The majority of entrepreneurs start a business from an altruistic place. A desire to solve a problem and make an impact. However, the daily grind of deadlines, payroll, stakeholders, etc., can take a toll. When things get tough, or stressful, the best thing a business owner can do is remember their values.
Taking just a few minutes a day to tap into the reason why you started in the first place, will do wonders for your mental health and your working relationships. Here are four ways to remember your values when the grind wears on you.
1. Trust Yourself
Approaching life with caution will only serve to hinder your experience and ability to make a name for yourself in a way that sets you apart from others in your market.
“You need to conquer fear with courage, attack those shadows in your life, and arise as the version of you you can be,” says renowned international public speaker Andrea d’Agostini. d’Agostini, who moved to the U.S. in 2013, became the vice president of public relations and marketing for a then-young energy company, American Power and Gas, eventually touring the world in 2015 with speaking engagements as a way to give back. By 2018, d’Agostini launched SalesJet and Monarchy the following year.
“The only real risk is to tiptoe in life. Life isn’t a ‘general rehearsal’. You just can’t live like that. You need to release the brakes and step on the gas, becoming ruthless in living to the fullest. This starts by you first identifying your values and how you intend on helping the world do better. You might succeed or fail in your attempt, that depends on you. The quality of your life, however, is determined by you and you only, and fear is the biggest stop on your path.”
2. Rise Above Your Critics And Stand Up For Yourself
Throughout your journey, you may come across individuals who doubt your credibility or capability. What you do next is what will set you apart from your competitors and those who wish to see you drown.
“I tend to stay away from arguing or ‘proving’ myself with words, because getting into arguments ultimately leads nowhere,” says Nicole Tabs, co-founder and CEO of business development and media management agency Monarchy Media.
But what does it mean to stand up for yourself? How far do you let something go before you are required to stand up for yourself? “Once you put your work out there for the world to see, that’s standing up for yourself and what you believe in,” Tabs explained. “Rather than just ‘avoid those who put you down’, you need to focus and encourage those who lift you up.”
At the end of the day, it’s important to surround yourself with individuals who speak well of others – because if they speak ill of others, you have to wonder what they are speaking of you when you are not present.
3. Put Your Mission Before Your Profits
Never forget to allow your calling to serve the industry you passionately cling to. Many entrepreneurs get so lost in increasing profits that they forget their own mission and/or pillars that set the framework for what they do.
“For many businesses, it can be easy to focus on profits and have your bottom line drive the work you do,” says Maya Thona, co-founder of Good Heart Hospice.
“This focus often leads us to forget why we started a business in the first place. We lose sight of our mission, the people we serve, and the community we want to be a part of. With that kind of mindset, not only do you allow your bottom line to dictate your work, you can end up hurting the same community you set out to help in the first place, truly weakening your impact.”
If you are a firm believer in doing something well with the best of intentions, then naturally, you will see the profits come.
4. Lead With Heart And The Rest Will Follow
If your heart is in your work, your customers, employees, vendors and partners feel it. When you are able to infuse your love for what you do into your everyday interactions, it makes a big difference.
“Be different. Change lives with your product or service, and you can see success beyond your wildest dreams,” says Joe Soltis, CEO of Choice Local. Choice Local, an industry leading digital marketing agency has partnered with organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, providing clean drinking water to those without, showing a commitment to being different.
“Make your business both unique and about helping others. If your business can positively and genuinely change the lives of those it impacts, the odds of it being a huge success, and an industry changer, go up exponentially. If you can’t answer the question ‘why would someone work with us when they could work with our competition?’ with a definitive and amazing answer, you need to keep working on your business, your value proposition, and your niche.”