And, thankfully, it’s perceived as both high value and not easy or enjoyable by the kinds of people I like to work with.
In other words, Value Imbalance. (This time I capitalized it, so now it really feels like a thing.)
Here’s the bottom line.
There’s nothing wrong with working hard; I would just rather not.
And besides, your clients couldn’t care less about your effort – all they want is a high quality whatever, delivered on time and as promised.
Your challenge, therefore, is to find your own Value Imbalance – the overlap between what’s easy for you and hard/confusing/distasteful/necessary to the people with whom you would like to work.
Figure that out, and everybody goes home with a ring.
- Have you ever met Shaquille O’Neal? Send photos.
- How long did you spend looking at that George Clooney photo?
- Where is your Value Imbalance?
Share your answers below…