Creating Value

Have you ever thought about the values you create? Ever crossed your mind to sit back and look out what exactly you give to the outside world in exchange for what you receive? Because this is how we, humans, are functioning: by a continuous exchange of values. The most popular value exchanged being, of course, money.

But despite its popularity, money is not the only value we exchange, is only the most popular. There are a lot of other values growing into our lives, floating around and finding their path, either inside or outside our person. Our society lives by exchange. Our incomplete nature makes for a giant commerce around the clock for getting what we need in exchange for what we give.

In today’s post I’ll share some of my thoughts about the values we create and exchange, especially the number of connections each of these values can have.

Sellers And Buyers

Every time you give something away, you’ll be the seller. And of course, every time you’ll get something back you’ll be the buyer. We play those roles all the time. We give away something valuable to the outside world and get something back in return. Sometimes we’re more in the seller’s shoes, sometimes we’re more like the buyer. And the values we trade are what defines us the most.

We give care to our family and receive emotional bonding and warmth. We give advice and compassion to our friends and get back support and gratitude. We give expertise and know-how to our clients and get back money and recognition. We give time and presence to our employers and get back money and appreciation (well, most of the time). We trade values.

Connection Values

Each of these values behave like an object, it can be picked up and stored, transported and used. And for that, it has handles. Or, to be a little more exact, connections. Each value we trade, either by selling, either by receiving it, has connections.

If you’re starting to look around in circles wandering where are those handles for the paycheck you get last month, stick around a little bit, I’ll try to explain more. It’s easier than it seems now.

The bigger the number of connections attached to each value, the higher the chance to find a potential user. If you create something with a single handle, you’ll be able to use that something only and only by that single handle. If, on the contrary, you created something with more handles, chances for that something to be picked up and used will increase by the number of the attached handles.

Single Connection Values

The vast majority of our current world values are singe connection values. And by that I’m referring to the way we get back stuff we need for survival. Almost every human being on the planet is having a job in which is trading expertise and time to an employer. Those people get back a package of corresponding values including money, cars, phones, a house and/or medical insurance.

Having a job is a single connection value.

Why is that? Because you can only sell it to one user at a given time. You only have one handle, and that handle is in the hand of your boss. You broadcast value to a single receiver. And that receiver is the only one who can give back value to you. This one to one relationship is the source of the overwhelming stress most of the people endure at their job.

You’ll often heard people saying they hate their jobs. In fact, they’re hating the fact they can’t directly influence the receiving value. They’re selling a value with only one handle, and that handle is in the hand of somebody else. Of course, most of the time, that somebody else, that boss, will know that he’s the only one in charge and do his best to keep the receiving value low. Out of greed, or just because at the other end he’s selling a single connection value too to another boss, only one level up.

Having a job means actually selling your time to somebody else. Time is a one handle thing. You can’t multiply it, we live in an universe with a linear perception of the time. If you chose to sell your time, you’ll doom yourself to a single connection value chain. At the end of the chain, the lower level, you won’t have anything more to sell, because you already sold your precious time. The handle of your time is in somebody else’s hand..

And what you get back? Most of the time you’ll get back far less than you’ve sold. You can get a lot of money, for instance, but that money is becoming a single connection value too,  as long as you can’t really use it outside your time. You have the money but you don’t have the time to spend it. I’m sure that this is one of the most common patterns of our times: working for money and then spending it for getting back the health ruined in the process of making that money.

Freelancing

But what if instead of selling your time to a single user you start to sell it to multiple users? Well, that’s a huge step forward. It’s often called freelancing and it’s one of the most interesting ways in which you can trade value.

As a freelancer, you’ll broadcast your message to multiple users, advertise your expertise and a set of packages you sell. Being it consulting, web design, coding or lawn mowing. Each package has its own time. In fact, almost all the freelancers are selling by the hour. Freelancers cut down the time they used to sell bulk to only one user in smaller units and  they’re selling it back to a multiplied audience.

But this is still a single connection value. You can sell your time or skill to only one connection, your contractor. Of course, you can change the connection whenever you want, which is as huge step forward for having a job. But you still have one connection: between you and your contractor.

Multiple Connections Values

It’s becoming clear now that if you want to create multiple connections values, you must solve the time problem. In other words, you have to create timeless value. If you chose to broadcast only timely values, such as your expertise in various services, you’re creating single connection values.

Think at a book now, the last book you’ve read. You were one of the readers, among other thousands, perhaps. You found something inspiring in that book, something that made your life better, so you bought something from that. Now think at the author: he’s selling you his expertise or originality and he’s receiving back value – in terms of money, for instance – long after the process of the value creation was finished. His value, the book, has multiple connections. It can be picked up by anyone, anytime and still broadcast value.

Any value that is not bounded by time has multiple connections.

I know that we’re not all writers, or inventors or house builders. I’m not trying to restrict the multiple connections values to the products area. There are a lot of multiple connections values outside the material world. Think at the love you let flow for your loved ones, for instance. Is this time based? You stop loving them when you sleep? No. This is a multiple connections value. You’ll be feeding your loved ones with it for the rest of your life and they will be able to pick it up whenever they need it. It will be there. Love is an infinite connections value, by the way.

Creating Value

…Is a matter of correctly positioning yourself toward what you want to get back in exchange of what you give.

If you want to get back more on your plate, you’ll have to give more. If you chose to broadcast single connection values, like your job, you’ll surely become a workaholic. The more you give at your job the more you get back. You’ll be bound by the time you spend at your job in order to give and receive more value.

But if you think to position yourself outside the regular time flow, you’ll be in the position to create multiple connections values. The only limitation to this process is inside you, not outside. Yes, you can write a book, you can build something useful for other people, you can invent something, you can do whatever you want. You can start a blog, for a change. Having and maintaining a blog is another example of multiple connections value. Whatever you write, it will be available to many users, not just one, years after you finished it, not only in the moment you actually wrote. It can continuously create and broadcast your value long after you actually produced it.

By positioning yourself outside the regular time flow I understand an alignment with core, timeless vibrations. It’s that advice that keeps its freshness years after, that book that survived all your ages, that feeling you have for your wife even if you’re not the lovers you were years ago, or the smile of your little baby which is now on a face of a grown up person. Those are timeless values. Love and wisdom are surrounded with infinite connections, you can pick up their vibrations any time. Be there, search them, find them and make them yours, and then let them flow outside your world and be prepared to receive back an equally intense flow.

For the record, I don’t make any quality judgement between single and multiple connections values. Each type of value has its own share of producers and receivers, and they’re both solid values, after all. I just find multiple connections values to be more appealing to me.

So, what are your values? How do you receive what you need from the society? What do you sell? Is it a single connection or a multiple connections value? I’d love to hear about that in the comments.



Running For My Life - from zero to ultramarathoner


The spooky thing about depression is that it sneaks in. There aren’t really trumpets and loud voices announcing: “Hail, hail, this is depression entering the room, all rise!” Nope. It’s slow, silent, creepy. It doesn’t even look like depression. It starts with small isolation thoughts like: “Maybe I shouldn’t get out today, I just don’t feel like going out”. And then it does the same next day. And then the day after that and so on. And then it starts to whisper louder and louder in your ears: “Why would you go outside, you loser? Didn’t have enough yet? Want more people to make fun of how much of a big, fat loser you are?”

And then you start to breath in guilt and shame, instead of air. Every breathe you take is putting more dark thoughts into your body.

Until you get stuck. You can’t move anymore. At all.

If you want to know how I got out of this space, eventually, check out my latest book on Amazon and Kindle.

Running For My Life -from zero to ultramarathoner

Dragos Roua

The guy who started all this. Entrepreneur, ultra-marathoner, tanguero, father and risk taker. I'm blogging here, but I also spend a lot of time in this marvelous space.. You're invited, by the way.

This Post Has 30 Comments

  1. It’s good, but worrying. Steve became really lame at some point and I stopped reading his stuff. Be careful and stay on the right track. 😉

  2. Dragos, that’s on impressive article. You cover a huge area that needs attention from so many facets of life. I don’t get the comment about Steve Pavlina, the article wasn’t self promoting and ego building so to me is much better than content on this subject from Steve (OK, you got me, I don’t like his style, you are right).

    While I completely understand your point and do agree with you about ways to put value out in such a way as to get it back multiple times, I don’t really agree about how that is outlined with a standard job. I for one, find that my work (I work as a manager in a small company) get so much more back from what you describe as a single connection I think you are limiting yourself or at least your article here if that is how you see a job. I get value from many many connections through my work, value through relationships and the most value in learning from people month after month that I have made an impact in their lives in the way of inspiration or guidance for their own careers and lives. I have friends that have lasted for years after working together and I’ve mentored people through meeting them at work, so all of that adds a ton of value payback well beyond a single connection point of boss to employee.

    People need to make the most of their jobs and like you’re whole article’s point, put out more connections than one and build those value points. Anyone can do that in any job as well as by changing lifestyles. Writing and publishing are certainly not going to work for everyone. Some people need to learn to do that on the factory floor or as a programmer or truck driver, whatever their job is.

  3. @ibz I don’t buy everything from Steve, although I respect and admire his work. To be honest, I don’t buy much from him in the last few months, although I keep reading him. I don’t think he become lame, but as all Aries (now that’s the astrologer in me, I know) he has a tendency to screw up everything once he got it right. In Romanian that would be something like: “vaca nebuna care rastoarna sistarul cu lapte dupa ce l-a facut”, sorry to my English readers 🙂

    @Mike King you are perfectly right but allow me to point that you are not having a job in the general terms described in the post. You do something different out of your job, you’re not selling only your time. If everybody would treat their jobs with commitment and interest, that single connection value would become multiple connections value. It would not be just a portion of their time sold to somebody else, it would be genuine, honest value that will eventually return to the originator in various forms.

    Unfortunately, having a job means for most of the people spending 8 hours a day in an office and then come home to rest, and perhaps whining about how unhappy they are. This is a single connection value.

    I just want to stress again that selling only your time makes for a single connection value, if you put something else a part from your time it will become sooner or later a multiple connections value.

    Thanks again for your valuable comments and for your good thoughts, I really appreciate it.

  4. Sure Dragos, I get your point with most jobs. I guess I hope to make a difference in some people’s lives to actually go and make their job more than it is. I don’t think there are many jobs that are completely limited to selling your time with no other value so most people have an opportunity to making something of that, and I always look to encourage that. This post really reinforces that if you look at the value instead of sulking about the current job. Just go change that, make more of it!

    Check out Workhappynow.com and The Chief Happiness Officer for more on that subject, their blogs focus on better value at work.

  5. @Mike King Totally agree, and I will check out the blogs you mentioned.

    @casey kochmer That is so right, and is just another fresh angle of the quality of multiple connection values: sometimes the connection itself is the value.

    Thanks for your comment 🙂

  6. This was a thoughtful and timely piece for me. It’s nice to consider the ways I connect to values on many levels. For me balance is the key, staying in the flow evenly yoked with the multiple connections I have so as not to become drained.

  7. @Angela thank you for the comment. Yeap, reaching balance in giving and sharing values is something we all need to do 🙂

  8. dragos, you hit the point.

    I find that your perspective is unique and you succeed in conveying multiple important points all at once.

    I know Steve has already written on most of the same topics contained in this post, and probably many others, but maybe reading your exposition first would have saved me many months to fully integrate all the base concepts in a fully calibrated way.

    Just thanks. 🙂

    d1d0’s last blog post..Give Meanings To World to Quit Your Job

  9. @d1d0 thanks for the nice words and glad I shed some light, or at least ignited a sparkle. Thanks for stopping by and keep coming back 🙂

  10. […] useful. Don’t follow blind or outdated commitments, go for what really makes a change around you. Creating value is the core of your activity here and the only thing you really have to strive […]

  11. […] me to “do” a lot of stuff is that I don’t have a fixed job. I didn’t say I don’t provide value I said I didn’t have a fixed job. That’s a very big, and important, difference. With all due […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

What is 11 + 10 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve the following simple math (so we know that you are a human) :-)