What’s Important To You Is Important To Your Business!

This is the thing. When looking for a regular 9-5 your thoughts of what is important to you are generally not considered until after you find yourself in desperate need of accommodations. If not accommodations, you find yourself really annoyed or frankly pissed off, then you start to think of what is important to you. The exercise of looking for a job that shares your same values and needs are often put aside for the right location, pay, job description and advancement opportunities. For many entrepreneurs, like yourself, this isn’t enough. 

So let me help you break that cycle. Let’s start from square one and re-prioritize the steps necessary to create your future dynasty. 

The very first step you must take is to get real about what is important to you. Let me make this clear. When I say important to you, I mean Y-O-U. Not your military component, not your country, not your family, or what your religious affiliation. What is important to {fill in your name here}?  

I’ll be honest. This will feel strange and you may feel guilty. It makes sense if you do. Women are trained from childhood to be nurturers and caregivers. We are taught how to put others in front of ourselves. This is why we make great service members. The practice of caring for your team and the mission comes naturally.

Today we are going to talk about putting your importance first, for the greater good of your business and your happiness. 

Identifying Your Values

So the first step we need to take is to identify your core values. Your core values are principles that guide your internal conduct as well as your relationships with the external world. It is how you judge what is right and wrong. All of your decision, conscious or not are weighed against your core values. When your core values are violated you become defensive, upset, annoyed or unsettled. When your core values are honored, you are more at peace, happier, and confident. Identify your core values first, then you will be able to make decisions with more clarity and confidence. 

So what do you find most important to you? Is it autonomy, wealthy, creativity? Is it relationships or organization? There are no wrong answers. I encourage you to look deeply within and really be honest with yourself. Disregard what you’ve done before and allow yourself to feel good about what naturally comes up. 

To help, I’ve attached a link to my values assessment to help you figure it out.

Download the Core Values Assessment for Free
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Case Study

In 1946 Chick-fil-a decided to close their doors on Sundays to allow their staff to worship. In 2018 they

“once again led the field with a score of 87 - its third straight year hitting the mark, which is the highest of any restaurant chain, full or limited service.” 

- Reported by Danny Klein with QRS Magazine, June 2018 issues, “Chick-fil-a has the most satisfied customers” https://www.qsrmagazine.com/fast-food/study-chick-fil-has-most-satisfied-customers

Chick-fil-a’s value statement is as such,

“To glory God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us. To have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.”

What is the correlation? Chick-fil-a has consistently led their business by Truett Cathy’s (the founder’s) personal values. Mr. Cathy has interwoven his values in every stretch of the organization, it’s service, training, and products. Because of this, Chick-fil-a continues to thrive far past Mr. Cathy’s death. He has left a legacy of excellence. In addition, Chick-fil-a’s branding is drum tight. They are able to not only attract their target audience; primarily conservative, middle class, environmentally and health conscious, Christian families; but they are also able to weather the storm of controversy and lead the way in fast food customer service. As a result, their price point is slightly higher than its competitors and all of its customers are happy to participate. 

Importance To Your Business

Core values are your organization's compass and keep your business going in the right direction. Brands that are in line with the founder's core values are strong, consistent and confident. Those who represent the organization and believe in their mission often have more buy-in. At the end of the day, core values equal leadership. 

Think of it this way. When a Soldier starts to display behavior or an attitude that is not in line with the purpose of their mission, they are often reminded of the Army Values. Leaders, peers, and subordinates often measured, in silent or aloud, by the following questions.

Are you loyal to the constitution, the Army and others in service?

Are you performing your duty with honor?

Are you treating others with respect?

Are you selflessly serving your nation and community?

Are you displaying honor by living the Army values?

Are you acting with integrity and doing what is right when no one is looking?

Do you have the personal courage to face fear, danger, and adversity?

Core values are a very important part of the foundation of your business. 

Case Study

“Etsy stock closed near a record high after the company, founded in Brooklyn 13 years ago, reported a better-than-expected 30% jump in Q2 revenue. The total value of handmade goods, vintage items and crafts supplies sold on its platform rose 20%, to $902 million, as active buyers jumped 17%, to about 36 million. Active sellers, meanwhile, rose 8.1%, to nearly 2 million.”

- Reported by Andria Cheng of Forbes, No More Of The Same: Why Mass Production Is Actually A Boon For Etsy, Amazon Handmade, August 8, 2018. https://www.forbes.com/sites/andriacheng/2018/08/08/your-rebellion-against-mass-produced-goods-promises-growth-for-etsy-amazon-handmade/#7466f43c27e2

Etsy’s values are

“We commit to our craft.

We minimize waste.

We embrace differences.

We dig deeper.

We lead with optimism.”

Due to their diligence to lead their organization by their values, they remain one of the first places crafters and makers sell their goods. Like Chick-fil-a they consistently attract their target audience of environmentally conscious crafters and makers who generally don’t fit the traditional marketplace. 

Download the Core Values Assessment for Free
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How To Interweave Core Values Into Your Business

When making decisions for your business, you should keep your core values at the forefront. You’ll make a decision with more confidence and certainty. Now, this isn’t to say you won’t make mistakes and or experience failures. What it means is that your organization will consistently operate in a manner that you will be proud of. 

Ask yourself the below questions every time you evaluate an opportunity.

  1. Does this opportunity violate your core values?
    1. Yes: Stop in your tracks and politely say no.
    2. No: Proceed to the next question.
  2. Does this opportunity satisfy a core value?
    1. Yes: Look deeper into the opportunity.
    2. No: Why doesn’t it? 
  3. Will the opportunity eventually lead to satisfying a core value?
    1. Yes: Look deeper into the opportunity.
    2. No: Stop in your tracks and politely decline. 

Incorporate your values in your vision, mission, and values statements. Your employee training, policies, and doctrine should honor them. You and your future employees should know and operate by these values regularly. 

Case Study

Service, loyalty, honesty, and integrity are the 4 values USAA operates by. USAA addresses veterans (regardless of status) with their last highest rank. They treat service members and their families with the same level of service and respect and are open about their rates and market comparison to competitors. 

“According to research from Raddon, 40% of credit union members say they are 'very satisfied'. In study after study, credit unions have historically ranked higher than banks, but USAA tops them all. A phenomenal 64% of USAA members are 'very satisfied' — that’s 50% better than credit unions.”

- Reported by Bill Streeter of The Financial Brand, Why USAA is The Most Beloved Financial Brand on Earth, September 20, 2018, https://thefinancialbrand.com/75192/usaa-financial-brand-loyalty-customer-satisfaction/

In your research for your great business idea, use your values as a guide. Below is a link to my value assessment worksheet I often use with my clients. 

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