The other night, a woman got in my car while I was driving uber. She had a pizza box with her. She was happy to get her pizza and head home to eat it in bed. Randomly she asked me about men and why they don’t like to “make out” when a woman’s breath smells like garlic or onions. It was strange for her to ask me that, but we started a discussion. I responded by telling her that the value of a person or thing is not always about who a person is or what that thing is. It’s more about where a person is or where that thing is. I went on to say that location is a big part of determining value. Garlic smells good when it’s stewing in a pot, but not so good on someone’s breath. Manure has value when it’s in your yard as a fertilizer. It’s not good if it’s on the floor in your house. A sheet of paper in a shredder has little value. However that same sheet could’ve been used as paper for an important, lucrative contract.
I was recently reading “Tribe of Mentors” by Tim Ferriss. In the book, he talks about fulfilled and effective people. And he states that when you look at them and their journeys, perhaps you can conclude that 25% of their lives are about finding themselves. The other 75% is about creating themselves. The observation was so profound to me because it goes back to location and value. Many of us are where we need to be. We spend a lot of time trying to find a good space for ourselves. We may need a change of positioning. But, we shouldn’t get preoccupied with finding the perfect space. We don’t know if that exists or not. But one thing is for sure, if those numbers Ferriss mentioned are correct, we shouldn’t spend 75% of our time finding the location and the other 25% trying to create ourselves. Creating ourselves into who we want to be is important. And creating a better version of ourselves will allow us to move into the position that brings more success.
We all have products that are important to us. Foods, toiletries, entertainment, and other necessities/desires are of major importance to us. Those products are attainable because they are in the right place. Walking in the grocery store looking for toothpaste is an easy experience when the toothpaste is in the aisle where toothpaste is on display. Finding a specific type of toothpaste that is in limited supply at a store makes things difficult. But if you love that specific product, you know where to go get it and you hope that it will be in its proper place. It becomes harder for a shopper looking for this product when another shopper picks up the last bar. Let’s just say that midway through shopping, the shopper who took the bar decides to opt out of buying the toothpaste and leaves it in the aisle where the chips are on display. That person who originally made a “B-line” to the store specifically for toothpaste will have a harder time finding what he/she wanted because the product is now out of position. It may take forever to find the toothpaste now that it’s in another aisle. But, it’s not impossible. What is virtually impossible is the development of a toothpaste product in the grocery store. Meaning… no one can make toothpaste in a grocery store. You can only buy it there. In that example, for as difficult as it may be to find toothpaste when another shopper has placed it in an erroneous aisle, that pales in comparison to the difficulty of making toothpaste in the store from scratch. In our lives, we are like that bar of toothpaste. Where we are when we are “ready for the market” is not where we were when we were developed as a product for the market. We gain identity when we are developed as a product. We gain value when we are ready for the market.
It takes more effort to be created than it does to find the place worthy of bringing out your value. Focus on creating and developing yourself into who you need to be. That will make finding the location for your value much easier.