The Three Values

Last summer I started my journey toward entrepreneurship with my first reading of The Business of Expertise by David C. Baker. Early in the book he encourages the reader to define some values to guide their business. I struggled with these for some time. Most were well-meaning but too vague, such as honesty or hard work.

So I simmered on these for a while, until recently I was listening to The Digital Writing Podcast, where the hosts laid out some rules for defining their business values that resonated with me:

  1. They should be opinionated enough to require a value judgement.
  2. The number of values should remain low to limit the number of connections between them.

It seems this was enough for inspiration to strike, and thus I was able to define my own personal values to guide my business:

  1. Extreme Ownership. This has been a core value of mine personally for several years now, and my career and personal life have both benefited from it tremendously. The victim mentality provides no value or path to growth.
  2. Daily Discipline. Something small done daily compounds tremendously, and more quickly than expected. You don’t have to solve or build everything today, but steps should be taken.
  3. Intentional Action. Dovetails nicely with Daily Discipline. If you are going to take small steps toward something every day, ensure that you are working on the right things. Taking the time to be intentional is the key to not simply reacting to what others will happily dump on your plate.