If you read my last post on why brands are important, you have some idea of how you want to answer the question, “What one thing do you want to be known for?” Of course, there are other questions I will be asking you consider, but this one reigns supreme. It’s how you ensure that you’re staying true to yourself and your business. Knowing who you are and who you want to be makes decision making a simple two step process.
Is it a good idea? Is it in line with our vision and mission? Just like when making the decision to have another baby, the rule is – unless you get “yes” responses, it’s a “no.”
Define Your Values: Brainstorm
Now… beyond WHO you are, now I want you to consider WHAT you value. The values you develop in this exercise will help to drive every decision you make as an entrepreneur. Think about hopes, dreams, and goals. Who is your organization? Who are you becoming? Who do you want to be? This about this. Talk to your friends. Write down your answers. Then revisit those answers – ask WHY you answered that way or wrote down that particular thought. Then ask WHY again. And again. (Often, I find that I need to ask “why” as many as 4 or 5 times before I get to the REAL reason or value.) I was fortunate to work for an amazing company in the mid-2000’s that really GOT how to link their core values to the work we were doing (or maybe it was the other way around). Event360 is really an amazing company, and I think that one of the reasons I enjoyed that job so much is that their values aligned with my own. The Event360 values are: Great people.
Meaningful Relationships. Uncompromising Standards. Cost-Consciousness. Boldness.
Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list. Maybe your list includes other terms: Quality. Community Building. Passion. Integrity. Balance. Or anything else that is important to you and your business.
Refine Your List of Values
After you have your list, then narrow it down to the 4 or 5 that are most important to you. This narrowing down will allow you to explore how you can incorporate them into how you’ll do business. Write down those reasons next to each of the terms you choose. Congratulations! You have now created the lens through which you will make business decisions. And, if you follow this formula, you can feel comfortable that your customers will see these values in everything you do.