One of the most satisfying things to do is to live your life in harmony with your personal values. Even if you don’t consciously think about your values when you do what you do for a living, you have this inner drive to express your values with it.
For instance, my top 10 highest business values are:
- Helping/Inspire Change
So to do work that expresses these personal values is very important for me. Likewise it will be for you, so make sure you really know your personal values in the first place.
After all, your personal values are a defining part of your identity. At a core level they express what matters most to you—what you value most.
On the other hand you’ll notice it immediately when your work-environment is out of sync with your personal values. Have you ever felt this irritating mismatch when working for a certain company or client?
I certainly did.
That was the reason why I was switching what I did in the last 4 years over to what I do now. The values of the whole industry just felt wrong to me. So over time, I got frustrated more and more. On the surface it looked good. Money was good. And I was my own boss. But my emotions went south the longer I did it.
So in 2012 I made a couragous switch and decided to make my passion my business. Such a move needs a certain kind of risk-taking, but if you trust yourself and your inner voice that tells you what’s right for you, I believe not following that voice is the much higher risk. So by building up a new passion-business, I was able to totally align what I do with my personal values and what brings me the greatest job-satisfaction.
How to Express Your Core Values in Your Work?
If you are—like me—your own boss, this is the ideal situation. Because then you are free to inspire your business with your values. Of course you don’t want to get overboard with it by going against what your market and eventually your customer values. But if you’re doing it smoothly, you can match both.
If you’re working in a big company or a similar institution, you still have options. You can infuse your personal values into your own working environment, while still stay in alignment with the corporate values.
So in that case check the corporate values or simply ask. It can be very enlightening if you compare those with your personal values. If you find a good match, you probably find confirmation of what you already felt when working for this company. If you find a lot of mismatches, meaning the company values are something that you don’t value, then this shows you what you probably also already felt inside.
Aligning Your Work and Your Values
For me personally, this week I took the opportunity to change how this website looks like quite dramatically. If you are visiting me frequently you probably have noticed.
The value-based redesign of the site incorporates the following values:
1. Focus / Clarity / Simplicity
I tried to remove as much distraction as possible and focused the site on the core of why you are visiting it as well as my personal goals. I made each post the star of the page (after all that’s why you’re coming here), removed the sidebar (which isn’t showing on the growing number of mobile visitors anyway) and cleared everything up as much as it makes sense.
There is basically one call to action left and that is (as of this writing) me asking you to stay connected by joining my email list.
2. Helping / Inspire Change / Openness
Keeping your focus on the most important thing, the current topic of the post, should make providing inspiration to positive transformation and giving helpful advice more effective.
3. Success / Cooperation / Integrity
This year I also finally decided exactly what kind of services and products I want to create. So part of that is to offer only what I think is the best service I can provide on a larger level.
I don’t do advertising because that is a distraction for you and me and just ineffective to make a living from your passion. I do and offer my own stuff. If I would recommend other peoples work, I will make sure I keep integrity and I can stand behind those 100%.
Also I base my business and my business-relationships on integrity which means honesty, synergy and exchanging real value.
4. Purpose / Passion
Which brings me to my number one business value: purpose. Purpose is asking and answering why. Why are you doing what you do?
If you have found a strong enough reason for your existence and the vision and goals that flow from that reason, you are on the right track.
You will basically get an unlimited stream of energy, tap into your passion and feel this great feeling of fulfillment with what you do.
My purpose is to successfully help and inspire other people to transform with my personal strengths and creativity while growing myself and enjoying the process.
Maybe I can inspire you to define your purpose and then align it with what you do.
Conclusion: How to Do it?
So to infuse your work with what you value most,
- Find out your own value hierarchy by creating your top 10 values here.
- Think about how you can express your highest values in what you do.
- Start making one change at your work to let your own values shine through.
This will increase your work-satisfaction and your fulfillment-level.
So, what are your personal values that you want to see come through in your work? Please let your thoughts flow freely in the comments below.
Some of the most important values I’ll like to create is being a useful resource and truly solve a problem.
Secondly I want my readers to feel engaged by me. I want them to feel as though they can ask me anything (almost like a friend) and they just know it’s never an issue to contact me and receive a genuine response.
That’s awesome. Maybe you can even put these two into one word each to clarify the value.
Creating a business based on your highest values, and not compromising them, is a great guideline along the way of business growth. It makes sure that you shape your business the way you value it most, regardless of your business plan or niche.
This is an exceptional article. Usually it’s our intuition that lets us know when things need to change. Intuition is what speaks truth into our life with pinpoint accuracy, and it’s usually never convenient or understood.
„So, what are your personal values that you want to see come through in your work?“
I would like people to recognize that I value honesty and being genuine. It’s not that I crave attention or want people tor recognize my worth but it’s because there are many dishonest and ‚fake‘ people out there.
I don’t want to be like them. If people don’t see the values that I live by, then I need to reflect more on what I am really doing.
Ah I see. Yes that’s a positioning task.
USP? Right, my wording there was a little off. What I meant was that I need to market what I offer to the customers that appreciate the principles and values that I bring to the table. I am a ceramic tile installer who appreciates the longevity and the quality of the product. It is very easy to find customers that just want their floor tiled and do not want to pay for the extras that add to the longevity and the quality. This is a kind of mere production work that I can’t stand to do myself and there is very little value added to my employees in having them do it. These customers seem always to be the pickiest too. But there are those customers are out there that do appreciate the technical aspect for longevity and the artisan aspect for the quality. These are the customers that bring out the best in me, and are the ones that my employees can learn from.
Regarding… „I need to focus on the customers that appreciate what I offer, not try to tailor my offering to the customers.“
I think the key to a good offer is to meet what people want AND blend this with your voice (authenticity). Then focus on this target group and do it very well.
There is this whole big discussion about laser-targeting your core audience with your message. I don’t know what you’re doing exactly, but I found that you can do a lot with finding the right wording and angle of your story. Defining a USP and your Big Promise to the customer is a valuable exercise to clear that up.
Sage advice Myrko. I have just completed Seth Godin’s „All Marketers are Liars.“ Brilliant book and the notion of the „story“ that a marketer need tell dovetails nicely with the work that I completed in your system. Especially that the story need to be authentic and the wisdom of focusing on outliers as a core market rings true of the notion of „Big Why.“ I need to focus on the customers that appreciate what I offer, not try to tailor my offering to the customers. This second approach is too exhausting and myriad, not to mention boring. I think that I am in need to reread the book, then work further in your system, or even starting over might not be a bad idea. I feel a bit of mental blockage setting in, that would prove a healthy jumpstart no doubt. As soon as I finish this cup/pot of coffee. Cheers to you Myrko and as always thank you for the good work.
Hey Zack, well sometimes positive change happens inside, not on the outside (yet). In fact that happens a lot. It’s an awesome, anticipating position to be in. Sooner or later the outside changes then as well. So I guess you are right at that stage.
Just remember to make your the next move.
PS. Yes, I missed you. :)
Hey Myrko long time no post! I am sure you missed me :) Anyway I just wanted to say that I really enjoy your courses, and although I think you are probably in your 10th running since I dropped out every weekend since I have been meaning to complete them. Maybe tomorrow! I got hung up on „Big Why“ and ended up reevaluating my whole, well, about everything. But a cool thing happened, and apparently I let go of a lot of constrictions I was experiencing about how I was to interact in my market. I am fairly liberated and look forward to taking this new perspective with me when I return to your courses. As always, thanks for the good work.
You are great, Myrko!!