“Your goals and the tasks you choose to accomplish your goals either align with dream and core values or they don’t. It’s that simple.” ~ Julie Connor
The Oxford dictionary defines values as the “principles or standards of behaviour; one’s judgement of what is important in life.” Over time many of us adopt personal values from our parents and others around us. Some of those values remain with us while others don’t. Those that remain often drive many of the things that we do and the decisions that we make.
Your values are essentially the compass that helps you navigate your personal and professional lives. Before becoming an entrepreneur, it’s important to take stock of your own values. What’s important to you? What’s non-negotiable? What do you use to decide on the right or the wrong move for you? If you’re able to answer these questions, you’ve built a firm foundation on which to make sound personal and business decisions. This foundation also makes it easier for you to differentiate between opportunities and distractions.
By incorporating your personal values into your business, you’re connecting your purpose with your ability to offer a service to the world. When you do this, your road as an entrepreneur doesn’t feel disconnected and foreign to you. Your business becomes more sustainable because you’re able to develop a clear mission and vision that helps you to connect with your audience. You’re also less likely to abandon your journey as an entrepreneur because you’re building a business that does more than focus purely on profit.
If you’re an entrepreneur in the early phase of setting up your business, the following questions can help you to define your personal values and connect them to your business.
Define your personal values
- What’s important to you?
- What’s non-negotiable for you?
- When do you feel the most alive or content?
- How do you want to be remembered?
Translate your personal values into behaviours
- How can you tell if you’re living your values?
- What do your values look like?
- What do you do that shows others your values?
- What do you say that shows others your values?
Transfer your personal values and behaviours (above) into your business
- How can you apply your personal values and behaviours in your business?
- How can you (and your team) live your values?
- If you were to measure it, what will confirm that you’ve successfully lived your values?
- How can the team inside your business see that you live your values?
- How can customers outside your business see that you live your values?
What impact can your personal values have on your business?
Entrepreneurs need support in connecting their personal mission with their business goals.
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