Identifying your Core Values - Building a Lifestyle Business
This post is the second in the Essential Business series and your guide to building your own lifestyle business. Every Monday I'll be sharing a new post designed to help you build the foundations of an abundant, freedom-based business. Revisit last week's post, Defining your Why here.
Now that you are clear on your WHY, I want to focus on your core values. Let me start by sharing a story with you.
7 years ago I, rather dramatically, quit my corporate career in search of more freedom, abundance and meaning. I didn't have much of a plan, only the belief that there must be more to life than what I was currently experiencing. So I started my own business.
Fast forward a couple of years and I was still chasing the freedom I craved so deeply. The reality was that I was burnt out and stressed. Instead of setting my own agenda, I was working to the timetable of my clients. I was taking on projects I wasn't passionate about and I didn't feel fulfilled.
So what happened? Well, the truth is that I started the wrong business.
I started the business I thought I should rather than taking the time to determine my core values and align my business with them. Here is why your core values are so important:
- They help determine the direction and focus of your business
- They align us with the activities that make us feel purposeful and fulfilled
- They help attract our ideal clients who share the same values
- They set the foundation for your branding
How to find your core values
Visualise yourself and your business in 5 years time
How does your business look? Feel? Look into the motivation behind your vision and start to write down some adjectives that describe that.
How do you want your audience to feel when they interact with your brand/business?
How do you want them to feel when they work with you, visit your website or engage with you on social media? By writing out these feelings, you’re also gathering many adjectives to assess as your define your core values.
Think about the brands you align with - how do they make you feel?
Get out your journal and write, write, write
Set a timer for 5 minutes and write about what's important to you. What beliefs do you hold, what matters to you? What drives you to want to start your own lifestyle business? What motivates you? Refer back to your WHY from last week - what stands out the most?
After the timer is done, go back and highlight any adjectives or words that jump out at you.
Use the core values worksheet
Download the free worksheet below and fill it out. Circle any values that you resonate with and add in any of your own that came through from the above exercises. Once you have your master list, keep reviewing it until you have around 4 or 5 key values. You may want to revisit the list over the course of a few days until you have a shortlist that feels aligned.
Once you have determined your values, you may also want to expand on them to go deeper. You can see an example of how I have done this for my core values of collaboration, community, honesty, sustainability and intention by clicking here and scrolling down.