Let’s talk about values. We all have ’em. But we don’t usually discuss ’em. Perhaps they aren’t even defined? Let today be the end of that! Today, I urge you to put your vales on the table—and hopefully even on your website. (Read my values here.)
But how do we pinpoint our values? From Sarah Durham’s inspiring presentation at CFC, I learned that to discover our values, we must look into our core beliefs about our business.
True or false?
- Working on the weekends is okay.
- I believe work should be fun.
- I like to say exactly what I mean. I like clients to do the same.
- It’s okay if a client misses our appointment.
- Working for free/cheap is okay.
- I care deeply about the planet.
- I’m happy doing the bare minimum as long as I get paid.
- I love working with others.
I bet you had an immediate response to these questions. You knew deep inside whether they were true of false for you, right? Does this help give you direction? Once you solidify your values, I suggest you share them on a values page. This is not only for clients and colleagues—but for you!
8 rockin’ benefits of a values page
- Weed out icky situations. Not sure how to handle an icky business situation or a tough client? Look at your values page. Like the Magic 8 Ball, it holds the answer.
- Set expectations for yourself. One of my key values is innovation. It’s there for you to read—but it’s there for me, too. We all lose focus at times. I want to remind myself to keep reaching forward.
- Evolution. If you’re like me, you started freelancing in the trenches. Low pay, burning the midnight oil, crummy clients, sticky situations. But as my business grew, I craved structure, guidelines, ways to frame my business. I wanted to plan and decide instead of take whatever comes along. Defining my values was a big step in this process.
- Put it all out there! Worried about offending people? I was. But we have to get over it. Being authentic is the key to success and happiness. By talking about our values up front, it starts a relationship based on transparency. And how great is that? Happy us, happy clients.
- Create a peaceful sandbox. Most people don’t break rules on purpose. Usually, they just don’t know the rules. Your values set ground rules and mange client expectations so everybody can play nice.
- Attract likeminded peeps. When we share our values, we create successful relationships, good communication, respect and fulfillment. I just did a podcast on collaboration that will be available soon. The reason Stephanie and I work so well together? We share many similar values, and that makes collaboration smoother.
What happens to people with no values? If you are unsure about your values, you can get taken advantage of. If you know your values, but don’t share them until a sticky situation arises, you have to deal with a sticky situation you may have been able to prevent.
Whether or not anybody reads it, wouldn’t it feel good to pinpoint your values and put them out there? It sure felt good for me! What do you think? Share your values in the comments. If you need help, let’s chat.