Understanding our purpose, help us towards our personal goals.
If you were to sit down to do an exercise on core values, you might find that the results highlight your past behaviours. It certainly did with me!
The reason’s why you made the decisions you made make more sense now that you have clarified your own intrinsic core values. Likewise, this exercise might also clarify your reason for your trajectory into entrepreneurship.
It is likely not unknown to you, the reason you chose to start a new venture. However, by determining and understanding your values, during this exercise, you will have deep-seated feelings which surface that you never knew existed.
What is Value?
I love reading the meaning behind these words that we so often take for granted. For me, reading their meaning gives the word more power.
When you check the dictionary for “Value”, the words describe that it is a:
“principle or standard of behaviour.”
I love this though —It’s one’s judgment of what is important in life.
At my ripe old age, I did a Core Values Exercise
After reviewing and prioritising an expansive list of Core Values, I systematically formed my own list.
From my own list that I had chosen, I then went on to give those personal values each a winning/losing name tag. They were weighed up against each other.
The result was a list of my seven Core Values.
My top two, I discovered are those that have driven me forward through my expansive career. So too they are what have driven me onto my journey into entrepreneurship.
They have helped me to define my purpose. This purpose is what has for the very first time, identified a set of personal goals.
These goals now entrenched in core values and purpose; I find that I have this burning desire to achieve.
Freedom and Adventure — my top two core values.
Looking back on the various moves that I made in my corporate and private career, it actually really wasn’t that I was bored. I would get to a point, and decide that I needed to move on because, at the time, I thought that it was just boredom driving me to my next challenge.
Now I understand that it was always because my top core values were consistently driving me. No career that I could ever have gleaned from a traditional mindset would have provided the satisfaction and happiness that I so desperately wanted.
My values of Freedom and Adventure were never met when I was working within another set of guidelines. I had to find and make my own set, to get me to the point of fulfilment, to find my purpose, and to eventually have my soul set on fire.
I was on a pilgrimage, and it hit me like a ton of bricks.
There I was sitting on the patio of an Albergue at the end of my walking day. Looking out over the beauty of the Spanish countryside, I was desperate not to have the journey finish.
It was a bit of a catch 22 because my goal was to get to Santiago De Compostela. At the same time, knowing that when I finished, this journey would end, and I would have to go back to my life.
Did I really have to?
I knew that I needed to make some massive changes if I were to go on living life like a perpetual pilgrim. I didn’t know what to do, but I saw my life flash before me, and it was now or never.
Yes, I know — my life flashing before me is a cliche. It so aptly describes what I experienced though. Here I was facing my 50’s, and I wanted to walk pilgrimage for the rest of my life.
It was one of two things:
- I was either having a mid-life crisis; or
- I had the most incredible epiphany.
I chose — having an epiphany.
Sometimes you have to do what you have to do.
Yes, there might be a risk. Yes, there will be failures. Yes, there will be times when you want to pack it all in and go back to a comfort zone, you know.
Sometimes you have to trust and have faith in yourself to go for it.
Life is short, and when I looked forward at my life, I knew that the pilgrimages I wanted to do needed every bit of time for me to do them.
During my revelation, I was excited and frightened all at the same time. I knew that I needed to change my mindset completely. I had always thought that I was never afraid of anything, but in fact, I realised that I was afraid of most things.
A change in mindset was necessary.
I only understood my core values and how they drove me after I had made all these decisions that would have a huge impact on my life.
Once I made this discovery, I didn’t feel weird to the world. I always believed that the way I had set up my life was because I was unnatural from other people.
It turns out that it wasn’t weird or unnatural. It was just different.
This freedom and adventure thing was my inner driver. It was leading me to everything important to me. Important to how I lived my life.
This was my first change of mindset. I wasn’t weird.
An evolving mindset is necessary.
Arriving home from my pilgrimage, and having made this decision to be on a pilgrimage for the rest of my life (I laugh at myself when I write this — I can’t help it) I had to come up with a new strategy.
After much searching, within my soul too, the digital world was my answer to this problem of time that I had. It would free up how I spent my day. It would allow me to be location independent.
I envisioned sitting back on that patio at the Albergue, working on my laptop. It was the laptop lifestyle that I needed. My office in my backpack while I am on a pilgrimage.
Maybe I could turn this hobby into a career? My love of the pilgrimage, because it is so life-changing, could help me realise my dreams. The bonus is that it could also help others realise their dreams too.
But the pitfalls of how our minds work to protect us, to keep us safe and secure were a constant reminder of how much change I needed to make. They are still a reminder; the truth be told.
You see, setting up an online business is as easy as pie. There are so many tools and applications that are now available to an online entrepreneur. You can have a website up and going in a few days. A few hours if you are completely focused!
There are so many resources available to us all. The digital world is growing; it isn’t new. So there are no new pioneers out there now, only people who are learning from others.
The critical lesson for me was that while I needed all the skills, which I could learn as I go along, my mindset needed to be constantly and persistently developing and growing towards these new very lofty personal goals of mine.
My core values now drive me.
Looking back on my journey to this point, the last year has been the most rewarding for me. At the same time, it has been the most frightening too.
I have constantly had to check myself for my fears that pop every time I have to make a decision. That is every second of the day.
As I am writing this, I am fearful that I am not going to make it to my next goal. Almost simultaneously, I recheck that thought and get it into line.
It is an ever-changing scenery. One day the wins elevate me to heights that I love. It is on those days; the goals that I have pinned above my laptop are within my reach. The losses, I feel even more deeply because these core values slip away from me.
The valleys, where most of my work is done, need to be managed too—the highs, the lows, the valleys — an emotional roller coaster that needs round-the-clock examination.
Are these fears rational? What do I do now? What is holding me back? What’s my next step? How do I achieve this next goal?
My core values might lead me to disaster. They might lead me to an ultimate metamorphosis, and where I am living completely aligned with my core values and goals. Although I am there, it is a changing landscape, and an evolving mindset helps to navigate that landscape.
This is the life of an online entrepreneur. This is the life of someone who has Freedom and Adventure as her core values.
I wouldn’t give it up for a thing!