You are only as good as your next best offer

When it comes to promotions, raises, and money, two of my mentors used to tell me: “you are only as good as your next best offer.”

The coaching goal was to get me to understand that no matter how truly valuable I am when it comes time to assign a dollar amount to that value, in general, and in business, it’s customary that we would receive only as great as our next best offers. Taken under the wrong light, this comment could, in fact, appear like a slap across the cheek. Further still, while exceptions to this statement are certainly not uncommon, make no mistake: we will receive in life, not only what we ask for, but said request grounded against a baseline of our next best offer.

Take for example a recent situation where I was going to a new gig that paid 40% what I currently make. On paper and after several interviews with senior management for a multi-billion dollar corporation, the very last question that I was asked was not to determine further if I had the skill set or potential to meet the challenges of the role, but rather what was I currently making and did I have any other offers on the table.

The art of negotiating and pulling the best out of life lies in your next best offer

While I was running this morning the connection between our perceived value being hidden in our next best offer and our mindset, actions and thoughts became the gleaming eureka moment toward which I was racing. While this next best offer idea isn’t really true to its core – meaning, just because we are making a certain amount doesn’t mean were aren’t capable nor valuable enough to the organization to which we should be more adequately compensated, but what is true, is the outward perception and the ability of that perception to be grounded to something that makes our value more tangible and able to be expressed.

Dumping promotions and jobs aside, (because at the end of this big long game I am going to care more about life, than work), let me ask you this question: If it is true that what we think, act and speak, we attract…then could it be said, that we have the ability to set what that next best offer can be?

Survival Mode

Past events can be both insightful and misleading.  It’s all about how you break down those events and learn from them. I, through conditioning as a young child, learned to break things down in a worst case scenario mode. Like I had just been presented as a plane crash survivor in the middle of the desert. No food, no water, no shelter, no map. I’m 60 miles out from an abandoned town and even further from flight route. Did I mention I was in the middle of the desert?

While this mode can help plan for worst case scenarios, it is also a very slippery slope when constantly roaming the desert. I have the ability at the end of my days to break things down to only all the ways I should have been better. And no matter how satisfied or fulfilled I was throughout the day, I suddenly find myself deeply and sad and demotivated (for obvious reasons). And I completely miss all the great things I experienced: shopping with my daughter and watching her go from toddler to mini human as we run through a summer rain shower to get inside, the sweet exchanges and glances with my husband, the way my son looks at me when I’m tucking him in at night, the reconnecting with family.

I had missed them because, in my mind, my next best offer was all the things I didn’t or couldn’t or shouldn’t have done, instead of the experiences that truly brought me joy and unequivocally show me how truly incredible this life can be.

As I go throughout my day, I am only as good as my next best offer.

The offer that I give to myself.

Am I good enough? Am I happy enough? Smart enough, pretty enough, mom enough. Am I enough? Only I have the answer.

I am only as good as my next best offer.

And so I am mindful that like attracts like.
I accept I have a hard time being positive about my joy, circumstance, value.
I appreciate that it all is as simple as changing what we offer to ourselves.