I work with a lot of contractors and have the unique privilege of hearing and learning wisdom from men and women across the trades. Recently, I had a conversation with a gentleman who’s been in the industry for over 35 years. As we naturally progressed deeper into our conversation, he began to share with me the changes he’s seen within the trades, the set of skills he’s obtained, and a few of the good and bad experiences he’s learned from along the way. After our conversation, I began to contemplate the wealth this man possessed, and whether or not he realized his value. There is no shortage of need in sharing the wisdom you’ve gained along your journey.  

Whether you’ve had thirty plus years in the trades or not, I guarantee you possess wealth that is invaluable to those around you and is an asset to the organization of which you are a member! You, like those around you, possess some level of professional expertise. Tap into those resources and share them with your team!

When we hear the word wealth, we tend to think only of monetary value. Additionally, however, I’d like to explore two additional forms of wealth: informational and influential wealth. Informational wealth is the knowledge you’ve gained from your inimitable experience and perspective. The idea being that as we share and use the knowledge we possess, it increases in value both for your benefit and the benefit of others. Unlike monetary wealth, once used, informational wealth doesn’t result in you “having less.” The opposite actually occurs. Andrew Mariotti, in his article titled, "The Wealth of Information-Based Knowledge," said it best.                                                                                                                                      

“If I give you a dollar and you give me a dollar, we both still have a dollar. If I give you an idea, and you give me an idea, we each have two ideas.”

Nothing helps you develop your informational wealth more than sharing and teaching your knowledge with others. Studies show that when you teach a particular topic you retain ninety percent of the information you’ve taught. As you share and teach, you invite fresh perspectives and the potential for new ideas and learning that, if you’re open to the possibilities, will only broaden your understanding and help you to gain more wealth.

As you share your expertise you build value and extend your network, resulting in an increase to your influential wealth. You begin to establish yourself as an authority. Your presence within your business and your influence on the people around you are indispensable. You’re no longer just another spoke in the wheel. The definition of influence is “The capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something, or the effect itself.”  If you’re not getting the results you’ve been striving toward as an individual or with the people in your organization, consider the value of your influence within your network.

Take a moment to think about those in your life who have had the most influence on you as an individual. Why were they so influential? What made them different? Those person(s) most likely poured into your life, spent time, energy, and possibly money into helping to build your scope of influence and knowledge. To become influential, you must be open and willing to share. You’re inviting vulnerability. Share the sometimes-hard lessons you’ve learned over the years and be willing to gain new insight. You might be surprised by the outcome.

Your expertise and influence are powerful assets, and learning is a continual process, not a destination we suddenly arrive at. Continue engaging with those around you, sharing, and listening as you continue to increase your human capital. Every day is an opportunity to continue building your wealth!

Publication date: 11/12/2018

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