How do we decide if something is valuable?
Think about it...
We hold garage sales and dump all of our unused stuff on the lawn, in hopes that someone else will see value in our stuff and want to pay us money for it.
Yet, value seems to be on a sliding scale. Relative.
What I value may not be the same things that you value. And what you value may not be the same things that your friends value...and so on.
Before I dated my wife, I found out she owned an acoustic guitar. It was from a company I’d never heard of before, so I didn’t know if it was valuable or not. I assumed that, since I’d never heard of it, it probably wasn’t that valuable (how prideful of me).
At the time, I was still playing my $500 Fender acoustic guitar...and I LOVED it. But the reason I loved it is because I paid for it. It was mine. I went shopping and spent all the money I could afford on this guitar. I valued it far above other guitars, even though it wasn’t worth more monetarily.
But it was worth more to me.
Until I found out what my future wife’s guitar was worth.
Once I actually did some research I found out that her Guild D-55 was worth almost $4,000!
I had no idea.
Did my perception change the Guild’s actual value? No.
But I treated it differently because I didn’t know it’s true value.
Why am I talking about guitars, you ask?
My question to you is: what things in your life have you de-valued, simply because you didn’t/don’t understand their true worth?
Could it be friendships? Family members? Education? Your own creativity or ability?
As creative people just starting out with our creative endeavors, a lot of us tend to de-value what we have to offer because, well...it’s all been done before!
Or so we think...
The truth is, the world needs what you have to offer...even if what you have to offer is extremely similar to what someone else offers.
Maybe you’re a photographer just starting out and you’re thinking, “There are literally DOZENS of other photographers who are all way better than I am...why should I start a photography business?”
That’s a valid question.
From a business, marketing, and sustainability standpoint, you do need to answer that question.
But that question is too small minded. It doesn’t get to the big picture.
Maybe you don’t need to start a photography business to make money (although that is certainly a nice perk). Maybe you need to pursue photography because it makes you come alive.
And the world needs us to come alive.
Our family, friends, and co-workers will benefit greatly when we are fully alive and fully present.
Let’s face it: our art and creativity always has an outward expression and impact. Others will be affected. Don’t ever think for one second that your art is all about you.
Some people will hate your art. Your photography. Your design. Your writing.
But it doesn’t matter.
Because somebody somewhere needs to hear what you have to say.
So do it anyway.
They need to see the world through your lens/canvas/etc.
They need you to start valuing yourself and your art, so you’ll be brave enough to put your art out there for others to experience.
The world doesn’t need more machines. The world needs more heart.
So stop looking down at your craft and saying things like, “I’m not good enough.” And start exercising your gift today. Put yourself out there. Take risks. You just might be surprised at the outcome.