Your skills don't matter.
It doesn't matter if you're an amazing financial analyst, metalsmith, fundraiser, photographer, writer, or graphic designer.
Your skills are the means. But for your customers, colleagues, and clients, it's all about the ends.
The marketing director does not need a great graphic designer.
She does need to tell her customers a compelling, fun story.
The CEO does not need a financial analyst who is an Excel wizard.
She does need someone who will surface problems and opportunities that she never would have considered.
The soon-to-wed couple does not need a great photographer.
They do need a friendly presence who knows how to capture their big day without being a distraction during the ceremony.
Valuable work is not about you or your skills, it's about other people.
Yes, your skills are important, but in and of themselves they don't matter. Your skills are important because they allow you to tell a great story, highlight a compelling opportunity, and make a newlywed couple very happy.
The more perceptive you are to the needs of everything and everyone besides yourself, the more value you can add. And the more value you add, the more value will be returned to you.
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I write about deliberate living, learning, and doing good work.