I’ve worked with thousands of clients, many of whom are trying to start their own business or transition into a career where they are working for themselves. That’s fantastic. But one thing I often uncover is that what they want to offer to others is of no real value to others. And then they wonder why they’re not succeeding.
Do you offer something of value to the world?
Not to be confused with “are you of value” because you’re totally of value to the world just the way you are. You are a piece in a vast puzzle and a necessary component of the Whole.
However, I’m talking here about the value you want to be paid for. Do you offer something that other people want? And will they pay you for it?
One of my clients was upset because he’d written a book of poetry, put it up on Amazon, and had gotten no sales. He reworked the poetry and released it again, but still, no sales. He tried ads on Google to generate business. Nothing. He was frustrated and fed up with his lack of success and decided there was no way for him to succeed as an entrepreneur. He was bitter and angry.
When I asked him what the poetry was about, he proudly and promptly replied it was about random, crazy, mixed up things that made almost no sense.
I asked him what need that filled. He said, “I don’t know. But I liked writing it and I poured my heart into it.”
That’s not enough, my friend. Write that on your own time.
If you want to be paid, you must offer something of value. And value is defined as something people are willing to pay you for. By all means, write your poetry all you want. But if it’s of no value to others, then don’t expect to make money off of it. Pure and simple.
Maybe it’s not fair. Maybe you should be able to put into the world what you want to put into the world and have other people see the value in it. But the world is vast, and competition is fierce. If you can’t help someone solve a problem or offer them something they want, you don’t get paid.
Now this doesn’t mean you should ONLY put into the world something you can earn money from. You could if you want to. I know many people who have gotten rich simply filling the needs of others, even when it was something they themselves didn’t personally care for.
But I believe that when you’re passionate about something, and you have a talent for it, AND other people want it, then you’ve got the winning formula.
So if you’re not succeeding right now with your product, idea, or service, ask yourself the hard question. Is there a market for this? Does it fill a need or solve a problem? If the answer is an honest no, then find another way to offer it so that it IS valuable.
My client received advice from his guides about ways to channel his creative energy into drama and acting. He ended up becoming a college drama teacher, writing his own plays, and inserting his own unusual style and brand of creativity into all of them, with great success. And he was a lot happier too. People were finally paying for and appreciating his unusual creative style.
If your passion isn’t profitable, see if you can rework it so that it is. You don’t have to give up on your passion, but if you want to eat, you’ve got to find a way to make it of value to others.