How Do You Become Valuable

Before you can add value to others you must have value to add. Does that make sense? Too often I encounter well-meaning people who want to help but have little to offer. 

I was that person who wanted to help but did more harm than good. Only through the constant navigation did I come to understand that adding value to others first starts with you.

If you are on a similar journey of trying to understand how to become more valuable, then I have a few bullet points from Seth Godin, author of The Lynchpin. I am hoping you will find some significance in this list and adopt some of the recommendations into your DNA:

  • Read everyday, listen to audio books everyday, listen to great music, no TV.
  • Speak locally for free or charge it's your call but always think hard about the value you want to add.
  • Try to help people see things differently and help them to make a different choice after seeing otherwise.
  • Try and help people connect to each other, and to use that connection to make things better.
  • Only say yes to the things that align with your mission. Otherwise it becomes their mission. Your goal should be to become a "meaningful specific" and not a wandering generality.
  • Become emotionally, spiritually, financially and mentally fit, then ask yourself "What's next?"
  • Approach every project with the mindset that it might not work; the skeptics mindset. Ask these questions before doing the project:
    • Is the project generous?
    • Will the project connect people?
    • Will this project change people for the better?
    • Is this project worth trying?
  • If you are in the business of noticing things blog about it daily.
  • From failure you need to understand that you either failed because you did not persist long enough or you lack the skills, required.
  • Only focus on things that will make you better, let everything else go.
  • Learn how to build attention and then learn how to build trust.
  • Two things you need to teach your children:
    • How to lead.
    • How to solve interesting problems.
  • Teach your children to be the people you want them to be.
  • Spend 2 hours a day talking to your children… go for a walk, solve problems, cook, and turn off the TV.
  • Surround yourself with skeptical people.
  • Create everyday... write, draw, or take pictures.
  • If you want to become a better version of you then read a book a week. Here are a few books and audiobooks that Seth Godin recommends:


  • What to Do When it's Your Turn by Seth Godin
  • The Art of War by Steven Pressfield
  • Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
  • Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art by Scott McCloud
  • Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
  • The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson
  • Dune by Frank Herbert
  • Pattern Recognition by William Gibson
  • Make Good Art by Neil Gaiman


  • Goal Setting, How to Stay Motivated, and Secrets of Closing the Sale by Zig Ziglar
  • The Pema Chodron Audio Collection by Pema Chodron
  • Leap First by Seth Godin
  • The Art of Possibility by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander
  • Just Kids by Patti Smith
  • Debt by David Graeber
  • Replay by Ken Grimwood

Yes, there is a great deal to digest in this article but if you are to become the person you want to be, if you want to build value and then add value, you need to make the choice to become valuable. If I were you I would start with the Seth Godin interview by Tim Ferriss, It's a life changing conversation.