5. Find and Live Your Business’s Core Values
Your core values are a guidepost for how you run your business and, most likely, how you live your life. As you get ready to kick off a brand new year, you’re probably making important decisions about your schedule, your goals, and likely even your pricing. Having a clear handle on your core values is essential to your success.
Instead of flying by the seat of your pants, take some time to review your current values and update them to reflect where you are right now.
This week on the podcast, I’m sharing how to do the ultimate exercise to set yourself up for doing 2023 in a way that showcases your core values without focusing on the aspirational – but not realistic ones.
Links and Resources:
Tracy Jepson 0:10
Whether you’re looking to grow or ready to scale and so navigating the challenges you face as a business owner are hard, and knowing which steps to take next can be overwhelming. Each week on Beyond the bank account, I will walk you through overcoming the overwhelm and confusion around your business. From the bottom line and beyond. I’ve worked behind the scenes and in the weeds of small businesses, including several my own for over 20 years, and I have a personal mission of guiding owners to have profitable sellable businesses while living the life that you’ve always dreamed.
Tracy Jepson 0:37
Welcome back to beyond the bank account, as we start to look forward to the new year, coming around the corner, we are setting goals, we are changing prices, we are working out our budgets, and ensuring that all of our goals are going to be met in 2023, I’d really like to ask you, how are you making those decisions? I mean, yes, we’ve gone through how to price and how to select the type of clients that we want to work with. But what are really the driving forces behind those decisions for you, for most companies, they’re flying by the seat of their pants, and they’re making their money, make the decisions for them, they’re making sure that they’re making the bottom line and that they’re able to cover expenses. But they’re not necessarily making decisions that are based on any type of value of the owner or the employees, I firmly believe that core values should be something that drives your company. And that drives you personally, I was at a conference recently, and we had to sit down and write our list of core values out and the company gave us this great little list of probably 150 words that we got to pick from. And I will tell you, there was a lot of really cool things on that list like work life, balance, family, happiness, making sure that you know, you have honesty, and all of those kinds of upstanding morals, all great and fine.
Tracy Jepson 1:49
All of these values that were listed, probably would have been really great on anyone’s top five list. But the interesting thing is, when I was listening to some of the women talk about the core values that they selected, I felt like a lot of them were aspirational. I was sitting next to women who I know and know well, and they were saying that family is a core value, they were telling me that balance is a core value. And I know for a fact that they don’t have either of those, their family comes second to their business, their balance is completely out of whack. And unfortunately, they aren’t able to meet their customers goals, they’re not necessarily able to meet their own goals, their employees feel like they’re floundering core values are something that should drive you instinctually. And something that you never want to waver away from. As you’re selecting core values for yourself or for your business. I want you to skip the aspiration, what is truly the meaningful drive behind your spirit behind your business, behind the decisions that you make in your personal life. And what’s the best way to figure these out. So you can take a little list and look at 150 different words and just pick them randomly. Or you can really dive in and decide what in your life is going to be determining these core values. I would encourage you to grab a piece of paper, pause this podcast after I give you the list of things to consider. And really write down what is meaningful in your life. Write down a list of people, the people who you admire the people you look up to? Who is it that you that you are inspired by? Who is it that you enjoy the way they are with other people whose success do you aim to replicate?
Tracy Jepson 3:32
Next, I want you to consider the experiences you’ve had in your life. What has been impactful to you? What types of events have created you and shaped the person that you are? Have some of these events been traumatic? Are these events that you never want to have happen again? Are they Disneyland happiness? Have there been some things in your life like the day your first child was born, or the day you got married, or the day you got divorced? What events in your life have been the most meaningful to you write those down. Once you have both the people that you admire, and the experiences that you have had, and how they have shaped you, I want you to start looking for a common theme amongst them. Are there things that we’re looking at that we just don’t want to repeat? Are there the things that we wish that we did have or the events that we actually want to repeat for others? Do we want to make somebody feel the way that we felt in those moments? Once you’ve identified sort of the central theme amongst all of these, I want you to select your core values. Now, you can find that list of 150 words on about any website if you throw it into Google. James clear has an incredible website that talks all about core values, and I really do recommend his we will link that in the show notes so that way you can find it.
Tracy Jepson 4:53
And let’s say that now that you’ve gotten core value selected, and I recommend picking about five What does it really going to take to integrate these into your life and into your organization? How can you use these five core values, in your hiring, in your work in your selection of clients in the way that you move in your community in the way that you move in your family? How are these going to be integrated? With every decision that I make in my business or in my life, I reflect on my five core values that I have, for me, their growth, determination, trustworthiness, community, and balance. And if something doesn’t fit in alignment with those five things, it’s a no, it’s been a trend on social media lately, but there is a lot of memes and pictures out there that just say, if it’s not a Hell, yes, it’s a hell no. And I think that your core values can absolutely help drive that for you. Core values, make it really, really easy to say no, to decisions, and to opportunities that aren’t in alignment with where you’re going. By making every decision based on those values. It will show your employees, it will show your clients, it will show your family that what you say, mean something, and the decisions that you make aren’t just out of left field. Maybe you’re crunched for money in your business. And so all of a sudden you want to bring on a client, that’s not a great fit. This is going to show your team that your values are flexible, and being morally flexible, isn’t good. And for so many reasons.
Tracy Jepson 6:29
In 2002, Patrick Lencioni wrote an incredible article for the Harvard Business Review, where he talked about making values mean something, he told a story about a corporation, whose corporate whose list of corporate values included communication, respect, integrity, and excellence. I mean, that sounds really good, right? They might even resemble your own values. If so, you might want to be nervous. Those are the corporate values of Enron, as claimed in its 2000 annual report. And as we all know, they’re absolutely meaningless. So once you do go through and select your core values, I would encourage you to sit down with the people around you, the people that mean the most, maybe that’s your family, maybe it’s your team, probably both should be included in the conversation at different times. But I want you to really talk about the core values that you’ve selected. Because there may be people in your life that those don’t fit with that those don’t feel good to them, you may have team members who don’t align with the values that you’ve selected. And you may have to make the decision to let them go, even if they’re really good at their job.
Tracy Jepson 7:38
Can you imagine having people on your team who are just going day to day and not actually participating in the business in the way that you want it to feel if they don’t share your core values, if your core value is customer service as a top priority, which again, is a great one, but they don’t feel that way. And they have short emails to people, or they don’t want to have the kind of types of conversations that you want them to have with clients, are they a good fit? From the moment you start interviewing somebody to work within your company, to the day that they leave, they should absolutely know and feel what your core values for that company, or for you personally are. And that’s the same way for people in your life. They should just know, based on the way you treat them based on the way you treat others. Based on what you make in your priority list. Does your calendar reflect your core values? Does your bank account reflect your core values, I always say that I can tell a new client exactly what their priorities are by looking at their spending, if they say that they want to save money, and I can see that they’re going to Starbucks every day, I can tell you that they are not in alignment with what they’re saying. I can tell by my husband’s calendar on what his priorities are, I can tell by my own.
Tracy Jepson 8:59
When I missing out on a priority. I said that balance is one of the things that is the most important to me. And when I begin to feel overwhelmed or begin to look at my calendar, and see that really balance is not something that’s happening, I need to take a step back, reflect on what I’m doing, make sure that my decisions are the correct ones. And decide what I need to say no to. Sometimes that means turning down a board opportunity. Sometimes that means stopping volunteering for an organization that you have a deep passion for. Sometimes it means picking up a book when you are watching TV or instead of going to a friend’s outing that you don’t really want to attend because you need some self care time. All of those things are okay. And the people around you should understand that because they understand your core values as well. I would just really encourage you to take time as the New Year’s beginning and make sure that you know what your core values are. So when it comes to those hard decisions around pricing, budgeting, bringing on new team members, deciding how you’re going spend your weekend that everything can be in complete alignment with your core values, the things that intrinsically move you through life. The things that move you through life unapologetically.
Tracy Jepson 10:12
Sticking to your core values is a challenge that I give you for 2023 and selecting things that aren’t aspirational, but have true deep meaning. If you have more questions around how to select your core values, or how to know that the decisions that you’re making in your business are actually in alignment, shoot me a message on my website, Tracy jepsen.com/podcast and send me anything that you have or that you want to chat about or join one of my open office hours. There will be a link in the show notes and on my podcast website, Tracy jepsen.com/podcast. So you can join one of the conversations live each month. I hope you have a very happy new year and I will see you in January.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
What's your Value Builder Score?
Our research shows that companies achieving a score of 80+ out of a possible 100 get offers that are 71% higher than the average company. Whether you want to sell soon or run your business for decades, getting and growing your score makes economic sense and there is no better time to start than now.