Nailing These Down Will Make You a PRO Decision Maker
I get it. As an entrepreneur you have about 93 ideas before breakfast. In fact, an unimaginable amount of your time is probably spent on trying to decide what thing to do before you can even DO THE THING, right?
This "creative-idea-ADD"--as my friend Lindsay calls it--is really holding you back from making what matters happen in your business. It’s also holding you back from your life. That’s even worse!
So, how can you develop a system of making decisions that is efficient, heart-centered, and keeps you moving toward your awesome dreams?
You need Guiding Values.
Guiding Values are the lens through which you see the world. They’re your non-negotiables. They not only tell you what TO DO, they tell you what NOT TO DO--which is honestly the most valuable thing we can discern.
Developing your Guiding Values can feel a little nebulous, so I’m going to walk you through my process, share a few of my own Guiding Values, and give you some examples of how those help me discern what to pursue, and how I attack them.
If you’ve done work on naming your values before, write those down first.
If you’ve never done that work, and you’re like OH GREAT, JUST ANOTHER THING TO DO. THANKS, JESS; don’t worry!
Here are some places to start.
What matters to you? Brain dump all of your ideas, without judgment. You can go back later and extract ideas, break things down, cross things out.
What bugs you? This is kind of a backwards-attack to values. This is the same method I used to use with my high school students to find writing topics they really cared about. What drives you absolutely insane? What really frustrates you about people, or the world? Make a list. (Again, no judgment here. Don’t dig in yet!)
Who do you want to be when you’re 80? This is my favorite question in my Powersheets every time I fill them out. That person we picture when we’re 80 is usually stripped of everything that doesn’t matter and only left with the best, what we’ve invested in for DECADES. This helps you backwards plan to what you want to invest in.
Once you have gone through these steps, look for common threads and try to boil things down to words or phrases. I like to craft each thing into a catchy phrase (hello, writer in me!) so that I can frame them and put them in my office to see all the time! (I WILL do this one day, I promise!)
My Guiding Values:
1. Always connect.
2. Grow toward a better you, not a better someone else.
3. Start before you’re ready.
4. He who began a good work in you will carry it to completion. ()
5. Pursue your LIFE, and your LORD.
6. Empower, don’t overwhelm.
Below are a few brief examples of how these might guide my business decisions (some hypothetical, some real).
Idea #1: Hey, I think I have the tools to help someone start a business in 48 hours! Maybe I should do a blog post or a course or something.
Guiding Value Check-In: This would not align with my “Empower, don’t overwhelm” value. It’s possible to fully start a business in 48 hours, but I would imagine that to be REALLY overwhelming. In teaching, I learned that your information is only as good as who can learn it. It’s not just about what you present, but how you present it. This model would not allow for things to sink in and develop a foundation as a solid business. So, nope!
Idea #2: Catchy blog post title idea, “Get them to buy before they know what hit ‘em.” Technically psychology and word-science contain tricks that trigger people, despite their actual need for the product.
Guiding Value Check-In: This title is super click-baity and would probably attract a lot of attention, but it certainly would not align with my “always connect” value. Getting people to buy is not always the same as serving people. In order to truly serve people, you need to connect with them in a way that they trust you and know you would never recommend something they don’t need. So, this one’s out.
Idea #3: Real blog post title, “How to Win at Booking Clients from Week One”
Guiding Value Check-In: While this title is also catchy, my Guiding Values tell me in order to write a post like this well, I need to make sure and include HONESTY. While I did book out my business in the first week, there are definitely things I learned that I would NOT recommend doing. Being completely booked is not everything! So in order to “empower, not overwhelm,” I need to share both those details that contributed to my success, and those that contributed to my HEADACHE so my audience can “start before they’re ready,” but still “pursue their LIFE, and their LORD," not letting business take over their life. That is what it means to truly "win," in my book.
I hope this helps you see how your Guiding Values can help illuminate what content and business opportunities you should or should not pursue, and I hope it saves you from a little bit of decision fatigue in the long run!
Take advantage of this process to nail your own Guiding Values!
I would love to hear yours in the comments or tag me over on Instagram (@jessjordana) so we can cheer you on.
Bonus Guiding Value #1: Great copy is the closest thing to sitting down with you in person. This value guides how I help my clients! I try to capture their REAL LIFE voice as much as possible, and this phrase keeps me focused on that.
Bonus Guiding Value #2: If date night isn’t tacos, you’re doing it wrong. This value helps me choose my friends. Because if date night isn’t CONSISTENTLY tacos, I’m not even sure about your priorities.