Over the last few years, I have been trying to emphasise how I can add more value. This has been particularly top of mind for me over the past few months. Some people may think that I write a blog and record a podcast to raise my profile as a coach and generate more business. The truth is that in more than ten years of writing my blog, I have yet to have one client come to me as a result of something that I wrote. I spend time on these endeavours for two reasons: I hope to add value to readers and listeners, and I know that these activities cause me to reflect and review my ideas which adds value to my life.
Added value is an excellent measurement and guide for the choices we make in life. If you approach work and relationships in terms of how you add value, you will be in demand professionally, you will likely be a welcome member of any community, and you will find relationships more authentic and less transactional. As I have tried to shift my focus in life more on what I have to give rather than what I can receive, I have found that I have become more successful and abundant than when I was very career focussed. Naturally, people who have a lot to give will sometimes be taken advantage of, but this is part of the process of learning to add more value. Sometimes giving of yourself is not how you can add the most value. For example, in a codependent relationship, this is often an unhealthy balance of give and take. If you allow yourself to be exploited by your employer, you may be contributing to the maintaining of practices of your employer.
When considering how I add value, I think about how my contribution impacts the people or organisation I am interacting with. Just because I have something to give doesn’t mean it is what someone else needs, which is emphasised by the old saying when you have a hammer, all problems look like a nail. I also consider it important to be satisfied with your contribution. Recently I stepped back from a project that I was working on where I no longer felt that I was adding enough value for what I was being paid. The client was happy with me, and I felt appreciated, but my contribution was below my own expectations. Naturally, turning down work is not a luxury that everyone has, but I am pointing to a mindset that encourages us to reflect on our contribution.
This is the first blog entry that I have written in a few months. One of the reasons that I have not written is because I didn’t feel like my ideas for blogposts would add much value to readers. How I spend my time also needs to add value to my life, so writing for the sake of writing didn’t seem to make much sense. Whether you are binge-watching a series or volunteering for a good cause, shopping as a form of distraction or taking care of a loved one, there is no judgement of good or bad, only: does it add value to my life or not? These are the questions I would like to leave you with on the topic of adding value. How are you adding value to your work, your relationships and the community around you? How is what you are doing or experiencing adding value to your own life? When you fill your time with things that add value to you and to others, you will experience more moments of happiness and fulfilment.
If you find my content interesting perhaps you would like to listen to a podcast that I host with my colleague Tobi Demker. where I talk about a wide variety of personal and professional development topics. You can find this under my name Peter Teuscher at Spotify, Apple and any other source of podcasts. Or you can watch on YouTube where you can also find my channel under the same name.