Being acceptable means our value is of premium status, so I will focus more on increasing our value. Maybe next time I will be presenting/selling ourselves to prospective clients or employers.   
Webster defined valuable as having desirable or esteemed characteristics or of great use or service. This means that if an organization or a person wants to be valuable, you must be of great use to others. According to Anthony  Robbins; The single most important and potent way to expand your income is to devise a way to consistently add real value to people’s lives, and you will prosper.  If you can add to your life more skills, ability, creativity, caring and organized knowledge and thereby increase the quality of life for the people around you, you will become more valuable person. Whether you are an employee, entrepreneur or still searching for your passion, make yourself more valuable to the world. Do not expect an increase in your pay or sales numbers simply because you show up every workday.

Edgar Friedenbar said “What we must decide is perhaps how we are valuable, rather than how valuable we are.” The desire to want increase is natural. It’s in our make up, it’s in our DNA, it’s just plain part of us. It isn’t greed to want a better financial life, it’s growth. Of course people can have wrong motives, but for now let’s work on the premise that we all want increase to fulfill good objectives.

Let’s pretend you got a job at PESSEN MUST CHOP FARMS (sorry if you’re trying to get out, but just work with me) and they start you on, let’s say 20K per month. 10 years later you’re still there picking eggs on let’s say hmmm…45k per month. You say to yourself “Something just ain’t right! I’ve given 10 years of my life, picking eggs, getting pecked by hens and taking abuse from ungrateful customers. I’m still in the same old rut, I’ve got 3 kids to feed and nobody cares!” Maybe you even break down in tears and cry yourself to sleep. “This must be just one big bad dream!” But when you wake up it’s 7am (your alarm just went off) and it’s time to feed dem birds! Ok maybe that scenario’s not you, but perhaps there’s a ring of familiarity for others. You could be a waiter, accountant or engineer and still feel the same way. Life has a way of trying to chain people down, blind them and tell them “How dare you think there’s hope on the other side. in fact how dare you think you have a right to even venture there!” Well I’m here to tell you not to believe the lie. Let me get straight to the point. After taking stock of your money, good budgeting and applying some smart spending tips, if you really want to increase financially, you categorically and imperatively must make yourself more valuable. In the work or market place, your value is not measured by your ‘kind heart’ (unless it’s having a profoundly positive effect on other employees) but rather by your capacity to be a solution to your organisation or industry. There’s more worth in learning to be the best in your field than there is in trying to fight for a little pay rise. When you’re valuable at your trade people will rather fight to have you in their company.

Are you a recent graduate looking for ways to be successful in your career (or mid-career, looking for a boost)? Try thinking of yourself as a product and find ways to ‘upgrade’ yourself every year. So, how do you make yourself more valuable in the market place? I was just coming to that, let’s look at a few solutions: There are creative and cost effective ways to continuously learn and grow. Think of yourself as a product. That’s right! View yourself as a competitive product with features, benefits, assets and liabilities; all waiting to be improved upon year over year, carefully differentiating you from others and creating your personal brand.

Companies spend time every year listening to their customer’s needs and then they work on upgrading and improving their products. Why? So they can sell more of their products and services in the marketplace. You can use this business process of continual product improvement to make yourself more valuable as an employee as you progress through your career.

2. Determine how you can ‘upgrade’ yourself. Improvement doesn’t have to be expensive. For example, what would happen if you picked one topic each year? Let’s say you have a new job and you want to be able to take on new and challenging projects, so you choose the topic of project management. Then, let’s say you went to the library and each month or so you checked out (or downloaded) and read a different book about project management. How much of an expert on the topic of project management could you become after one year and reading six or more books?

If you started this practice now, of picking one subject per year and reading books on that topic, just think about how many subjects you could learn about and become an expert in over the next 10 – 20 years. It’s truly amazing when you think about how such a small change like this could have such a huge impact on your career and your life.

I’ve been practicing this self-improvement technique since I was in my early twenties and have found it to be incredibly powerful. Here are examples of some of the topics I’ve chosen for in-depth study over the years:


Coaching and Mentoring Techniques

Social Styles

Meeting Planning and Management

Communication Techniques

Presentation/Speaking Skills

Organizational Behavior

Listening Skills


Strategic Planning

Mergers and Acquisitions


Change Management

Business Law


I had to get practical experiences too in those chosen areas.

Recently, Victor (Pythagoras) and I have been experiencing some challenges concerning a joint business we are running. It’s on financial investment and loans. I have to update myself in the area of indebt financial literacy and business laws due to some dubious clients. I’m sure Victor and James can connect with this illustration

3. Never stop learning or growing. I always ask young people or colleagues to tell me what they’ve done during the last few years to ‘upgrade’ themselves; in other words, what have they done to improve their skills and abilities recently? A female colleague looked at me, laughed, then said, “Nothing lately, I graduated a few years ago so after masters I’m finally finished with my education.” Ouch. Guess what??? I just knew she might end up in the kitchen. 

Learning shouldn’t stop after graduating from school. Continuously seeking knowledge should be a lifelong pursuit. Consider all the inspiring stories about women who go back to college later in life and pursue a completely new career path after having raised their children. Or, the real life stories of men and women who were laid off due to company downsizing, obtained additional training or certifications and successfully changed careers. Wonderful stories can be found all around the world and the foundation for the person’s accomplishment is almost always their willingness and openness to learn new things. What I’ve found throughout my life is that the more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know. The best way I know to improve myself and increase my value as an employee is to always keep learning and growing. I treat my career as a business and treat myself as a competitive product to be continuously improved, year after year. As Jim Rohn, a business philosopher, once said, “Never wish life were easier, wish that you were better”

4. Expand on your X-Factor; Rob Parsons a motivational business author and speaker tells of how each one of us has an X-Factor that distinguishes us from the rest. For one person, it’s the art of relating to others, for another it’s the ability to solve problems and for another it might be the gift of organising. Use your gift and sharpen it like a knife. There are some things that just come naturally to you. Those are the things you should be working on.

5. Add additional skills to your current ones; It used to be that just knowing one trade or getting a certificate in that area was enough to ensure you a good future not anymore. Today employers are looking for additional attributes and transferable skills that might distinguish you from the rest. You might be a computer programmer with a good apt for writing or a builder with great organisational skills. Build on them. There may come a time when that added skill slides you in front of the competition. Don’t try to do the minimum at work, do the maximum. Additionally go on training courses and seminars when you can. Learn from the more knowledgeable and experienced in your field.

6. Follow the trends in your market and get ahead; Every industry has trends. Buy magazines, periodicals and articles so you can know how where you should put yourself in the industry. If you can see a trend perhaps you could begin to learn early and be esteemed as an expert in that market segment. If you can’t buy, like them on Facebook or follow on other social media outlets

7. Get passionate about your hobbies; What you love to do says a lot about you so don’t ignore it. Many millionaires arrived at their status by just keeping focused on doing the things they love to do. In many cases their hobbies became the businesses that brought them out of poverty. What you’re passionate about brings out the best in you and even helps you to learn more. I want to digress a little bit. 

On Monday I saw a thread about NYSC. Debating whether it should be optional or not. During my service year I acquired lots of skills through practice and taking initiatives as required by corps members to develop their host communities. My life changed for better, which inspired me to encourage Victor to also do the same during his service year. I believe this is one of his numerous initiatives which we are all benefiting from. By God’s grace I was able to commission 4 hand pump boreholes as personal projects; Trained 14 pupils in desktop publishing (computer training); established Young Farmer’s Club and MDGs club.

We planted 20 economic trees, demonstrated FADAMA farming, and did lots  of sensitization. The point I want to draw out is, in all these my communication skills improved, diplomatic skills enhanced, planning, organization skills etc. Made lots of quality connects with mentors in UNICEF, MDGs office, Ananda Marga universal Relief Team etc

Hence, being valuable will open doors of opportunities. Even though I’m an Agric Economics graduate and presently enrolled for Agric extension and rural development. I was able to facilitate medical outreaches worth millions without prior knowledge of public health or programme planning.

Finally, I’m a very big proponent of being valuable to our family members either as parent or siblings. We need the skills to help build our family’s dreams, the skills to stir up an enterprise and make it successful. We need skills to build equities for the future. We need skills of all kinds.

How about this: skillful language. If you just talk to your family, you can hold them all together, but if you skillfully talk to your children or younger ones; you can help them build dreams for the future. You can’t be lazy in language; it costs too much. What if you meant to say, “What’s troubling you?” and instead you said, “What’s wrong with you?” That’s too big of a mistake. And sure, maybe you’ve made that mistake wayback, but not now. You should always be improving in language and communication. Working with the community and adults isn’t an easy task but requires skills. Especially when you can speak their language. However, was able to gain their trust over time. I could remember when Victor and I worked in a farm. We did all forms of work. Today those skills are indispensable for me now in managing my farm. Can you imagine a situation where an over ajebo woman teaching us how to mould blocks, mix concrete and do some other artisan work. I’m using those skills now if my workers or contractors start feeling fly. I’ll stop there for now but do take these to heart. Let it be that you see your worth as you really are and expand on it for the good.

Packaging yourself to improve your self worth or value. Many times, people tend to judge our values  extrinsically (outlook) rather than intrinsically.

You might be denied attention if you are been real and true. Take for instance, when presenting a business proposal, you don’t have money but you’ve got content. When you proceed, you might be stopped but if you lie about your true personality and form to be rich, you will be granted audience. 

QUESTION: Is deceit allowed in packaging your self worth? 

ANSWER: I won’t support being dishonest for whatever reason. However, remember this, At the entrance of your future, packaging admits. Meaning how you dress is how you will be address. So don’t look shabby or unkempt, speak with confidence and mind you no matter how beautiful you think your business proposal is, Always remember no idea is really new. Investors really don’t invest in idea but personality.

FACILITATOR: Emem Essien (Valuex Member)

COMPILED BY:Valuex Information Management Department



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