Gone are the days when providing great value gets you paid well.

The people who get paid well today are the people who build a sophisticated product and services ecosystem.

Take a look at Jamie Oliver; where does he make his money?

Is it the TV shows, the recipe books, the Sainsburry’s sponsorships or the chain of restaurants?

He makes money from appearances BUT sometimes he turns up to speak at TED for free. He spends hours on twitter and gives away so much value online BUT he’s not getting paid to do it! He’s regarded as a great businessman BUT he spends a lot of time working on charitable projects. He sells a lot of books BUT he spends millions on PR, is it worth it?

The truth is, it’s all part of an ecosystem of products and services that all work together to make a lot of money and to have a big impact. It’s the ecosystem that creates the value NOT any one product, service, system or person.

You can’t try to take the ecosystem apart and measure it in isolation. If you looked at the books in isolation, you might think it’s a waste of time however it might be the books that make the restaurants so popular. You might think he’s over paid for his sponsorship deals but when you consider what he’s paying for PR it might be fair value.

None of it works on it’s own, all of it works together.

Contrast this with most small business owners I meet. Many are annoyed because their business isn’t simple. They say to me things like:

“I deliver great value and I expect to get paid for it. What’s wrong with that?”

“If they want me to come and speak at their conference they should pay me my fees. I shouldn’t be expected to work for nothing!”

“This social media stuff is a waste of time. It takes hours and I’m not getting paid to do it!”

“After I make my money then I will give some of it away. I don’t have spare cash to be giving away, my business needs it!”

These sentiments make perfect sense in a world that’s highly simplified; that’s not the world we live in.

Every business owner must acknowledge that their job is to make a highly complex system seem effortless; they must turn chaos into order and do it with style.

Entrepreneurs cannot simply shoot to deliver value and then get fairly rewarded. That model died a long time ago.

High performing businesses are ecosystems of people, products and services that are all working in harmony. They are complex, they are paradoxical and they are hard to mimic.

Don’t expect to get paid for delivering great value, expect to be rewarded when you’ve built a high-performing ecosystem that delivers value.