That’s the question that I think about regularly as part of the social new world order. The answer: One US dollar according to the US Bureau of Chemistry and Soils.
That seems low to me. So if you’re looking to get more than a buck for your body, one idea is to sell your individual organs. However, since that’s illegal, an alternative might be to tan your skin for sale as ‘leather’. According to the same research, your skin would be worth about $3.50 if it were sold as ‘cowhide’, which runs around $0.25 per square foot. So, if you take the dollar’s worth of elements that comprise your body and add the value of your ‘tanned hide’, you might be worth as much as $4.50.
Now it is also possible, that US bureau is looking in the wrong place to assess your value. For example, one might argue that your value is comprised of various elements:
- Physical capital – is $1.00 according to the periodic table of elements;
- Financial capital – it the amount you have saved or inherited from your parents;
- Intellectual capital – equals what you know and how much you earn during your career;
- Human capital – is the value of the labor that you can perform over your life time;
- Customer capital – equals the sum total of the people you know that you could call on; and
- Social capital – is the value of your crowd – fans, friends, family and followers.
Now I know you are thinking that this approach to figuring out what YOU are worth is not traditional. Further, you are thinking, if you were valued this way by the companies that you serve (as an employee or contractor) or who serve you (as a customer and investor), would they really treat you like you were replaceable. My guess is that your value to them is a lot more than your paycheck or sales receipt.
But my contention is this is the way organizations have always valued us – be it as customers, employees, partners or investors – as nothing more than the value of the transaction we offer them (billable hours, purchases of goods and services, and if you are in the slave trade business – the value of your labor). However, i think this view is antiquated and extremely limiting. Especially in the social and mobile age. Let me show you why.
Recent research regarding Facebook’s value show that you are worth about $81. Your friendships are worth $0.62 each, and your profile page is valued at $1,800 or more depending how many friends and followers you have. Put another way, Facebook’s nearly one billion users (which includes you) have become the largest unpaid workforce in history. And almost every other business i know hasn’t understood this reality. If they had, they wouldn’t just let us walk out the front (and rear) door of their establishments without trying to create a long lasting relationship with you and me and everyone we know. They would try to capture the human capital, social capital, customer capital and intellectual capital we possess. It would expand exponentially their value. But they don’t. And for many organizations, the results have been sheer devastation.
For example, we took our social, customer, human and financial capital and left Best Buy, RIM, Kodak, Hewlett Packard and many more companies in the dust. And we are just getting started as a network society. Our future is in front of us and the race is for all of us to really see the value in ourselves, before businesses do. Its that simple.
So start valuing your self fully and you just might be surprised how organizations will begin to treat you, me and everyone else – as they realize the true value of what they have not recognized.