What really matters to you? What gives you the energy to get out of bed every morning and open your studio doors? A value is something desirable, prized or esteemed. Values are intrinsically uplifting and expansive. The difference between a need and a value is similar to the difference between picking up fast food and preparing a gourmet meal. In the first case, necessity (hunger) drives you; in the second case, a desire or passion (for a fine dining experience) pulls you forward of your own free will. Values reside in your core and call you to a higher place.

Your values remain important to you when all else around you is changing. To uncover your deepest values:

  • Create a list of 10 to 20 values that are important to you. Some examples might be “to energize myself and others;” “to create, design, experiment, facilitate, set standards;” or “to contribute, serve, improve, assist, strengthen, touch, encourage, lead, educate, organize, guide, model, nurture, relate.”
  • Whittle your list down to your top four or five core values.
  • Next to each value, list four or five ways you are currently living out (or not living out!) that value.
  • Create specific goals to begin expressing and living your values in your business and everyday life. Take action each week. If “adventure” is one of your values, you could set the goal of utilizing some new equipment or visiting a new park with your clients each week. On the personal side, you could commit some time each week to planning a vacation somewhere you’ve never been.

When growth stops, decay begins. Renewal becomes essential both to preserve yourself and to realize your dreams. If you have outgrown your business, instead of throwing in the towel and looking for an entirely different line of work, redefine your business to reflect the updated you. Renew your mind with a clearly defined set of needs and values; then weave those into a colorful new vision.