Along my journey, I have come to learn how important core values helped me achieve my goals. My core values are faith, determination, dedication and compassion.

Along my journey, I have come to learn how important core values helped me achieve my goals. My core values are faith, determination, dedication and compassion.

I realized my first core value of faith at a very young age. (Most people can’t remember things that happened to them while they were young, but I distinctly remember a moving train and my mother pressing hard on the gas as I held on for dear life in the back seat.) Values that were instilled in me from a young age have come to shape my very existence and contribute to the success I have today.

In this article, you will see how your fundamental beliefs are crucial to any business’s success, whether it be in one’s personal life or organization.

They say that someone else’s success is tied to whether or not you are obedient to yours. I faced a lot of trials and tribulations in my years of climbing to the top. I had to learn things the hard way. I had to push through. No one held doors open for me. I had to unlock them. So if I can help just one person out, they can pay it forward to do the same. 

Core Values Dictate Outcome

As I entered my career as a massage therapist and esthetician, my goal was to become a boss by owning my business. I honestly did not realize what it all entailed or how to begin. As I wrote everything down I needed, like equipment and the vision of my space, I would come to realize something later on—much later, actually: I realized my core values dictated my behavior and outcome.

The journey I was on forced me to take a leap of faith. I knew with the preparation I had done I would be ready. Faith is my number-one core value, actually my driving force.

Every “no” I received pushed me harder to my destination. Determination is another one of my core values. It is perhaps my second strongest core value, and pushed me through everything and made me a better person. Without my determination and faith, you would not be reading this now.

Finding a purpose may be easy for some and for others it could take a lifetime. It’s also more than a job or a career. It’s much deeper. It’s that driving force that is unstoppable. It’s the knowing you are meant for something more, even when you can’t put your finger on it.

For me, this took time; it did not show up or manifest quickly. I remember listening to recruiters in high school and when they mentioned massage therapy, something resonated deep within me. My family had no clue what massage meant, and encouraged me to pursue working with computers. I listened to them, and went into animation and design. I hated it. I quit. Doesn’t sound much like determination, does it?

Dedication, however, kept me pursuing something I knew was in my heart and soul, and I would not stop. Compassion also helped me pursue this profession. Sometimes we don’t identify our core values, but someone may help us along the way to navigate our course to help others. I have always had compassion and in my opinion, it is crucial for my business.

Negative Core Values Matter Too

Another thing to remember is that individuals do not necessarily choose their core values. Many people have these values instilled in them by their parents and the surrounding community and could be either positive or negative.

You may already live by strong core values without realizing it. Here are some examples of the negative core values in your life that you may identify with: 

• A belief that the world is fundamentally a hard place and that only the strong survive.

• A belief that people are powerless to change personal situations.

• A belief that you do not deserve good things or relationships in life.

 • A belief that people are unloving or non-deserving.

 • A belief that life is meaningless. 

Identify Positive Core Values

• What brings me the most joy in life

After you start to diminish your negative core values, you can begin to work on your positive ones. List your four cornerstone values. Ask yourself the following questions:

• What provides meaning to my life?

• What is my guiding principle to do well in life? 

• What would I want to achieve?

• What is the one thing that seems to keep me going? 

• Do I have firm beliefs? 

• What are the central beliefs that guide my actions?

Company Core Values

Core values guide companies to determine if they are fulfilling their goals by creating an unwavering commitment and if they are in it for the long run. These guiding principles help define how your company should behave in business. Core values are usually expressed in the corporation’s mission statement.

Some examples of core values for a company include: 

• A commitment to sustainability and to acting in an environmentally friendly way.

• A commitment to innovation and excellence. 

• A commitment to doing good for the whole.

• A commitment to caring for others.

Endless Possibilities

Who would have thought that a little Black boy from Mississippi would one day become the owner of a six-figure business in an industry where people who look like him are few and far between? If you take these exercises seriously and apply them to your business, I promise you that the possibilities are endless.

About the Author:

Terrance Bonner

Highly recognized in the massage and esthetic industry, massage therapy instructor and CE provider Terrance Bonner has trained all over the U.S. and internationally. His continued training and dedication to his craft, as well as his diverse approach to massage and skin care, has led him to be featured on CBS, FOX and NBC, and in The New York Times. He is the author of “Determination + Core Values = Success: A Business-Building Guidebook for New Wellness Entrepreneurs,” available on and from which this article was adapted.