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Make More Money

Oct. 30, 2019
Funny how this works, eh? To make more money, find a way to be of greater service to society.

Do you want to make more money? Then find a way to be of greater service to society. Serve society in a way that people value and society will reward you exactly.

When I think of myself, I think of 18-year-old me. I was fit and had a lot of hair. When I look in the mirror, 18-year-old me is not reflected back. I see a guy with a receding hair line and a bald spot. The blond hair has gone to grey. There are wrinkles.  I weigh nearly a hundred pounds more than 18-year-old me.

What I see in the mirror does not match what I think I should see. It reflects reality. Darn it! Reality is harsh.  Reality is accurate. I can rave about the injustice of it all, but that does not change the image in the mirror. The image in the mirror is what the world sees.

Similarly, the income I receive exactly reflects the contributions I make to society and the wealth I accumulate reflects the thrift I practice expending it. This also seems harsh. What seems particularly harsh is the injustice of it.

A teacher makes tangible differences in students’ lives, yet is not well rewarded financially. By contrast, a corporate executive might receive lavish compensation. A kid might get millions for his ability to spin a football. An actor might be highly compensated for his ability to memorize and compellingly deliver a script.

The problem is a teacher affects a couple of dozen students a year. A corporate executive, football player, and actor can impact millions. Impacting millions a little is more impactful than impacting a few significantly. This is why television teachers who reach millions can earn millions. Think of Bill Nye the Science Guy (who is not a scientist). Whether you agree with him or not, he reached millions through his television show and he has a net worth reported to be $6.5 million. 

So, what does this have to do with HVAC contractors? Everything. A company’s revenue is the exact reflection of the value the company delivers to the public. A company’s profit is a measure of how efficiently that value is delivered.

For a company to generate greater revenue, greater value must be delivered to the public.

For a company to generate greater revenue, greater value must be delivered to the public. This can come from attracting new customers through greater market share or from expansion. Market share should always be the first choice since it is easier to increase efficiency (i.e., profit) by selling more within an existing service territory.

The other way to generate greater value (and revenue) is to add new products and services. For example, connected home products could be added to your sales mix to generate greater value for current customers. A new service could be created, such as a concierge service that carries a significantly higher price in return for scheduled appointments at a specific time, rather than a time window. Or, a trade could be added, such as plumbing or electric.  

If a business owner is struggling financially, the solution is to build a better business that delivers more value efficiently.

Similar to companies, an individual’s personal income reflects the value provided to society. Value is provided through personal effort, but also through a business created. If a business owner is struggling financially, the solution is to build a better business that delivers more value efficiently.

Employees desiring more pay must find ways to deliver greater value. With some roles, this is easy and automatic. A commission salesperson can largely control his income. He can perfect his skills and close more business, thereby increasing his value. If the company provides insufficient leads, he can generate his own leads.

Technicians working on performance pay can also control their incomes. Those working for wages have a less direct means to change pay. Nevertheless, generating higher average tickets by asking more questions, offering more options, offering system enhancements, reducing callbacks, and so on will inevitably result in higher pay. Either his current employer will recognize the value a technician generates or someone else will. 

Want more money? Increase your value to the world.  Look for ways to be greater service. Study your craft. Become better and earn more. 

Practice thrift and solid financial management to build net worth. Think of lottery winners who spend profligately and soon return to their pre-lottery net worth. Invest a little every month.  Investments are another way to be of greater value.

There is not much I can do to change what I see in the mirror every day. Anyone, however, can change what is reflected back by society.  Simply deliver more value.

To learn how to deliver more value to society, join the Service Roundtable. It is a $50 investment that will go to work for you. Visit

Matt Michell is CEO of Service Nation Inc., which operates the Service Roundtable, Retail Contractor Coalition, Service Nation Alliance, and Roundtable Rewards buying group. He is also a member of the Contracting Business Hall of Fame.

About the Author

Matt Michel | Chief Executive Officer

Matt Michel was a co-founder and CEO of the Service Roundtable ( The Service Roundtable is an organization founded to help contractors improve their sales, marketing, operations, and profitability. The Service Nation Alliance is a part of this overall organization. Matt was inducted into the Contracting Business HVAC Hall of Fame in 2015. He is now an author and rancher.