Thursday, May 28, 2015

Is it more important to be VALUED or APPRECIATED?

It's a question that really has no answer that is not specific to the person answering. So why ask it? Is it more important to be valued or to be appreciated? To answer that, I think we have to look at the definition of each word in depth:

Value -
  1. 1.
    the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something.

  2. 2.
    a person's principles or standards of behavior; one's judgment of what is important in life.
  1. 1.
    estimate the monetary worth of (something).
  2. 2.
    consider (someone or something) to be important or beneficial; have a high opinion of.

Appreciate -
  1. 1.
    recognize the full worth of.
  2. 2.
    understand (a situation) fully; recognize the full implications of.

Let's note that a great many people use these terms interchangeably but take a closer look. When something is "valued" it is generally because it is of benefit to the person doing the valuing. It's about saying "what am I willing to part with or do in order to possess this object. Property is valued. Stores say that something is a great value. Valuables in your jewelry box. Even people at the office are valued - which drives me up the wall when I hear it. Something is valuable because it benefits the person doing the valuing in some way - not because it's necessarily a good thing but because they're "getting something" from it. See the pattern starting to appear? Now, appreciation has nothing to do with worth or property. It's more of an emotion than a verb. When you appreciate something it's because it's there. It is not something to judge or pay for and isn't something that you can even place a partial worth on - by definition. You appreciate something for what it is and don't try to change it because it's so important it's unable to be messed with. You're thankful it's there because it is exactly what is needed.

"So Chris", you may be saying to yourself, "what does this have to do with golf?". 

Well... look in your golf bag. Any names stand out to you? Maybe you just bought the newest driver released, or a new putter. Do you VALUE your clubs or APPRECIATE them? Did you buy them because of what they say or how much you will be able to trade them in for? Did you buy them because it was "recommended" by a sales person? Did you buy them because they're from your favorite tour player? Did you honestly answer these questions and were any of them "YES"? Bad news.

What did you go through in order to get them? If you can honestly say that you went through a fitting that was more than 20 minutes and gave real thought to the process to arrive at the best decision for your game - I'm proud of you.  For a lot of readers, this isn't the case. For those readers it was an ad in a golf publication or a commercial during last week's tournament on TV. It's advertising speak about CG and MOI and composites and "the longest ________ ever!".   This is a full example of Valuation of your clubs. You value them so much as they worked for other people now. You will de-value them as new equipment comes out because that equipment will be seen as better than what you have. The sad part is that the same equipment will have little to no value to those who you purchased it from as that new club is released. You've valued your club at a price that the manufacturer thinks you'll pay and with options that are the best value to them and their bottom line. If you wait to buy it until it's "on sale" what are you spending your money on then - outdated technology i guess? I guess at least you have the NAME right? That's the TRUE value of equipment. That's why logos are plastered all over hats, belts, and shirts. Get the name in your head.

As for me, I appreciate my clubs. I appreciate that they work just as hard as clubs that are higher priced and sitting dusty on a rack in the back corner of a golf discount store somewhere. I appreciate that time and care was taken to assemble these clubs just for me using parts that were painstakingly tested by me, outside, in the sun and on the grass for over an hour.  I appreciate that I was able to use any parts that I wanted, and not just what had the highest margin for the seller. Still, when old age comes and I can't swing this flex anymore nobody will value them or appreciate them like I do. I can maybe sell them on Ebay for some golf money, but I'm ok with that because you see: when I made the investment in these clubs, I was investing in a name too. My name. I was in it for the long haul. I invested in my game to make sure that every dollar I spent on equipment went directly into my game and not into the pockets of a professional golfer or a multimillion dollar marketing campaign. People value the big names - but why?  Why would you want to shell out that kind of money for something you KNOW you're going to resell because there's something better in 6 months?  That wonderful paint-filled brand mark that tells everyone that you can afford a big OEM from a big store.

The point is, people value places like Dick's and Golfsmith. There are real people behind them with real jobs and that's great. They value you as well because they stay in business by selling you big names. The small club makers like myself and the hand full of others around the country appreciate your business and when you come to us with a need, I'll bet you'll start to appreciate us too. The one thing we all care about is your game. Big companies saturate the market with new new new. Everything is NEW everything is BETTER than it was. They have to. I will craft you something that will help you play better and save money. Take that money and put it into lessons, or just play more golf! Enter a tournament or put it towards that golf bucket list. 

The next time you are in the market for a new club, ask yourself something. Do I want to be one of millions or do I want to be one in a million? 

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