Is Your Business in Alignment with What You Stand For?
Have you even figured out what you stand for? In the Sizzle System of Personal Branding, my 6-step signature plan that guides entrepreneurs through the branding process, the first thing we do is a core values assessment to determine this.
Our core values and principles are the guides to how we live our life. We might not even be aware of what they are until we do the inner work to get clear on what’s important to us.
In my work with my clients, I ask them to write down the core values that are most important to them overall, then separate them into those that are most important in life, and those that are more important in how they operate in their business.
The list is usually long and varied, so I have them whittle each list down to the top 5 that are most important.
Why just 5?
Paring the list down to the top five takes discernment and decisiveness. It’s a focused guideline. You can’t stand for everything, so choosing only five gets you closer to what you really stand for.
Once you have your five, you can use them to determine how you stand out from your competition, to articulate the transformation you bring to your clients, and to use as the basis of your marketing copy. (In fact, there’s another step that we add to this to come up with your Unique Value Proposition, but for the purpose of this article, we’re sticking to values only.)
Just to be clear, your business values should align with what you do in your business. To help you with the daunting task of getting down to the five that are most important to how you operate in your business, I’ll use mine as an example.
Here goes. As a branding coach, here are my top five core values, along with why they are important to how I operate in my business:
Core Value #1: Freedom. I’m all about having a freedom-based business doing work I love, working with whom I love to work with, working when I want to work. I want that for my clients. And yes, I understand that sometimes you have to give up freedom to get more freedom. But I would never ask my clients to work 24/7. I believe in staying in the flow – with a consistency that fits my lifestyle, and working “easy,” not hard.
Core Value #2: Vision. I hold a bigger vision for my clients when they can’t do that for themselves. I “see” their brilliance, and this helps me help them break through any limiting beliefs and step into a bolder version of themselves.
Core Value #3: Creativity. I can’t not be creative. I easily come up with marketing copy, visual identity, tag lines, expert titles, and all those other aspects that go into branding. I am the objective eye that my clients need to make sure what they’re putting out there is a reflection of who they are and whom they want to attract.
Core Value #4: Individuality. There’s a lot that goes into building a successful business. And, there’s a lot of noise out there – people saying you need to do this, you need to do that. I’m here to show my clients that what they do should feel right for them, and I will only suggest things that I know are in alignment with who they are – while stretching them beyond their comfort zone.
Core Value #5: Persistence. I am not a quitter. I’ve been in the game long enough to have my share of breakdowns, but I came out on the other side, shining. Believe me, plenty of times I was ready to throw in the towel. So, when you are in that same place – and you will be – I will not give up on you and I will not allow you to give up on you.
I hope this helps. Once you figure out your most important core values, you’ll know what you stand for, and you’ll know when you’re out of alignment in your business. Something just won’t feel right. Your marketing messaging won’t ring true. Your clients won’t get the results you want them to get.
Knowing what you stand for helps you to put the boundaries in place that will shape your business to what you want it to be, and to deliver the outcome you promise, more often than not. Success comes easier – and much quicker because you’re drawing on the guiding light that shines from within. And the people you were meant to work with will be attracted to that light.
Carol Ann DeSimine is a branding expert and visibility strategist and the Creator of The Sizzle System of Personal Branding. She works primarily with purpose-driven entrepreneurial women who want to create a business where they stand out and shine — and profit. To schedule a quick 15-minute chat to see how she can help you, click here.