Well over 100 years ago Mark Twain wrote: " The two most important days of your life are the day you were born and the day you find out WHY!" - This is such a remarkable statement as so many people don't take heed and never find let alone give back to the world their innate, value.
When I was in the planning stage of my business I went for a long walk through the bush with the pure intention of answering one question for myself: What do I stand for? I just kept asking myself the same question over and over in numerous ways: What do I stand for? What do I help people achieve? What do I give back to the world? How do I want people to feel when they meet or work with me?
"Value, value, VALUE!!"
The answer that came back in a resounding way was VALUE! Everything I do, stand for, provide and lobby for is VALUE. For myself, my children, clients, community and businesses I interact with. My heart sang and my mind was now clear! I had my reason WHY I exist! I want to give value, I want to help people find their value and I want people to value themselves and others.
Again and again, I hear this word erupting from my mouth with every coaching and strategy session I run. Value yourself, give value to your clients, provide value to your industry, followers, community and admirers. We see it showing up more and more with a free value being delivered by all industries - blogs, podcasts, eBooks, social media content, webinars etc. All of these are not just a way to market yourself and business they should be a way with which your sole focus is to add value back to your loyal followers. This has many benefits, with every word of yours they read, hear or share they are becoming closely aligned to you, your business and your mission.
Whether you're a social media marketer, sales person, business growth expert, artist, teacher or warehouse worker; You have something special and unique to share with the world. Something that only you possess! Imagine if we never heard music on the radio? Or watched free to air TV? How much talent and entertainment would we miss out on enjoying? See, not everything you get value from is something you pay for - so don't get caught up in the same thought pattern. What if Elvis decided to only sing in the shower and never in public? Honestly, I am not a die-hard Elvis fan, however, I see the impact he has made in the world. To both males and females alike, he gave them value through his music, movies and life-loving personality. Unfortunately, he got lost when he only aligned his value with what others gained from him. He, like many other artists, actors and actresses are pushed, used and abused from within the Industry. Their valuable talents lost too soon because of high expectation and over capitalisation from others. Towards the end of his life, I doubt he got any happiness or joy from in his talent any more. Thankfully for a lot of people he has lived on stronger after his death and still inspires many people. There is one man in the town I live in who still whole-hearted believes he is still alive, he walks around town signing his songs and dresses like him, has his young son playing his music also. Elvis didn't live a long life but it definitely gave his all; this is why he created such an everlasting impact.
What's the value?
I believe true value is not monetary, your worth is not measured in $$$ - determine your value by how true you are to yourself, others and what you give back to the world. Mother Teresa will forever be known as one of the most valuable people to ever walk the earth - do you think she cares about how many dollars she had in her habit? No, she was too concerned about the value she could give to others than to ever worry about the monetary value of her time. That was her superpower and she used it to its full potential.
Recently I began volunteer mentoring for a fantastic service aimed at helping Small Businesses. I was so grateful for the opportunity last week I got to spend 3 days travelling around Rural Victoria talking to business owners, established and aspiring, as apart of the Victorian Government Small Business Festival. On the first day, someone questioned me Why? What do you have to gain from giving up 3 days of your time to sit on a bus? My Response: Everything! I get to meet new people, I get to learn from them and hear about their business. I get to use my superpower of idea generation and draw on my personal and business experience to help them formulate an action plan to see them overcome challenges and help their business grow. I get to inspire, support and help in any way I can doing something I love to do! For me, that is the Value I want to give to others and when you love something, do it as much as you can!
Now don't get me wrong
Yes, we do all need to eat, pay bills and we definitely deserve to enjoy life. So don't be giving away your time and talent 100%. Value yourself too! What I am suggesting is give what you can whether you gain from it or not. Exceed expectations of your customers and clients - this is not only a nice thing to do on your behalf but all those little things you can do to have happy customers means much bigger returns for your business from repeat customers and raving referrals. Don't get so caught up in the profit of business and your time that you forget to give back. Find ways to give generously of your time and value instead of just buying a $5 badge and hoping that is enough to get you even with the Universe. Get involved with helping your community group market their next event because they have no idea how to set up a facebook page let alone run an ad campaign. Do a presentation, offer advice for no reward, organise an showcase, run a demonstration. That is truly honouring your gift and you will always be rewarded in many ways.
Or if you are like my incredible sister who is passionate about health and fitness but her personality thrives on stability. So now she works full time, runs gym classes 3 days a week and is building a Girls Stand Strong movement that is by helping teenage girls by teaching them to have Healthy minds, bodies and spirits.
You don't have to be working in your own business, company, agency or practice that is based around your genius to be fully giving value back to the world. Do it on the side where you are able to give fully without needing it to sustain your financial obligations if that's what is comfortable for YOU!
Be grateful for your talent, superpower, executive functioning whatever you want to call it and share it proudly with the world so that we all may have the opportunity to become better people from experiencing it.
Step Up , Show Up and Own It!!