We all grew up with the pressure to be someone else. We watched famous athletes amaze us and gain the attention of the world, beauty queens glide across the stage and catch every stare, and movie stars attract millions to their films and accept awards in front of the elite.
But then we grew up, matured, found our own careers, and that pressure went away completely. Except not really. Maybe we’ve moved past the pressure and desire to be professional athletes, models, or actors, but what about the pressure to be like those who do what we do? What about the local or regional competitor or the global powerhouse thought-leader? Is there some pressure there?
The advice we received as children still holds up for us professionals today and for the businesses we run – Be You, Not Someone Else. There’s a popular hashtag right now: #YouDoYou. On Instagram it’s connected to about 400,000 posts. I’m sure the hashtag doesn’t match my point or opinion perfectly, but there’s likely some wisdom hidden deep down in there somewhere. So, what’s at stake when we stop being ourselves?
When business owners try to be someone else, something tragic happens: they lose their core values.
Every business has competitors, and while there’s value in knowing what they’re doing, you can reach a point where you know too much. If you lose your conviction, you’re paying too close attention. If you lose your confidence, you’re paying too close attention. If you lose your ability to make difficult, risky decisions, you’re paying too close attention. Business is not 1 + 1 = 2. What works for one doesn’t work for all, mostly because your work must be grounded in your conviction, confidence, and decisions … all of which should be rooted in your core values.
Your core values will push you further than the work of a competitor ever will.
A 4 Step Process for Using your Core Values to Make Decisions
The world doesn’t need more copycats. It needs businesses who will stand on their convictions and commit to live by a set of authentic, passionate values. That is what will impact communities and change the world, little by little. Here’s 4 ways to be fully you.
#1: Create and Share your Core Values with your Team
Creating core values is a top priority for your business and we’ve written a lot on the subject. After you’ve created your core values, you need to share them with your team and act on them. A core value written down but never implemented isn’t a core value.
#2: Take Action
Your core values should be so crystal clear that they serve as a tool for making difficult decisions, such as how you’ll respond to a dissatisfied customer, how you’ll invest your time and resources, or how you’ll hire and onboard your next team member.
#3: Be Confident in Your Decisions
When your core values are authentic and true to who you are, you should have full confidence in making decisions based on them. Don’t second guess a decision made from a core value. As the leader of your company, if you’re not confident in your decisions then no one else will be, and that weakness could harm the trust your client has in you.
#4: Commit to the Long Game
Once your decision is made, give it time to breathe. As impatient people, we tend to make snap judgments and get so focused on immediate results that we forget about the long game. If you continue to be who you are at your most foundational level as a business, your consistency will pay off. Consistency wins over and over. In fact, consistency is one of your strongest assets as a company.
Hopefully as you read this article you were challenged to make some difficult decisions. As you prepare to act on them, be sure to use it as an opportunity to rally your team. It’s never a bad idea to get them involved.