We’re all driven by our values, sometimes obviously, sometimes not quite so clearly. As entrepreneurs, they guide our decisions in business as well as life. Time and again the most successful businesses prove to be those with clear values that are reflected in every detail. Think Apple, or Buffer.
It’s easy to slip into ignoring them, or drowning them in thoughts about expediency – thinking that we’ll focus on our values when we have time, when we’re done with this launch, when we’ve cleared our inbox. But distancing ourselves from what really matters takes place at our peril.
I’ve been listening to Marshall Goldman and thinking about a process he recommends – so simple it’s brilliant; so demanding, it’s daunting.
It's all about the type of questions you ask
Goldman suggests that we all find a friend to ‘peer coach’ with. What that means is that you have a phone conversation with that person every day, and they ask you a series of questions that you have written.
The key to this strategy is that the questions can only be answered with ‘yes’, ‘no’, or a number. The questions are tightly linked to your values.
Here are some that Professor Goldman uses for himself:
- How many hours of television did I watch today?
- Did I show my loved ones that I loved them today?
- Was I honest with myself today?
As he suggests, even writing the questions that you want to be asked is a powerful process in itself.
Getting someone to ask them, and responding honestly, is what will help you change what you need to change and embed how you want to live and behave.
By making your values so explicit, you can’t help but honour them every single day.
How about you?
How do you make sure you stay true to your values in your business? Do you have a peer who keeps you accountable to the things that really matter to you? Join the discussion in the comments below.
Like a challenge?
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This post is part of our Vintage Lyn Bicker series - powerful strategies drawn from decades of experience that form the foundation of our business.