Service

Are you fed up with being told, “If you’re not where you want to be, it’s because you’re not providing enough value, not being of service?”

I will not argue with that statement, but how do you define value or being of service?

Well, here’s the good news: Figuring out how you can best be of service doesn’t have to be complicated. We make it difficult by thinking we have to find a deep, almost spiritual purpose. We believe we have to change the world by finding a cure for something or inventing the next technological breakthrough in science.

Being of Service

What if we were to spend more time finding out how we can be of service with the skills and knowledge we already possess rather than inventing or creating new ones?

The Market

The other barrier is thinking we have to identify the market and exactly what the market wants. It’s no surprise as business advisers and marketing consultants have long been telling us we have to nail this down before we begin.

What if we turn branding and marketing on its head for a moment? What if we were to start by focusing on what we love doing and feel passionate about and getting better at it rather than obsessing about who wants it?

Start by Doing

Whatever your approach, and whether it be Be it calling or purpose, throughout our lives there will be times when we struggle, when we meander about trying to make something work and getting it wrong. The reality is this period when you may feel you are struggling is really important. Instead of failure, why don’t you think of it as a period of market research?

To find out, launch a product and try to provide something. With digital marketing and social media, it’s never been easier to see if anyone wants what you’re offering. You can even start by giving away your time or expertise to people who are struggling and desperate for what you provide, but can’t pay for it. You’ll get feedback which may be worth more.

The biggest barrier to progress is fear of failure. Why? Before launching a product, a software company will beta test it to find out what’s not working. And, when a brand or product is in test or trial phase, nobody thinks of the rejected items as failures. So, why are we so ready to attach it to ourselves?

The process is designed to find what works, so embrace the process

Purpose and contribution

In case you haven’t realised it yet, this is a process and not a single event. We have to stop theorising and learn from doing. All of us are a work in progress and are evolving and growing all the time. Outstanding leaders like Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King started something and, in the case of the former, had a long period of waiting in prison before his time came. Martin Luther King even said, “I may not get there with you” when delivering his last speech in Memphis. Seeing the conclusion is not necessarily the aim but doing something that impacts lives is making a contribution.

Last, we can’t all be world leaders or captains of industry, but the man or woman cooking meals for the homeless or stopping the traffic for children on their way to school is a vital cog in the contribution to the whole. Never underestimate the power of your gifts and never underestimate the impact they may have.

Do an audit of your gifts & skills. Are you making the contribution you’d like?

Next time, I’ll be discussing the power of connection