It’s one thing to know your values as an entrepreneur.
It’s another to take the time to clearly define them, and make sure EVERYTHING you do in your business is aligned.
One of our cherished tribe members, Eyal, describes what this process did for his business…
BVB: What’s working for you these days Eyal?
Eyal: Recently, we went through a process to realign the company around who we truly are, and what we really believe in. So it’s really gone back to basics and being extremely authentic and genuine in how we operate in this world.
It’s this deep truth that we now speak in everything that we do. And we use in everything that we say. It’s making a huge difference.
One example is that we no longer accept clients who are not aligned with these values. We actually turn down clients that don’t fit what we do best and what we know we are.
BVB: How do you determine if a potential client is aligned?
Eyal: We went through a big transition, and we now know that we only want to help companies and entrepreneurs that are here to do something that is improving the world that we live in.
And that was not always the case. In the beginning, we pretty much took any client that came our way.
The difference now is that we are able to help the world through their work.
BVB: Why did you choose to become more selective about your client base?
Eyal: When I started waking up in the morning going to work, and not being super excited about what I am doing, I realized that I couldn’t continue in that way.
That’s literally what happened. It just didn’t feel right anymore. And it started brewing in me for months, and I said “okay, this just can’t continue.”
So we stopped all of our marketing efforts in those old markets. We stopped using their language. We started using the language that now speaks to us and speaks to the clients we want to be connecting with.
We relaunched the company under a new name, a new brand, everything.
The team stayed the same, the products and services stayed the same, but the face and look and feel had to change to fit who we are now attracting.
BVB: Did the people in your company actually get together to work on recreating your values?
Eyal: We absolutely did that. It started with my looking at my computer and asking myself “What are my personal core values? What’s extremely important to me?” And writing those down.
Then I took that to my team and that’s when we talked about that.
We don’t call them our core values, we call them our operating principles. Because we believe they need to be a lot more than just a placard on the wall. They need to be what we use to guide every single action that we take in our business.
BVB: Do you have a system in place to make sure that you are operating from those principles?
Eyal: What I do as a business leader is build our values into every single conversation that I have with the team. And I ask them to bring examples of when they used our values.
And here’s an example. We had a client who came to us and really wanted to work with us. They were willing to pay tens of thousands of dollars to do so. And we were at a point where we really could have used the cash flow. Badly. It was a rough period in the business.
But it was super clear that this person wanted to use our knowledge and skills and apply them in a less than ethical manner, and I ended up saying, “Look, Sir, I know what you are trying to accomplish, this is not a good fit.” And I turned him away.
The next day, one of my team members came to me and she said “Do you know how proud I am to work at a place that actually does what they say they are going to do?”
She was so proud and she knew what our financial situation was. That day felt really great and it was a reinforcement for how I choose to lead our business.
BVB: What are some results you have seen from this realignment?
Eyal: Over the last year our list size grew by 12 times.
About half of them are from people who do fit these new characteristics. About half are still from the old tribe, but half are from the new tribe.
Another very tangible thing is that every single member of the team now feels a very deep connection with our brand which means that they are eager to share about what we do. So they actually started bringing in new clients.
It’s not part of their job. But they’re so excited to talk about what we do.
Webinars that we do are working really well because only aligned people show up, so we are generating tens of thousands of dollars out of a single webinar.
BVB: Why do you think a value driven model is so increasingly crucial in today’s marketplace?
Eyal: At Spotlight Leadership when we work with leaders, when we train leaders, we talk with them about the art of connection. Anyone can manage, but not everyone can lead. The fundamentals of leadership come from a deep interpersonal connection.
That is exactly what clients crave as well. Deep connection with the people they invest in.
I think it works really well too because it keeps me and my entire team so excited to work with people.
BVB: What advice do you have for people who want to implement a more value driven system into their business?
Eyal: It starts with something really simple. Quiet time and a big flip chart, and some colorful pens.
Just standing in front of that, allowing myself to be creative, and answering the simple question “When I wake up in the morning, what is really important to me?”
And when I close my eyes at night, what is important to me?
That’s it. That’s what gave me all the answers that I needed.
One key element that is really important is that when I knew what was true, I had to make the decision to never look back. I believe in being very flexible in life, but it’s one thing I can no longer be flexible about. So I recommend to people being inflexible about what they tolerate in your life.
BVB: Thanks Eyal, this has been great…
What are your core values as an entrepreneur?
Share in the comments below!
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