How To Increase Your Compensation
( Originally Published Early 1900's )
IN a little village in Maryland, there lives an old man. Once he was well known, but you, of the younger generation, probably know nothing of him. For thirty years he worked from fifteen to sixteen hours a day developing a product which will some day render immense service to mankind and be of great value to the world. Yet, in his own heart, he is a failure; and a failure in the opinion of the few who know of him.
He is in poverty and is embittered. He thinks that the world has not treated him justly and that it has not justly compensated him for his years of labor in developing that which will be of great service to others.
I pity him and sympathize with him; in fact, as a friend, I hold him dear; but, I know that his failure is just!
He has produced a remarkable product, but he has been so suspicious and distrustful of others, that no one has been able to work with him long enough to market it successfully. Since it is not on the market, it renders no service to others. Since it renders no service to others, and since he, himself, because of his character, prevents others from marketing his invention, it is just that he should receive no compensation.
Rendering service is the adaptation of your work to meet human needs in such a way that it will better humanity. Service is the relation of your work to other people, whether your work consists of making, handling, or creating things ; or of using words ; or of managing or directing people. The world does not pay for service. Slaves serve. The world pays for service rendered. You do not pay a grocer for the goods he has. You pay him for the goods which he delivers. So, no matter how much, or how many years, you work, if you fail to render your service to others, it is just that the world should withhold its compensation.
You can always increase the compensation you receive. It is very easy to do so. But, it must be done by an increase in rendering service.
If you are making a thing, you can make it render greater service by making it (1) better, or (2) more enduring, or (3) cheaper, or (4) different in size, or (5) different in action, or (6) of greater beauty. Of course, there are other factors. You can render greater service by creating or improving a thing, so that it is possible for man to do things more quickly and more frequently.
The telephone is of service to humanity because it makes it possible for you in New York to talk to your friend in San Francisco, and to get his answer while talking to him. Before the invention of the telephone, it took months to get your message to him and to receive his answer. Now it takes but an hour.
Then also, you can render greater service by extension of the use of the thing you make. Once it was considered marvelous to talk 250 miles by telephone, from New York to Boston. Now, with the wireless telephone, New York and Paris converse, although 2,500 miles apart.
Dr. Frank Crane was once a minister, a preacher of the Gospel. As such, he reached a few thousand people a year.
When writing his sermons, he thought that certain themes were so good they should be condensed into single paragraphs. So, he rewrote these particular themes and began saving them. They were the by-products of the work done while he was preparing sermons.
Later, someone proposed that they be published. An arrangement was made with a syndicate, and, for two or three years, Dr. Crane—though still preaching—sold these short re-written paragraphs to the syndicate. One was published each day in a few hundred papers.
He extended the service which he had been rendering to others.
The by-products of his sermons brought him such great success that they became his main product. Today his success as a news-paper essayist is exceptional, and his financial reward for that work far exceeds that which he earned as a preacher.
This is just ! He has given up preaching to a few people, and now renders a greater service—an extended service, reaching a million people every day !
Every increase of service rendered brings increased compensation, and the highest degree of service rendered—the greatest good to the greatest number—brings the greatest compensation.
During the last dozen years, Henry Ford has become one of the wealthiest men of the world. The total yearly income of the Ford industries is more than half the whole Astor fortune. After carefully studying this remarkable success of Ford, I am certain that it is due mainly to the making of a small and cheap car when there were no other such cars on the market which were satisfactory in operation in other words, Ford produced the first automobile which gave the greatest service to the greatest number.
There is a basic principle which determines whether or not your work will render great service. It is the principle of adaptation to definite human needs. Unless you change a thing, or your work, in such a way that you secure greater adaptation to human needs, you do not render greater service. The greater the service, the greater the in-creased compensation.
But, no matter how perfectly you adapt things and words, and your work with peo ple, to human needs, you do not deserve in-creased compensation unless such service is marketed. If I were a novelist, I might write a novel capable of uplifting humanity. But, all the inspiration of the novel would be of no value to humanity unless the book had been published and distributed in such a way as to reach a large number of people.
There is still another factor which deter-mines increased compensation. Since service is activity of human beings in relation to each other, the degree of service rendered to others by adaptation of the thing or work, depends on the degree to which it is humanized—if I may use that term.
A trunk grew out of a chest, and a chest grew out of a box. A trunk is more closely associated with human needs than is an ordinary box. And, trunks have been improved from time to time to more satisfactorily meet human needs.
Lately, a young man vividly imaged the needs of those human beings who travel to and fro upon the earth. He imaged the old-fashioned trunk into a wardrobe trunk. The wardrobe trunk is more adapted to human needs than the old fashioned trunk because it actually saves human labor. A man's suit is kept in shape by pressing it frequently. Folding it and wadding it into an old-fashioned trunk injures its condition for human use. But, when the coat and vest are hung on a hanger in a wardrobe trunk, they remain in a condition adapted to the human form. Thus, the wardrobe trunk renders part of the service which a maid or valet renders. The wardrobe trunk is humanized to a certain degree.
Because of this adaptation to human needs, because of the increased service rendered, because of the humanizing—if the word be permitted—the inventors and manufacturers and distributors of - wardrobe trunks have made fortunes.
The humanizing factor in increasing service and compensation is not limited to things. It applies also to the use of words, and to the leadership of people.
The success of the physician depends as much on the words he uses and the way he uses them, as it does on the medicines which he prescribes. Perhaps his success in bringing his patients back to health depends more on his use of words than on his medicines. The physician who habitually talks to his patients of the seriousness of the patient's illness, arousing fear, worry, anxiety, and often despair, does not adapt his words to meet human needs. Such a physician fails to become successful, either in helping his patients, or in building up his business.
A philosopher elaborates a great truth which is of value to humanity. After ten years of work, he presents this in seven great volumes of philosophic dissertation. But, few people read his works. The philosopher renders a certain service by presenting this dissertation in words, but since it is not adapted to meet the human needs of the mass of humanity, it does not render great service, and he receives little compensation.
Then, some college professor who has read these lengthy volumes of the philosopher, grasps the philosopher's ideal, and writes a book of his own on the subject. It does not reach the great mass of people, although it renders service to a greater number of people than the number reached by the work of the great philosopher.
Next comes the novelist. He reads the book of the college professor. He recognizes the truth the professor presents, but realizes that the presentation by the college professor is dry and dead to the average human mind. Hence, he uses the essence of the truth and embodies it in human action. He dramatizes and humanizes it. He makes it live in the lives of his characters. He vividly images the truth working in his characters. For every ten who read the work of the great philosopher, who elaborated the truth, ten thousand read the novel. The novelist having humanized the truth, renders service to the greater number, and his success justly wins great compensation.
First, to increase compensation, render service—market it so that it is of value to others.
Second, extend the service you render so that it shall benefit the largest number possible.
Third, increase the value of your service by adapting it to meet more human needs.
Fourth, secure greater adaptation, by making your service more humanized.
And now, consider the means which humanizes service—vivid imagery, and unselfishness.
There are many who lament the mistreatment of the poor inventor. Usually the cause is this : such inventors provide service, but do not render it; and then they expect to be compensated not only for that which they have done, but also for that which they have not done, due to their lack of valuable human qualities—the qualities which render service to others. Certainly, in a just universe, we should not expect compensation because we lack certain qualities.
So also, many an author complains that the world does not justly compensate him for his writings, and thinks society does not justly appreciate his work. In every such case of which I have known—and I've known of a few thousand—the cause of meagre compensation is due to a lack in the author's work ! Here is a case :
A young lawyer, an ex-service man, had conceived many good plots, and used them in short stories. He sent the stories to editors,, and the editors returned them. He improved them and sent them to other editors, and other editors returned them. I liked this young author, because, when he came to me for help, his attitude was just. He believed that the editors were justified in re-turning his stories, and that his writing lacked "something." In this he differed from most beginners—for most writers, having had such an experience, would conclude that their stories should have been accepted, and that they would have been accepted, if editors were not prejudiced against new writers—not knowing that an editor spends nine-tenths of his time eagerly searching for new writers whose writings are good.
But this young man had decided that something must be the matter with his writing, although he did not know what it was. After I had read three of them, I said : "Your construction is good; your. plots are good, but you tell your stories. Writing fiction is more than conveying ideas. You must paint your ideas in vivid sense images."
For instance, words which lack sense imagery can tell us that a certain street woman's face is white and pale and that she has used rouge to color her lips ; but "her lips . . like poppies, thrown out on the snow," gives us a vivid image of the color of the lips in contrast to the dead whiteness of the pallid face.
The service rendered in writing, and the compensation, increases in proportion to the vivid imagery of the writing.
The speaker who succeeds, presents his ideas by vivid images which interest the crowd.
The salesman who succeeds, pictures the value of his goods in vivid images, which appeal to the interest of the prospect.
Rendition of service brings success. Rendition depends on marketing. Marketing your service depends (1) on your non-selfish attitude; and (2) your capacity to work harmoniously with others.
In the United States there are more than half a million serious accidents each year, and-surprising as it may seem to you—more than half of all serious accidents are due to slipping and consequent falls.
If I should invent some non-slip material, what are the basic personal factors which would guarantee me a fortune?
Assume that I do invent a composition which can be made thin, and light in weight. Assume that this material will not slip in mud, or slush, or snow; that it will not slip on ice, or polished floors, or glass, or marble. Assume also that this non-slip material which I invent will not wear out readily, and that it can be made so cheaply that people can afford to use it. Assuming these conditions, I must be credited with having discovered a composition adapted to meet a very great human need. I have performed a great service in discovering this material.
But, I do not render service, unless it is marketed.
If I fail to market it because of selfishness—and distrust of others is selfishness.—fearing I shall not get my rightful share of the profits, or if I fail to market it because I am so scientifically inclined that I am interested only in the discovery and lack interest in humanity; or if I fail to market it because I lack the leadership ability necessary to interest others financially—then, although I have performed a service in discovering the material, I have not rendered service, and should not expect compensation. To secure just compensation, I must add rendition of service to adaptation of service.
In the case assumed above, the basic personal factors which prevent rendition of service are lacks in myself—lack of trust or lack of interest in others, lack of leader-ship ability, or "plain selfishness."
If I am a scientist and fail to adapt my discoveries to the needs of men, or fail to cooperate in marketing my products because I do not wish to be bothered with "business," or wish only to continue my researches—I am selfish. I place the enjoyment of my research work above the joy of loving and helping others. That is selfish. No matter how much such an attitude is praised in scientific circles, and in artistic and literary circles also, such selfishness does not deserve success!
So also, in handling people, greater adaptation to meet human needs adds to the value of the service you render and increases the compensation you receive.
Andrew Carnegie was a great industrialist. He was also a master in training young men to lead other men. In fact, his success as an industrialist was the result of his ability to select young men of promise and to help them to develop their capacity to lead others.
Of the men selected by Mr. Carnegie, and trained by him, Charles Schwab stands out as the most successful. If Carnegie had done nothing else in his life except to help Charles Schwab to become a great master of men, Carnegie would have earned his for-tune : first, by recognizing Charles Schwab's ability when Schwab was a boy carrying water to workmen ; and second, by training and advancing him so that we knew of Schwab, and used him during the world war to awaken the spirit of the men in the ship yards to produce the greatest number of ships in the shortest time.
Then also, we have the example of the late President Roosevelt. Perhaps no other man of the last hundred years selected so many young men of promise, helped to develop them, and inspired them to become leaders of others. This is the greatest service a man can render humanity.
Far above other examples of service rendered during the ages, Christ is the Master Leader, not only because of the Truth He presented, but because of His method in choosing twelve apostles as a working team. If it had not been for His choice of the twelve apostles, how limited the spread of Christianity might have been.
All things work together for good, and all service increases your abundance. The wealth of the world is the expression of the riches of heaven. And, when rendering service from the heart—that is, giving service—the actual compensation for the service rendered, is augmented.
But, the man who attempts to give all his service to the limit of his capacity often fails, because he is unjust to himself and unjust to society. It is only when a man gives service in addition to the service he renders, that he succeeds.
"Seek ye first the Kingdom of Heaven, and all other things shall be added unto you," is true in business ! Compensation for services given---material compensation— . comes indirectly, but it always comes !
A new drainage canal is being constructed. There are ditch diggers and engineers. The ditch digger renders a service and is paid for his service. The engineer renders a service and is paid for the service he renders.
But, the great engineer who conceived the idea gives service in addition to the service he renders.
The service he renders consists of his actual work—in conceiving, designing, planning, and constructing.
The service which he gives is the help of his work to humanity. If the canal reclaims hundreds of thousands of acres of land, it makes the land profitable for farming. Or, if the canal drains sewerage from a great city, it prevents the illness of millions of people, for a generation or more.
We do not pay directly for services given. but the greater the service which is given, the greater the financial success of the man who gives it. Giving service builds up reputation, and his time and services are in demand. Other construction jobs wait for him, and his material compensation is in-creased by services given.
The law holds in all things!
Benedict Arnold rendered a service to the British, and was paid for it. But, he gave no service at all. He made no sacrifice of himself for the good of others, and the British, themselves, ostracised him because of the service he rendered.
Washington rendered a service to the Colonists, and the Colonial Congress paid him for it. But, Washington gave service in addition to that which he rendered. And, he was rewarded. First, by the Presidency, and later, by the admiration and love of people of all times—even of the British who despised Arnold and honored Washington.
Caesar rendered service to Rome.
Christ rendered service to the Jews, and gave of His service to all peoples of the ages.
How many followers has Caesar today?
The service given by Christ lives on and on—the greatest success in the history of the world.
Giving service is rewarded!
Consciousness of the good you have done, the honor and trust and confidence of the world, the love and comradeship of men and women—these are the just rewards given you for the service which you give to others.
The service of the Christ is the ideal. It has rendered the greatest service ; it has been of the greatest value to the greatest number; it is the perfect adaptation of di-vine love to meet human needs ; it is humanized to touch the heart of every man; its Message is so filled with vivid images that it reaches to the four corners of the earth; and it is given to man with divine unselfishness.
All things are one : the sunshine of heaven is the gold of earth, and the diamonds of earth are the pure thoughts of God. All things are one—render service, adapt it to human needs, humanize it to touch the heart, portray it in vivid imagery to reach the .mind of man, render it unselfishly—and then, abundance will flood you, the riches of heaven and the wealth of the earth will be yours !
If you want to lose out, let others do your kind of work better than you do it.
If you want to hold your own, do your work as well as others do the same kind of work.
If you want to advance, do your work better than others.
If you want to mount to the temple, idealize the way in which you do your work so that you become the outstanding leader in doing it.