3 Strategies to Help You Define Your Core Values

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I posted this quote on Instagram yesterday, because I thought it is a great addition to aligning yourself with your Core Values in order to create a brand.

Why do we need to define our Core Values? In WEB DESIGN FOR CHANGE we start with defining our Core Values, because I believe that once we have these down it will be much easier to build the rest of our business.

If we want to create some kind of consistency in what we do, and how we present ourselves or our business, we can look at them with every new step that we take and see if things line up.

Aligning our Core Values with our lives is important, so that we can actually be true to ourselves and don’t have to force anything. So if brings us happiness as well as success, it seems like a wonderful way to get started.

Why Core Values?

Defining our Core Values is something that takes time and introspection. Usually when I tell people to define their Core Values and to only pick three, they say that there are so many more things that are important to them than three. And I understand.

But three is also a magic number. It’s a number of things that our brain has evolved to remember. Egg, Milk, Honey. If it’s more than that you might have to write a shopping list. Same goes for your Core Values. You will be able to recite and remember them. But there’s a trick of how you will be able to bring everything together that matters to you. We’ll come to that in a second. See the Core Values of Verena’s Design Studio↓

First let’s take a look at some strategies you can use to define your Core Values.

Dare To Lead
1. Dare To Lead

In her 2019 book Dare To Lead Brené Brown also talks about defining your Core Values. If you haven’t read it yet, I can absolutely recommend it! I’ve written about why here. And she prepared a wonderful list of values to help you get started.

You can download the list of Core Values from her website and just circle the ones that speak to you. Or cross the ones out that are not as important and get close to the ones that matter most to you that way.

2. Bringing in Your Own

Maybe you’ve defined your Core Values a long time ago, or just last week. Maybe you’ve grown up with clear Values in your Family and Community and this is nothing you have to think about.

How wonderful! Write them down, so that you can share them with us or your team and to have them at hand and come back to when we progress with Building Your Brand.

3. How We Do It

Brené Brown’s list has helped me a lot to think about what are actual values and not just words, that could be my Core Values or those for Verena’s Design Studio.

But in order to actually make it true to myself, I needed a little more. I asked myself a couple of questions, and then started asking my clients these questions as well.

My recommendation is to answer them once only for yourself, to be truly honest and not feel like you have to come up with something that is presentable. Do this just for yourself, no judgement, just pure witnessing.

There’s no right or wrong to any of this.

Where are you now?

Where did you start?

What were some of the things you dreamed of as a child?

In what situation do you live now?

What are some of your personal achievements?

What are some of your business achievements?

Where are you at with your business right now? (Example:I have a well running shop, but I’d like to reach a wider audience online. I am a therapist and I have some clients, but I would like to reach more. I’m a specialist in this field, but nobody knows that I am. I’d like this to change)

Where would you like to be? (Again please write down your wildest dreams, we might only reach what’s possible, but we might reach more than you think is reasonable)

How would you like for others to describe you/your business?

What will help you to get there?

Once you’ve answered these questions, come back to think about your Core Values. Can you see something that has consistency, a dream you had as a child, that maybe you put aside, because you didn’t think it was doable? What were and are the things that really matter to you?

And here’s the Trick:

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So, what are your Core Values?

Come and share your Core Values, your questions and answers to the questions above in the forum, after June 7th.

And don’t feel like you have to find these right away. It’s just the beginning. You can come back to them and adjust them whenever you see fit.

Either way, whether you think these are your final ones or not, print them or write them down, and from now on, whatever it is that you do for your business, see if it lines up!

Once you’ve defined your Core Values share them on Social Media and tag me, so I can share them too!

If you have any questions about this or would like some assistence, just send me an email.

If you think this is a great start and you would like to get more useful assistance in Building Your Brand join WEB DESIGN FOR CHANGE 2021. I’m looking forward to seeing you change the world with WEB DESIGN FOR CHANGE.

Here are the Core Values I’ve defined for Verena’s Design Studio.

What worked best for me was to think about describing my work, and how I approach it, to an employee. If I want them to work self-sufficiently yet in accordance to what matters to me, to my Core Values, what would that look like? What is important to know about how I work?

At the same time I use these when I write a new blog post, or start a different project. Is it holistic? Is it joyful? Is it brave?

Core Values –  Verena’s Design Studio

Holistic

The Bigger Picture – we’re working to do our part in making this world a better place

Biggest/Smallest Impact – biggest impact when it comes to getting the word out & the smallest impact on the environment

Balanced Customer Relationship – to think about our clients and their needs first, not our ego, while making sure we’re not going over our capacities

Joyful

Creativity – finding something new and exciting in every step of the work

Positive Outcome – creating something that is helpful/useful

Freedom – to get paid fairly, be treated and treat others respectfully and have well defined responsibilities – so that we can give each client the attention they deserve and find access to our best ideas

Brave

Honesty – being honest with your clients and yourself, in order to achieve the best outcome

Glass Half Full – there’s a solution to every problem, it’s ok to not have the answer right away

Innovation – looking for the best solutions, not walking the trodden path

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About

Verena is a web & media designer, anthropologist & coach.

On the blog she shares some practical tips and inspirations that can make it easier to make this world a better place & to grow your business - one small change at a time.

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