The Value of Recognising and Aligning our Value Systems

Have you noticed that you are automatically drawn to some people, but you also find that you are wary of other people, but not sure why? 

One of the biggest guiding factors in everything we do is our value system. Our values system is programmed into us from when we are young, and then continues to develop as we grow and mature. Our values can often change as our life circumstances change, but our main values will usually remain very similar throughout our lifetime.

It’s a great exercise to sit down and write down your personal and business values. If you have never done this, I encourage you to sit down and do it. You will notice that the values you write down will be the ones that shape your world, will determine the people that you associate with, and will be a factor in the decisions that you make. 

We need to align with people and businesses who have similar values

Have you ever had business dealings with someone and then realised too late that you are both on different pages… or even in an entirely different book?

I had a situation in one of my other businesses where I aligned with a supplier, and whilst I did my best to communicate with him as to what my expectations were, it became clear that excellence was not one of his values, but it is a important value for me in running my business. Where I’m a bit of a perfectionist, so good enough is not good enough, he believed that as long as he something was posted to me, it didn’t matter whether it was the right product or not.

When setting up partnerships with people, we must first check if our values align

Often, we get caught up in the excitement of a new venture or a new idea, and sometimes we stick with our value set and assume others have the same values, so forget to first consider if the value set of the other party aligns with our own.

When I agreed to take my supplier on, I did it as a duty of him being the first one who helped me and explained it all to me. He was a very good salesman and as he was the first one I encountered, after chatting with other suppliers, I made the decision to honour the first one.

This was one of the biggest mistakes I made in my business, because this alignment made running my business with my business values very tricky. My first customers were disappointed, I was out of pocket by having to issue refunds for wrong products and even faulty products. This supplier damaged my reputation and undid all my hard work – for almost 18 months!! 

If I had known then what I know now, I would have known to speak with him about my expectations and my values and find out what his expectations and his values were. Right then, I would have known that we were not on the same page… we weren’t even in the same book!

When values don’t align, don’t dilly dally with ending the agreement

I gave my supplier chances to change again, and again, and again… until I was finally so fed up with the process that I booked myself on a flight and canvassed for new suppliers until I found someone who was eager for my business (in my small quantity stage) and who was willing to work with me to make sure that I succeeded. He understood the basics of supplying to a small business – if my small business succeeded, then his business succeeded – it was WIN / WIN! 

My old supplier tried to keep me, but I had made the decision and it was final. After chance after chance I knew that if he couldn’t change his business practice to keep me, then I certainly wasn’t going to go back to him after severing the business relationship.

But here is what I did do. I made a point of visiting with my old supplier. I sat down with him and I explained what went wrong, and how he could improve for the current businesses he still supplied. I explained to him how much it cost me in his mistakes and his carelessness, and I encouraged him to get better at what he was doing. This was a man who had an amazing story of how he built himself up from being homeless living on the beach to running his own shop, but he was running his business for immediate dollars, not for longevity. In my dealings with him I realised that he lacked integrity and excellence – which happen to be my top two values.

When you are in alignment, you both prosper

I touched on this above, when you are in alignment with other people or businesses in your values, you are in effect working in partnership and you are setting each other up for each other to succeed and prosper. 

My philosophy in small business is working together to ensure that we are all succeeding. If we are allowing padding and making sure there is profit in both of our businesses, we can both do what we need to do. 

If this is an area you are struggling in, perhaps you may need to do some realigning in your own life, in your business, partnerships or alignments you have made.

Let’s encourage each other to grow and succeed, lets let our values shine in our business and guide the decision we make, and let’s let our values be the thing that helps to set us apart from the others… and save ourselves a lot of heart ache down the track.

Website: www.littlebiz.com.au

Facebook: www.facebook.com/littlebizfoundations

Instagram: www.instagram.com/littlebizfoundations



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