If Kidnapped, What Would Your Ransom Be?


Hi! Welcome to this week’s training strategically designed to give you an edge in your industry. 

Today I want to talk about increasing your value in a very simple way. But first, I want to tell you a story.

In 75 BCE, 25-year-old Julius Caesar was sailing the Aegean Sea when he was kidnapped by Cilician pirates. According to Plutarch, when the pirates asked for a ransom of 20 talents of silver (approximately 620 kg of silver, or $600,000 in today's silver values), Caesar laughed at their faces. They didn't know who they had captured, he said, and demanded that they ask for 50 (1550 kg of silver), because 20 talents was simply not enough.

The pirates, of course, agreed, and Caesar sent some of his associates off to gather the silver, a task that took 38 days. Now nearly alone with the pirates—only two servants and a friend remained with him—Caesar refused to cower. Instead, he treated the pirates as if they were his subordinates. He even went so far as to demand they not talk whenever he decided to sleep. He spent most of his time with them composing and reciting poetry and writing speeches. He would then recite the works to the pirates. Caesar also played various games with the pirates and participated in their exercises, generally acting as if he wasn’t a prisoner, but rather, their leader. The pirates quickly grew to respect and like him and allowed him the freedom to more or less do as he pleased on their island and ships.

When your self-worth goes up, your net worth goes up with it.
— Mark Victor Hansen

While Caesar was friendly with the pirates, he didn’t appreciate being held captive. He told the pirates that, after his ransom was paid, he would hunt them down and have them crucified. Once he was freed, he made good on that promise: DESPITE THE FACT THAT HE WAS A PRIVATE CITIZEN, Caesar managed to quickly raise a small fleet which he took back to the island where he had been held captive. Apparently the pirates hadn’t taken his threats seriously, because they were still there when he arrived. He captured them and took back his 50 talents of silver, along with all their possessions.

He next delivered the pirates to the authorities at the prison at Pergamon and then traveled to meet the proconsul of Asia, Marcus Junius, to petition to have the pirates executed. The proconsul refused: He wanted to sell the pirates as slaves and take the spoils for himself. Undeterred, Caesar traveled back to Pergamon where the Cilician pirates were being held and ordered that they be crucified. Before they went through that ordeal, however, Caesar showed some leniency—he cut their throats.

This story is amazing. Before he was Caesar, he acted like Caesar. His absolute surety of his value, his worth, and his future created a fearlessness where he actually bossed the kidnappers around and demanded they ask for more ransom! Hahahahaha!

Challenge Your Brain

Often we make the mistake of viewing ourselves in our current reality, our current state instead of our future one. This is easy to do because the brain believes what it sees UNLESS CHALLENGED. 

The fascinating thing about the brain is the interaction between the subconscious and the conscious. The subconscious can only take in data not create data. It gets its data from your conscious self-talk, beliefs, and spoken words even if all your self-talk, beliefs, and words are contrary to current circumstances. This is powerful. This means that you can give your subconscious data of what your future self looks like, will be doing, and how you will be living. The trick is you must believe it and see it as a present reality now. The subconscious doesn’t process future. It only lives in the present. ONCE YOU BEGIN LIVING FROM YOUR FUTURE SELF IN THE PRESENT, YOUR CONSCIOUS DECISIONS, ACTIONS, ETC. WILL ALL ALIGN WITH THAT PERSON LITERALLY BRINGING THAT REALITY TO THE PRESENT.

Now I’m not talking any new age concept at all. It’s a Biblical concept that God creates things that do not exist by His Word. He believes and then speaks. We believe and then speak. Faith sees and what you see, you possess. 

But that’s actually not the topic today. I want to shift gears and give you a simple way to increase your value and prepare you for opportunity before it arrives. 

Yesterday I was at a lunch with leaders event at the Chamber and the speaker was the president of our local community college. And one thing she emphasized was doing the things you might not want to do because doing those things will prepare you for advancement and opportunity that others might not be ready to seize because they didn’t do those things.

She explained that one of the things that was super important was education. And she wasn’t just referring to college education but creating a LIFESTYLE OF LEARNING. You must keep up or you’ll cease to be relevant. 

Don't Become Obselete

Simon T. Bailey, a phenomenal speaker and business man, says, “Never be comfortable with the way you’ve always done it.” The world is moving way too fast in new technology and ideas to stay in your comfort zone. Every leader, every creator, every entrepreneur and every employeepreneur is a teacher and a student. And companies are beginning to realize the necessity for learning new things.

The Container Store requires 100 hours per year of ongoing training for their employees. I believe Century Link or AT&T is another that requires ongoing education. It can be anything from online courses to college classes to seminars, etc. THOSE WHO DON’T SPEND 5-10 HOURS PER WEEK IN ONLINE STUDYING WILL BECOME OBSELETE. 

I mentioned last week that one part of the happiness recipe is hope and learning new things increases hope. I also mentioned two websites that are a great resource for your ongoing training, LYNDA.COM and UDEMY.COM.

These two sites, especially Lynda.com, have taken advantage of the MICRO-LEARNING MOVEMENT. The adult attention span is now 3-5 minutes instead of 12 minutes so they have created an online education platform that gives you “learning chunks” in 3-5 minute lessons. I’m not affiliated in any way with these two companies, but I want to present a picture to you that you are NOT TOO BUSY TO EDUCATE YOURSELF. 

And so back to the original question: If you were kidnapped, what would your ransom be? Would you recognize your value and laugh at such a paltry number and demand a higher ransom? The answer to that question is what ARE YOU DOING NOW TO IMPROVE YOUR SKILLSETS AND YOURSELF AS A PERSON? That communicates to me how much you value yourself.  

Do you have a personal development plan? Have you assessed the areas you need to improve your skills and put in action a training strategy to take your professional skills to another level? 

Do the things now when no one is looking that will make you the one that juts out above the rest. And a final story to prove my point. This is a true story but I can’t remember the company. Sorry about that.

From the Mailroom to an Executive

A man worked at a pharmaceutical company in the MAIL ROOM. But he didn’t see himself as a mailroom employee. He saw himself as an executive in the company. So on his own time, he attended pharmaceutical seminars, conferences, and other training. At one such event, he spoke with the owner of a competing company and impressed him so much that this man called the employee’s boss trying to hire him away from him. 

Your self-worth has nothing to do with your craft or calling, and everything to do with how you treat yourself.
— Kris Carr

The current boss said no way he’d let go of such a valuable employee. The funny thing is he had no idea who this guy was! So he immediately commands his assistant to find out who the heck this guy was and was quite surprised to learn he worked in the mailroom! He was called to the CEO’s office and immediately went from being a mailroom employee to an executive making $150,000 a year. No working up the ladder in the company. He did his ladder work behind the scenes and on his own. 

Let’s recap:

1. Adjust your view of yourself from your present self to the future self you want to be. 
2. Provide data to your subconscious that aligns your decisions and actions with your future NOW. I.e. pull your future self into your present.
3. Do the things you don’t want to do now to prepare you for the things you want to do later. 
4. Create a lifestyle of learning so you remain relevant.
5. Never be comfortable with the way you do it now.
6. Create an education and personal development program and work toward 5-10 hours a week of learning.
7. The care you give to your professional and personal development communicates the value you place on yourself and your future.

I want to encourage you to pass this on, especially this week’s training. We have too many in today’s society that feel worthless and of no or little value. I personally believe that’s why we have so many issues with our young people and even adults, especially in the workforce, because if people don’t have vision for themselves, they don’t live within valuable constraints toward that vision. 

And please invite those in your Facebook family to this group that you know will value training to help them stand out above all the rest! 

See you next week

Sherri Wilson