Dan Waldschmidt

by Dan Waldschmidt

May 14, 2018


Gandhi said, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” 

Powerful words that put a lot of pressure on a person to be better. The same could be said in business. You have to be the kind of person you would like to work with. 

It doesn’t always matter how much money or experience you bring to the table if your petty behaviors stop people from valuing and respecting you. 

Value and respect are two big factors in being a successful business person.

And a successful leader. 

You have to ask yourself: “Am I the kind of person people can respect?” and “How am I offering incredible value every single day?” 

You have to find the answers to those two questions. And you have to continuously strive to answer them better. 


You have to put in a lot more work to be valuable. And when you don’t, it stops you from being valuable. 

Here are a few things that will stop you from being valuable in business. 

1. You’re Not Teachable

Nobody knows everything there is to know in a given field. You might know a lot. You can even know more than most. But there’s always room to grow.

There is always more to learn. You have to be open to learning new things and you have to admit that you don’t know it all. No one — not anyone, anywhere — values the “know it all”.

Continue to teach others and continue to agree that you need to learn more. Being teachable is being valuable. 

2. You’re Negative

Ever been that guy? You walk around all day going over worst case scenarios in your head. Or you show up at the office thinking it’s already going to be a bad day.

Being the office pessimist is not going to get you the recognition you feel you deserve.

It’ll get you recognized for sure, but just long enough to get you replaced. Be the bright positive ray of sunshine that people look forward to running into each day.

When you change your attitude you change your life. 

3. You’re Not Reliable

You show up late, leave early, take a long lunch. You overpromise and underdeliver. You’ve made a name for yourself. But for all the wrong reasons.

If you want to be valuable to others, you need to be a person of integrity.

Always try your hardest to meet the deadline. Show up to meetings on time. Don’t make promises you’re not sure you can keep. Your character speaks volumes about you.

So if your reputation precedes you, let it be one of value. 

4. You Lack Originality

Though it’s true most of us are not trying to reinvent the wheel, we need to try to come up with new, innovative, cutting-edge ideas. Boring — all the time — is bad. And boring.

If you just keep regurgitating the words and works of others, you’ll definitely be useful — but only as a reference guide.

But you won’t be sought after for your ability to think outside the box. And you most certainly won’t be the one to call for fresh insight. 

5. You’re Just Difficult

You don’t have to be in the movies to be dubbed a “diva” who is hard to work with. It happens on every vertical.

You can have the best ideas and the best plan. But if people would rather pull their fingernails out one by one because it sounds more pleasant than meeting you for lunch,` your business dealings may end up becoming scarce. Your options are limited. Significantly.

Be easy to work with. Pair your great ideas with a great disposition. And then you’ll have value. 

6. You’re Only Doing It for the Money

Money keeps us afloat. We need it to survive in the world. But if you are only doing what you’re doing for the love of money, it will be evident. Your time is limited. Your value is limited.

There is something oddly distasteful about the work that comes from people who only care about money. That attitude destroys any beauty or charm.

There is a clear difference between someone who is doing what they love and someone who is just trying to get a paycheck.

Usually, that difference is sheer joy. Valuable people find joy in everything, including their work. And damn, it is so attractive to see.

7. You’re Living to Work

Entrepreneurs are expected to put in long hours and endless days. But even God took a day off in the Bible after 6 days.

It’s great that you want to work tirelessly while pursuing your dream. But if you are exhausted and burnt out, it will eventually start to show.

If you don’t value your sleep, your time, your health, and your overall well-being, it will be difficult to convince others of your value. Self-care is imperative for success. 

Plus, you’ll struggle to bond with others who have a life and opportunity outside of work.

8. You’re Not Trusting

You have managers for a reason. To manage. You have supervisors to supervise. You have an accountant to keep count.

Let your team do the things you’ve tasked them to do. When you are always looking over their shoulders, it’s not only a waste of your time. It’s also a clear indicator to them that you just don’t quite trust them.

Trust is valuable — and a two-way street.

Let the people around you know that you trust them to do what you’re paying them to do. And then actually trust them to do it. You’ll be pleasantly surprised and you’ll free up some time for yourself, too. 

9. You’re Not Productive

It’s all too easy to get distracted by all the other things you have going on in your life and at work.

Maybe you’re that person who doesn’t think it’s important to make a priority list and focus on one thing at a time until you get everything done.

Maybe you’re that person who does a little bit of work on all of your tasks at the same time — and find yourself completely overwhelmed and distracted.

You need to figure out the best way to be as productive as possible. Maybe it’s a task list. Maybe it’s time blocking. Maybe it’s hyper-focusing until you get the most important thing done. It’s probably all of those.

Whatever you need to do to be productive, find it and do it. 

10. You’re Greedy

You don’t have to give half of your earnings away every month.

You don’t even have to give any of it away if you don’t want to. But science has proven that people who give are happier and more successful. And don’t you want to be happier? And successful?

There are numerous ways to give back. Some of them include: 

  • donating money to your favorite charity
  • starting a charity of your own
  • feeding a homeless person
  • working at a soup kitchen and feeding many homeless people
  • donating your time to give free advice or mentoring

There are endless ways to give of your time and resources. When you find the one that speaks to you, life will start to look different. And you will see your value multiply. 

It’s not just about being business savvy.

Lots of people have that skill. You have to be a valuable person. You have to be the kind of person people look forward to seeing each day, each week, each month. 


If you’re not sure whether you are valuable in business, make sure that you don’t fit any of the criteria on this list. 

You won’t become a rockstar overnight, but you will notice an attitude shift in those around you.

You don’t just wake up awesome. You practice daily. And then you share the love. 

About the author

Dan Waldschmidt

Dan Waldschmidt doesn’t just talk about leveling up. He’s obsessed with it. He's set records as an ultra-runner and been the personal strategist for the leading business leaders of our time. He wrote a book, called EDGY Conversations that accidentally became a worldwide bestseller and continues to share his insights from the stage as a keynote speaker and on the blogs and podcasts you will find here. Most days, you'll find Dan heads-down, working on breakthrough strategies for his clients at EDGY Inc, a highly-focused, invite-only, business strategy execution company based out of Silicon Valley.