Live in Objective Reality

The Enemy of Success is Delusion


Author and public speaker Steve Siebold has helped many people with their careers. His clients include Fortune 500 companies and his books are considered by many to be the gold standard in the field of psychological performance training. One important distinction that Steve notices between the middle class and the wealthy is in how they think.

“The average person believes they are far more competent at what they do for a living than they actually are. Many people believe they are overworked and underpaid, but this is rarely true. In a free market economy we are normally getting paid very close to what we’re worth.” ~Steve

I happen to agree. An employer probably wont pay someone $30/hour if the labor is only worth $20/hour. Workers are replaceable. If a company consistently overpays its employees then it won’t stay in business for very long, assuming all other market conditions being equal. The employee can make the same choice. If a pharmacist is being paid $20/hour but believes he is worth $30/hour then he is free to offer his professional services to another company. Since the labor market is based on supply and demand, it’s important to consider both sides when thinking about compensation.

Delusion vs Objective Reality

“The middle class thinker lives in delusion. But the world class thinker lives in objective reality because she knows that her compensation is directly related to the number or size of problem she’s solving for an organization. When she wants to make more money she asks for the opportunity to solve more, or larger, complex problems. Champions take full responsibility for their results, which includes the compensation they receive for the work that they do. So the first step in the process to become a world class performer and catapulting your compensation is to get into objective reality. The secret is to remove all emotion from this thought process and see what you do for a living strictly from the eyes of the people who pay you to do it.” ~Steve

I think that is pretty good advice. To really understand Steve’s point we have to think like astronauts and appreciate the gravity of what he’s saying. ? I have been leveraging my skills and experience over time and have literally doubled my income over the past 8 years. This noticeable improvement to my financial situation is very much proportional to the increased amount of value I am bringing to the people I conduct business with. When it comes to my full time job, I can confidently say that my employer would gladly triple my salary, if I can help them solve difficult problems that no one else can. 😉

The first step to live in objective reality is to start asking simple questions like how difficult or costly would it be for the organization to replace you? And then if you decide to make more money you can ask questions like what kind of new responsibilities or tasks you can take on to help provide more value to your organization? Having a discussion with the manager or the boss may help solidify some of these career goals. Being able to provide value to others is the most lucrative form of our human capital. We just need to focus on creating more value and productivity. The money will eventually follow. 🙂

Random Useless Fact:

It’s rude to disturb people when they’re eating.


Of course cats will always choose food.

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05/16/2016 10:46 am

Unless you are a public servant or union worker, then your income is based on longevity/seniority and/or a predetermined pay scale (i.e. not the free market). No amount of objectivity and/or value-addedness will increase your income.

Jason B.
Jason B.
05/16/2016 11:58 am

Seriously, I’d love to know where you are working that you have anywhere near a rational firm.
Perception is reality in most cases as your actual value is generally not determinable unless you are in a comoditized industry such as labour.
Hence your point is the opposite of truth, your delusions of adequacy, once accepted by others determine your value to companies. Studies regularly show that the key determinants of hiring someone is that of “fit”. Results are less linked to salary increases than that of how likeable your boss finds you.
I think you can find this data easily.
I believe the delusion here is this Steve fellow is anything but an apologist for the wealthy, getting large speaker fees to have them feel good about themselves

05/16/2016 3:41 pm

I was with a big 4 accounting firm and in the first year I was paid 1/4 of what I am being paid now. I am in 6th year of my accounting career. I always believed that we get paid what we believe we are worth.

05/17/2016 4:27 am
Reply to  BeSmartRich

“I always believed that we get paid what we believe we are worth.”

What happens when another person, or a whole lotta other persons, have an even stronger belief of what you are worth and how much you should get paid? You are free to believe whatever you like, but the person on the other side has to have a similar belief otherwise there’s no deal.

Is it really about what we believe or is it actually about market forces and the bottom line?

05/17/2016 6:56 am

Companies will pay you based on the value you bring. Many large companies have levels and pay scales within each level so if you were a Level I receptionist your income was capped until you were promoted to Level 2. Moving up the ranks, moving into roles that had better scales was the way to increase your income. And yes company politics can unfortunately come into play. But, if you increase your skills, opportunities can often be found.

Over 8 years, I had just about doubled my income at one job when I started out as a Data Entry I and eventually became a Programmer III. You can reach walls and then it often makes sense to look to move on to a new company where better opportunities may be afforded to you.

Working for very small companies is quite a bit different, they may just not have the revenue to pay you more so sometimes you can get better benefits instead like increased personal time. Ultimately, you have to weigh the pros and cons of each job.