How to Add Value Every Day


I believe that one of the few things that truly matters in life is the way we treat other people.

Some of the most fulfilling moments I can remember are the times when I've made a contribution to someone else that has changed their life for the better.

When I got an email from one of our clients letting me know that last month's post about procrastination helped them get through a project that was looming, I was thrilled. When I heard from someone else that one of the tips we gave helped them start exercise consistently, it made my day.

That's what adding value to others means. Giving someone something useful that will have a positive influence on their life. 

4 practical ways to add value


1. Teach a skill

Whenever I can, I try to teach people how to do things themselves instead of doing it for them. Doing it for them one time might solve their current problem, but teaching them how will provide value for the rest of their life.

When I was a kid my dad bought a "Learn to write HTML" book and spent a few evenings teaching me the basics of coding on a black and white laptop that he borrowed from work. Little did he know that those few hours he spent teaching me would be the spark that got me interested in design and set me on the course to designing for a living.

Give a Man a Fish, and You Feed Him for a Day. Teach a Man To Fish, and You Feed Him for a Lifetime
— Unknown

2. Make a recommendation

I've found from experience that recommending one great book, podcast or app can add value to someone for years.

I remember one of my friends sent me a note with a link to the 5 Minute Marketing Makeover videos from StoryBrand (a marketing framework) a couple years back. Based on those videos we changed all the messaging on the Knapsack website to better reflect who we are. That one recommendation has helped us bring in countless clients that are a great fit to work with us.


3. Say thank you

I can think of several specific times when an email or thank you note has made my day. We never know what difficult things people might be going through, so take the time to show appreciation.

Think of a friend, family member or colleague and take a few minutes to write a thoughtful note, make a phone call or send a text thanking them for something specific that you appreciate about them.

The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.
— Oscar Wilde

4. Connect people

A few years ago I created a mindmap to see how our clients were finding us and I was surprised to see that over 80% of the business that Knapsack received in the first year could be traced back to two people who consistently sent us referrals.

Making introductions can be a huge gift to someone. If we're aware of the problems that people have and connect them with others who have the solution they need, it's a win-win situation.


Start adding value every day

Take these action steps with me:

  • Download and set our Add Value Every Day wallpaper to your phone or computer as a constant reminder.

  • Write a list of 3 specific ways you can add value to others and put it where you'll see it every day.

  • Write down how you added value to others at the end of each week and evaluate how you're doing.

  • Check out the resources below for more great ways to add value.

One of the deep secrets of life is that all that is really worth the doing is what we do for others.
— Lewis Carroll

Tools & Resources

Wallpaper: Add Value Every Day

We designed this wallpaper for you to put  on your phone or computer to remind you to add value to the people around you.

Podcast: 3 Ways to Deliver
Value and Delight Your Customers

This StoryBrand podcast episode is an interview with David Salyers of Chic-Fil-A that talks about adding value to your products.

Article: How to Add Value to Other People

For further reading check out this article by the Aspirations Institute. It covers some more good ways to add value.

Benjamin ManleyComment