Do you know your Core Brand Values and are you running your business in alignment with them?

I’ve created a PDF to download and print. It’s for those of you, like me, who love the magical combination of a highlighter and ticking things off a list! Hello dopamine!


I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked my clients ‘what are your core values?’ and been met with the same important (absolutely) but boring responses (yup I said it!!); Honesty, Integrity, Reliability etc.

I would like you to give yourself permission right now to strike these off your core brand values list and here’s why I shudder when these words are spoken as answers to this question;

Reason #1

There’s no shame in having these values, they should be applauded. They should also be a given.

Many of these types of values are things that people take as a given about you when running a business. They are ‘expected’ and will be fulfilled by ethical business owners without conscious intention.

Reason #2

They’re pretty uninspiring and ubiquitous values, seen and heard everywhere. They tell me nothing about you as a human, your purpose or what it really feels like to work with you.

Reason #3

Because of reasons #1 and #2, these kinds of common values do absolutely nothing to help you stand out in business. We are missing a wonderful opportunity to help our people connect with us on a much deeper level than based on problems or outcomes but on shared value systems.

So let’s get a bit more creative when choosing our core values and start feeling really REALLY good about showing up in our businesses. Why? Because when we start walking our why and taking action that deeply aligns with our values, suddenly everything falls into place.

What’s the Difference between Core Values and Core ‘Brand’ Values?

Just to be clear, there’s a slight difference between Core Values that are personal and our Core ‘Brand’ Values. There is, of course, an overlap. Our brand values are often a more focussed extension of some of our personal values. The way I determine them is;

Our Core Brand values specify what we and our businesses stand for and encompass our business mission or vision, what we want to achieve for ourselves and the outcomes we seek for those we touch with our work. They are usually shared in some way by our soul mate clients and this is, often, a big part of what magnetises us towards each other.

Why is it beneficial to know our Core Brand Values?

Your values can be used as your north star in your business, helping you make tough decisions. They convey what you want, what you share with your clients in terms of energy, approach, personality purpose and dreams as well as the outcomes you’d like to achieve together.

They can also be drawn upon to inform your content creation and are a great source of creative content that’s not just you talking about your business. You can tell stories (personal experiences, clients stories, from the news, from the past) that convey your values and let your audience know what you really stand for.

They are great at repelling people, which, like it or not, we should all be aiming to do because when we aim to repel the wrong people for us, we get better outcomes for our clients and we fall even more in love with our businesses.

How to Identify your Core Brand Values

So let’s get into it! Here’s one way to identify your core values;


Skim through this list of a gazillion core values to get some inspiration and all the while considering what is most important to YOU (no-one else, just you!). Choose the things that represent how you work, what you want for your clients, the change you want to see in the world, ys know, juicy stuff like that!

You might end up with say 20-30 at this point (so many delicious values to choose from!! But we do need to get more focussed so our message gets crystal clear)

NB. this is by no means an exhaustive list so please do add your own and don’t limit yourself to single words, phrases work too. One of my core values is Radical Deep Self Acceptance, for example.


Using the back of the printout (let’s consider the trees) place similar ones together and start to narrow it down using what ‘feels’ most aligned to you.

You might have narrowed it down to half 10-15 now?

TIP: You can often understand what’s really important to you by identifying what really gets your goat, rubs you up the wrong way or just downright triggers you into a volcano size eruption. Generally a values button is being pushed in these cases so dig into a recent event when you got really irritated by a situation. This might help you dig up a few more, you might not have realised.


Get even more clarity by really asking yourself why this one, what does it mean to me? What does it represent? Where does it come from? How does it serve me and how does it serve my clients? Really figure out what’s most important to you.

Narrow it down to a maximum of 5!


Now you have your five core values you can really begin to understand the meaning, of each one, to you.

Try being that annoying kid who just won’t stop asking you ‘WHY?’. Let’s face it, we were all that kid at some point. I invite you to channel that kid and look at each value in turn and go to five levels of ‘why?’.

You might not need to go as far as five, some might be more but what you’ll notice is that each time you have the opportunity to discover a deeper reason for its importance to you.

You might also find that the five you started with may transform or shift into something different by the end.

TIP: Write some notes outlining your answer to each of these ‘why’s’ because each one might spark a piece of content that will resonate with your audience – but that’s for another blog post!

STEP FIVE: What next?

Your five final values will be the things that will be at the centre of your business, all your decision making and will be things you have, on some level, in common with your ideal client. They can evolve and shift but be careful not to change them too often or your message can become confusing or diluted.

I suggest using your values as a fundamental part of your brand messaging and marketing copy to keep things consistent and to attract those who share your views and approach; friends, business peers, dream clients and collaborations. This will keep you well on track so your business never has that ick feeling when things are out of whack!


  • Abundance
  • Acceptance
  • Accomplishment
  • Accountability
  • Accuracy
  • Achievement
  • Adaptability
  • Advancement
  • Adventure
  • Affection
  • Alertness
  • Altruism
  • Ambition
  • Amusement
  • Appreciation
  • Assertiveness
  • Attentive
  • Authenticity
  • Authority
  • Autonomy
  • Awareness
  • Balance
  • Be True
  • Beauty
  • Boldness
  • Bravery
  • Brilliance
  • Calm
  • Calmness
  • Candour
  • Capable
  • Career
  • Careful
  • Caring
  • Certainty
  • Challenge
  • Change
  • Charisma
  • Charity
  • Citizenship
  • Clarity
  • Cleanliness
  • Clear
  • Clever
  • Comfort
  • Commitment
  • Common sense
  • Commonality
  • Communication
  • Community
  • Compassion
  • Competency
  • Concentration
  • Confidence
  • Connection
  • Consciousness
  • Consistency
  • Contentment
  • Contribution
  • Control
  • Conviction
  • Cooperation
  • Courage
  • Courtesy
  • Creation
  • Creativity
  • Credibility
  • Curiosity
  • Decisive
  • Decisiveness
  • Dedication
  • Dependability
  • Determination
  • Development
  • Devotion
  • Dignity
  • Discipline
  • Discovery
  • Diversity
  • Drive
  • Effectiveness
  • Efficiency
  • Empathy
  • Empower
  • Encouragement
  • Endurance
  • Energy
  • Enjoyment
  • Entertain
  • Enthusiasm
  • Entrepreneurial
  • Equality
  • Equality
  • Ethical
  • Excellence
  • Excitement
  • Experience
  • Expertise
  • Exploration
  • Expressive
  • Facilitation
  • Fairness
  • Faith
  • Fame
  • Family
  • Fearless
  • Feelings
  • Ferocious
  • Fidelity
  • Finances
  • Finesse
  • Fitness
  • Focus
  • Foresight
  • Forgiveness
  • Fortitude
  • Freedom
  • Friendship
  • Fun
  • Fun-Loving
  • Generosity
  • Genius
  • Giving
  • Giving People a Chance
  • Goodness
  • Grace
  • Gratitude
  • Greatness
  • Growth
  • Happiness
  • Hard Work
  • Harmony
  • Health
  • Home
  • Honesty
  • Honour
  • Hope
  • Humanity
  • Humility
  • Humor
  • Imagination
  • Improvement
  • Independence
  • Individuality
  • Influence
  • Inner Harmony
  • Innovation
  • Inquisitive
  • Insightful
  • Inspiring
  • Integrity
  • Intelligence
  • Intensity
  • Intuitive
  • Invention
  • Involvement
  • Joy
  • Justice
  • Kindness
  • Knowledge
  • Lawful
  • Leadership
  • Learning
  • Liberty
  • Logic
  • Love
  • Love of Career
  • Loyalty
  • Mastery
  • Maturity
  • Meaning
  • Meaningful Work
  • Moderation
  • Motivation
  • Obedience
  • Openness
  • Optimism
  • Order
  • Organisation
  • Originality
  • Passion
  • Patience
  • Patriotism
  • Peace
  • Performance
  • Persistence
  • Personal Development
  • Playfulness
  • Play
  • Pleasure
  • Poise
  • Popularity
  • Positivity
  • otential
  • Power
  • Present
  • Pride in Your Work
  • Productivity
  • Professionalism
  • Prosperity
  • Purpose
  • Quality
  • Realistic
  • Reason
  • Reciprocity
  • Recognition
  • Recreation
  • Reflective
  • Relationship
  • Religion
  • Renewal
  • Reputation
  • Respect
  • Responsibility
  • Restraint
  • Results-oriented
  • Reverence
  • Rigour
  • Risk
  • Satisfaction
  • Security
  • Self-actualization
  • Self-development
  • Self-leadership
  • Self-reliance
  • Self-respect
  • Self-trust
  • Selfless
  • Sensitivity
  • Serenity
  • Service
  • Sharing
  • Significance
  • Silence
  • Simplicity
  • Sincerity
  • Skill
  • Skillfulness
  • Smart
  • Solitude
  • Speed
  • Spirit
  • Spiritualism
  • Spirituality
  • Spontaneous
  • Stability
  • Status
  • Stewardship
  • Strength
  • Structure
  • Success
  • Support
  • Surprise
  • Sustainability
  • Talent
  • Teamwork
  • Temperance
  • Thankful
  • A ‘This Too Shall Pass’ Attitude
  • Thorough
  • Thoughtful
  • Timeliness
  • Toughness
  • Traditional
  • Tranquility
  • Transparency
  • Trust
  • Trust your Gut
  • Trustworthiness
  • Truth
  • Understanding
  • Uniqueness
  • Unity
  • Valor
  • Victory
  • Vigor
  • Vision
  • Vitality
  • Vulnerability
  • Wealth
  • Welcoming
  • Wellness
  • Willingness
  • Winning
  • Wisdom
  • Wonder

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