As a small business owner, you’re faced with lots of decisions everyday. Is this Instagram photo on brand? Should I give the refund? HTML or plain text newsletter?
Your decision-making process becomes much simpler once you connect to your core values.
When your core values inform your work, you feel more like yourself, and get respect, attention, and cash from the kind of people you most want to work with.
Getting cozy with your core values is a great way to reconnect with your intentions, visions, and beliefs. And these are among the cornerstones of purpose-driven work.
I dip into this kind of examination on a regular basis for the sake of clarity, finding my marketing edge, and reinvigorating my passion for what I do. If you ever hit a slump in your work, you can come back to this work for a boost.
When you think of values, you probably flash to a couple traditional words like “integrity,” or “respect.” All well and good, but I find thinking about values in that way a little floaty and disconnected from anything actionable.
We’re interested in the values that drive your work. You’re purpose-driven, after all. So let’s see what’s doing the driving. We’ll look at this from two different angles:
- Your core beliefs
- Your core guides
Your Core Beliefs
We all have beliefs about how the world or art or business works.
What do you believe?
That hard work pays off? That everyone deserves to feel beautiful? That mischief is magic? That college is overrated? That letterpress is the only way to go?
To start out, jot down a list of 6-10 things you believe that are related to your work.
Now that you can see some of your beliefs on paper, answer these questions (write them down):
- How is your work already a reflection of these beliefs?
- Are there any ways in which your work feels out of alignment with your beliefs?
- What adjustments could you make to your work to better incorporate your beliefs?
I’ve used my core beliefs to help write my about page, prioritize tasks, create new offerings, and refine my branding. Once you gain more awareness around your core beliefs, you’ll find them subtly influencing almost everything you do.
Check back next month when we’ll dive into part 2 of your core values: your core guides.