I don’t think people have a dearth of ideas or opportunities. There are literally hundreds of ideas and opportunities that people can pursue. However, there is a physical limitation on people’s capacity to execute on them. You are gold if you can enhance someone’s capacity as they pursue their life’s passion. However, when you are young, it costs you a lot more to add capacity to someone else because you don’t have the skills, connections and/or a powerful identity in the marketplace. Sadly, for most people even after they spend a decade in their careers, their capacity to add capacity to others is very limited. They may want to help but they don’t have the capacity to to provide good help.
Think about this. Someone that matters most to you is pursuing something important. The value of succeeding in that is, let’s say $100K for that person. First, if that person does not think you can help, he may not even ask your help. Let’s assume that he thinks you can help him with that project. Now, the cost for you to help him depends on your “current capacity” in the marketplace. If you less capacity to help, it costs you a lot more to help. As your own capacity increases, the cost to help drops drastically. What is important to notice is that the value of completing the project for your friend is $100K – irrespective of how much it costs for you to help him with the project. This means just one thing – as you work to build capacity in the marketplace, you can add higher value to people that matter most to you at a very low cost to you.
If you help the right people, they will be grateful to you for the “value” you bring to them. It may have costed very little to you to bring but they will still “thank” you for the value that you brought to them. The moment this starts happening you have superior leverage relative to others in the marketplace.
To summarize, watch your “current capacity” in the marketplace to add capacity to other people. You can assess that based on the kind of requests for help that you are getting. Once you determine your current state, think about what you can do to take it to a whole new level in the next few years. If you stick to that plan with discipline, you can start seeing magic soon!
Note 1: For the other 182 entries in the “Distinguish yourself” series, please visit my Squidoo lens on the same topic
Squidoo Lens: Distinguish yourself
Note 2: My latest manifesto on ChangeThis was published exactly on August 8, 2007. Today it is ranked #77. I am overwhelmed by the support for this. Thank you. For those who have read it, I request you to forward the link to others who may benefit from it. Here is the link:
ChangeThis Manifesto: Making the Most of Your Time: Going Beyond To-Do Lists
- Ways to distinguish yourself – #71 Expand your capacity to receive help!
- May your capacity expand in 2008; Happy New Year
- Ways to distinguish yourself #189 – Disproportionately shift the baseline over time
- When you have a hammer…
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