On Providing Value

With everyone nowadays being much more connected to the web than ever, you have to admit it’s become increasingly easier to reach out to almost anyone. There’s a handful of successful people who you can think of that you’ve admired and respected from afar and that you’ve always had interest to reach out with hopes of them potentially providing you career advice in whatever space they’ve succeeded because you see yourself in that position in the near future.

The reality is that we can all use help to succeed in one way or another. Success in itself could represent different things to different people but the real question when reaching out to someone is how can you convince a busy and accomplished person who doesn’t know you that you’re worthy of their time?

Lets check off the obvious. You don’t want to come across as desperate, irritating, awkward and something else which we can add to that list is thinking that offering to buy this accomplished person a cup a coffee is suffice compensation for having picked their brain.

I never really gave much thought to how simply offering someone you admire a cup of coffee in exchange for their advice can be viewed as effectively saying, “your advice is worth $4 to me.” Just thinking about it sounds horrible and the way around it which Sean proposes and I agree with it is not to just think about what value you’ll walk away with but also what’s the value you’re offering to that person.

The money quote in the podcast for me was, “Don’t confuse what is valuable to you as being something that is valuable to this person you want to be around.”

There's several photographer living right here in Brooklyn who's work I absolutely love and prior to listening to this podcast episode, I was very inclined to reach out so I can do this very thing that I now know may come across as selfish which is to ask for their time when you're not providing anything in return.