Your success as an entrepreneur depends on how well you build connections with new people. If you want to prove to them you’re worth connecting with (psst, you should), you’re gonna have to bring something to the table.
Enter the phrase “adding value.”
As someone who’s obsessed with building community and helping others do so too, I throw that phrase around a lot. But a few weeks ago I was chatting with Sana Choudary, and she observed that “the problem with the term “giving [or “adding”] value” is that, to many people, it can mean different things.”
I couldn’t agree more. In fact, after our conversation, I couldn’t get her comment out of my head. Since the concept of adding value is such a key part of successful relationship building, I knew I had to tackle it head on and help clarify what the heck that phrase even means.
Why This Should Matter To You
Knowing your objective is crucial to success. If you know what you’re aiming for but can’t explain what it actually means, you’re kinda screwed. So let’s ditch aimless guessing and get laser focused on what “adding value” really means, why it’s crucial, and how to master it (your career will thank you).
“Adding value” can look a ton of different ways to different people, but at its core, it comes down to one crucial mindset: being committed to investing in others.
When you use your words and actions to demonstrate that commitment, you become someone people feel empowered by. You build them up, support them, and become an ally in their life. You become the kind of person people gravitate towards, and when that happens, building relationships gets a whole lot easier (and more fun).
This goes for friendships and business relationships alike. It doesn’t matter where or why your connection formed – everyone needs and desires to be valued and invested in.
Why It’s Crucial To Your Career
Truth: No one has time for self-serving people. If you’re sucking energy and resources out of someone but never pouring any back in, you’re taking up valuable space. Sooner or later, that person’s gonna cut the deadweight (a.k.a. YOU) to make room for healthier, more fulfilling relationships.
When it comes to networks, everyone’s on the lookout for awesome people with skills and passions that complement theirs. Finding these people, cultivating relationships with them and bringing them into your tribe will not only bring joy and connection, but allow you to more powerfully achieve your goals.
By forming relationships with a wide variety of people, you open yourself up to incredible opportunities. You never know who will be (or introduce you to) your next collaboration partner, dream client, or interviewer. Not only should you be reaching out and building relationships, but you should make every effort to be the kind of person people can’t stand not to know!
How To Master “Adding Value” IRL
I hear you. It’s a great concept, but how do you put it into practice? How do you ensure your actions are blessing the people around you and shaping you into a key player in your community?
Like I said before, “adding value” can be put into action many different ways, but here are some foundational, universally welcomed ways to become the kinda gal people don’t want to live without.
Don’t overthink this – it’s not as complicated or time-consuming as you might think.
This one is so simple that many people forget about it, but it’s crucial when it comes to adding value. Here are some easy, yet impactful ways you can encourage those around you.
- Give a pep talk when they’re nervous about trying something new
- Complement them on their latest achievement
- Praise them in a comment on their latest social media or blog post
- Treat them to a lunch or coffee date and share how they inspire you
Contribute to the success of their passion/project/mission.
One of the most meaningful ways to add value to someone’s life is to rally behind them and help them succeed in something that matters to them. Maybe you collaborate, lend your expertise behind the scenes, or send someone their way who can help them. Even just sharing their latest article/campaign/product with your friends or on social media can be a huge step in helping them succeed and showing them you care.
Show your gratitude and appreciation.
They feel good, you feel good, and what’s not to love about that?
But it’s not just touchy feely – it’s backed by science. According to Forbes, a recent study found that “thanking a new acquaintance makes them more likely to seek an ongoing relationship.” Translation: being grateful jacks up your friend list.
Expressing gratitude and appreciation also builds camaraderie and loyalty, and that’s crucial when it comes to growing your network. Who are we kidding – given the choice between a self-obsessed acquaintance and someone who goes out of their way to affirm your hard work, who’s bestie will you want to be? Exactly.
At the end of the day, being thankful and appreciative paves the way for opportunity. People want to invest in your friendship, they’re more likely to stick around, and you both feel good. The larger and more varied your list of connections, the richer your opportunities for business growth are. Add to that the potential to make lifelong friends, and it’s a win-win all around.
Let’s Do This!
“Adding value” holds a power-packed punch that can change the trajectory of you and your business.
When you add value to the people and relationships around you, you become indispensable. People are dying to be in your circle and on your radar, and your sphere of influence rapidly expands. Others begin to view you as a leader because you take the initiative to foster relational growth.
Your bottom line benefits too. As an entrepreneur, you are your business, so in the minds of your network, if you’re mind-blowingly valuable, your business is too. I don’t know about you, but I like the sound of that.
So the next time you’re chatting it up, instead of focusing on yourself, look for ways to lift them up, encourage them, and help them thrive. Even little touches are noticed, appreciated, and leave a lasting impression.
Nabbing a spot in everyone’s short list? Yes please.
Want to learn powerful strategies for adding value in conversation while ditching anxiety? I’ve got you covered. My exclusive 36-page guide, “The Female Entrepreneur’s Ultimate Guide To Small Talk” is yours for FREE. You’ll be empowered to have meaningful, foundation-building conversations no matter who you’re talking to or where you are.
What are you waiting for? Seriously, it’s on me. 😉