Taking Money Off the Table

On the outset, we agree that decision making where money is concerned is not an easy process. In investment circles, the phrase “taking money off the table” is meant to tell investors to diversify their investment or convert some of their shares in a company or on the stock market into cash in case of any negative eventuality that may reduce the value of their shares. This is not what we will be addressing this week. We will be addressing the place of money/ compensation in the decision-making process.

From the employee platform

When one is tired of their current job and they are hunting around for greener pastures, the major element involved is the salary at the end of the month that lands in the account. It is a good measure because it is meant to reflect how much one’s labor is worth, and it should never be downplayed. If it is not given the seriousness it deserves, the likelihood of being under compensated and being overworked is really high. It should however, not be the only factor under consideration. It can be very blinding and that is why we recommend that it be the last point of discussion even when being head hunted. By the time a head hunter is coming to you, they already know your capacity to deliver to their client or to themselves if it is a direct hunt. Most of them will therefore bait you with the salary and perks.

You need to calculate your worth by considering several factors including: The value of your time, your skillset, your experience, what you give as value add to your employers and how much you believe you will improve the company by. As an employee, you are an asset and you should treat yourself as that. Expensive shops are not quick to tag their displays and if they do, it is very easy for one to confuse the price tag with the product code, not to mention the microscopic size of the label used as a price tag.

The benefit to this approach in negotiating for a job, no matter the level of desperation, is that you get to throw the recruiter off balance. What in essence it does, is that you take the bargaining chip (how much they are willing to pay for your services) off the recruiter’s hand and you get them to concentrate on how much value you will offer them by joining their organization.

It requires skill however. When bills and financial pressures are glaring down and screaming to be heard in such a meeting, it takes all the strength that one can marshal within self to quieten them. One needs to do their homework well on the recruiting company to ensure that they don’t trap themselves.

When money is on the table, clarity is lost and vision melts into thin air. Take note not to make critical decisions with the fundamental base being money Click To Tweet

As an example, we draw from the real-life experience of a brand manager who was bored with her job and was looking for a challenge. She had grandly positioned herself as authorities in their industry and at one point when a potential competitor came into the country, they chose to consult this brand manager. She was generous with general information on the industry which would have taken the competitor ages to gather and be pricy if they engaged a researcher.

The competitor went on to come into the country in a small way that was not threatening to the company. Unfortunately, they did the very thing that the brand manager had warned them to look out for and when they were unable to penetrate the market, they booked several breakfast and lunch sessions with the brand manager trying to woo her out of the company to become their General Manager in charge of the regional operations.

Lucrative as it was, with all benefits quoted to her in a very flowery manner, the brand manager discussed a lot with the new entrant but every time they went to mention the compensation, she told them that was irrelevant. What was key is whether she could help them or not.

Eventually she declined their offer. Not that it was a bad one, in fact it was an awesome dream come true. The problem was that with all the mistakes made at the start of operations, and the high expectations of the investors, she would have gotten herself into a quagmire and would not have lasted 6 months in that job.

Every time a decision that has to do with your job needs to be made and money is involved, imagine yourself sitting in a boardroom with a briefcase full of cash staring right at you and the people who you love and who love you, hurdled in a corner waiting for you to make the right decision about what is most important for them. What will your decision be?

As an entrepreneur

As an entrepreneur, that decision is quite different, but the principle remains the same. Here is another life experience. A very enterprising gentleman started and grew a weekly publication carrying low cost adverts with free circulation. At the start he was not a threat to anyone. Until he started printing a simple statement at the front of his 4-page, A3 size print “Circulated Free. Reaching more than 1,000,000 customers weekly.” The next thing he knew was being called by a leading publisher who had begun feeling the loss of business for one of his publications.

A meeting followed where money was put on the table in a buyout proposal. In the initial meetings, the enterprising young man was resistant to sell his dream which he was sure he could take to very great heights; until he was slipped a paper written in seven digits with the dollar sign in front of it as the last offer for the buyout. Next to the paper was a contract.

Sitted across the room was a finance manager who was ready to press a button to approve the wire transfer and immediately the young man signed the contract and the money was wired to the account in completion of the deal. The giant publisher killed the publication 1 month later and what the young man did not know when he signed the contract was that he had also signed that he would not start another publication for 5 years after he had sold all his company.

Within the 5 years, his concept was taken and replicated to be a multi-million-dollar idea that transcended borders of the trading bloc. He sold his dream for good money, but he sold it too early and due to the nature of the contract, he could not come back to the industry. When money is on the table, clarity is lost and vision melts into thin air. Take note not to make critical decisions with the fundamental base being money.

For more insights on decision making we recommend the book “Decision Making: How to Become Decisive and Quickly Move Forward in Life by Making the Correct Decisions” By Brian Ledger

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Wangari Maina

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