It’s not just business. It is personal.
When you start a side or small business, it’s fully a part of you. But over time, if you’re wise, you’ll start treating the business like its own separate thing so that you can manage it well. For example, the business needs to have its own checking and savings accounts instead of co-mingling with your personal finances.
But as you gradually separate yourself from the structure of the business, there are a few ways in which the business will always reflect you. It will always reflect your strengths and weaknesses. It will always reflect your personality. And most importantly, the business will always reflect your personal core values.
At Ramsey Solutions, we have 14 core values that Dave and the leadership team developed. They are posted throughout our building and they inform everything we do.
Your Business Values Are More Than Just a Warm and Fuzzy Idea
They are part of the very foundation that your business is built on. Even if you’ve never taken the time to think about and write out your business (or personal) core values, you still have them. And whether you realize it or not, they are the framework that the business is built on, the context in which you make decisions, and the compass that defines your true north.
But of course, like anything in life, it’s easy to get off track. That’s why it’s so important to take the time to identify your business’ core values and write them down. Post them throughout your workspace and train team members on them regularly. When you intentionally develop your core values, they increase your speed for decision-making, help avoid costly mistakes, reduce your stress, and ultimately allow you to stay true to yourself.
The company will always reflect you and what you care about. So what are your core values?
For example, my “company” is my brand. A few of examples of my core values are:
- Authenticity: I always want my readers to feel like I am being 100% real with them. I don’t want to only share the good stuff. I want them to have the whole picture and see even the ugly parts of my story and my life.
- Relatability: When someone reads my blogs or watches my videos, I always want them to think “Me too!” I want them to feel like we are in this together in our common struggles and experiences.
- Humor: I’ve got a naturally sarcastic and playful personality. I want to use this to entertain and engage people—and also lighten the mood so that they can hear the hard truth sometimes.
“If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they’ll kill you.” — George Bernard Shaw
- Encouragement: At my core, I want to spread hope. Most people go through their days and lives just needing someone to believe in them. I want to be a voice that ignites belief, hope and life into people.
- Challenge: When I was a Young Life leader, they had a great line: “Love the students where they are—but love them enough to not let them stay there.” I’m always challenging myself to be better. I want to share that challenge by pushing others to be better, so that they can improve their lives also.
So when I make decisions for my brand and for the future, I make sure it aligns with these (and other) values. Even as my life changes and my work evolves, knowing my business values allows me to stay true to myself.
So what are yours? What is a purpose in your life that you want to translate into a purpose of your business? What do you value that the business also needs to value?
Write them down. Then you can have a business that is built around the very best part of it: You.