What are your company values? Company values are often an afterthought for many entrepreneurs, and you have no idea how much this hurts your spirit and costs you money. When you’re hazy about what your company values are, your customers don’t have a clear idea of what you stand for, and confused customers don’t buy.
If you’re unsure right now about what your values are, today, I’m demystifying all of this for you. I’m showing you what values mean, why you need company values, and how to start figuring out what your values are. Nailing down your values and baking them into everything you do will bring so much money through the door, elevate your company to generate millions, and start making major differences in the world.
Listen in this week to discover the importance of knowing what you stand for and in expressing your values through your actions. I’m sharing a few exercises you can try to get your juices flowing and narrow down your values, so you can infuse them into everything you do day after day, year after year, to create a rock-solid brand with strong cashflow.
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People want to know what your values are before they decide to work with you, before they decide to join your team, before they decide to partner with you in any way. They want to know what your values are and they want to know that those values align. We’re all trying to make better decisions with our time, our attention, our financial resources, and our other forms of resources, right?
We want to use our money and resources and time to support brands and companies that are aligned with our personal values. We all want to do that.
Welcome to the Hello Seven Podcast. I’m your host, Rachel Rodgers, wife, mother of four children, a lover of Beyoncé, coffee drinker, and afro-wearer, and I just happen to be the CEO of a seven-figure business. I am on a mission to help every woman I meet become a millionaire. If you want to make more money, you are in the right place. Let’s get it going.
What are your company values? Do you know? Yes? No? Maybe? Not sure? You might be thinking, “I’m not totally sure what my values are,” and that is a problem that is hurting your spirit and costing you money. Figuring your company values is an afterthought for most entrepreneurs, but that is a big mistake.
It should not be an afterthought. It should be a right now thought, a before thought even. Because when you are mushy about your values this means your whole company feels mushy. Customers aren’t sure what you stand for because you are not sure what you stand for. When you are confused then your customers feel confused and that kills your revenue.
You’ve probably heard the classic expression, a confused mind never buys. So, today let’s get you unconfused. On today’s episode we are going to dig into three things. Number one, what the world value actually means because maybe you are not sure and that is okay. I’m going to demystify this for you. Number two, why you need company values in the first place. And number three, how to start figuring out what your values are.
When you nail down your values and express them clearly this clarity will bring so much money in the door. This will bring the right customers to you. This will get people talking about you. This will bring you media coverage. This will elevate your company from one that is just sort of doing okay, to one that is generating millions and making a difference in the world. So, all of the good things come from your company values. So, let’s get into it.
Let’s start with the basics. What is a value? What does this word mean? A value is something that you value highly. It’s something you care strongly about, something that is really, really important to you. For instance, when it comes to my company, Hello Seven, three of our top company values are diversity, equity, and excellence. But these aren’t just values that I keep to myself privately inside my own head. These are values that are baked into everything we do. These values show up in the way that we recruit and hire employees, the way we pay our employees, how we serve our clients, the topics we write about in our newsletter, the projects that we take on and that we don’t take. Really, everything.
You will see the values of diversity, equity, and excellence showing up over and over consistently, behind the scenes, and in front of the public, too. I will give you some examples in just a moment, but first, I have a big question for you. Before we go on here’s the big question I want you to ask yourself. What is something I care strongly about? Or to phrase that differently, what is something that is really, really important to me? Take some time to think about this.
Make a list of your top values, things that are really important to you. Your list might include values like ambition, self-reliance, patience, kindness, boldness, responsibility, freedom, spontaneity, mastery, calmness, curiosity, disruption, courage, speed, power, honesty. Those are just a few examples and there are hundreds more. See if you can make a list of your top values. If your list is super long, challenge yourself to narrow it down to top three values. You could probably group them into things and get clearer, or maybe five, but not like 40. Let’s keep it tight.
Then, once you’ve clarified your top values then the next question is, how can I make sure that these values show up in my company in every single thing we do? Everything we do behind the scenes and everything that we do in public? For instance, if courage is a top value for you, how could you make sure that courage is infused into your newsletter, the topics you cover on your podcast, the things you post on social media, the curriculum you build for your classes, the stories you tell when you speak on stage, the manufacturers that you partner with to create your physical products.
The way you show up as a leader for your team, your product packaging and logo and color palette, all of the things. If you express the value of courage everywhere in your business and you do this consistently, day after day, year after year, this creates a rock-solid brand. This creates a brand with the capacity to grow to seven figures and beyond. Strong values equal strong brand, equal strong cashflow. It is all connected.
I really want to emphasize, the thing about values is a value is empty and meaningless unless you are expressing it through your actions. You can’t just talk about a value and think it’s going to have an effect; you actually have to be about it. For example, like I mentioned earlier, equity is a top value for Hello Seven. We don’t just say, “We value equity,” on our website and leave it there. We do our best to live it.
We make sure this value is reflected in everything that we so. For instance, in our company we offer our team profit sharing. Our full-time employees receive cash bonuses every time we hit a big financial goal. In fact, not only that, they get profit sharing every single month. So, if we’ve had an amazing month, they get to enjoy that. If we’ve had a terribly month, they’re going to feel that too because the profit sharing will be low or zero. That is equity in action. We are paying people in a fair and equitable manner where the profit sharing is not based on how high up you are on the team, how senior your position, the profit sharing is based on how long you’ve been with us.
So, somebody who’s an administrative assistant is getting profit sharing that is similar to the profit sharing that our coaches enjoy. It’s not based on who’s job is more important, every single person’s job is important and everybody gets to enjoy a portion of profit sharing every single month based on how long they’ve been with us. Other than that, there’s no other factor that goes into calculating profit sharing other than the fact that they’ve been with us for six months, or nine months, or two years, so those who have been with us longer will get a little bit more profit sharing than those who haven’t.
Also, in our company, we offer special services for our Black employees. When there is yet another horrific situation with a police officer murdering a Black person, we say to our Black employees, “Take the day off. Take care of yourself,” and we have grief counseling available for you. That is another example of equity. We take steps to make sure that our workplaces are safe and fair and just and that people have the resources they need.
In our company, our mission is to redistribute the world’s wealth in an equitable way. We want women to hold just as much financial power as men. That’s why we starting We Should All Be Millionaires: The Club to help women increase their income by 30% minimum within 12 months because we believe that economic equity is key to improving our greater society.
Okay, so I have a little assignment for you. Think about a company you really admire. Maybe it’s Peloton or Whole Foods or Netflix or Apple or Fenty Beauty or whatever brand you love, google the name of that company “plus company values.” This will probably pull up a search result, a webpage where you can read that company’s value. These values are usually posted somewhere publicly on the website. Really easy to find. Read their company’s values. This might give you some inspiration on how you can write down a list of values for your own company, too. That’s an excellent place to begin.
The companies that you love are going to be a great example and probably share some of the values that you want to have and represent in your company as well. A couple questions you might be wondering, you might be thinking, “Well, I have my own personal values, but are those the same as my company values or are these two different things?” In my opinion, they are not two different things. Who you truly are as a person is going to find its way into your company. Your personality becomes the foundation of your company’s brand. Your beliefs become the company’s beliefs, and your values become the company’s values.
They may expand and morph over time as your company gets larger and you build a team and you get a large following of customers, right? Your team and your audience are going to affect your brand and their values are going to become connected to the company’s values, but it all starts with you.
So, when you, as the founder, are building a business you need to be thinking about what are those values that I hold personally that really are going to wind up becoming the foundational values of this company. Another question you might be thinking is, “What if I just can’t figure out what my values are?” Or, “What if I have so many values and I can’t narrow it down?”
There are a lot of different ways to figure out your top values. A couple exercises you could try include thinking about someone you admire. Think about someone you admire, someone you aspire to be like. Maybe you admire Serena Williams or Michelle Obama or Ruth Bader Ginsburg or Rihanna or Cesar Milan, The Dog Whisperer, or whomever. Why do you admire this person so strongly? What the values that they are living? This might tell you a lot about your own values, too. Who we see and who we admire are usually a reflection of what we want and what we believe in for ourselves. If you spot it, you got it. That’s a Martha Beck-ism, but if you can spot it in somebody else you probably have it within yourself as well. So, that’s why this exercise can really work.
Another exercise to try is to think about a time in your life that felt like a peak experience for you. You were in your flow, feeling amazing, feeling like the absolute best version of yourself. What was happening in that moment? What values were being expressed in that moment?
Or another thing you could do is think about a time in your life that felt really shitty for you. You felt ashamed, guilty, exhausted, or just felt like, “This is not the kind of person I aspire to be.” What was happening in that moment? What values were being suppressed in that moment?
Those are just a few ways to start getting clearer and getting the juices flowing on what your values actually are. If there’s something that is really important to you, something you care strongly about and you even get emotional about it, that is one of your top values. But a value means nothing unless you express it.
You can’t just think about it or talk about, you got to actually be about it, my friend. You have to let this value shine through your actions, through your decisions, through how you spend your time and energy and money, too. As the founder and CEO of your company you need to bake your top values into everything you do. You need to express your top values to every single team member so they all feel it and can also live it.
You need to do this right now even if you have a very tiny company and no employees aside from you. It doesn’t matter. It’s still so important to do this. Here’s another thing that I really want you to know about your company values. They can change. They will shift over time. The world is changing around you, you are changing, you are a growing human being, right? There is all kinds of growth happening as you have more experiences, as politics change in the world, as society’s values shift your values will shift as well. As you get older your values can change, right? So, don’t think that you can’t write down these company values, you can’t publish them, you can’t share them because they’re going to change. They are going to change, and it’s okay. Here’s an example, at Hello Seven we used to have a lot of values that were things like, “Do epic shit. If you’re not growing, you’re dying. We like our standards the way we like our spirits, high. Ride or die. There’s always room for improvement. Work your strengths.” These were some of our values.
We are now re-evaluating our values and why is that? Because a lot of those values were all about being excellent, working hard, hustle, and I have never been the type of person who is about hustle, hustle, hustle all the time without rest, but my values have shifted and while I do still have incredibly high standards for myself and for my team, frankly. While I do absolutely believe there’s always room for improvement, and while I do appreciate loyalty and being all in it together, my values have shifted a bit.
So, things that are really important to me and probably more important to me now to be expressed are really around diversity. One of my newest values is rest is revolutionary. Laughter is mandatory. That’s an old value that we had and it will continue. The future is equitable is one of the values that I’ve now identified for my company because that is key to every single thing that I’m doing and it’s always been there, but I just didn’t express it as one of my top five.
But now, it’s so crystal clear that it is a top five. It is one of my top values at this point and it is definitely a top value for the company and for how we run it. So, I created my company values probably three or four years ago and now I’m revisiting them and I’m shifting them and I’m updating them based on what are my highest values now? Because in three or four years the world has changed a lot and I have changed a lot as a company owner and as a CEO and as a citizen. So, those shifts have caused me to want to shift our company values a bit because we read these values at the beginning of all of our bigger team meetings. When we are doing our quarterly planning as a team we’re going through our values and reading them aloud to remind ourselves why the hell are we here and what we doing? What are we here to actually accomplish?
When we were reading through those values recently we were like, “This feels very hardcore. Work hard.” It’s a little too aggressive, and we’ve shifted a little bit. Now, we’ve become maybe slightly softer. Maybe we’ve shifted our approach. Maybe our approach is more connected to femininity in some ways. I don’t know. I’m just making shit up at this point, but you get my point, right? Your values will shift and that’s okay. When they shift, adjust them. They’re not written in stone. You can absolutely update them and that’s okay.
Does that mean those other values have completely gone away? No. You probably still believe in working really hard, or you still believe in do epic shit, but it just may not be expressed that way anymore. You may want to shift how you’re expressing it and that’s okay. I also want to just make a quick note on how to use these values. Use them everywhere.
It can be an opt-in that people download, it can be on your about page, it can be shared in an email with your list as a reminder, it can definitely be in a nurture sequence when people are just opting in to your mailing list and getting to know your company, you can share what your company values are there. You can share them in webinars that you do in all of your marketing. You can share them with your clients and you should absolutely share them with your clients. You can share them on social media.
So, values are not only something that is so core and foundational to your business, but it’s also something that is a piece of content that you can be sharing all the time, like the literal list of your values you can share them in a lot of places. You should absolutely be going over them or reviewing them as a team on a regular basis with your team of contractors and employees. You can be revisiting them at your live events where you center everyone by saying, “Hey, here are our highest values for this event. This is the values for our company and by extension, they’re the values for this event.”
Don’t be afraid to work your values into so much more than just putting it on the about page of your website. You can use them. They are a living, breathing thing, and when you use them, and when you’re constantly reviewing them, they will almost be a measure, right? Where you can really ask yourself, are we truly living that? Are we truly living that value? Can we hold our head up high and feel an integrity that we can actually state that that’s our value because we’re actually living it and taking action based on those values on a daily basis?
You can revisit your company values when you’re making decisions. In fact, you should absolutely be looking at your company values when you’re making decisions. Those are the filters through which you can make your million-dollar decisions in your company. That is why this is so crucial and such a core piece of content and a core piece of your brand. It is a cornerstone of your brand, especially nowadays, people want to know what your values are before they decide to work with you, before they decide to join your team, before they decide to partner with you in any way. They want to know what your values are and they want to know that those values align.
We’re all trying to make better decisions with our time, our attention, our financial resources and our other forms of resources, right? We want to use our money and resources and time to support brands and companies that are aligned with our personal values. We all want to do that nowadays. So, make sure your customers can do that because they can clearly see what your values are. You’re expressing them so clearly and so often that they could recite them probably better than you can, okay?
So, one final thought on this. When you know what your values are, but you are not expressing your values because you are too timid or too shy or too scared to reveal what you really care about, this hurts. It hurts you, it hurts your customers, it definitely hurts your revenue, too. When you live out of alignment with your values it feels awful. You feel like a fraud or you feel cowardly or you just feel like something is seriously off. Like, you’re being squeezed into a box that is not the right size for you. Something is out of whack.
You don’t want to live like that and you definitely don’t want to run your company like that either. So, get clear on your values, bring them into your company, and express them consistently because that is how you build a million-dollar brand.
Do you want to make more money? A lot more money? How about increasing your income by 30% minimum in the next year? Sounds pretty good, right? Then you need to join We Should All Be Millionaires: The Club. Go to helloseven.co/club and join the club now. Inside the club October is Build Your Brand Month. If you want to build a million-dollar brand that people can’t stop talking about, get yourself into the club because we’re going to break it down and help you do exactly that.
This October I’m giving a presentation on how to create company values. You will walk away from this presentation feeling crystal clear on your values and how to express these values in everything you do. This presentation is exclusively available to club members, so you’ve got to join if you want to get the gold. Join the club at helloseven.co/club. That is helloseven.co/club, see you up in there.