What does it take to do that, to create that business that you really love? The answer is not something many entrepreneurs have probably thought of. Most of the time, we hear things like marketing, social media strategies, building an audience to move our business forward which are all great yet they may not truly fuel our passion and our purpose.
But this one unexpected thing will make a tremendous difference in how you show up in your business, how fulfilled you are in your business. And my friend, that translates into how you bring your best to your clients.
So what is that one thing? This one thing that can make such a difference is being true to your values.
That one thing that can be the differentiator between a business that you love and a business that is frustrating is being true to your values.
When I talk about values, I really mean those beliefs and principles that motivate and guide your actions. But how do you get there? How can you be true to your values in your business. Here are three steps that will move you in that direction.
1. Get clear on your values
What are your values? What are the things that are important for you? Is it achievement? Is it adventure? Is it having fun in your business? Is it learning? Is it meaningful work? I'll tell you one of mine is freedom. I value freedom. This is why I've created my business the way that I have.
Identify your top three, no more than five, values that are important to you.
When you're not clear on what your values are, essentially, nothing is a priority. It's so easy to move and get shifted and get lost in the shuffle because there's no way for you to prioritize what's truly important, which drives your actions, and your behaviors.
2. Know your “why” behind your values
One of my values is freedom. I value freedom because it gives me the flexibility to be anywhere in the world and do the work that I do. I'm location-independent. That's my “why.” Your “why” really helps to drive the value home. Think of your value as your business GPS, navigator, and the “why” behind your values are the coordinates that help you stay anchored or rooted that will support you getting to your destination. Without those coordinates in your GPS, you can go all over the place. Unfortunately, I see entrepreneurs who get confused, they’re indecisive, they get stuck in their business, and it all goes back to a lack of support to anchor them to what’s most important.
3. Live out your values
The third thing you want to ask yourself is, "How do you live out your values in your business? How do your values show up? Where are they in your business?"
Values don't mean anything if we don't put them into action.
For example, if you value peace, then you probably don't deal with clients that become unreasonable. You just don't deal with that because it's a value of yours to maintain peace and harmony. If that's a priority, you choose and set up your business not to deal with clients that are unreasonable. This may simply mean you are perfectly okay with releasing a client who exhibits diva tendencies. Have you ever heard of firing a client? That’s living out your values regardless of any perceived lost. And you free up space to work with clients that align with who you are and create a mutually beneficial relationship.
I saw another example of this a couple of years ago, I was watching an episode of "Oprah," "SuperSoul Sunday. She was interviewing DeVon Franklin. He's a producer, preacher and writer. He was talking about a time in his career when he interviewed with Will Smith at his production company. They had opportunities there and he wanted to work with Will.
During the interview, Will talked about the availability of the team who worked all types of hours, on the weekend, and during the weekday. For Devon this would be an issue because he didn’t work from Friday sundown to Saturday sundown due to his spiritual practices. In that moment, he had to make a critical decision to either cave in for the job he wanted or hold true to his values. You can imagine there was fierce competition and many applicants who would fit right into that schedule. After all, this was an opportunity to work with one of the top actors in Hollywood.
Many would be intimidated to even bring something like that up, thinking, "Wow, I'll lose the job if I'm not available during the time that they want me." Devon wasn’t one of them. He openly shared his values and the limits of his availability, and guess what? He got the job. That was an eye-opener regarding the ability to demonstrate your values especially when the stakes are high.
If your values are one thing and your actions seriously contradict that, then think, "What's that creating?"
You're not going to be happy with your business. You're not going to be as motivated in your business. Unfortunately, I've seen so many entrepreneurs that either run out of money or run out of motivation, and you don't want to be in either of those positions.
That's why it's so important that you create a business that aligns with your values and be true to whatever those values are.
My hope is that this has you thinking and moving into action to get you that much closer to where you want to be.
About the Author: Michele Thompson Rosario, CEO of Bright Effects, helping entrepreneurs get clients, get traffic, and get results.