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Are You Worth Your Salt?
Mark Kurlansky is the author of several non-fiction books. One of particular interest is simply titled "Salt".
Salt is the only rock we eat. It has been part of civilization since the very beginning. For quite some time, salt was used as currency. Long before gold. In fact, before the Silk Road was connecting Africa, western Europe, Persia, India and China, salt was used in trade and was instrumental in forming the first links between regions of the world.
In ancient Rome, the roots of the word “soldier” and “salary” can be traced to the Latin words related to giving or receiving salt. In fact, Roman soldiers were given salt as a portion of their salary. This is where the phrase “to be worth one’s salt” comes from.
It is the use of salt as currency that I want to focus on right now. As mentioned previously, salt was an extremely valuable commodity at one time. So much so that it was used as currency.
Obviously, for currency to have any value, it must be backed by something of value. After all, paper money may be pretty to look at to some people, but its’ only paper. It’s true value depends on what is behind it.
That was the basis of the Gold Standard. For a country’s money to have value, the country had to have the equivalent amount of gold squirreled away, as they had money in circulation. If a country tried to print more money than they had gold to back it up, the value of the currency would drop.
Every business, whether they look at it this way or not, has a currency. Your currency may be the trust your clients have in your products or services. It could be the belief they hold in your company name or the promises you make. Your businesses’ currency may be backed by your employees and the impressions they make when representing your company.
No matter what your business currency is, you must protect its’ value. You must do everything you can to ensure that it is never devalued. Just as financial institutions went under when there was a run on the banks, the value of your business currency can be wiped out by one incident.
Every business must take a look at what they do and how they do it, and determine, what is their business currency? Once you do this, you need to ensure that you do everything you can to protect it.
Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google (now Alphabet), when delivering the commencement address at the University of Pennsylvania in 2009 said “In a networked world, trust is the most important currency.”
At ASN we realize the value of your particular currency. A significant part of the value of that currency is reflected in the people you have working for you. Our staff of professionals will always make sure that the employees we provide will increase the value of your company's currency.