Why is it hard to get what you are worth?

You or someone you know are struggling to see how to fill the gap. The gap I am refering to is the difference between what you earn currently and what you are worth. There is an outside chance that you are in a situation for personal reasons where you can’t positively influence how much ever you try to reduce the gap. I say it’s an outside chance because those situations are rare. It does feel good to say that you are in one of them because when you truly believe that, “you absolve yourself from the blame” for your current situation. You are a victim and you are in a way happy being one because it provides a clean license for inaction.

There is another (more probable) reason for having a big gap. That is your mindset about how you earn what you are worth. It is a “humble” mindset where you expect your work should speak for itself.


The stakeholders around you should form their perception based on your contribution. Higher your contribution, better should be their perception about you.

The Missing Element

With the above mindset, there is a problem. The problem is that the stakeholders have to tell a story about your contribution (more work for them) that will shape their perception about you. Plus, when you let the stakeholders create a story, you don’t have control on what stories they will create and hence you don’t have control about how their perceptions are formed about you.


When you take responsibility to add the missing element and learn to tell better stories about your contribution, you remove one of the variables (story variable) and more importantly influence the other variable (perception variable)

So, whether you want or not, learn the art of storytelling as it is fundamental to shape the perceptions.

Two More Elements

Apart from the stories you tell about your contributions, there are two more foundational elements that will influence the stories you tell and the perceptions they form.

Here they are:

1. Relevance

None of your contributions are in a vacuum. They all fall under some context. If they are “highly relevant” to the stakeholders, the stories get highlighted quickly and if they are not, it rarely matters how good your contributions are, your stories will simply create noise.


2. Your Personal Brand

Your personal brand is hugely influenced by your previous highly-relevant accomplishments. It is the “lens” through which your stakeholders view your current contributions and hence the stories you tell about them. History is your good friend if you have been making meaningful contributions in the past. If you have not made a lot of meaningful contributions, your history can become your biggest enemy.


There are more variables in play but the above three are good places to start taking some responsibility to reduce the unpleasant gap that you or someone you know are experiencing.

All the best!