Provide value

The great “follow your passion” social experiment should be a fading memory, but for the remaining pile of debt. Maybe now we can scrap the slogans and get back to the age-old principles of applying one’s knowledge and skill to deliver value.

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The great “follow your passion” social experiment should be a fading memory, but for the remaining pile of debt. Maybe now we can scrap the slogans and get back to the age-old principles of applying one’s knowledge and skill to deliver value.

Economies have been built by people trading useful skills or abilities and realizing their value through personal satisfaction and social certificates of appreciation, also known as currency.

We’re fortunate. As a nation, work is our proficiency. At our core—a hard-wired place that neither slogan nor fad can touch—most of us intrinsically know the compelling need to be of value.

Simply living in proximity to others dictates that we all rub shoulders, like it or not. This voids the concept of complete self-sufficiency. The food we eat. The restrooms we use. The water we drink. These are the results of someone’s work and usefulness—and sometimes, on a good day, passion.

“Follow your passion” alone is an incomplete thought, however, as is most Socratically-based click bait, it’s waiting for you to fill it in with your own predilections. I know this because I write these little morsels of salesmanship for a living.

Folks, “follow your passion” is not a life creed. It’s an advertisement, hoping to elicit passion for­ a new car, a vacation or even an ice cream in a waffle cone (an ad I crafted just last week).

Economies are about societies, not individuals. Aspiring to an emotional state, like passion, sends the world into reverse, not forward. But it’s never too late to start fresh. What should you do with your life?

Be of value.

That’s what we should have told our kids. Somehow this truth got sideswiped by a marketing slogan.

Successful apartment companies, developers, suppliers and entrepreneurs in general, have internalized and constantly follow the beat of the value drum every second of every day.

Value proposition. What value do we provide our boss, our residents, our world? You’d think providing value would be a core principle, but in an untethered world sometimes driven by the hubris of ego, core principles are not always cool.

As the engineer, the accountant, the philosopher, and most economists will attest, core principles have built the known world. And so they stand, solid and true, through fad, fiction and man’s folly.

Multifamily housing is full of those who provide value to others, the nation and the world. And as I’m regularly reminded from San Diego and beyond, they are the epitome of the passionate. They are dedicated. They are purpose-driven.

Mike Rowe gets it. More importantly, Mike Rowe lives it.