Earning a living doing what you love requires you to have a clear understanding of what truly matters to you. Understanding your values is key to designing a business or career that will satisfy those values.
So, what matters to you? What do you stand for? Where are you willing to compromise and where are your lines in the sand?
If you had to choose between earning more money, doing more satisfying work or working with people who treat you with respect, which would you pick? How well do the decisions you’re making about your business and your life reflect your core values? What needs to change to bring them into greater alignment?
If answering these questions isn’t easy (and for most of us, it isn’t), completing a Values Analysis can help.
The first time I used this tool back in 1992, it led me to make a series of decisions that completely changed my business trajectory. At that time, I was working crazy long hours building a business that wasn’t taking me where I wanted to go and didn’t pay well to boot.
This exercise helped me recognize how far I’d strayed from what really mattered to me and build a plan to get myself and my company back on track. I have used it several times since then to help me make decisions about new skills I was thinking of investing in, new markets I was considering expanding into and new business models I was exploring.
Now, this exercise is not magic. It takes real work, gut-wrenching honesty and some good old-fashioned creative problem solving to build a business you really love but this exercise is a great first step.