Whether it’s at work, at home, or in the community, most of us want to be successful, contributing members of society. Since some of our bars are set higher (or lower) than others, it’s pretty obvious that what defines success will be different to each and every person. We all have different measures and definitions of what it means to be successful, and no one definition is right or wrong.
We’re all familiar with these common success factors. Things like:
- Figuring out what you really love.
- Researching and working on your passion.
- Being responsible.
- Dreaming big.
- Working your butt off.
And while there are obviously several things missing from that list, one big idea in particular that is often overlooked is this:
The number one thing you can do to ensure success — personally and professionally — is add value.
Let’s take a look at what that even means.
Value itself is something that is defined by your customers, your people or your tribe, not you. This important point is often overlooked since we’re usually so caught up in the work, the nitty-gritty details of our brilliant idea that we forget to come up for air and make sure we’re still on course. It doesn’t matter what you think is valuable; if the people you are trying to win over don’t see the value in what you’re doing, then there is none.
That said, each person is different and so the topic of value is highly subjective. So while what you have to offer may not be valued by everyone, there is likely a sub-group of people who are dying to know or see what you have to offer. How you are able to add value will differ from customer to customer. But the point is to remember that it is your customer that dictates what’s valuable, not you.
Think of it this way: We’ve all been taught that the thought behind the gift is the most important thing. But if your focus when giving a gift is really on the recipient and not on yourself, then you want to give them something they want and can use/appreciate/admire.
So how can we add value in other areas of life?
There are several ways you can add value on a daily basis, and the things you do or offer need not be huge or earth shattering. Many truly valuable things aren’t.
1. Talk to people.
It’s that simple. Find out who your people are and ask them what they want. Yes, ask them. Talk to them at the grocery store, on the playground, in the boardroom or send out a survey. Ask them about their fears, their desires, or what that one thing would make their lives easier. Building a product, creating a report or finishing a chore might make you feel great, but if it’s never used or valued, is it really worth it? Could your efforts be better focused elsewhere?
2. Check in.
While you go through your day, check what you’re doing against these ideas of how you can be adding value:
- Do something incredibly useful.
- Solve a problem that has yet to be solved.
- Be accessible, approachable and helpful.
- Teach a new skill.
- Allow people to escape and forget their problems.
There are a number of things we can do to add value on a daily basis. But to be effective at it, we need to get out of our own heads, step away from our own agendas and see what we can bring to our customers table. You don’t have to create something new to stand out; just do it better and offer more than what is already available.
How do you add value (or plan to add value) on a regular basis? Think of examples from home, at work or in your community.
|Sherri is a work-at-home mom to two young boys and has been married to her high school sweetheart, Gwynn, for 13 years. Read more from Sherri at Serene Journey, where she shares simple tips to enjoy life, and at Zen Family Habits, where she talks about all things family.|