The Self-Worth Safari

Valuing Your Life and Your Work

John Niland

In your career and work, finances, and indeed all areas of life, experience the transformative power of a key relationship—the friendship you have with yourself.

In a world obsessed with building self-esteem—doing activities to improve our reputation with ourselves—our sense of well-being hinges on performance, the whims of good luck, and positive outcomes. But when we don’t measure up to our own tough standards, things don’t go our way, or life falls apart, we are called to access a deeper source of resilience, that of self-worth. In The Self-Worth Safari, author, speaker, and business coach John Niland invites us on a powerful adventure to uncover this intrinsic state of value, which is ultimately untouched by changing fortune.

Along the journey, seven self-worth shifts reorient our perspective. Through simple, practical actions, we train ourselves to step off the hamster wheel of self-esteem and onto the less-traveled paths of self-worth. We move from a stance of self-reproach to self-acceptance; from constantly evaluating our performance to focusing on our usefulness to clients, customers, and others; from a preoccupation with “being interesting” to finding interest in the people and circumstances around us. By applying these shifts through six key “terrains” of life—the body, relationships and family, career and work, money and status, friendship, and environment and leisure—we develop a faithful ally in challenging times. We better rebound from setbacks, find new meaning in what we do, and honor ourselves as a valuable member of any enterprise or team.

An adept, highly knowledgeable, and often humorous guide, Niland offers stories from his own life and from previous Safari participants to illuminate self-worth in action. Drawing on more than nineteen years as a business coach, he provides a proven path to self-worth, on which we learn to build confidence, trust ourselves, and take a new lease on happiness and freedom.


“John Niland gets to the heart of the deep lack of worth that afflicts so many people, even those who are unaware of the affliction. As a CEO coach, I often work with leaders who feel a relentless need to prove themselves and gain external validation. They oscillate between soaring self-esteem when the going is good, and sinking imposter syndrome when something is not going to plan. The greatest leaders operate from an innate sense of self-worth which enable them to focus on making betting choices and being of service rather than on the flashy deals or grand moves which, at their roots, are really more about ego than value.”

“An inspiring read for anyone grappling with issues of confidence or self-esteem. What often holds people back is not skill or education or network, but their sense of self-worth. Filled with wisdom and practical tools, this is a timely read in today’s world.”

“John Niland’s deep insights about value have brought tangible rewards to our sales team: at least $4 million in the first three years. Self-worth enables sales professionals to achieve more.”

“Lord Chesterfield advised, ‘A man had better overvalue than undervalue himself… Whatever real merit you have, other people will discover; and people always magnify their own discoveries, as they lessen those of others.’ In The Self-Worth Safari, John Niland beautifully expands on this sage advice. This is a compelling and action-oriented guide on learning to befriend and value oneself. Peppered with humor and story, this is a must-read for anyone struggling with how to value themselves or live up to their own expectations, creating a reputation with themselves of which they can be proud.”


The Self-Worth Safari shows you how to stop being a slave to your own self-doubt and anxiety, and ultimately discover more joy by becoming your own best friend.”

“A fresh perspective on how self-worth is fundamental, at the core of every human being’s ability to be impactful.”


John Niland is best known as a conference speaker and coach with VCO Global, focusing on supporting professionals to raise the value of their work and create opportunity through better dialogue with their customers and marketplace.

John graduated in philosophy only to discover that his native Ireland had limited requirements for philosophers in the 1980s and that supply greatly exceeded demand. He hurriedly cross-trained into computer science and lived in disguise as a systems analyst/project leader for fifteen years, managing large pan-European projects for fast-moving consumer goods, retail, and petrochemical organizations until even the money could not induce him to continue. He then set up his own systems company and soon discovered how little he knew about managing people. The real learning began: how to develop business with people rather than for them.

Since 2000, John has been coaching others to achieve success, with increasing misgivings about the value of this, until he discovered a passion for supporting those who wish to contribute rather than just to win and hence produce some real value: both social and economic. With trademark humor, he’s a popular speaker at professional conferences on raising the value of work, value-centered selling, and negotiation.

In parallel, John is one of the co-founders of the European Forum of Independent Professionals, reflecting nineteen years of coaching more than 600 professionals to create more value in their work. His books include The Courage to Ask and the ebooks Hidden Value and Opportunity Conversations (all available on John is passionate about raising the value of professional services and inspiring contributors to find meaning in work.

He currently lives in both Lisbon and London and still talks about settling down someday.

ISBN 978-1-5272-3548-9
$21.00 CAD $16.95 USD
Published March 21, 2019
5.5 × 8.5 328 Pages
Paperback, ebook