Have you ever stopped and reflected upon your personal core values? What do you hold as important and sacred in who you are and the work that you do? Recently, as part of my homework with my coach, I was asked to list out my core values and explain what our organization lives by and stands firm on each and every day.
Why is this important? It matters because if you are unclear in who you are and what you stand for – and what you are providing to others – then your positive impact will be limited. Your values define who you are and how you live your life. What you offer others and how you treat co-workers, friends, clients, and family is a function of your values. Without exploring your values, you put a ceiling on your growth and full potential.
When was the last time you wrote down what values you hold as important? For me, it had been a long time. I was able to easily answer the question, once I thought about it, as my mind was flooded with words that describe my core values and what I want our organization to represent. I find it helpful to revisit this list periodically and reflect on what I hold as important. Leading the company, in a direction that always stays true to these beliefs, is paramount to who we are and the good we may do for others.
There are no wrong answers when listing out your values. This is completely subjective and part of who you are. Your values may change over time, as you grow personally, have different life experiences, and learn more about what’s most important to you. Setting time aside to revisit your values helps you gain clarity and allows you to enhance the potential positive impact on all areas of your life.
Values provide purpose. It’s in this purpose that you find the energy to be who you are. When we get stressed, become unglued, or have feelings of doubt, it’s our purpose that can center us and bring things back into perspective.
Here are the values that drive me and our organization:
There’s a lot here, it speaks clearly to what we place importance on when working on the sensitive topics of money, goals, and priorities. It’s our hope that our clients, and prospective clients, experience these feelings when working with our firm, as it’s “who we are”.
I wanted to communicate my values clearly, as these are genuinely who I am, and who we are as a company. Putting these values on my website, and broadcasting to the world what I value, didn’t feel right or natural. I feel it devalues what I hold as important and lumps me into the broad group of other financial professionals and what they say on their website. Instead, I would rather live my values, each and every day as we plan and strategize. For me, this demonstrates “leadership through example”. It’s very easy to say you value something, but our actions tell the truthful story. I use this blog as a medium to share our values and experiences with existing and prospective clients, in a way that helps them with areas of their financial life. This is something important to us.
We don’t simply want to blend in, instead we have chosen to stand-out in terms of thought leadership and core values, which drive the service and planning we provide. We continue to take a boutique approach by limiting the number of families and professionals we serve. Our goal is not to take on as many clients as possible. There is nothing wrong serving hundreds of clients, as that is often the case in many financial firms, but that approach is not how we choose to run our business. Instead, we strive to provide services that do the most possible good for the limited number of families and professionals who have selected us as their financial planner and coach.
Working independently, for the good of our clients, reduces potential conflicts and allows us to focus on helping clients achieve more of what’s important to them. I aim to explore each of these values, in more detail, in future postings to better communicate and share what we stand for as a firm.