Valuable to others, or only you?

Valuable to others, or only you?

When I’m hot, it’s hard for me to imagine that others in the room are cold. I think it really is hot, not that it’s hot only for me. It feels like fact, not opinion.

musicDerek Sivers´ opening for his article “valuable to others, or only you?

Even thought his article is mostly about art and for example music it´s easily transferable to business. His message in this opening or whole article is actually absolutely essentiell for business. Our product, our service or our shop have not to be like we want them to, they have to be like the customers want them to!

This is a common mistake – it´s actually already like a bias sometimes. We too often focus our own perceptions, tastes and needs instead of the customers´. We need to see things from another person´s point of view.

The “starving artist” problem

When someone creates something that is really important, powerful, and valuable to them, it’s hard to imagine that it’s not important, powerful, and valuable to others.

But money only comes from doing something valuable to others.

Derek Sivers points out two strategies to get out of the starving artist problem. The first one can be used for business too.

1. Focus on making your art more valuable to others

Constantly ask, “How can I be more valuable to them?”

Sivers gives some examples to bring emotions, focus on personality and so on when it comes to art. We need to force ourselves to try all the best ideas, even if it seems unnatural at first and to keep doing this repeatedly, paying attention to feedback from others.

I want to add the most important question every entrepreneur needs to ask himself with every idea:

“Is this idea valuable for the people?” – No value? Skrew it.

Another great question I just heard a couple of days ago:

“Could you imagine the world without your product?” Yes? Skrew it.

With focussing on the “value to others” we can create a susainable business; “create value and business/ success will follow” is often said.

“What helps people, helps business.” Leo Burnett


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