There’s a new word I’m sick of.
Not awesomesauce or amazeballs. Both of those sound swampy and musky and wet or hairy, respectively, but they’ve become so common they’ve worn me down. Like skinny jeans did in 2007, and bellbottoms will once again this year. Yeah, you think you won’t go back to a flare jean, but you will!
Anyway, the word is: VALUE.
As in, “Add value.” “Deliver value.” “Provide massive value.”
K, it’s not a new word. But it’s newly used out the ying-yang. Everyone in business, or at least my business circle, says it.
“If you want people to buy from you, get known for delivering tons of value.”
“I love that chick! Her hair color is so rad and she adds so much value! She’s like a nonstop value machine. She’s my value mentor.”
“You’re listening to the Value Blast Podcast, and you’d better duck, Value Nation! Because you’re about to be hit with Value Bomb after Value Bomb.”
You know when a word is so familiar that it sounds weird and loses its meaning? I now hear it as val-yoo. Valle-yew. Vajalue. (That’s when you add value to your vajayjay.)
I like to mentally substitute other random words, like “cream cheese” when I hear it.
“That webinar was packed with cream cheese from beginning to end. I walked away with so much cream cheese that I can use in my own business.”
“I love your newsletter because it always gives me some takeaway cream cheese nugget.”
I don’t disagree with the concept of value (the V-word) —
Of bringing something to the table. Of being worth our time and attention. Of offering something we’re glad we came for.
It’s not the overuse of the V-word that truly bothers me, so much as how limiting it’s become for some of us who hear it.
The V-word has us scared to create.
‘Specially if we’re part of this entreprenerd world. We get afraid we’re not “bringing value,” because it’s become shorthand for “actionable advice you can implement to skyrocket your life and business.”
Or maybe it’s just me. Sometimes I’ll think about writing a story on my blog — about fighting with my husband over a bite of steak, or about the crusty, electric-blue Hot Sox I wore every day of 6h grade. And if I can’t find a way to shoehorn in something usable for your business, I worry that it won’t “deliver value.”
And that’s so not true. Just from a blog/ newsletter perspective, there are all kinds of other ways to provide value, worth, cream cheese, gouda, whatever you want to call it.
I get [V-word] from you if you…
Make me laugh
Get me teary-eyed
Give me goosebumps
Get me riled up
Gross me out
Make me drool
Show me something pretty, or something f’d up
Inspire me, or at least make me think I’m inspired (enough to do that thing later)
Give me a 10-minute reason not to do my work
Make me feel like I’m not the only crazy one
Make me feel like I’m less of a mess than you are (just being honest here)
Make me feel a little smarter than when I woke up
Make me say, “I remember that show/store/cartoon character/weird-ass fashion trend! I haven’t thought about that in years!”
Give me dirt on someone I know, or someone I feel like I know (Real Housewives)
Tell me something you shouldn’t be telling me
Tell me about a movie, book or TV show that’ll be my new favorite
Do something radical, like a one-sentence post with no punctuation, that makes me think, “Damn, you can do that?”
And you know what?
You even deliver [V-word] by being insufferable. Do you post selfies of yourself with utter lies about how great your life and job are, full of #gratitude to the #wonderful staff in the #VirginFirstClassLounge? I will joyfully hate-follow to the ends of the virtual earth. THAT is value.
Have you noticed this “value” trend?
Does it bug you? Trip you up?
What provides val-yoo for you?
How do you add v-word/ cream cheese to the world?