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Friday, May 23, 2014

How Do You Treat Your Most Valuable Asset?

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Who couldn't love a woman whose name is Yo?

I met Yolander Prinzel via Jenn Mattern, and right away I knew this was someone with whom I could be my most raucous. I was right; Yo is a fun person who has a killer sense of humor. More than that, Yo is a superbly talented writer who is smart, sassy, and quotable. In fact, she'd never tell you this, but she was quoted in Steve Martin's book The Ten, Make That Nine, Habits of Very Organized People. Make That Ten.: The tweets of Steve Martin. 

I love that she makes up part of my daily email "coffee talk." 

Today, Yo gives us a reality check when it comes to our value and our ability to protect that value. Thank you, Yo. I appreciate you!

How Do You Treat Your Most Valuable Asset?

by Yolander Prinzel

What is a writer worth? What value should be placed on a writer’s hands, fingers, brain, vocabulary, imagination and constantly sat-upon butt? Just for fun, take the average of your last three years’ income. Now multiply that by the number of years you plan to work as a writer. For easy math, let’s say you averaged $50,000 over the past three years and you’re 30 years from retirement. If you continued to earn your average of $50k during the next 30 years, it means you’re worth at least $1,500,000. And that’s just based on your average earnings, which isn’t the best measure. If you think about it, you’re not an employee who’s climbed the ladder and reached the top end of your career; you’re a writer with infinite potential, opportunities and the prospect of making a whole lot more than $50k per year.

So if your talent means you’re potentially worth millions, you should be treating yourself like a multi-million dollar asset.  But are you?

  1. Do you have insurance guarding you against loss due to disability, liability and accidents? What about life insurance to protect your family from the loss of your potential earnings?

  1. Do you maintain your health by eating right, exercising regularly, and going to the doctor for all the appropriate screenings, tests and check-ups?

  1. Do you set boundaries for how you’ll allow Asset You to be used or treated? Do your boundaries include charging what you’re worth and investing in a healthy work/life balance?

  1. Do you invest in your future and increase your value by taking classes, buying informative books and learning things outside your normal wheelhouse? Do you build your business to include non-client sources of passive income such as books and websites?

Think about the amount of time you spend grooming and preserving all your other assets. The portfolio you rebalance, the home you maintain and fix up, and the car whose tires you rotate and oil you change. These assets are nothing compared to Asset You. Treat yourself in a way that reflects what you think you’re worth and the other pieces of your career will fall into place.

Yolander Prinzel is the profit monster behind the ProfitableFreelancer website. She has written for a number of publications and websites such as American Express,, Advisor Today, Money Smart Radio and the International Travel Insurance Journal (ITIJ). Her book, Specialty Ghostwriting: A New Way to Look at an Old Career, is currently available on Amazon.


Cathy Miller said...

Yo, what a great way to put a writer's worth in perspective. :-)

As most of us are the C-suite, maintenance, and everything in between, we should value that range of assets and do our best to protect it all.

Love it, Yo!

Yo Prinzel said...

Lori, I guess you've never seen the tattoo running down my right arm that says (in Comic Sans): ASK ME ABOUT HOW STEVE MARTIN THINKS I'M FUNNY!

Thanks Cathy!

Sharon Hurley Hall said...

Great advice, Yo! Puts all that self-neglect in perspective.

Lori said...

LOL! Yo, I think Steve Martin has a lot to live up to. :) Thanks for gracing my page, hon. Appreciate it!

Ashley said...

Love this, Yo. We're worth more than money (just like any other worker!). But some of us get so focused on the money that we forget about the other things. An employee at a company is frequently offered opportunities for professional growth through workshops and seminars. Employees are encouraged (sometimes...) to have a healthy work/life balance. Employees are offered all kinds of insurance. Employees are sometimes even offered gym memberships or other incentives for personal health. We independent writers should definitely offer ourselves at least as much as an employer would!

denice said...

Excellent reminders. Thanks for putting them into words. :-)

Jennifer Mattern said...

I never really thought about it in this way. Great insights Yo!

EP said...

Managing that healthy work/life balance is what it's all about, I think. Interesting stuff!

Yo Prinzel said...

Glad you all enjoyed it! Jenn--you know I'll look for any excuse to tell people I'm worth millions. And Ashley, that's a great perspective. Why wouldn't we afford ourselves the same opportunity for professional growth that a traditional employer would? Which reminds me, I used to have a boss who'd buy me gift certificates for facials a few times a year. I think I need to make that part of my quarterly benefits package :)

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