Welcome to the first informative post in my new series An In-Focus Unfolding. Today I’m sharing how easy it is to run a values based business! Before I started working with a business coach, I never really thought about ‘values’ – in life, much less a values based business! I mean, most of us are probably living according to our values without even knowing it, but think how much more powerful your actions can be if you are putting in that extra bit of thought based on what you value!
I did a fun exercise in the Dominican Republic last year when I was there with Megan and Cat (visit their websites here and here). I won’t go into all the details (you can contact them for that!), but the gist of the exercise was to get us thinking about a time in our lives when we felt amazing. We thought about that experience and picked out the feelings we had during it. From there we were able to distill what really matters to us – our values.
That exercise really made an impact and I used it to work in more activities each day that aligned with my values. My life magically improved! This same exercise came into play almost a year later when I was making the decision to leave my day job.
I did a lot of what I thought was soul searching in the weeks leading up to the decision, but what I was really doing was worrying and over thinking. My mind and ego were racing with logistical road blocks and what-ifs. My soul and heart weren’t involved at all. During a coaching call with Megan she asked what I needed to do to make the decision from my heart versus from my brain, and my answer was to sit down and review my values.
I did the exercise from the DR again, came up with ten values, and took it a step further this time. I asked myself how my business aligned with my values versus how my day job aligned with those values. Turns out, I was running a values based business! But of ten values, only three showed up on my day job list. I figured I could put in some extra work to bring the other seven values into my day job, OR I could put that energy into expanding my values based business and really make it soar!
I think we know what happened from there.
Today I actually have those ten values drawn out on paper and hung on my bedroom wall across from my bed as a daily reminder. I regularly evaluate my business based on those values. If I’m feeling blah or dejected about something within my business, I figure out how I can work them in more both in my day to day life as well as within my business activities. This makes it fun, like a game, and really keeps things interesting!
I’ll give you an example:
When I’m feeling uninspired, I take a look at my list of values to see what I can work in. One of my values is ‘connection.’ So I’ll take my dog for a walk because ‘connection’ for me means connection to myself, to nature, and to others. By going on a walk, I’m in nature (check!), being quiet with myself (check!), connecting with my pup (check!), and connecting with anyone else I see on the walk who inevitably wants to say hi and pet Milli (because she’s adorable) (check!). Or I’ll schedule dinner with a friend. That one incorporates lots of my values: connection, play, joy, creativity, success.
To relate that to business, I’ll check in with a client to see how they’re doing leading up to their wedding or draft a newsletter. I’m using one of my values (connection) to influence and make better my business.
If this post resonated with you and you want to make your own list of values, go for it! You could even reach out to Megan for a coaching session so she can walk you through the exercise I did! (I believe she gives complimentary first sessions to new clients.)
Thank you for reading today! Going forward I’m going to decide on the topic for each post according to what’s resonating with me that week.
See you next Friday and have a great weekend! And enjoy these photos of the cherry blossoms from this year’s peak bloom!