Creating value is something that you have to do in order to continue to work.
Part of that value is simple name recognition. But you have to dig deeper than that. What is name recognition, really? It’s simply this: you’ve been doing the work, you’ve been doing it well, and you’ve been doing it long enough for people to start recognizing you for it. Maybe the recognize the way you do something.
I grew up as a black man in suburbia. My neighborhood wasn’t that rough. I listened to r&b, rap, and pop for the most part. I didn’t listen to much “white people music” until I got to high school. One of my friends in elementary school had introduced me to Metallica’s Master of Puppets, and I liked it well enough. It wasn’t a revolution, but it was good.
Then when I got to high school, I heard Metallica’s black album, and that was a revolution. And I heard a guitar riff that, to me, was emblematic of Metallica. And I heard it again on Load, and then again on Reload. Is this particular riff in every Metallica song? I have no idea. But I could not recognize the song, hear the riff, and know it was Metallica.
Name recognition adds value.
Doing the work is really the tough part when you’re just starting out. It’s easy to get discouraged. Not only do you have the learning curve and the “am I doing it right” doubts/questions we all have, you’re also trying to develop your voice. It’s a tough row to hoe, when you get down to it.
Before you can create value, you have to learn the ropes. You have to know the rules before you can break the rules, because you’ll then know how and when to break them for greatest effect.
This is how you start developing your voice.
Your voice, unique in itself and doing things that only you can do, is how you create value for something. But you have to go through it all, first. It isn’t something that happens overnight.