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  • Writer's pictureJesse Haynes

Prioritizing Deliverables over Degrees

In June of 2019, I picked up my diploma from the student center at the University of Tulsa on my way to record a podcast episode for work.

Do you know what I did with it?

I lost it.

Well, not quite. But I did forget it and leave it behind in the podcasting lab.

Fortunately, somebody found it and reached out to me and I got it back, but it’s still in a box somewhere at my house.

The point of this story is not that I’m forgetful—the podcast that I went to make for work was top-notch—but rather that I’ve never been one to care about the degrees or educational accomplishments of my past.

Instead, I’m the kind to prioritize something else: deliverables.

This has been on my mind recently as I’ve been scrolling through my LinkedIn and seeing a rising number of people with their degree included with their name.

Before I upset anybody, understand that this is just a opinion and a frame for perception. If you’re one of these people, I’m not targeting you. Be proud of your degree(s), by all means. Be “Ron Johnson MBA PhD J.D.” if that’s your style. I'm proud of mine!

But you want to know while I will never be “Jesse Haynes, MBA” on LinkedIn? Or why I don’t have a framed copy of my diploma hanging in my office?

Simply put, if I need my degree to catch your eye or interest, then everything else I’m doing is lacking.

At Content Ninja, my personal goal is to provide my clients with the highest quality of deliverable possible, and by doing that I’ll establish lasting relationships, positive reviews, word-of-mouth referrals, which will give me more people to serve to the best of my ability.

In short, I want to be judged by my deliverables, not just my degree.

My work should do the talking.

Content creation is not an easy industry to break into to because so many people do it. During 2020, it seemed anybody with a knack for wordsmithing and an ounce of business or branding sense tried their hand at copywriting. Lots of new voices emerging meant more difficulty getting established and growing a content company.

Fortunately, I’ve been blessed to form some great connections within my first year as a content creator. I’ve built a network of amazing people that challenge me, support me, and work with me as together we work to maximize their success while helping Content Ninja grow.

But for both myself and my company, I will take the next ten years like I’ve taken the first: full of ambition, drive, and motivation to be the best at what I do so my client’s reap rewards from my branding, copywriting, marketing, and content creation services.

And at the end of the day, I don’t want to be paid for just my degree or “expertise.” I want to be paid for my deliverables.

While your degrees and experience can help you do a great job with your work, actually doing consistently great work will separate yourself from the pack and take you a lot further than a few extra letters in your title ever will.

That’s why I encourage you to take a breath, zoom out, and ask yourself if lately you’ve been letting your credentials or your product do the talking. It’s never fun, but it’s always important to reevaluate and make sure your focus is on your content as you work with your client.

Keeping the focus in the right place will lead to success for you and your brand, while also earning the highest respect from all your clients and building rock-solid relationships with them.

In the end, that’s what we’re all after, right?

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