Harnessing the Power of Core Values

If you’ve paid attention to anything we’ve said over the years, you know how important we think it is to define your values

Why do we keep coming back to this topic when we’re all about relationships and communication? It all comes down to this—goals are great, but you really need to start with values.

When you create a value-based way of living, your goals and values will work so well together that you will become that value and deliver that value to others, enriching the lives of everyone around you.

Sound like a plan?

Goals vs. Values

When Johnny and I started this company 13 years ago, my values at that stage in life were very much around proving other people wrong. I had doubters. I had people—even family members—who didn’t believe in what I was doing. Because of that, some of my values were actually unhealthy.

When your values are centered around trying to prove someone wrong, they aren’t anchored to the core of who you are. Before you know it, you’ll find yourself between a rock and a hard place. 

At that stage in my life, I was frustrated because I valued socialization and going out a lot but that value was constantly clashing with my introverted nature. 

Now I’m in my 30s and I don’t value going out as much as I did. That’s fine. Because my values have changed and so have my goals.

Goals are very helpful. There’s no doubt about it. Setting resolutions and goals for yourself is fantastic. But there also need to be values on the other end of it. When your values align with your goals, you create a synergistic effect that is incredibly powerful. That is why choosing your values, along with your goals is a critical step in the process.

Making the distinction between goals and values will show you just how important it is to have both. Let’s take a look.

Goals

  • Are dependent on an outcome
  • Are found in the near or far future
  • Are often dependent on others
  • Create a concrete vision of your desired future
  • Leave you with FOMO

Values

  • Influence everything you do
  • Always happen in the present moment
  • Act as a direction not a destination
  • Can never be ‘checked off’
  • Satisfy you with JOMO

I want to touch on JOMO here because I think it’s something we don’t talk about enough. JOMO is the ‘joy of missing out’. It is the opposite of our common enemy, ‘the fear of missing out’. 

JOMO is being so confident in your values that you don’t care what others are doing. You don’t worry that you’re missing out on something. You are so in tune with your own values that you feel joy missing out on all the things that don’t fit in with the life you’ve created for yourself.

Why You Need to Define Your Company Values

When we were building this company, we didn’t start with the values first. We kind of all jumped in and started working within our own, personal set of values.

There were a lot of times in this company’s history when our values weren’t in alignment. We didn’t put them to paper. We didn’t commit to them. And then we would get frustrated because team members were not behaving the way we expected them to.

I realized not only the importance of values in my own life, but also the importance of instilling values in the team. That way we were all on the same page about the way that we want to treat our customers and the way that we want to be treated.

While some may see these values as ‘rules’, they can actually be a framework. Let’s say for instance that your company value is loyalty.  Well, for Johnny, that might mean following up with customers who just came through in the last month. For another team member, that might be sending a birthday message on Facebook to our customers. So even having a value of loyalty, each person is going to respond to it differently. Your company’s values are just a framework to start from.

How Do I Choose Core Values? 

How did the value of loyalty arise in my life? Well, growing up, my dad was a single parent and he won custody. What I always found remarkable was that he was in the Navy and his friends were scattered all over the country, yet he remained loyal to all of his friends. His friends also remained loyal to him and were there to support my sister and me when he needed a helping hand.

I’ll never forget that value that he instilled in me of staying loyal to the people in your life because at some point, you’re going to need each other. If you’re not someone who’s loyal, you’re going to be left without having that support. 

I wouldn’t say my dad was very disciplined with his diet or working out, but he was a hard worker. Discipline wasn’t something he really instilled in us. The value of discipline is one I’ve picked up from others much later in life. I have honestly been really inspired by guests on the show and once I started putting things together, I realized how discipline really unlocks this unseen potential in myself. All these things I never thought possible are happening because I’m disciplined in my routine.

But hey, I get it. If we were to tell you, “Hey, come out, spend a week with us in LA and we’re going to define your values.” You’d be like, “Oh, that doesn’t sound like much fun.”

The fun part is though, once you start to crystallize on those values, you’ll be so fired up to go start living them. You’ll be more motivated than ever.

So get out your notebook and go through these questions to start focusing in on your values:

  • What do you stand for?
  • How do you want to behave as a human being? 
  • How do you want people to view you? 
  • What do you want to hear them say behind your back?

Now that you have some ideas of potential values on paper, let’s do a visualization exercise that will help you clarify your core values on another level. Read through it first and then take yourself through the visualization process.

Close your eyes.

Imagine that you’ve reached every goal you could ever imagine.

You’re the richest, most successful, healthiest person on the entire planet. All of your wildest dreams and goals have been reached. 

How do you want to be treated? 

How do you want to treat yourself? 

How do you want to treat others? 

What do you stand for in life? 

When you remove all the external factors, then what’s left are your values.

The way we treat others, the way others treat us and what we stand for, right? 

After this visualization, take pen to paper and right your values out. Write out why they are important to you and how you intend to bring this value to life. 

In the end, you’ll want to have 5-6 core values. When it comes to narrowing down your list of values, you might feel a tad bit overwhelmed. But remember this: if you knock a value off your list, it doesn’t mean you’re leaving it out. There are just other core values that are more important to you and that will get you closer to your goals.

For Johnny, an important core value is humor. He’ll say it again and again, humor is one of the most important traits an entrepreneur can have. Because of the rollercoaster ride that is entrepreneurship, you need to be able to laugh at yourself and the circumstances you’re in so you can make it to the otherside. If you don’t laugh about it, it’s going to be grim.

Living Your Personal Values

One of my personal values is going above and beyond. It’s also the first value in our company. Certainly, there have been times that it’s been a little frustrating for my fiancée Amy, but that commitment to go above and beyond has allowed us to build a team that not only supports one another, but that also supports everyone who comes through our doors.  

I view going above and beyond the same as in all my relationships. I want to be there for my fiancée, my friends, my family, my team and my customers.

This value comes into play every day in our company. If you get ahold of Johnny and want to discuss and idea or problem, he’ll likely send out a Calendly invite and figure out a time to talk. 

Unfortunately, it’s not always like that in the coaching space. I’ve met coaches who think that once the seminar is over and the check clears, we’re done working together. 

As a company, we never entertain that idea. All of our alumni have our personal phone numbers. We talk to alumni who’ve come through the program 10 years ago. Because that’s our value, it’s easy. It’s not annoying. It’s in my ethos. That’s how we avoid transactional relationships and build connections that really matter.

Living Your Values Every Day

How do you intend to infuse your core values into your daily schedule, your habits, your routines, and your choices? 

Especially in the beginning, it’s important that you’re reminded of your values. After a tough day, when you realize that the challenge was part of your values, it’ll remind you that it was worth it. 

Create core value reminders so you don’t forget this very important piece of your life. It may be a phone screen wallpaper or post-it notes around your house.

When you see those reminders of your values, you’ll know what to do when you don’t have all the answers. Those values will continue to be a guide, leading you to be intentional about your actions every day of your life.

With entrepreneurship, things can get difficult. However, I know that I’m always able to lean on my core values. Even in the worst times, I can go, “Wow, I know that I’m doing the right thing.”

Why? Because I’m engaged in what’s important to me. 

When I don’t engage in my values at the end of the evening, I’m pissed off. I’m mad. I feel like I left points on the board. That feeling is awful. 

So I’ve arranged things in such a way that my values are infused into my routine. Certain things get done at certain times and it’s all on my calendar. Those scheduled things are met easily and consistently. That accomplishment makes for a great evening and a great sleep.

Ready to define your core values? Join our FREE Value Driven Success Masterclass today

AJ Harbinger - author of 1124 posts on The Art of Charm

AJ Harbinger is one of the world’s top relationship development experts. His company, The Art of Charm, is a leading training facility for top performers that want to overcome social anxiety, develop social capital and build relationships of the highest quality. Raised by a single father, AJ felt a strong desire to learn about relationships and the elements that make them successful. However, this interest went largely untapped for many years. Following the path set out for him by his family, AJ studied biology in college and went on to pursue a Ph.D. in Cancer Biology at the University of Michigan. It was at this time that he began to feel immense pressure from the cancer lab he worked in and began to explore other outlets for expression. It was at this point that The Art of Charm Podcast was born.

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