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How Core Values Are The Foundation Of A Successful Business

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!

3 Ways to Define Your Entrepreneurial Vision

Every day businesses thrive and at the same time businesses struggle. 

So how do you ensure that in this sea of small businesses, yours isn’t the titanic? 

The answer is probably simpler than you think …

It all starts and ends with you

Start by asking yourself: How significant is your vision and mission when it comes to your entrepreneurial venture? 

As an entrepreneur, your vision is what ties your business together. 

If you don’t have a vision, or it’s not clear on where you want to take your business, it will be all the more difficult to keep your boat afloat.

Weak visions result in two schools of thought. Either your idea list is too long and you’re spending your time accomplishing half of each concept OR you’re spending all your time on one idea and not gaining any traction in the process. 

Both of these plans of attack are the results of a lack of vision

To prevent that, I’ve put together 3 ways to define your entrepreneurial vision and start making waves instead of just riding them out.

Define Your Strengths and Weaknesses

The greatest skill you’ll ever have as a business owner is the ability to be honest with yourself and your skill set – or lack thereof. 

Create a personal SWOT analysis and define where your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats are to your progress. 

Taking stock of what you’re capable of creates two opportunities:

  1. The latitude to leverage your strengths and act on them
  2. The chance to get ahead of your weaknesses by outsourcing or upskilling before they become a problem. 

By setting a clear list of expectations for yourself, you’ll be able to see where your business is going and more importantly what you need to do in the interim to get it there. 

Determine Your Motive

Ask yourself: Why did you start this business? 

If you’ve ever thought “Because of the money” I’m telling you now, that’s a very slippery slope to go down.

I’ve seen it day in and day out, entrepreneurs starting businesses for the wrong reasons and failing hard at the end of day.

Your motivation should be one that drives you to want to make a difference in the world or fulfill a gap in the market. 

If you don’t know why you’re doing something then you’re not going to do it right. 

Motivation is what drives your conviction and strong convictions lead to strong visions and successful businesses! 

A clearly defined motive will be critical to your success. Think three to five years into the future, is this what you want to be doing? What is pushing you to get there? That’s your motive.

Identify Your Inspiration 

This might sound like finding your motive, but it goes way deeper than that.

Your inspiration will guide you through each step, where your motivation will guide you through your entire entrepreneurial journey. 

As your business grows, you will change your inspirations and desires. 

You may start as a business that manages social media for other businesses, then as you grow and gain more success you might then adapt your inspiration to teach others how to manage their own social media through courses and coaching.

It’s important to know now what you desire to accomplish.

It can be easy to go off on a tangent of all the other things you can add to your business but some of these won’t add any value to your current vision. 

Knowing your inspirations will help you create a focused list of offerable products that are authentic and valuable to your consumer base and vision. 

So where do you go from here? 

Put these guides into motion because to change the tide you need to have a plan and know your direction. 

How To Get Booked As A Podcast Guest.

More and more professionals are turning to Podcasts as a source of trusted information on their daily commutes, gym time or chore duties. 

There are an estimated 660,000 podcasts, with 26% of Canadians admitting to listening to one per month. Podcasts have quickly become the hottest form of marketing in 2020.

One of the most successful ways of increasing your brand reach is by guest appearing or blogging on larger platforms. If you’re a chatterbox and don’t get stage fright, podcast guesting is the new trending strategy that you need to implement into your business right away.

If you have expertise and knowledge to share…let it be known! I know we can all be fearful of the dreaded cold outreach, but there are ways to make your pitch sound a lot less ‘sales-y’ and a lot more passion fueled. Here is my step by step guide to getting yourself booked:

Step 1️⃣. Define your niche.

It’s a waste of time reaching out to podcast hosts who’s listeners are not your target audience, so do your research. You can browse the iTunes podcast directory or have a look at cast.market to find a show that you could add value to.

Step 2️⃣. Write yourself a genuine juicy pitch.

Hosts get bombarded with daily pitches, so make sure yours stands out. Be sure to include your area of expertise, outline a problem that you can solve for their listeners and a great addition is an unconventional opinion that you may hold, counter to their listeners. Make sure you mention a topic you could talk about for each of these points and of course, double and triple check your email before sending over.

Step 3️⃣. Find the right person to send your pitch to.

Quite often the host will have a separate email for guest submissions. These are commonly listed on their FB page or website. If you’re having difficulty finding a hosts information a great tool is hunter.io, they trawl the internet for possible matches, saving you hours of guess work. 

Step 4️⃣. Follow up.

Send a polite, courteous email after you’ve sent the original email around 3-5 days later. This is a great time to share links to other podcasts you may have appeared on or testimonials of prior speaking engagements or guest appearances. Make sure testimonials are relevant to the topics you are pitching about.

Step 5️⃣. Wait for the ‘You’re Booked’ email to land in your inbox!

Once you get that confirmation email make sure you’re prepared to leverage this opportunity. 

Write yourself some sample questions that you think the host may ask you (many hosts will actually ask you for that list as a means of outsourcing their presentation and ensuring they hit the right points to showcase your expertise). Practice your answers with a friend or into a dictaphone and don’t forget to record it!

Invest in some good quality headphones, as those freebies you got with your iPhone will sound tinny and unprofessional. You don’t need to spend a fortune amazon.com has an array at a very affordable rate.

End every Podcast engagement with a Call To Action. If you have a freebie or course that you’re plugging, make it known. Make sure your handles are simple and easy for listeners to find you at. Podcasts appearances are a perfect way to grow your following and email list, so don’t miss out on the opportunity.

Podcast’s are increasingly becoming a larger part of businesses content strategy. With these tips, I hope to hear that many of you are becoming the soundtrack to thousands of commuters daily! 

Why Video Content Should Be An Essential Part Of Your Content Strategy In 2020.

Video is GOLD. It’s reported that the world watches 1 billion hours of YouTube social content per day. . . 1 billion!!

Video is no longer an option for content or businesses, it is essential for not only attracting buyers and getting seen, but also for helping with your SEO and ranking higher on Google.  

With Google owning Youtube, it’s no surprise that you are more likely to rank on the first page of a Google search when you have video content embedded on your website; 53 times more likely in fact!

I know that fills some of you with dread, however I’ve put together a list of video content that will make even the most camera shy person want to utilize this amazing feature:

👉 Going Live. 

There is something so powerful about watching something live. This style of content is great for engaging with your following in real time. If you are flooded with DM questions daily, going live can be a great way to address those questions for everyone to hear. I would always advise having a few FAQs prepared just in case it takes people a while to get warmed up because sometimes people don’t like to be the first to ask a question. You can also upload your ‘live’ to your social platforms for those who missed it as well as repurpose it on YouTube and as content for posts or blogs!

👉 Interactive Videos.

It’s rumored that video content will soon become ‘shoppable’. Just like Instagram “swipe up” stories, soon most video content will have similar features. This will enable your video marketing funnels to be converted within minutes, so make sure you have 1 click purchasing set up to really make use of those impulse buys.

👉 Early Searchable.

Google has announced that they will be using “AI technology” to identify snippets for videos that are related to a search enquiry, to present on your search result page.This will be great for boosting your SEO and exposure so start uploading your video content on your website, but make sure it is SEO optimized! 

👉 Silent video.

With people’s phones constantly strapped to their hands, we are watching more and more silent videos, therefore, Clipomatic is the app to get your hands on. Creating subtitles for your viewers is a great way to ensure your stories are watched the whole way through, when it’s convenient for them.

From shares on social platforms to proven conversions and SEO, the reasons for including video in your content strategy are limitless. However, don’t panic about having to record them on the highest quality equipment. A simple iPhone records in 4k, and the free iMovie editing software does the trick just fine. In general people often relate better to a more authentic, raw snippet of video than a professional production.

It’s time to sit in front of the mirror and practice your lines!…Who’s with me?

 

The Importance Of A CEO Mindset.

Are you ready for success yet you feel like you’re being pulled down by the people around you? 

Starting your own business is a tough process (seriously tough) and when you lack support from your loved ones or friends, it can be even harder. In reality you have two choices in this situation; you can either let their negativity hold you back, or you can choose the better path – show those haters what you’re made of. 

Our minds are one of the most powerful parts of our being. Our thoughts transcend into actions and we receive what we emit into the universe (yes I’m getting “woo woo” on you – and I like it.)

It’s hard to think like a CEO when it’s just you, in your sweats, hustling hard after putting the kiddies to bed and debating whether it’s actually another cup of coffee or an entire bottle of wine that you want. 

Yet starting off with a tenacious, go getting attitude will serve your vision and business in the long run. We are all unique and suffer with different aspects of our mindset. So here are 4 ways you can adopt a CEO mindset to see you through the turmoil and make those onlookers wish they had witnessed and supported your success from the start…

👉 Develop your ‘mission’. 

Without identifying why you exist, what purpose you serve and why your clients need you or your product, it will make it difficult to get your business off the ground. I recommend having these written down next to you or implemented onto your vision board to remind yourself at every action: who you are serving and WHY. 

👉 Create a business plan with your biggest dreams for your company! 

This may seem scary, but a dream without a plan stays a dream. Include 1, 3, 5 &10 year goals and actionable steps you’re going to take to achieve those goals along the way. When I first started my business, I had a business journal that I would write my goals and visions in, as well as my future product line and services that I will roll out to better my client experience. Without even knowing it by addressing and reading them everyday I was unconsciously walking towards those goals. So ask yourself all those scary and exciting questions, write them down and work towards them step-by-step.

👉 Implement processes and systems that you know you’ll need in the future. 

Items that you know you will need in the future for your business as it expands such as a company handbook, including company policies, hiring documents or a brand development portfolio can seem irrelevant now. However, you will get busy, your business will grow and especially if you’re at the beginning stages of your company, you have the time to address these items now and save you in the long run. 

👉 Invest in your brand development. 

If your budget allows, hire professionals to build your website, logo design and create some marketing funnels for you. Your visual brand is one of the most important aspects of your online presence and you need it to be on point to attract your ideal client. If money is on the tighter side then hire a business coach for an hour or two to lead you down the right path so that you set your business up successfully and with the right branding.

Starting and running a business can seem and feel overwhelming, so you need to constantly congratulate yourself for taking those next steps. Whether you’re a budding entrepreneur or established, keep looking towards the future and know that your time is now. Act like the CEO you want to be, conquer the goals and create the legacy you were meant to leave in this lifetime. We’re all here to inspire, educate and celebrate you and if you ever feel like you’re doing this alone, know that I am here, holding your hand and cheering you on – always.

 



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Well I'm super proud of you - and here to help you make that happen.  

This free (and highly insightful) list of hot tips will help you take real, actionable steps to build a profitable business that you love.
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Ready to boost your profits, grow your business and make an impact? Well I'm super proud of you - and here to help you make that happen.

This free (and highly insightful) list of hot tips will help you take real, actionable steps to build a profitable business that you love.