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How much is your work really worth?

Understanding the ripple effect of your services

This week I finished an almost a year-long consulting project for a mental health clinic. Together with my client and her team, we developed new services, attracted more clients to the clinic and structured their internal procedures better. All of this in turn enabled the therapists to alleviate the emotional pain of many many more people.

And this led me to think about the ripples of our work. So many people I come across have doubts about the value of what they do. They don’t give themselves and their abilities sufficient credit. They have reservations charging higher prices or asking for a raise.

The Sages of the Talmud (Bava Batra, 9a) taught us that a person, who causes others to perform a good deed gets greater credit than the people, who actually perform the good deed itself. For example, a non-profit fundraiser is more praiseworthy than the donors, since he facilitates their donations.

The same is true of each person, whether a business owner or a salaried employee. The work you do for your clients (or your employer’s clients) in turn enables them to do things for others they couldn’t have done otherwise.

A teacher imparts skills to her students that will then enable the students to do their work and help the people around them. A cook in a restaurant kitchen feeds the lunchtime crowd, giving them the energy to serve their clients. A psychologist supports a woman through a crisis, enabling her to better parent her kids. A florist helps a husband put a smile on his wife’s face, and that good feelings spills into her next interaction with the neighbor.

The chain is endless. Like domino effect, once you push one domino over, it makes a whole stack go down. The small (and big) service you provide gets multiplied thousand times over. And it is all thanks to you.

So I challenge you to think about the ripples you create. Ask yourself:

  • What do I do for our clients?
  • What does that in turn enable them to do?
  • Who else benefits from my work, directly or indirectly?
  • What are the end effects of my work?
  • What would happen if I wasn’t around to do the things I do?

Got some answers? Great! Write them down now and put them up at your work station or stash them in your wallet. This can be your default booster when you feel down.

If you are coming up blank, you aren’t thinking hard enough or being honest with yourself. You are not letting yourself live up to your best you. What’s keeping you from that?

The next time you (or anyone) doubts the value of your work, just think of all the ripples you are creating. And then take credit.

The world is not the same without you!