Define Your Values

What are your values and principles? Most of us go and do business, and really conduct our whole lives based on these, but if we were asked to write them down, would it be that easy?

There’s been a lot of self-discovery as part of my SFM training. In it, quite early on in the process, I was asked to define what my personal values are. Now, as a ‘scattered creative’ and one who doesn’t place all of his eggs in one basket, this was quite a hard one to put together. This ‘beast’ has many heads, so to speak.

At this point in time, I have several interests, businesses and projects, that divide my time:

Graphic design: This is my day to day work, and the current business that, in essence, pays the bills.

Music: For the last 30 years it’s been my hobby, but recently I’ve been putting together a catalogue of my own songs into recordings that I intend to market.

Books: I’ve been working on writing and illustrating a couple of children’s books. One is written, and I’m working on the character illustrations.

Ballooning: I’m a hot air balloon pilot, and it’s something I’d like to do more of, again when I get the chance. At the moment this happens mostly at weekends, and in England, that’s also when it’s not windy, or raining!

Digital marketing: As guided and mentored by SFM, my latest and current undertaking. Initially this was to help me find new ways in the marketing of my graphic design business, but I realise now that it’s potential is far beyond that.

I’ve been trying for a long time to find some way of unifying my set of separate skills, to bring them under one roof, and no matter how I try, none of them seem to go together on the same page.

I’ve come to the conclusion now that perhaps they shouldn’t.

What needs to underpin this instead is a unifying set of personal principles, that define who I am, not to try and define myself by whatever jobs I’m doing.

WHAT I STAND FOR

Family:  Firstly I’m a husband, and father. My family are my greatest love, my priority and my inspiration.

Honesty: This goes for everything I do. I believe in being fair and ethical in the pursuits I undertake, or the standards I uphold.

Integrity: Like honesty, but it means doing the right things in a reliable and unwavering way. I like to be straight, consistent, and congruent in my actions and opinions.

Truthful: If something needs to be said, I will say it, with sincerity, and as tactfully as possible.

Creativity: The more I look at the things I do, it’s always done with a creative approach. It is a part of my being, and I cannot escape that side of my nature. I’m least happy when people have tried to restrict that side of me.

Inspiration:  This kind of goes hand in hand with creativity, because I find that when I’m at my most creative, I am able to inspire others in all manner of ways. If I can inspire others, then that gives me  the most satisfaction, and to see others inspired, that alone is it’s greatest reward.

MY GUIDING PRINCIPLES

Although there’s a few phrases here already mentioned above, I think they really summarise what are the things that drive me, my ‘raisons d’être’. They are:

  • Fairness and honesty
  • Always strive to improve
  • Learning never stops
  • Always over-deliver
  • Balance work and family
  • Seek always to inspire
  • Listen to others first
  • Always seek a fresh perspective
  • Love is at the centre of all deeds
  • Pay it forward
  • Gratitude for all things

If I can summarise Lifestyle Creatives then, it’s this:

To always seek to inspire others to find their true potential, so that they may have the business, wealth, freedom and lifestyle they desire, and thus to inspire others in return.

Thanks then to my mentors, founders Stuart and Jay, at the SFM and DEA, and the SFM community, for helping me to gain some focus and perspective on who I am, and what I truly stand for.

Thank you, guys.

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