The great violinist, Nicolo Paganini, willed his marvelous violin to Genoa the city of his birth but only on the condition that the instrument never be played. It was an unfortunate condition, for it is a peculiarity of wood that as long as it is used and handled, it shows little wear. As soon as it is discarded, it begins to decay.

 The exquisite mellow-toned violin now has become worm-eaten in its beautiful case, valueless except as a relic. The moldering instrument is a reminder that a life withdrawn from service to others loses its meaning.

“Try not to become a person of success, rather try to become a person of value”

~ Albert Einstein

A man wakes up in the morning. It is 4:00 am. He looks at himself in the mirror. No smile is forthcoming. The school fees for his kids is not paid. They might miss the end-term exams. He does not have food. He is just scraping by. His house help asked to be released. She has not been paid for three long months.

Although that is a brief description or rather a snapshot of this young man’s life, it is enough for us to ask one question. At this moment in time, is this young man valuable? The answer to this question could depend on several factors. However, let’s back up a little.

Everyone born of a woman is meant to be valuable.

There is no human being alive who was never intended to be valuable on earth. You can go to the lowest of the low, the sickest of the sick and the forgotten of the forgotten. You can fish out the most miserable of them all, and I will still tell you that that very person was meant to be a person of value to society. In fact the very first thought in the conception and creation of that human being was that he would be a person of value.

“You can go to the lowest of the low, the sickest of the sick and the forgotten of the forgotten. You can fish out the most miserable of them all and I will still tell you that that very person was meant to be a person of value to society”.

You can debate about it if you want, but I will point you to a few things. Take a look at the intricate “systems” of a human being. Take a look at the nervous system, respiratory system, digestive system, blood circulation system. See how carefully intricate they are? If you are creating something that lacks value or at least something that would not have any value, why would you go into all the trouble to make it as intricate, delicate, functional and of genius quality?

So it goes without saying that provision of value was the very first reason as to why man was created. Period! There are five things that potentially every human being is meant to do:

  • Be fruitful
  • Multiply
  • Fill the earth
  • Subdue it
  • Have dominion in it

There is no exception to this fivefold mission of every human being.

The Meaning:

To me, being a person of value is simply this: exploiting your God-given potential incessantly to the degree that your gift, talents and skill solve common problems as far as they are found.

In turn, your value is returned to you in the form of appreciation. We have different names for this: fees, costs, charges, tickets, etc. Did you notice something interesting? The word “value” and the word “money” are both five-lettered?

That being said, the following Seven tips will help you determine the level or the degree to which you are valuable to society.

7 Ways to Realize You Have Become a Person of Value

  1. People look for you: How many times are you getting notifications of mails and messages by people seeking your expertise?
  2. People appreciate your presence: When people keep quiet when you are speaking, when they give you their full attention, and when they value your presence.
  3. People ask you for your advice: When was the last time you were asked to solve a problem in any area of life?
  4. People talk about you in a positive way: What are people saying about you in terms of problems you solved or helped them solve?
  5. People recommend you: Did you know that word of mouth is the most potent form of advertising? It comes laden with inherent trust. How many people are giving out your contacts and links to their friends, loved ones and colleagues?
  6. People want to partner with you: How many times have people asked you to sit on their board? How many are willing to amend the constitutions of their companies to give you a slot in it? How many are approaching you to become partners with them?
  7. People pay your ask: If they know you are valuable, for the most part, the price is not the issue. The value that you are giving them is. People will go to lengths to pay the price for anything. That is why a destitute woman will single-handedly educate seven kids all through university because she is convinced of the value of an education.

5 Ways to Build Value

As much as we have talked about potential, realize that value is something that is never created overnight. It takes focus, determination, intention and lots of grit over a long period of time to create value. If you think I am lying, ask gold, or coal, or diamonds, or oil. The most valuable physical things in life are that way as a function majorly of time.

That foreboding guy with all the things he is up against in his life, he might be a person of value if any of the above seven things apply to him.

The following five aspects of success, however, are the ones that will take you to the top.

1. Build Self-Worth

The complete person

As he looked at himself that morning in the mirror at the backdrop of all that was happening in his life, the very first thing that came to his mind was his self-worth. People with low self-worth tend to shrink from life, and consequently, their value starts diminishing. According to Dr. Myles Munroe, a complete person is a component of three things: self concept, self worth and self esteem. Esteem is the fruit of the other two. Self-concept is the beginning point, and Self-worth is the verb.

To build your self-worth, start by being clear about what you want and what your purpose in life is. This is the foundation. Then take some time and really build it. The most common mistake here is that people meddle, jumping from one thing to another over very many years. They never get to master anything at all.

2. Build A Personal Brand

Your brand is the perception people hold of you. What do they estimate you for your worth and value? Fortunately, you are able to control this narrative. You are able to tell people exactly what you stand for, what you cherish, what you value, what you do and why you do those things. Then, once it is held in their minds, it is easy for them to start telling other people about it. You have to be very intentional about building your personal brand. Why? Because, as we have already seen, people already have a perception of you. Now take some time and control that. Again, this will take quite a bit of time.

3. Build Your Competence

You know how it is. You start from incompetence. Then you go to competence. Then you move on to excellence. Then you move on to unique ability and finally you become a genius. Competence is a function of doing more than it is a function of knowing. In other words, get some people with real problems that you can address. When they get blessed by your gift, collect their testimonials. Again, this is a great function of time. Keep at it.

4. Toot Your Own Horn

Tell people what you do. On all social media channels, what is your profile saying? That is just a by the way. The real thing now is that you go out there with intentional focus looking for people who have the exact problems that your competence can handle. That is what they call marketing. Remember, we are not talking about you making money here. We are talking about you providing value. Value is provided to people. Did you know that you can have something that solves people’s problems, but if you do not tell them about it, they would not know? So do not be modest about your value. Let the people know!

5. Be Militant About Your Pursuit of Excellence

Don’t be lumped together with those who lack excellence. Let the spirit of excellence be the hallmark of your work. David, in the Bible, blew me away some time back as I was reading. He said, “I aint gonna put my name on something that cost me nothing!!” Excellence is an expense that creates value that brings in far much more than you spent. Be willing to spend time, money, expertise, questions, technology, mentorship and anything else not spared in order to provide wowing value continuity.

“Excellence is an expense that creates value that brings in far much more than you spent”

Friends, that is how you build value. Teach this to anyone who does not have a degree. If they follow through, they will be more valuable than those who have. I know that for a fact.

 Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.

Lawrence Namale
Author of “Turn Your Setbacks into Major Comebacks”, Life Coach and Speaker. Consultant and expatriate in Mobile Money Trade Development.