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What Is Your Real Worth?

Consider this. If it is possible to quote you as a person on the Stock Exchange, what would be your real worth?

Have you ever, in your wildest imagination thought that one day, it might just be possible to quote professional men and women, on the Stock Exchange? Never, you say. You in fact think it is just a figment of my imagination.

I agree with you. Getting personally quoted on the Stock Exchange might just be imagination today. But it can be real tomorrow.

Many things we see, live and work with today, were imagination years ago before they became reality. Name them. Space exploration, the internet, the digital camera, and many high tech gadgets. Today, technology has compressed the world into the cell phone in your hands. Those who put their imagination to work years ago are reaping plentiful harvest today irrespective of currency fluctuations and global upheavals of market forces.

So why not take a step of faith today, move ahead of your peers, trust in God who created you with the power of imagination, lean not unto your own understanding and just begin to meditate on this question: "If it is possible for me to be quoted on the Stock Exchange, what would be the real value of my stock?" How will friends, colleagues, the financial press and investors assess me? What is in me that will attract them to invest? Years ago, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) was the only professional body enjoying the chartered status in Nigeria. Today, many professional bodies are seeking that status for their institutes and members.

A chartered status confers maturity, excellence, discipline, integrity, authority, added value and prestige on members. What stops them from seeking public quotation tomorrow and asking members to do same as a way of promoting professionalism and checking quackery? As a professional, what will distinguish you from professional fakes and pirates will go beyond your experience, professional and academic qualifications. It will be the real you that will determine the price of your stock in the Stock Exchange, that is, if you meet the requirements for quotation.

And doing so means submitting yourself and professional calling to the discipline and authority of a regulatory body that will seek personal quotation of professionals in the Stock Exchange.

Think about this. It will lead you to a sober reflection and thorough stock taking about yourself, your products and services, your business and relationships. Forget the amount of money you make and position in your career or corporate ladder. The question again. What is your real worth? No acting, no compromises.

If it is possible to privatize you through an Initial Public Offer of shares, would investors be interested to pick up your stock, believing they will reap dividends of professionalism.

What would be your real worth per share if you are quoted? Are you sure your personal stock will sell up to $1 per share?

Do not beat your chest and quickly claim that your stock will sell more than that because investors will subject you to same considerations and criteria they do for all their investments in the stock market. Are you sure any investor will buy into you because in investment considerations, there are no emotions. Investors are real in their approach. They have real money which they want to put in real persons, real business. And they want real returns, no acting, no stories.

Dear professional, you may be handsome or pretty, very intelligent, very qualified, and well connected.

So what makes you attractive to investors that will enable them to determine your worth, per share?

If I ask you your worth you will probably monetize your personal assets, wealth, qualifications, experience and goodwill and tell me your worth. But you will hide your liabilities in ethics, character and content. But if I still ask you, "what is your real worth?", you may hesitate or throw the question back at me: "What do you mean by your real worth?" I will tell you.

Your real worth incorporates what marketing experts call demographics and psychographics. They include age, income, wealth, assets, qualifications, socio economic class, personality, values and others. You know them. But what distinguishes your real worth in my understanding are your ways, integrity, talent, skills, beliefs, ethics, righteousness, character and your relationship with almighty God.

The last three factors are so vital yet so neglected even by stockbrokers and investment analysts. The new challenge is, how can brokers measure these factors? Their eyes and concentration are rigidly fixed on the bottom line, profits, assets and liabilities. All on figures, and Facts behind the figures, and never on the People behind the figures. That is why there is so much crookedness in many business sectors today.

But as business risks increase and global economic turmoil intensifies, soon, and very soon, attention will shift from figures, and the facts behind them, to people. This will herald the listing of professionals on Stock Exchanges worldwide, because the real issues are not figures, but the people behind the figures. So, what is your real worth?

Today, we have the Commodity Stock Exchange. One day, the Human Stock Exchange will come.

Are you prepared? Price, summarizes the value of anything. It measures the worth of any product or service. It can fluctuate, up and down, driven by quality, quantity, availability, and the market forces of demand and supply.

How can I have a price? you ask, I am a human being, good reasoning. But that was valid years ago, not now. Today, everybody has a price. You have heard it before. But you have never really considered the wisdom of that statement, because you believed it more as a cliché than something real.

You have a price. Not the amount of money with which people can bribe you or buy your conscience. Your price is your real worth which requires plenty of wisdom and common sense to discern. You have often heard men say, "that girl is cheap". Why do they say that? They are not talking of monetary value. What they mean could be, "that girl" may be easy to manipulate, take advantage of, used, tossed about, easily dazzled with material things and easily deceived with lies. Why then do men say she is cheap?

The girl in question may well be a chartered professional with a string of degrees and professional qualifications, memberships, experience, good pay, drives two cars and lives comfortably in a duplex. Yet she is branded cheap by a man who does not even earn up to a quarter of her income.

So what is the "cheapness"? It has to do with her dignity, self-respect, chastity, values, ways, and strength of character. She must have compromised some or all of these in her relationship with the man.

What could have caused this? Maybe it is because of the forces of demand and supply of husbands in the marriage market.

These forces are vicious, bothering a lot of aging spinsters, forcing them to compromise their values and standards in their desperation to get husbands. There are many aging spinsters in the marriage market today. So many of them And many of them are professionals, well connected, parading intimidating credentials, good income, yet one thing still eludes them, that is to get a husband.

The plight of these professional spinsters is not helped by the paradox in the marriage market.

While the spinsters are increasing in number and are aging, the number of marriageable men is decreasing. At 35, the spinster is really desperate to get married. She falls into the hands of "hit and run" men, full of lies and looking for desperate ladies to panel beat.

To hook her man, our dear spinster lowers her standards, maybe compromises her chastity, and behaves in ways the man considers cheap. She picks all the bills, and even pampers the man, all to get a husband. Yet she is ditched and branded cheap. How painful. If "spinster desperate" was to be quoted on the Stock Exchange, and the run away lover was an investment analyst, how would he value her stock? Would he advise investors to stake their money in this spinster? Spinsters, I ask you, what is your real worth?

The case of this class of spinsters is pathetic. Men touch them and go. They fast and pray, no husbands. Yet some men, who are not even qualified to be next in rank to them in corporate offices, have the temerity to say, "That girl is cheap". The men take off to marry less "qualified" girls. What does this example tell you? Your real worth goes beyond your qualifications and material resources.

Dear professionals, do a personal audit of your life and your work. Are you real?

What is your relationship with God? If you establish a personal relationship with your creator, and you are real, no matter the odds, then your real worth will appreciate.

But if you begin to act and do it your own way without God, just because you want to get that thing you desire so much, your worth will depreciate.

Eric Okeke, corporate storyteller, motivational speaker, business writer and copy writer. He is one of Nigeria's most experienced financial journalist. I recommend that you read this valuable book, "How To Tell A Great Story" that is dedicated to teaching people just like you about the famed R.P.I Principle. Go now to

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