As an entrepreneur, your to-do list is never-ending.
Every day, you’ve got big decisions to make that could ultimately have a major effect on the trajectory of your business and your reputation in the community.
It’s a lot of pressure when you don’t have a barometer for decision making.
That’s where your values come in.
When my husband and I got engaged, I had a couple of friends who were deep into wedding planning hell! They were so stressed out. I remember seeing them in constant fights with their best friend, or their mother, or both. The whole process did not look fun at all.
So after Andrew proposed, we sat down that very same day and talked about how we wanted to experience the process of being engaged, the time of planning our wedding, and the actual event itself.
I know… super romantic, right?
Together, we discussed how we wanted to feel, what we wanted to remember, and what was most important to us both when it came to planning our wedding and the big day itself.
We came up with two core values that served as our barometer for every decision we had to make.
Fun + Stress-Free. (Can I get an Amen?!)
When it came to every decision about our wedding, if it wasn’t fun or stress-free, we just didn’t do it!
Our wedding was informal, relaxed, intimate, and just plain awesome. Sure, there was no big band, no bridal party, no piles of gifts. But every moment of our journey from getting engaged to saying “I do” was fun and free of stress.
I know our dream wedding came to be because we made decisions based on our hearts rather than our heads. We relied on our values to quiet the wedding planning noise.
So how does this apply to your business?
For me, the number one core value of my business is contribution. I strive to inspire and empower my team. I work to educate and assist my clients. I love igniting a fire in new customers as well as my audience at large.
When it comes to every business decision I make, I first ask myself: How can I contribute?
So for instance, when I’m preparing to launch a program, I reside in the place of generosity first. Only after I’ve decided how I’m going to contribute to my dream client’s career and/or life do I look at what I’m going to call the program, what it will look like, and what I’m going to charge for it.
The side effect of making my decisions based on my values is what I call Accidental Branding. Everything I’m putting out is automatically aligned with my brand experience because it all grows from the seed that is contribution.
So how do you determine what your values are?
If you’re a coach, you’ve probably done a values assessment, a commonly used tool in the coaching world. So, you could dive in and do a big ol’ values assessment looking at the work of Steve Pavlina, for example.
Or you could make it simple and ask yourself:
- When it comes to the experience I create, what do I want to be known for?
- How do I want to feel every day as I run my business?
How you answer these two questions can serve as your barometer for how you make your decisions.