“You cannot give what you don’t have.” These are those who possess a good heart and a desire to give, yet they have very little to offer. Why? It is because they have not added value to themselves first.
Making yourself more valuable is not an entirely selfish act. When you acquire knowledge, learn a new skill, or gain experience, you not only improve yourself, but you also increase your ability to help others.
Personal growth and development is critical, so read books, listen to tapes, attend conferences, learn from smarter, better leaders. This is the most important thing you can do to help others.
As you improve yourself, you improve your ability to help others and add value. The more you grow, the more you help others grow. My advice to you:
- Prepare yourself: education & training (workshops, read), experience – volunteer if you have to. Get a personality transplant: Toastmasters, Dale Carnegie Course; learn sales techniques. Read the EMYTH and Success Runs In Our Race.
- Build a network: personal, operational, strategic… you can’t get them on your own!
- Save your money: protect your assets (bad credit, and gratuitous spending). Delay your gratification. Invest in what you love and know. If you love it but don’t know it… find someone who does and serve them eagerly.
- Leverage whatever assets you have in addition to your ability and skill, be it political clout; demand that companies address opportunities for minorities in the sector.
Bottom Line: Said simply: If you want to add value to people, you must make yourself more valuable.