Value, Not Price

The Encouragement Manifesto (Part 7)

Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash

When we ran a small business, there were some principles at the heart of it. A code of behaviour. It was owner-run; just the two of us. So the way we worked, who we were, was never written down as such. It was in our hearts. We are pretty sure it was clear to our customers who we were and what was important to us. We worked hard to be consistent, to celebrate others and to stay positive. Our business was built on the successes and strengths of others; kindness and generosity were keystones; we talked about value, not price and that allowed us to find our audience. We gathered up and shared inspiring stories and we sought to be a pebble in the pond, creating ripples. If we’d written this all down at the time, we’d have called it The Encouragement Manifesto. We recently decided to capture it in words. We asked some folk we trust, who live and work in the same way, to interpret the 10 principles in their own words.

Value, not Price

by Stefan Powell

Asked if I’d write a 500 word piece on value not price; I’ve started many times. The price of your time — the reader — weighed heavily against the value you’d obtain from my writing. I hope you feel its worth your investment.

Here goes …

To explain value not price is to talk but risk being unheard.

It’s the difference between living and breathing. It’s the difference between the righteous and the absurd.

Being heard is important.

Price is the cost of something and value; the cost to everything — between our actions and our mistakes — upon which humanity is preserved.

Humanity is worth conserving.

Price is what something costs in pounds, shillings and pence but value is the cost of something tomorrow, without which life doesn’t make sense.

And real life needs to.

Price is what your mother asks you before you go to the shop and value is what she is seeking before she lets you walk without shouting stop.

Her trust in you; priceless.

Price is the £2.60 you pay for your drink and value is the warmth you receive even though the coffee house is closing.

Sit down; take your time — breathe.

Price is the board that you pay for a bed and value is the pillow placed, for free, under your head, when someone who cares notices that you are sleepy.

The best sleeps are like this.

Price is the cost of planting a newly raised sapling and value is the tree that lets our world breathe not live its life gasping.

Air is what we need to exist.

Price is what you ask for when a company and its employees are on their knees and value is when you save it to do what’s right; not satisfy corporate greed.

Legacy means something.

Price is the question you ask at a till and value is when your focus is on the smiles and the thrill; of seeing a child’s eyes light and illuminate the room.

A handmade gift means the world.

Price is what a barrister sets as their fee and value is a barrister who speaks for free — because not speaking would let a human life slip away.

Life is precious.

Price is the money that you get for a trailer full of logs and value is what you’ve lost when another forest has gone.

Trees are everything.

Price is what used to be placed on a head and value is what we learned when we put slavery to bed.

No one should be the property of another.

Price is the difference between them and us and value is what connects you and I; our inner felt trust.

Trust will save the human race.

Value not price is the reason I wrote this so many rewrites it would have been treason to fake this.

There are many who know the price of everything and value of nothing; don’t let that be you; share this, do something.

Spread these 500 words.

Stefan Powell is — in his own words — husband, father, writer, owner of The Freshwater Coffee House, writer, artist and executive coach. Founder of Little Boat Designs. A kind, thoughtful and energetic soul who helps and looks out for others.

A life well-lived; celebrating people, places and purpose; an encouragement to stay curious, optimistic and adventurous. Newsletter, every Sunday, 6pm sharp.