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How to add value when you feel valueless

 

Here’s what I know to be true this morning: I know that I work best when I have good input in my life. When I am being intentional about my thinking, my consumption of information, and my experiences. I also know that I have chosen a life that allows me to have a certain amount of freedom. Freedom to spend time with my family, travel, and enjoy the present. And I know that if want to continue that trend long-term, then I have to commit to doing the work required to make it so.

The work required is waking up early, taking care of my creativity so I can make good work, and asking myself on simple question and honestly searching for an answer every single day:

How can I add value today?

As creative entrepreneurs, we have made a choice. We have each made our own lists of truths. We each have to be willing to commit to the pursuit of the vision if we want that vision to become real. We know we thrive when we are creating something from nothing. And we feel most alive when we do that every. single. day. That’s the choice.

So what do you have to add today? If your answer is nothing, you’re probably in a busy season or maybe a season of doubt. If that’s you, I have some homework for you.

When you feel valueless do this:

Say out loud what it is you do.

So for me: I help creatives get out their comfort zone so they can get unstuck, keep making work they love, thrive long-term, and become more resilient. 

Here’s an easy formula to help you flesh out your own description of what you do:

“I help __________ do _________ so that they can ___________.” (Think of it in the form of problem and solution. What’s the biggest problem your audience has and how do you solve that problem?)


Ask yourself: What’s one thing, even if it’s small, that you can do to make that statement true today?

Let’s say you’re a newborn photographer and your “whatido” statement is:

“I help new parents document the first year of life with a newborn so they can remember how they felt, be present during this time of change, and live fully.” 

What’s one thing you can do today to make that true? If you’re talking to new parents, what types of things might they be interested in? It doesn’t have to be photography related it just needs to add value. For example you could talk about things that help babies sleep (Huge pain point for new parents. Speaking as a parent to a 4-month old :)) or how to be present when feeding your baby or how to travel with your newborn. All of this adds value to your audience and it makes your statement true.

SHARE.

If you can sit down and answer these questions today then I know you can find at least one thing to share. So share it. Remember: the things that seem obvious to you are amazing to others. Even if you think it’s been done so many times you’ll be sick if you see it done again, chances are your audience still needs it. Things are said over and over again because people need to hear them over and over again. So share. Write an article, share an article, write a post on social media or do all of the above! You know what your people need, so give it to them.

Remember you are choosing this work for a reason. In order to be more resilient you have to be willing to get uncomfortable. And standing up and saying things to people is uncomfortable but it is worth the risk if the reward is getting to thrive and do work you love, long-term.

 

So stand up and speak.

Make good things, my friends!

Chris

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