When you have a tough decision to make regarding your business, how do you make your choice?
While you could rely on flipping a coin, you’ll be better off if you have a set of core values guiding you through hard choices. Its’ best to have every employee be guided by a set of core values that drive decisions, both big and small.
Core values aren’t just for large businesses; massage therapists and business owners can also benefit from determining their core values and letting those values guide them as they grow their practices.
Principles and Beliefs
Core values are a set of fundamental principles and beliefs that a person or organization holds. In the business world, core values are a compass pointing you in the direction of what’s important to you.
These values can range from authenticity to wisdom and vary by business. For example, the company MINDBODY has five core values:
• Committed to Wellness
• Audaciously Achieving
• Humble & Helpful
• Consciously Evolving
Your core values could include your purpose, your vision, or how you interact with the world. In short, they are whatever you find most important about being a massage therapist.
Determine Your Core Values
There are many different ways to determine what your core values should be. One good way is to identify what your fellow practitioners and clients think your values are—not only will you hear where you are now but asking can also give you feedback on what you may not want to be included.
Start by asking them for a few words that come to mind when they think about your business—if you hear some words over and over again, there’s a good chance it’s one of your core values.
Another way to determine your core values is to write down what’s most important to you. You can determine this by looking at the brands, people, and places that you identify with and mean the most to you.
Humans are drawn to those who share our values, so you may discover what you value hiding in someone else. You can also do this by imagining who your target customer is and what they value. If you value the same things, they may naturally gravitate towards your services.
Share Your Values
Now that you have your core values, it’s time to share them with the world.
Put your core values in a prominent space either in your business or on your website. It will show your customers what you value, and what they can expect if they utilize your services. And, if you have employees, this will show them that these principles are non-negotiable and will help frame conversations around staffing issues.
Making your core values public works the other way, too—if you make decisions that are contrary to your beliefs or stray from what you’ve outlined, your staff and clients will tell you.
Be sure to schedule core values check-ins on a regular basis to make sure the principles you outlined are still what matters most to your business. As you change and grow, your core values will guide your way, but that doesn’t mean they will always be the same.
What values the most to us changes with time and life experience — so what a new massage therapist values will be different from a wellness spa that’s been open for 10 years.
Once you have your core values defined and shared, you’ll find it easier to make the tough calls—after all, you now know what matters most, and it’s like having an advisor on speed dial. The big decisions that kept you up at night are a little bit easier, and you can breathe a little easier—making work enjoyable again.
About the Author:
Meredith Simmons is a senior content marketing specialist and storyteller who captures and shares the stories of businesses using MINDBODY and celebrates their contributions to wellness. To learn more about MINDBODY or their Wellness Index, visit business.mindbody.io/education/wellness-index-2019.