By: Henry Ukazu
In our contemporary society today, you will agree with me that friendship/relationship, business/work opportunities, networking and life, in general, all have one common denominator that brings them together – value. The value you bring to the table is what brings people closer to you. The word value is a broad term. It can mean “the importance, worth, or usefulness of something”; “having a high opinion of a person’s principles or standards of behavior;”; “one’s judgment of what is important in life”.
In this context, we shall be discussing value as it relates to opportunities in business and how it can be used to empower us. According to the book of life in Proverbs 18:16 “A man’s gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men. This gift can be translated into skills, education, talent or even money. Whenever you have value to offer, you are bound to have people who will seek you. So, the question you should continually ask yourself every day is, what’s your value and what value are you bringing to the table?
To properly understand this topic, let’s have general background knowledge about value. When you define your personal values, you discover what’s truly important to you. Value can relate to what people know you for; what problems are you solving. Your values are the things you believe are important in the way you live and work. They (should) determine your priorities, they can be used to determine if your life is turning out the way you want it to be.
When you know your own values, you can use them to make decisions about how to live your life. Value can be used to answer questions like these:
- What job should I pursue?
- What can kind of business should I begin?
- Should I compromise, or be firm with my position?
- Should I follow tradition, or travel down a new path?
If you take the time to understand the real priorities in your life, you’ll be able to determine the best direction for you and your life goals.
Let’s take a case study of someone looking for a job, apart from meeting the basic requirements for the job, most employers are keen to know the value you are bringing to the table. This value can be your connections, skills, or track record of accomplishments from your previous job. Sometimes, it is these value that gives you an edge above other competent applicants. Even in a relationship, any man or woman who knows what he or she wants in life, always looks for certain qualities in their desired partner. This is because nobody likes a liability. There’s an African saying “Whoever is being called every now and has something of value.
There are many dimensions to value when you look at the holistic picture. Sometimes in life, it is your value that gives you what you need. For instance you might be a good academic student, lawyer, doctor or accountant, and an opportunity comes up in a different field, you may be surprised to know that it is not necessarily your grade in school or who you know that may open the door for you, it is your value which can be your writing skills if you have published in several journals or even being an author; it can be your entertainment skills if you are a comedian or dancer. it can also be your followers or leadership skills. Let me share a personal experience with you, despite being an international lawyer in the USA, my book Design Your Destiny- Actualizing Your Birthright to Success, has opened so many doors for me. The value I must confess is priceless! The book has announced me in so many places. Of particular interest, I will like to share was how my book gave me an opportunity to be interviewed by the Founder of Echoes of Africa, Mrs. Ifeoma Ezinwa, the interview was later aired as a documentary in one of the biggest television stations in Nigeria, (African Independent Television). Not even my academic qualifications, networks and even my professional training as a lawyer gave me that opportunity, but my book did. That’s value!
One of the best ways to be successful and rich in life is by solving the right problems. You can look around your environment and ask yourself what are the needs of my environment? When you find the answers to those challenges and solve them, you will create wealth for yourself if you nurture the process very well. Moral: Find solutions to global problems and money will follow you. Let’s look at examples of great people who found solutions to global problems: Bill Gates is the Founder of Microsoft Corporation, he invented Microsoft software which is used by the world today; Larry Page and Sergey Brin two computer scientist assisted in making internet search for products faster; Mark Zuckerberg Co-Founder of Facebook-connected people around the world and he was able to use his platform to advertise for business. Steve Jobs the co-founder of Apple Inc. invented Apple which changed communication in the world; all these great minds created solutions for the world. The question now is what problems are you solving for the world?
Maybe you like fashion, you can be a fashionista by helping people by teaching them how to dress with your ingenious dress sense, and you can also teach them how to be classy and stylish. I recently saw a new brand of fashion online lilys_galaxy on Instagram, couples of months later, you can’t imagine how the page has grown and generated so much income which is now competing with daily job of the founder. This is just one example of how value can add income to your life.
The question now is how do you find your value and what value can you offer to the world? Value be likened to passion. To find the right value, look at your career and personal life.
- The times when you were most fulfilled and satisfied.
- Write randomly about you like to do.
- You can determine your top values, based on your experiences of happiness, pride, and fulfillment and thereafter prioritize them. This step is probably the most difficult because you’ll have to look deep inside yourself. It’s also the most important step, because, when making a decision, you’ll have to choose between solutions that may satisfy different values. This is when you must know which value is more important to you.
- Look at the first two values and ask yourself, “If I could satisfy only one of these, which would I choose?” It might help to visualize a situation in which you would have to make that choice. For example, if you compare the values of service and stability, imagine that you must decide whether to sell your house and move to another country to do valuable foreign aid work or keep your house and volunteer to do charity work closer to home.
In conclusion, what is the value you have to set out to offer to people, humanity and the world in general? For me, I derive joy in helping people by counseling, inspiring, teaching, imparting knowledge and information and enlightening people. I also derive joy in writing and serving people. Depending on what you settle for, always have at the back of your mind, the value must be appreciated.