What’s Your PERCEIVED Value?

By Carmen Sakurai


In high school, while my friends worked at the mall and fast food places, I earned extra cash as a hula/Tahitian dancer. I performed at weddings, birthdays, cotillions, corporate Christmas parties, you name it – and charged a hundred bucks a dance.

The parties would usually request 3 dances, each dance around 3 minutes long, and I always had at least 2 performances every weekend.

At $100 per 3 minute dance, and 3 dances each performance = $300 for 9 minutes… twice a week = $600 for 18 minutes

My friends were working their butts off, waiting on tables and organizing the stockrooms, 4 hours after school, three times a week… earning $5 per hour. $5 x 4 = $20, at 3 times a week = $60.

Who worked harder? Who earned more?

One more example…

About 10 years ago, my little cousin, who was 5 years old at the time, played the role of “Tam” in the “Miss Saigon” First National Tour.

If you’ve seen this breathtaking musical, you know the kid stands there for a few seconds, get carried around by a pretty girl, then bows his head when someone is shot.

The little brat earned $2,000 each week.

You’d have to work 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, earning $50 per hour to make that.

It’s like investing years of your life in research, testing, and creating your product, spending hundreds and thousands of dollars in marketing what could be the most brilliant item ever to hit the market, and making just enough to almost break even… while a 22 year old mixes some nail polish colors to match a pair of sandals, and that idea quickly explodes into a multi-million dollar business.

“Carmen, you’re rambling again. What’s your point?”

My point is… the amount of work you put into your product doesn’t determine how much your market will gladly pay to get it. Consider what products and services have a high perceived value in the eyes of your prospective customers, and cash in!

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