A Shift in Values: Permission to Change your Brand Values and Evolve
This week, our blog post comes from Ashlee Sang Consulting; she consults conscious and caring business owners so they can grow their impact and their revenue.
I talk a LOT about core values in business.
Because combined with your mission and audience, your values are your gut check to know if you’re on the right path, or need to course correct.
This is SUPER valuable as a conscious and caring CEO—you have to make decisions and put your reputation on the line all day every day.
But something we often overlook: your values are allowed to evolve with you as a founder and your business as a brand.
We’re not talking about running your business loosey goosey here. But we are talking about adaptability and reflection.
Changing A Core Value
I recently updated one of my core values—swapping freedom for integrity. It took being OUT of integrity for me to realize how important it is to me.
Here’s how it went down.
1. I hosted a free workshop. (Ironically, about brand values!) The sign-up was via Eventbrite and I added a donation option if people felt so inclined.
2. Then RIGHT at the end of the sign-up period, someone from my email list wrote saying she was having trouble registering for free.
(Side note: if you see something broken—a link, a typo, whatever—tell the business owner! It’ll save them so much headache and missed opportunity in the long run!)
3. After doing some digging, I realized that Eventbrite was requiring a minimum donation, not just creating space for it. *face palm, big sigh, groannnn*
So I’d promoted this free thing, then unintentionally did a bait and switch. Aka my worst nightmare. So out of alignment, so out of integrity.
I had that icky, itchy, bubbling feeling inside. Basically, mortification. So that’s how integrity shot up to the top of my brand values list.
Because integrity feels good to me. That’s how I like to connect. That’s how I like to operate.
Adjusting My Other Values
But then I had another small dilemma—I’d already defined 5 core values. Any more than that dilutes your message and your decision-making. So I had to bump something.
I was staring at “freedom” on my list and just wasn’t feeling it. Freedom might be a byproduct of some of my decisions, but I realized it’s not a driving force.
When it comes to establishing your brand values and creating a brand messaging strategy, it’s all about distilling your ideas and finding common threads or umbrella concepts.
Freedom could tuck nicely under my umbrella value of exploration. I care more about the freedom to explore than the concept of freedom itself.
Living Out My Brand Values
So now, as they currently stand, these are my brand values. (Including how I personally define them, which is an essential part of the process.)
✧ Contribution — feeling connected to something bigger than myself
✧ Integrity — living out my values and practicing what I preach
✧ Conscientiousness — bringing empathy and awareness to my life and work
✧ Exploration — creating space to experiment and staying open to different perspectives
✧ Intentionality — taking and encouraging confident, meaningful action
These values are personal to me and how I run my business, but you should also establish, define, apply, AND revisit your own core values.
Love Ashlee? So do we!
Don’t miss Ashlee’s upcoming workshop with District Bliss, Founders on a Mission: Run a Business that Feels and Does Good!
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Join us for Founders On A Mission: Run a Business that Feels and Does Good on Weds, 4/26, at 12:30pm ET / 9:30am PT
“I wanted clarity on how to put the puzzle pieces together to meet my new business goals. After our call, I had clarity and confidence. I felt like Ashlee helped untangle the web. Ashlee’s sessions are like going to business therapy. She helps you see how your messaging and business goals work together.” – CYNDI ZAWESKI, Content Strategist & CEO, Ascent StoryCraft
Ashlee Sang consults conscious and caring business owners so they can grow their impact and their revenue. Through Ashlee Sang Consulting and as host of the Purpose & Progress Podcast, she equips entrepreneurs to take confident, meaningful action in alignment with their values. She believes that business can feel and do good when it’s rooted in values and propelled by purpose. Before doing brand messaging strategy and marketing consulting, she worked with a variety of nonprofit organizations, including a human rights education NGO in Senegal and a local branch of Habitat for Humanity. The common thread has been sharing messages that matter. Based in Central Illinois, Ashlee has a background in anthropology and a penchant for travel. She’s a fan of one-liners, happy surprises, and taking walks in the sunshine. Learn more at ashleesang.com.
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