Do You Provide Value or Extract Value?

Josh Fechter offered this really great Twitter sized look at his career path and the epiphany he found along the way:

I quit my job.

Ran out of savings.

Then took a low-paying job as a copywriter.

I bootstrapped down and moved into my Dad’s tiny apartment.

Without much space, we slept in the same room. During this time, I learned something beautiful.

Success and happiness parallel how much value we create for others.

Not how many books we read, podcasts we listen to, or YouTube videos we watch.

The problem: I had no skills. I had no money.

With few options, I began writing for many hours every day.

To focus, I stopped…

-Talking to friends who didn’t help me create value.

-Opening my Facebook News Feed.

-Paying attention to politics.

-Watching T.V. and Netflix.

-Going out to eat.

First, I wrote on my blog.

As I became a better writer, I contributed to publications.

People began to recognize and respect my ability to create value.

I left my low-pay copywriting job to work for a Facebook software company and moved out of my Dad’s apartment.

I then took a job as the VP of marketing for an events company spread across five cities, then eventually, I became the head of growth for a VC firm.

Now, I’m a founder of two companies and a 15,000-person community.

If your life is not on a successful track, then ask yourself:

Am I a consumer or a creator?

I love the concept of asking if you’re a consumer or a creator, but I like the idea of thinking about the value you provide even better.

We all know those people in our lives that only take value and never give value. We often talk about this as someone taking the energy out of us. We’ve all been there. Certain people take so much and give so little that it can literally suck the energy out of you in a very real way. No one wants to be around these type of people. Are you one of these people?

If you are someone who is like this, the good news is you can change. You can choose to start giving to others rather than always focusing on yourself. It will take time and effort, but it is possible for us to become people who provide value to others.

The irony you’ll discover in this process is that when you switch to providing value to others, you’ll find that those people often end up giving you even more back in return. It’s a beautiful cycle that we should all participate in. Whatever you’re doing, think about how you can provide others the most value possible.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference,, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.