What do you believe in?
It isn’t a typical question that you get asked as an entrepreneur, but it’s an important one.
Why is it important?
Because the answer is directly linked to your success.
Something that is typically talked about in business circles are words like ‘mission’, ‘vision’, and ‘core values’.
These power phrases are often used so much that we start to forget what they truly mean – and how or why they’re important to your business.
Your core values are your fundamental driving forces as a business owner and what drives your business. They are your deep-rooted beliefs and the basis on which you make present and future decisions.
The application of those core values is the idea that what’s on the inside is what matters. In this case, what’s on the inside is what holds your business together.
You might be thinking that there’s no way your core values are more important than your finances or your product.
Don’t get me wrong, those are definitely pertinent pieces to the puzzle and carry their own weight in your business, but your beliefs… That’s your foundation.
Without a solid foundation, you can’t build a house, let alone an empire.
As a business owner, you deserve to give yourself the best shot at success and it starts right here – after all, in a world where you can sell any product or service, what sets you apart from the rest is what you stand for.
Why Do Core Values Matter?
Think of it this way; your business can’t run without the set of brand values that define how your company operates.
Decisions like how your product is made, who you advertise to and what brand image you want to portray are all based on these core beliefs.
For example, you wouldn’t test your makeup line on animals if you have strong beliefs on animal welfare. If integrity is important to you, then you would choose to be very transparent in your advertisements and so on and so on.
What you believe in can drastically change your business model.
That’s why it’s necessary that at the beginning of building up your company you really focus on what you want your brand, image, reputation to represent. This will bring focus and clarity to your dream and give you a playbook to fall back on when making decisions, especially when those decisions can make or break the bank and your reputation.
Remember core values influence how you interact with other businesses, clients and your employees. Having a solid vision of your beliefs will make you a better leader and learning to leverage these beliefs to express what your company represents will make you a better business owner.
You Are Your Business
You’ve probably noticed I’m talking about your business values and personal beliefs as one and the same.
That’s because they are.
After the long hours, love, sweat and tears you put into building and growing your company it tends to become a direct extension of you.
This can be a difficult concept to wrap your head around, especially if you’re a private person or one who likes to separate your work life from your home life.
The blurred line between the two is actually a good thing. It means your company is authentically you and reflects the ideologies that you hold in and out of the office.
It also gives way to growth.
You as a person change and grow your business and what its values are will change and grow with you.
This opens an interesting door. One where you can use your beliefs as a driving force for good and influence on your community and market. Use this door as a way to show up for your business and to make your brand show up for others.
How To Show Up For Your Brand
Now we know why your core values are important and how they can be a force for personal and professional growth but how can you use your beliefs to show up for your brand?
Social Media – You’re most likely reading this on your phone right now and that’s where you start.
On my social media, I not only share my story and business advice but I also talk about what I’m passionate about and the causes I believe in. That’s because Ashley Deland is a brand but it’s also who I am authentically and I want others to see that.
Incorporating your brand values in your posts helps you relate with your audience, makes you real and connects you with others who share the same beliefs.
It’s the perfect place to start practicing and utilizing those core values.
Give Back – If one of your core beliefs is rooted in dedication, like leadership or diversity that you can also donate your time or money to – do it.
Whether it’s becoming a mentor to aspiring entrepreneurs, running workshops that promote the strengths of diversity or offering your services at a discount for those that can’t afford it, you’ll be showing up for you and your business.
These are the things that will set you apart and show others that you practice what your business says it stands for.
If you’re interested in how I give back to my community, check out my giving back page here.
Now that you know the what and why you can start to craft your own brand values.
Remember, understanding how to use your core values in your daily operations and business plan, is the starting point for building and owning a successful business.
It’s important to note that these will forever be changing as you grow.
Take the time to reevaluate what your fundamental driving forces are often and most of all practice them in every corner of your business.
Now go be your most authentic self for you and your empire!