What Are Core Values And Why You Need Them In Your Online Business

08 Oct, 2021 By Bobby Klinck
What Are Core Values And Why You Need Them In Your Online Business

This might sound crazy… but having core values will make doing business easier, less stressful, and a lot more fun. Before you roll your eyes and click away, hear me out.

Core values are part of setting up a business the right way. They actually help you create the business of your dreams by showing you what really matters. Having clarity on what really matters to you helps you say yes to opportunities that are in alignment with your values and no to those that are out of alignment. 

Core Values: What Are They?

A core value is something you believe in and want your business to be. Core values aren’t necessarily outward-facing or things that people see from the outside of your business. More importantly, core values are internal to your business. They help guide your team and inform the way you run your business.

Core values are important because there are so many things to think about, decide, and do daily. If we have to make each decision on its own, think through it, and analyze and break down every potential option, it would be overwhelming, and you’d get lost in the minutiae.

When you have core values, they will help you move forward and decide what you need to do and what you don’t need to do. It makes things way simpler.

External And Internal Core Values

Some of my core values are outward-facing or external, and if you’ve been reading my blog posts or listening to my podcasts, you may be familiar with some of them by now. Some of my core values include “radical giving,” “more cowbell,” and “bring yourself into your business.”

But some of my external values are just as much internal ones. “Business should be fun,” for example. You might say that that one sounds crazy because, let’s face it, some parts of business really aren’t fun. But it’s one of our core values in my business because our point is, we do things that are fun because we want to enjoy our job.

Using Core Values In Decision-Making

Maybe the concept of core values seems vague. Let me share a few examples that illustrate how practical core values are for driving business decisions.

Business Should Be Fun

Back in early 2020, my colleague Katie and I were in the middle of a discussion about the promotion calendar for our business. We were thinking about all the things we were going to do and structuring them. But something was off, and we both knew it.

It was helpful to have someone like Katie to bounce ideas with and tell me frankly, “Look, if a promotion isn’t fun, if a promotion feels draining, we shouldn’t be doing that. We should be finding things that we enjoy promoting. We should be making it fun.”

And it should have been a no-brainer because fun was one of our core values, but I was still struggling with the decision. It was dragging me down and draining me. But then Katie and I got on Zoom call, and she simply said, “That’s it. You’re not having fun. We’re not doing this.”

It was great that just a simple reminder from Katie was all I needed to remember one of my core values. It allowed me to make that decision more easily.

Now maybe fun isn’t one of your values—I’m not pushing my core values on you. I’m simply saying that it becomes easy to make decisions when you have core values. When a tough thing comes up, you can just ask yourself what your core values are, and you’ll know what to do.

Radical Giving

Another example of how a core value helped me make a decision happened when I was deciding about doing a few things with my friend Amy Porterfield when she was relaunching her program, Digital Course Academy. I had talked to the previous year about providing some training and maybe even providing a template.

I didn’t have to think hard about whether to say yes because one of my core values is radical giving. And I know that the more I give, the better I feel. And the happier I am, the better my business does.

So again, it wasn’t hard to decide whether I ought to give this thing that provides value to Amy and her community. I said yes because radical giving is one of my core values.

Have People Who Will Remind You About Your Values

Now, even though you have core values, it can be easy to lose sight of them momentarily, 

particularly when you’re in the throes of making a decision. That’s why it’s important to have people in your corner, who know what your core values are and are willing to say, “Hey, how does that line up with this or that core value that you have?”

It could be a team member. It could be a business “bestie.” Having people around you who know those things about you and what you believe in is important. They will help pull you back in line with your core values.

If you don’t have a team yet, you should work on building relationships with people who know your business and you can bounce ideas off and who know the things you stand for and will call you on it if you forget.

Commit To Your Values: Tell People About Them

Now that you’ve read this far, I want you to commit to certain core values for your business. I can’t pick them for you. You’ve got to pick those for yourself. Ask yourself: What do you believe? What are your core fundamental beliefs about how you should run your business?

It could be giving or putting people first or creativity. Whatever it is for you, you need to pick your core values and commit to them. Once you do that, things are going to get easier.

While a big part of your commitment is internal, an important aspect of committing to your core values is telling other people. If you’re not willing to tell other people, it’s like saying, “Well, I’m committed, but I’m not really committed.

Commitment comes when you’re willing to share and express what’s important to you. Your values should be important enough that you want to share them with everyone. That’s why plenty of people know about my core values like “business should be fun” and “more cowbell.” 

Plenty of my people (team members, colleagues, confidants) know all these things that I believe to be true about business. And they’re willing to call me out if I stray from my core values.

Take A Stand

So pick your core values, commit to them, and share them with the people who matter to you. If you do that, it’s going to get much easier to build the online business of your dreams.

Have you joined BADA$$ Online Marketing University (BOMU) already? If not, I encourage you to sign up and learn more about building your online business the right way. We have multiple courses on online marketing, legal foundations, and more. The catch? It’s absolutely FREE. It’s one way that I live out my core value of radical giving.

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Bobby Klinck

Harvard Lawyer and Online Entrepreneur