Why You Should Get Paid For The Skills You Consider “Basic”
You want to make more money with the skills you have, but you feel you’re not good enough.
You see someone winning at the office or in school in an area you know you could thrive.
Whenever you want to raise your hand to take the lead, make the sale, contact your first client, or just publish your first personal essay, you’re filled with doubt and worry that you don’t matter — not good enough.
I still feel it to this day. Yet, I have been able to get a job as an event planner, perform and get paid for my poetry, written over 500 articles on Medium, and adjusted to the reality of moving to the US from Cameroon.
I know the excuses people like you and I make — the way we talk ourselves out of being our true selves. To begin, let’s cover just three.
Everyone can do [insert skill]
Everyone has hands, but can they all juggle or play the piano? You’re using this excuse to convince yourself not to own your abilities. It’s easier this way than to step up to the playing field.
By downplaying your abilities, someone else, probably less skilled than you, is thriving and growing just because they accepted who they really were and their unique interests and skills.
No one would pay for [insert solution]
The iPhone is too expensive. People still pay for it. Uber Black? People pay. Rice? You get it. If it’s valuable to someone, someone will pay for it.
Why? Because people pay for things that are more valuable than the money they pay.
I never knew I could be paid to edit a podcast until I found someone who needed it to be done to the level of my skill. If you don’t try to sell your services, you’ll never know.
Now that you know that not everyone can do what you can, you will discover that if you’re able to provide value, someone will not only pay but be happy for it.
What can you teach? What comes easy to you? What do you naturally know a lot about and can study for days?
Someone somewhere who has a problem you can solve will pay for it.
The bigger the problem, the larger the pay.
No one who needs [insert service/product]
Of course, you’ll think this way. When I was learning how to edit video or write or podcast, I did it for me. Now, I have people who tell me, they’d be happy to pay for me to teach them.
Have you asked anyone? Don’t trust your feelings around your skills — trust the feedback from those who have to the problem you can solve.
Maybe you shouldn’t build a website yet either. I made this mistake too.
Start with the people who know you. What do they struggle with? What do they need help with?
You’d be surprised that someone needs help with installing software that seems super basic (to you), yet they’d pay for your time to solve the problem for them.
You may not be the only one who needs a book on how to be an immigrant or how to be a makeup artist or how to move with ease.
How Can You Teach Without Being Phony? How Can You “Out Trick” The Imposter Syndrome?
1. Document Your Journey
“Document, don’t create” — Gary Vaynerchuk
Start a blog or a podcast, even a Tiktok where you provide regular updates on your journey.
What inspires me about YouTubers I admire is going to their first videos and seeing how far they came.
5 years from your start, you’ll be huge. Whenever someone would think you’re just another Lambo guru, they’ll see that you did the work. If not for them, for you.
2. Give Credit Where It’s Due
“The more credit you give away, the more will come back to you. The more you
help others, the more they will want to help you.” — Brian Tracy
As you grow and figure things out, you’ll have mentors and teachers. There are some ahead of you who have done the work and you’ll be getting a headstart from their journey.
Since you’re standing on the shoulders of giants, it’s inspiring to watch how you’ll take the baton and carry on.
Quotes, credits, all these show a level of respect that in turn, inspires respect.
“Our duty, as men and women, is to proceed as if limits to our ability did not exist. We are collaborators in creation.” — Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
You will discover that you’re not alone feeling this way and that there is power in quality numbers. Reach out to others who are around your level — see how you can add value to them and maybe, maybe you will be able to work together in the future. Or not.
If anything, you’ll get to share tips and ideas on how to improve in your respective circles of competence.
4. Keep Learning
“Any fool can know. The point is to understand.” — Albert Einstein
You’re playing an infinite game — a game where you only win so you can keep playing. This means you’ll keep adding to what you know, keep learning skills to add to your arsenal.
When you stay a student, you’ll always be ready to adjust and adapt when necessary.
How Do You Maintain Your Growing Streak?
What’s one thing that could improve your odds of winning?
Easier said than done, right?
“Until you make the effort to get to know someone or something, you don’t know anything.”― Ben Horowitz
If you were more objective, you’d see that you’re actually pretty good. You know it. You downplay it because you don’t want the responsibility of someone relying on your expertise.
Did you cringe at the idea that I think you’re an expert?
Noun: “a person who has a comprehensive and authoritative knowledge of or skill in a particular area”.
Adjective: “having or involving authoritative knowledge”.
Source: Oxford Dictionary
Are you still certain that you have no authority on any subject? How about your own experiences? The things you’ve learned? The places you’ve been to? The jobs you’ve had? Your roles in life?
Everyone is an expert at something. You are an expert. Deal with it.
Or if you’re not, become one.
Not everyone can do what you do the way you do it. Someone would pay for what you do if you can solve a problem that money can fix. You’re not the only one who needs what you offer either. And the only way you find out for sure is to try making and selling it.
If you feel like you’re fake :
Document your journey for yourself and for others.
Give credit where it’s due — this is the right thing to do.
Collaborate and learn from others in your field.
Never stop learning.
You have a gift for the world. Now go, shine bright like a diamond :)