Your business is different than every other business because of your values.
That’s nice, but what are values? They are the set of beliefs and ideas by which you live and run your business. Every decision, view, and behavior you have, or make, is guided by your values.
As a successful entrepreneur you need to understand what values are and which values you have that guide you.
One of the most important things to remember when thinking about your values is that they are not the same as your morals and ethics. Yes, your morals and ethics will influence your values, but they are not the same thing.
Morals are beliefs you have about what is acceptable behavior or action and what is unacceptable behavior or action. Ethics are the principles that guide your conscience when decision making. Values are your judgment on what is important enough, worthy enough, or useful enough to spend your time doing it.
You will have values in your personal life, business life, and social life. Most likely these will even overlap. There are going to be some specific to each area, but you are one person, therefore your values should hold true no matter which situation you are in.
Your values need to be congruent in all areas of your life.
Whatever your values are, you want them to be congruent with those of your business. As an entrepreneur, it is extremely important that you always acknowledge and demonstrate your values. You are the image of your business. While large companies can choose who they want to be as the image of their company, you do not have that luxury. You need to make sure that your values align in all areas of your life.
When your values do not align and you begin behaving in a different way than that of your business, you will begin to lose the integrity you worked so hard to build. You will lose the respect of your clients and your business will begin to sink.
You may also find that when your values are not aligned:
- You will have less energy at the end of the day
- You may experience burnout
- You will be in a bad mood
- Your mood and behavior will have a negative impact on your friends and family
- Your business will suffer
However, when your values align you are going to thrive in life and business. This is your main goal.
When all the areas in your life align with the same values, you will feel energized and excited about your business. You will be inspired to take action and put forth your full potential. You will be dedicated to making your business succeed.
You may also find that when your values align:
- People enjoy being around you and you around them
- Your client base grows because you are respected
- You are less stressed
- You enjoy what you do
- You can see your business growing
Core Values are the foundation of your business’ identity
Think of them as being the center of your business. All decisions and actions taken toward growing your business (your goals, how you build relationships, team members you hire) should be determined by your philosophies, principles, and beliefs – your values. They are what make your business unique so that it can stand out from the crowd.
Do you find it difficult to succinctly explain your business to others? Are you unsure which values you should have for your business?
It is okay to say yes, it simply means that you have a new challenge to overcome so that you can propel your business forward.
If you said yes, then it is time to evaluate your own personal core values. They are what will give you the competitive edge because they are unique to you. No other business owner will have the same set of core values.
Determine what makes you happy, what makes you feel confident. Once you know your core values, you will discover that you are drawn to projects and people with similar values. Those people will become your ideal clients.
How do you align your business values with your values?
Begin by making a list of all your values[Connect to “how to find my values” post], or which values you want to represent you. I say “or want” because sometimes using this line of thought gives you the permission you need to think deeply about this. Once you know what your values are, you can begin aligning them with your business.
You should always have your values written down. I suggest creating a small poster with them listed to hang on a wall so that you can see them every day.
Next, write a list of the core values for your business. Then, look over both lists. IF they DO NOT match most of your personal values, you need to figure out why. You will have a few different values because a business is different than your personal life, but the core values should be the same.
Just as you did with your values, write your core values down. I suggest creating a small poster and hanging it for these too.
Your business values should also be listed in your business plan. Remember your values are your guide for all decision making and actions that you take to propel your business forward.
Once you have both lists created, think about how they make you feel. If they make you feel proud, then they are great values. If you feel like you can live up to them every day, then they are who you are – plus they will represent your ideal clients too.
Having your values aligned will help you and your business flourish.
Everything you say and do announces your values and sincerity to the world. It also shows how you respect your values. Successful entrepreneurs also demonstrate their values by talking about them whenever the conversation leads to them, explaining how they affect your decision making, and showing how proud you are of your values.
Living by your values every day will let your clients, team members, and family know what kind of person you are and whether they should work with you.