To Serve

I’m still immature and am slightly fascinated by monetary success, and was thrilled when I first read about this simple measure of success a while back.

It’s pretty much an easy way to see WHY a person (or organization) has a certain amount of wealth.

Simply look at a person or organization and ask: Who do they serve?

Look at what they do for other people and how many people they serve. Almost immediately it becomes apparent.

It breaks down like this:
Serve few + not valuable work = Little money
Serve few + valuable work = Good money
Serve few + very valuable work = Lots of money

Serve lots + not valuable work = Little money
Serve lots + valuable work = Good money
Serve lots + very valuable work = Lots of money

If you’re a numbers person you can make into a simple mathematic function:
People Served = a
Value of Service = b
Success = c

a X b = c

If you want ‘c‘ to be higher, you just have to increase ‘a‘ or ‘b‘ (or both).

Perhaps it’s easiest to demonstrate with real life examples:

The guy making your burger at McDonald’s:
Makes little money.
He performs a job almost any person can quickly learn. If he cannot show up, someone can easily replace him. Serves one organization and doesn’t serve much.

Cardiac Surgeon:
Makes good money.
Goes through over a decade of grueling medical training to be prepared for any circumstance that arises in their specialty. They serve relatively few people in the grand scheme of things, but they serve those individuals A LOT (he can either save you or kill you). Can he be replaced? Yes. However there are relatively few cardiac surgeons in the general population, so it’s very difficult. This means if someone is particularly “good” amongst their peers they could make quite sizable sums of money for their premium service. Serves few but serves them a lot.


Elton John:
Makes lots of money.
Provides a small amount of service (entertaining them is still serving them) to a large amount of people. Has a unique style, voice and persona that’s nearly impossible to duplicate. Serves a little but serves a lot of people.


Google:
Makes lots of money.
Here’s a fun one. Google serves A LOT of people (billions) and provides them a lot of service. Almost everything they offer is free, and it’s almost always a few grades better than competing services that charge money. They provide lots of service to lots of people. It’s no wonder they will make lots of money.

  • So who do you serve?
  • How much value are you providing them?

I bet your answers will clearly reflect your income. For fun, take a look at everyone around you and calculate their incomes using this method. Pretty cool huh?

Since you know this, you can now improve your own outcome (c) by improving one or both of those areas.

a X b = c

Blog posted on: June 29, 2009

11 comments on “To Serve

  1. Deuce Carter

    lol@ the last comment.

    Anyways this is an interesting way of looking at the concept of skill vs income.

    Reply
  2. Anonymous

    Serve few + not valuable work = Little money
    Serve few + valuable work = Good money
    Serve few + very valuable work = Lots of money

    Serve lots + not valuable work = Little money
    Serve lots + valuable work = Good money
    Serve lots + very valuable work = Lots of money

    Serving a few people X amount of work does not equal serving alot of people the same amount of work, yet you have the same amount of money resulting from both.

    Reply
  3. dennis

    To serve… I know Jesus said "he who would be greatest, will be servant to all".

    It doesn't necessarily mean "richest" but, I love this concept. In light of that I saw a company just launched http://www.BrokerDealerMatch.com which serves over 600,000 stock brokers and 5,800 broker dealers.

    However, I think they were looking at a niche compared to Google.

    Reply
  4. The Gooroo @ Finance Advisory Stop

    This is a different way of looking at things, but I like it. That is what keeps me coming back to your blog. I like your perspective on things Nev!

    Reply
  5. Business account

    Innovative post.But you could have shown the stats or numbers to illustrate the fact even more.
    service.As you have said:
    People Served = a
    Value of Service = b
    Success = c

    a X b = c
    But this equation doesn't really prove the thing you want to show.
    example:400*2=800 and also 200*4=800
    But here,both way you make the same mone regardless of valueable work.Can u illustrate it a bit more

    Reply
  6. Chelsea

    Google's primary task is using surfer's search data to power their advertising through adsense and such. In other words you're their customer if you pay them for advertising because they count on their data and brand to boost yours.

    Reply

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