January 7, 2023

Who Are You? Your Core Values

Who Are you?  

Use Your Core Values -

Start - Run - Grow  Week 2

Over the years, I’ve observed hundreds of folks that are unable to make a decision or know how to weigh their choices. Much of this is fear of making the wrong choice and suffering the verbal abuse from friends and family.

The biggest reason they stumble on choosing is the lack of values, both personal and in business.

Having a defined set of core values gives you the certainty to set goals, are reflected in your career choice, and help keep you grounded when everything else is shifting.

Part of “Writing To Your Success” is writing those values in your journal. Whether personal or business, they should help guide you on your journey and serve as the foundation for your beliefs, behavior, vision, purpose, direction, expectations, intentions and decisions.

In your business, you must establish those values in order for your community, suppliers, family and customers to “know, like and trust” you.

Establishing better business values is key to success as a solopreneur, especially in rural America. Those values will allow you to focus on your solution to your customers problem and allow your tribe certainty in your service and/or product.

Your Tribe

Your Tribe includes your suppliers as well as customers and family.

Your suppliers like knowing you are using their supplies or reselling them in a positive environment.

Your family may not be directly involved in your business, but they’ll rave about your successes when they know your values.

Customers want to “know, like, trust” your business. When they interact with your business they can see and feel those values. And the certainty of having your values at the core of your business keeps them loyal members of your tribe.

Investors want to see your values in action before they give you any money. And getting loans and grants require a business mission statement that reflects your values.

What Are Your Personal Values?

There are 10 categories of personal values:

  • Achievement - Success
  • Conformity - Consistency
  • Power - Aptitude
  • Self-direction – Independent
  • Tradition - Belief
  • Benevolence - Kindness
  • Hedonism -  Satisfaction
  • Security - Confidence
  • Stimulation - Encouragement
  • Universalism - Diversity

There are other words that define the categories, take the time to explore each and choose the word that fits you and your journey. Then write them in your journal, in a place you can refer to them every day.

How to Choose Your Values

Review the list of personal values

Write down the values you already know are yours – family, loyalty, service, etc.

Then think of where you want to go and the set of values you will want to carry with you on the way.

Consider where you are and who you know

Your life experiences so far have all contributed to your values in some way. Some of your life decisions have likely been made based on core values. Think about those times and what guided you through.

Just as your own life serves as a resource, others have impacted your journey. Who do you look up to and what are their values?

Choose 10-15 values that resonate most and Bracket any values that complement each other.

Choose the top values, then look for values you can group together – artistry/creativity/craftspersonship.

Order them by priority. Even if they are bracketed, find the top 5 you want as your guiding principles.

Now, Repeat the exercise using the values you want to establish for your business.  They should compliment your personal values.

Remember, write all these answers in your Journal. Keeping track of them and updating them as you Start, Run and Grow your business will help you make decisions that benefit you and your tribe.

Eleanor Roosevelt was a daily Journal writer and this list of her values was found in one of her Journals in the archives.

  • Respect
  • Caring For People
  • Justice
  • Dignity of each person no matter their circumstances
  • Commitment to community.

She had many decisions to make during her lifetime, and knowing who she was made all the difference in staying true to her principals.

Here are three exercises you might consider adding to your daily writing time:

  • Daily read aloud to yourself your list of core values
  • Mentally visualize the day - how it will unfold and how you will live your values
  • Keep a print copy of your list close.

Living a purposeful and fulfilling life only happens when we live according to our core values and follow our personal beliefs.

Until next week - - -

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Red Rock Writer


Jana is at the core of Jana’s Journals – writer, editor and resident Elevator Pitch promoter – but her chief responsibility is content creation. When she’s not crafting helpful content for the What Do You Do? Blog, she’s serving as an Ambassador for her local Chamber of Commerce, or teaching (through the local Women’s Business Center) small business owners how to write and give their Elevator Pitch to promote their business in order to accomplish her goal of “Passing It On”.

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