Your greatest asset is yourself, it is your mind. The degrees you have can go obsolete or the requirements for a particular job can be changed that your certificate will no longer be of value.
However, the knowledge and skills you have no one can take them from you. Hence it is expedient that we invest in ourselves and become people of value. When people interact with you, do they become at least an inch better, motivated, or wiser because they have communicated with you?
As Albert Einstein said try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.
The truth of the matter is that everyone wants to be associated with a person of value. Even our parents no matter how much they love us, it is their desire that we become people of value. When you so add value and improve yourself you would not have to be seeking friends, friends would be seeking you and you have the luxury to choose the ones, you want.
This article is aimed at helping you with some tips on how to improve and add value to yourself.
Below are 5 Ways to Improve and Add Value to Yourself.
1. Get a Mentor: One of the ways to improve and add value to yourself is by having a mentor. The importance of having a mentor as a young man or young lady cannot be overemphasized. A mentor is someone who has done what you would like to do and who has been there.
Having a mentor gives you an edge over your peer because you are exposed to a wellspring of wisdom gained from so many years of experience. Mentors are there to guide you, advise, and provide you with alternative options that you may not even think about.
A significant number of the people we look up to today fondly allude their successes to the mentors they had in their lives, the likes of Aliko Dangote, Kevin Hart, Les Brown, Oprah Winfrey, and Dan Lok, among others. Most often getting a mentor doesn’t come at any cost, all you have to do is ask.
However the caveat is that don’t ever ask a stranger, you should have understudied the person first before asking. I remember as a student in the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, after attending a seminar that stressed the importance of having a mentor.
I just decided to send a text message to one of our lecturers to be my mentor and that was how the lecturer got to notice me from the pool of students. I received guidance on the courses to focus on and several other opportunities through her mentorship.
3 Steps to finding a mentor
- Identify Someone you Desire to be Like.
The first step to take in finding a mentor is to identify someone you want to be like, a person whose ideologies at most resonate with yours. This way it becomes easy for both your potential mentor and yourself to easily get along. You can look into your professional and academic circles to find someone. It could be a former boss, a school professor or teacher, a co-worker, or a family member. Just ensure that you and this person have similar beliefs and core values.
- Research and Study the Person
You must research and study your potential mentor. Get to know their work, and what they do. This will help you know how you will fit in his\ her network. You can follow them on social media should they have an account, read their blogs or articles. You can talk to people you think that know this person
- Now Reach Out and Make the Ask.
Finally, after identify and studying your potential mentor, now you have to make the ask now. You can reach out through email or phone any of them that is available to you. And keep this casual not too formal neither too informal. Don’t take it personal should the person say no, just thank them and move on to the next person.
2. Read, Read, and Read Again: Reading is one of the easiest ways to improve oneself yet not done by many. Reading affords even the underprivileged the opportunity to achieve a level of success that wouldn’t be possible given their environment.
Reading broadens your mind and perspective, it gives you the opportunity to enter into the minds of some of the great minds that have ever lived. You don’t have to only admire these people from far, but you get to understand their thought process through their books which gives you the opportunity to replicate some of their successes if you so desire.
At some point in our lives, we encounter people either face to face, in a conference or digitally, and we get mesmerized by their eloquence and the wisdom they exude. It could be a work colleague, the guy (lady) you met on the bus or train, your neighbor, or spouse. And you don’t want to stop listening to them and if you have to pay to listen to them you would.
I’m here to tell you that you can equally achieve that level of eloquence and knowledgeability. These individuals did not get here by magic neither were they born with it, rather they took time to invest in themselves by reading and developing their minds. If you are not reading you’re only positioning yourself to be an average just like any other lady (guy) in the street.
The non-negotiable genre of books you should be reading.
- Books on personal development.
A couple of books I recommend on personal development, Simon Sinek’s “Start with why”, “how to win and influence by friends by Dale Carnegie”, “Tonny Robbins Unlimited Power”.
- Books on Personal Finance
Gaining knowledge on personal finance is a must for everyone. Personal finance or money management is an important aspect of our lives yet we are not thought in school. Hence for one to be able to live a financially comfortable life requires that we gain knowledge on how to manage our monies. There are quite a number of books you can look at starting with the richest man in Babylon.
- Books in Your Area of Expertise
To become a go-to person in your area of expertise (profession) requires that you have a significant amount of specialized knowledge in your field. So take out time to read books in your field of specialization. Are you are salesperson, an accountant, a graphic or web designer, an actress, or an actor what have you there are books out there for you to enrich your knowledge base.
3. Network with Like-Minded People: As the saying goes show me your friend and our tell your character. Whether we are conscious of it or not the people we mingle and spend time with rub off on us. As Jim Rhon rightly stated that we are the average of the 5 people we hang around with. So if you desire to improve and add value to yourself lookout for individuals that are more skilled and better than you and network with them. Ensure that your circle of influence is mostly full of individuals that you can learn something positive from. People that will challenge and push you to be better, not people who will settle for the status quo.
Some Places to Find Like-Minded People.
- Workplace or Schools
Workplace and schools are places where we get to form lasting and meaningful relationships. You can identify some of your work or school colleagues that have the same set of beliefs as you and connect with them, and help yourselves grow together.
- Social Media
Social media is a hub where people from diverse cultural backgrounds, countries, and diverse perspectives of life get to interact and connect. You can follow personalities you look up to, you can join Facebook groups in your niche. For instance, as an upcoming comedian, you can follow Kevin Hart, Steve Harvey, Basket Mouth of Nigeria among others.
Religious groups are also one of the places where you can meet other aspiring change-makers and driven individuals like yourself.
4. Volunteer: The fourth way to add value to yourself is through volunteering. Volunteering offers us an enormous opportunity to usually move out of our comfort zones try new things that will help us to develop life skills and become well-rounded individuals at little or no cost. By volunteering, you build some life skills like selflessness, and commitment muscles to which will improve and add value to your personality and resume.
5. Learn a Skill Outside of your Carrer or a Second Language: Aside from all the above mentioned another way to add some value to yourself is by learning a skill that is outside your mainstream career option. For example aside me being an upcoming economist, I have blogging which is helping me polish my writing skills and building some vocabulary. I am also currently learning Spanish as a second language. You can also learn coding, graphic design, photography, a second language, culinary skills, painting among others.
Adding value to yourself is not a one-time thing, it is a life long learning process. You added value yesterday, add value today, add value tomorrow, and tomorrow next. Improve and add value to yourself to an extent that when people interact with you as an employee, a CEO, a Spouse, or a friend they will be getting a full well-resourced package :).