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Set yourself apart

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Imagine these three scenarios:

Scenario One: Imagine someone taking a walk to Limbe Drop Down Boutique, also known as the kaunjika side, in the scorching heat and going through a variety of ruffled and dirty clothes and, eventually, finding one or two items, subsequently paying K700 for each item. The trip takes about one-and-a-half hours of your time on a weekend. Obviously they will need to spend some time washing and ironing and maybe even disinfecting.

Scenario Two: Imagine someone meeting a vendor in town while they go about other errands, selling a couple of nice-looking pieces of clothing on hangers. They take about 20 minutes to go through them and select a few items they buy at K3,000 each. Then they proceed with the rest of their errands. The only thought is to wash and iron the newly found treasures the minute they get home.

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Scenario Three: Imagine someone getting a recommendation from a friend to visit a shop in town that has some great variety of quality and affordable clothes. They get there and they find the clothes washed, nicely pressed and fragranced and sorted by type. They know exactly what they are looking for; so, within 10 minutes, they have selected and paid K10,000 for each item. The only thought is to get home and change into the new ready-to-wear outfit for an event starting in an hour.

There is one bottom line in all three scenarios; the clothes have essentially the same cost but are priced differently because there is value addition in terms of time, convenience, care and the like. The more someone invests time and effort in some value addition, the higher the value of products.

This is something we need to learn to do with our lives.

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Spiritually, professionally, physically and in our relationships, we need to constantly and dedicatedly add value. We cannot progress if we add no value to ourselves. We should not expect things to change or others to see us differently if we do not add value to ourselves and our lives. Many aspects of our livelihood make a difference if there is value addition to them. There is always a need for an element that sets something apart from the other.

For instance, in the professional world, many are able to get qualifications in certain areas. But what sets one apart from the other? What sets two engineers that both have a first degree apart from one another? You will find that one is innovative, one is not or one has continued to read on relevant topics after school while the other has not or one is teachable and remains curious while the other is an arrogant know-it-all. The values the two are adding to themselves are consequently different.

Another good example is when you go to a restaurant where you are ushered in invitingly the minute you walk into the door; the attendants make sure you are comfortable, bring you a starter or drink to set the mood in quickly. They take your order with full attention to detail and check on you throughout the course of the meal.

It’s the same with us humans as we go through life, times will change, knowledge will evolve and a lot of things will depreciate in value; people will get tired of the same old things and so we have to constantly add value to the areas of our lives that matter the most. That is what sets us apart as individuals and sets our lives apart as we live it instead of being a mundane routine of the same motions.

Set yourself apart.

I rest my case.

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