Prasanna Natarajan

Being Useful

One of the best ways to make money and get rich is to be useful to others.

The value that I’ll get out of life will be related to 2 things - the amount of people I create value for, and the amount of value I create for the people.

I could do that by selling 30 rupees Jigarthanda to thousands of people or by selling a subscription software that costs 10,000 rupees to just hundreds of people.

Of course, if I could, I’ll sell the software to thousands of people too.

So here’s the formula:

Money = Value_I_Create x Number_Of_People_I_Create_Value_For

While I have no idea how some method of value creation will lead to money, I think it’s better to focus on value creation alone for now rather than worrying about how to milk the money out of it.

Right now, as workers in the corporate world, we create value for 1 specific client/company. And the value we receive is proportional to that. To increase the value we get, we could increase the value we create for them. But there might be some restrictions to that. Example, no matter how better you perform, the best hike you might get from your company might just be 30%. It’s not even based on the value you created, it’s just some arbitrary stuff that the company sets to satisfy its stakeholders benefits mostly. You could also try to increase the value you create for the company. But mostly it means stretching yourself thin. As a cog in the big corporate machine, there’s an upper limit on how much value you can create.

(But if you want to go that route, it’s still possible. You could rise above being just a low-level employee to an executive or a partner if you are smart and lucky. But figure out the chance for that yourself.)

So to get more value for yourself, you could try to up the intensity of the 2 parameters of the formula.

Here’s what someone in my steps could do:

PS: Being useful is great. But just as I was about to write this I came across a great piece by Derek Sivers Happy, Smart, and Useful. There he argues that just being useful isn’t enough for a good life. You need to balance it out with being happy and smart too.