The world of male self-improvement is a vast, controversial, and often confusing place. Spend a few minutes online, and you’ll be bombarded with advice like “eat raw organ meat” or “expose your taint to sunlight.”
However, there’s advice floating around the internet that seems less controversial and more realistic: become a high-value man. This has been the subject of YouTube videos, TikToks, and podcasts that have been viewed literally billions of times.
Aiming to be a high-value man might sound like a noble endeavor. But there’s a problem: nobody can agree on what that means.
In this article, we trace the origins of the high-value man trend and attempt to set some criteria so you can decide whether it’s gospel or total BS.
What Is a High-Value Man?
“High-value man,” or HVM, is a vague term for a guy who kicks ass in their career and social life. As the name implies, it’s a man who brings something to the table in all facets of life. In general that boils down to a few basic traits:
- Making money
- Having a strong network of peers
- Being useful to others
There isn’t an official definition of a high-value man, and you definitely won’t find it in any psychology textbooks. It’s basically a loose set of characteristics that changes depending on who you ask. For example, a pickup artist probably has a different definition than a dude working a desk job.
Who Coined the Term ‘High-Value Man?’
It’s unclear who exactly coined the phrase “high-value man,” but one guy has played a key role in popularizing it over the past couple of years: Kevin Samuels, an influencer and “image consultant” whose relationship advice on social media polarized the internet.
“I didn’t create the term [high-value man],” Samuels explained on his YouTube channel. “I have just put my own unique spin on it…and it has gone viral.”
Samuels started comparing high-value men to low-value men in his social media content, where viewers submitted dating questions. He apparently roasted guys for being broke and overweight, earning him the not-so-great reputation of being part of the “manosphere.”
Google searches for “high-value man” skyrocketed throughout 2021 as Samuels preached the high-value man gospel. He passed away unexpectedly from heart issues on May 5, 2022. But his ideas are still alive and thriving in all corners of the internet, especially with pickup artists and dating coaches.
High-Value Man vs. Alpha Male
At first glance, “high-value man” seems like a nicer substitute for “alpha male,” the cringe-worthy term used to describe guys who are rich and ripped with obnoxiously high self-esteem. However, there are subtle-yet-important differences between these two male archetypes.
An alpha male looks successful on the outside but is often self-absorbed, aggressive, and maybe even insecure. On the other hand, a high-value male is the best version of himself—the full package. Instead of chasing one-night stands, he pursues a steady love life with a “high-value woman.” He’s not an asshole, but he’s also not a nice guy who rolls over.
“The old alpha/beta dichotomy is dead,” writes the self-help provocateur Ed Latimore. “Now guys want to know how to become the high-value man. Not only does being considered a high-value man sound less corny, it’s also free of ambiguity.”
As you’re about to see, that last sentence is debatable.
What Are the Traits of a High-Value Man?
“High-value man” can mean a lot of things, depending on who you ask. For instance, Kevin Samuels says there are six criteria a guy has to meet if he wants to call himself “high value.”
“It might seem cold or calculated, but that’s the way the world is,” he says.
Kevin Samuels’ 6 Traits of a High-Value Man
- Making Money: Earn a minimum of $10,000 per month
- Consistent Success: Maintain a $100K yearly income for 3-5 years
- Group Acceptance: Be recognized by other high-value men (it’s unclear how that happens)
- Strong Network: Don’t be a lone wolf—surround yourself with people who share a growth mindset
- Visibility: Have a career that people understand or recognize—no sketchy schemes
- Utility: Help other people out, whether that’s your family, friends, or company
Other Traits of High-Value Men
Kevin Samuels isn’t the only guy with criteria for high-value men. Here are some other traits that high-quality men are allegedly supposed to have, according to the infinite wisdom of self-help gurus:
- Physical well-being: You’re in shape, dress well, and don’t smell like shit
- Emotional intelligence: You understand your own emotions and attachment style, but don’t let them control you
- Assertiveness: You take charge of your life and don’t let people screw you over
- A sense of humor: Don’t take yourself too seriously
High-Value Men Use High-Value Wipes
Whether you think the concept of being “high-value” is legit or a crock of shit, one thing is certain: no respectable adult man should be walking around with a poopy butt. You can’t conquer the world if you’re dealing with swamp ass and dingleberries every day.
As Dave Portnoy reminds us, “When you’re rich, the only things that matter are flying private and cleaning your asshole.”
If you only upgrade one aspect of your life this year, it should be upgrading from toilet paper to DUDE Wipes.