The Value of Service

Photo by Ashes Sitoula on Unsplash

To serve: (according to Google) to perform duties or services for another person or organization.

The word implies giving of oneself, a responsibility to deliver what was promised as well as an entitlement to receive something of perceived value.

If we look at the concept of service through that lense, it reveals its value as an act of give and take.

In our current business culture of co-working, freelancing, and collaboration it seems that the idea of service based industries would increase in value and our products would become more desirable.

However, it rarely works out that way. Perhaps it is because people do not understand the basic concepts of value, or perhaps it is something deeper than that.

Clients hire me to solve the problems in their business that they cannot solve for themselves because business and brand development is outside of their skillset. They are talented people in various industries who are very good at what they do and make good livings doing it. But we cannot be good at everything and so we hire help.

Before you hire a service professional — whether that be a hairdresser, an auto mechanic, a logo designer, a real estate agent, a financial advisor, a brand strategist or anyone else who charges for service — you need to make sure your head is in the right place to start this relationship.

Otherwise, you will definitely not get what you are paid for and the professional you hired will not have results to show for all of their hard work.

Everybody misses out on value creation in this situation, even if one of you got paid.

Be Humble

You are hiring help for a reason, remember that you are not the expert here. You have hired us to learn, to improve or change something that you are not able to on your own.

When we approach an unknown from a place of humility, we open up endless possibility to discuss, to brainstorm, to solve problems in a solution based mindset.

When we approach an unknown from a place of control and insecurity, we put up walls that block progress. It is quite human to do this and this mindset can satisfy a certain emotional need to maintain control but, at the end of the day, it causes great harm to the progress and growth of your business.

It is up to you to decide what you value more: control or progress.

Ask Questions

Miscommunication, misunderstanding, misconceptions, confusion, and intimidation all come into play when hiring a professional. Don’t fight these instincts, they are there for a reason. Instead, lean into them by asking questions.

Clarity will calm your fears and assure you that you are hiring a pro. Take your time with this person and be intentional about who you hire. Ask them questions about previous work they have done, problems they have solved for clients, their biggest success, what they read, what courses they take, and ask for references.

This exploration will give you confidence to either hire or not hire this person for the job. And, if you do hire them, stay in the habit of asking questions throughout the process. Especially if you do not understand something that will affect how you do business.

Approach this interview stage from a place of curiosity and be open to the possibility that you do not know everything about your business. You will be far happier with the end result this way.

Quit Giving Excuses, Say Thank You Instead

There comes a time in the service business client relationship when the excuses start rolling in. We tell our personal trainers why we didn’t have time to work out, or our financial planners why we haven’t been mindful of our budget, or our brand strategists why we haven’t provided the data they requested.

Instead of relaying an adult version of the dog ate my homework, try saying: Thank you for your patience. I’m unsure of exactly what data you needed. Could you remind me how it will be used?

That is a question that prompts a dialogue that will provide solutions and add value to your business development. A litany of reasons as to why you haven’t held up your end of the deal is, quite frankly, a waste of time and it does a huge disservice to your business as well as your professional reputation.

Dump the Sense of Entitlement

A sense of entitlement does not serve anybody, most especially the entitled person. If you really truly feel you know more than the person you hired, then you shouldn’t have hired them in the first place. The next time you hire someone, ask more questions and find more ways to qualify them for the job.


Yup. Simple breath, in and out. Stay calm, stay focused on why you needed help in the first place. Revisit why you hired this particular person and take responsibility for your role in the relationship. If you have concerns, ask questions. If you feel they are not delivering on what they promised to serve you, bring it up to them. Then, ask more questions.

If you do the preliminary work, then you should go into this relationship confident that your needs will be fulfilled. Hope and guesswork do not build strong businesses. Concrete facts, open minds, and curious problem solving build business that sustain for years to come.

Your own sense of confidence and ego will come into play here. And the person you hire has a responsibility to honor that and lead you to a better mindset. But you must be ready, willing, and able to jump on that train with us. Otherwise, you will be left exactly where you started without having received the value of the service you paid for.



Brand Strategist and Creative Non-Fiction Writer Developing Intelligent Creative Content

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Susie Ippolito

Brand Strategist and Creative Non-Fiction Writer Developing Intelligent Creative Content