Creating and capturing value

​Your success is tied to your ability to make other successful. I’m fond of saying that. So are other people. Mostly because it’s true. But what does it actually mean? How can you even help others become a success?

One way to measure success is to assess value. Meaning, the more value you provide for people, the more successful you are. So it follows, that you can help others, and thus help yourself, by helping them provide value. Here are some ways in which you can do that:

  • Help them make money.
  • Give them support and guidance through triumph, and more importantly, throughout trials.
  • Offer them unique knowledge or insight.
  • Find a canvas for them to paint on.
  • Make an introduction and connect them to an individual it would be beneficial for them to know.
  • Do them a small favour.

No one will turn down any of the above. Can you help people generate income, give them support and guidance, pass out unique insight, find unexplored paths for them to tread, make connections and do small favours for them? If you can do just one of those things, you are creating value. And if you are helping others, then you should, by the conventional wisdom, be more successful yourself.

But here’s the secret. And it’s taken me a while to realise it.

The more value you create, the less you need to capture.

Think about it. Imagine these two scenarios occur in six months. I help someone make twenty thousand pounds. To get paid a fair amount, I might want half of that. Fifty percent of the total value created for it to be worth my time. But if I help someone make a million pounds in six months? I could take five percent and do well for myself.

An entrepreneur is someone who perceives an opportunity to create value, figures out a system to deliver it, and then captures a slice of the value created. We don’t all have to be entrepreneurs and start companies. But we should all be on the lookout for ways to add value. Because, once you start adding value, you can begin to capture a slice of it. And the more you create, the smaller the slice you need.