How Identifying Your Core Values Will Help You to Get Visible with Confidence

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my mini branding shoots from last year 

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Photographer and personal brand strategist. I'm on a mission to help you get visible in your business with genuine confidence. 

Meet Vicki

I’ve just released a new episode of my podcast, ‘Showing Up with Vicki Knights’ to help you identify your core values in your business. You can listen below or just search for ‘Showing Up with Vicki Knights’ wherever you get your podcasts, and it’s episode 7.

If you’ve ever found yourself doing something in your business or your marketing that doesn’t feel quite right or makes you feel a bit icky, it’s probably because it was out of kilter with one or more of your values.

We hear so much about staying true to your values, but are you truly clear on yours?  Do you look to your values to help you make decisions in your business and how you show up?

If not then you’re missing out! Being crystal clear on your values makes everything feel easier and makes you feel more confident about showing up.

By ensuring that you are running your business and showing up in a way that is aligned with your values, you get the foundations right first. Often people go straight to learning marketing tactics like how to create reels or improve their SEO, but without first getting the deep clarity they need on what is important to them and what makes this special, it’s like buying shutters for a house that’s not built on solid foundations – it’s not going to end well!

I’ve created a free workbook to help you identify your core values and integrate them into your business – in 8 simple steps.

Here is the link to grab the values workbook. 

What are Core Values?

You’ve probably heard people talking about brand values, we are talking about something slightly different here although I think the two are very closely aligned. When you are a solopreneur and you are the face of your business, it’s your personal values that will be steering the ship and setting the tone for everything you do.

So what am I talking about when I talk about core values? Your values are more than just beliefs; they are the guiding principles that direct your life, helping you to prioritise what’s important to you and stay true to who you are. They influence your decisions, interactions, and the way you run your business. When your business is aligned with your core values, it feels genuine and meaningful and attracts those who share similar beliefs.

And living in alignment with your values is actually proven to make you happier. There was a study done in the 1990’s by Mihaly Cskisentimihaly, the author of flow, where different professionals were studied to see which ones were happy and which were unhappy and unproductive. The most important factor the study discovered was alignment with core values. The happiest and most productive people were taking daily actions in line with their values. This gives them a constant sense of motivation because they see how the work they are doing today leads to a long term vision that they find meaningful.

Think about if you’re driving somewhere. The destination is your purpose, your why, it’s the reason why you’re getting in the car in the first place. Your values are how you steer your car and how you decide on the route you’re going to take.

Everyone has a set of core personal values that they live their life by, whether they are aware of them or not. These have developed over your life from your childhood. What you value often motivates the ‘why’ behind the decisions you make and the actions you take. For example, if you value courage, then it’s likely throughout your life you’ve regularly done things that scare you a little bit. If you value security then you might like to have a plan mapped out for your business years ahead and you probably like an itinerary in place before a trip.

Sometimes when I’ve done this work with my visibility coaching clients, it’s only when we’ve uncovered their true values do they suddenly become aware of how something they did in their business didn’t feel right to them – it’s because it didn’t align with their values.

identify your core values

Why is it important to know your core values?

The best thing about identifying and practicing your values is becoming more confident in who you are. When you are unclear on what matters the most to you, you might find yourself feeling apologetic, scattered and vulnerable to people defining who you are or what you like or don’t like.

Think about if you are paying for a high-value service for your business, what would you want to experience? How would you want them to make you feel? For example, would it be important to you that they get everything back on time? Would you want to feel listened to? Would you want to have complete trust in the person? Would you like the communication to be upbeat and fun?

Also think about the kind of people you are naturally drawn to and what values they epitomise. For example I’m very drawn to positive, optimistic people and I sometimes struggle a little if people are overly negative. so that helped me to identify my core values. It may be that you are drawn to wise people with lots of expertise, so maybe knowledge or wisdom would be one of your values.


Identifying your Core Values

If you struggle to narrow down your values, sometimes it helps to think about what annoys you or triggers you in other’s behaviour. You may have seen friends get upset by the way someone else has acted but it wouldn’t have bothered you. That just shows they have different values to you. Also think about how you spend your time and money that will often reflect what your values are.

In my free values workbook you’ll find some prompts to help you uncover your core values and a page containing a long list of values for you to work through and help you choose.

When you’re selecting your core values, I want you to think about this with your business in mind. For example, for me in my personal life, family is absolutely a core value. My family are everything to me. But I haven’t included it in my final five values as it’s not relevant to my business at the moment. When I was a family photographer it was and I used to share a a lot about being a mum and my family, but now I have pivoted to personal brand photography and visibility coaching, I don’t share so much about my family.

It can be tricky because when you look at a long list of values, it can feel like all of them are your core values. Some people can feel like if they don’t choose ‘honesty’ for example that maybe they are saying they’re not honest. That’s not the case, this is just about honing it down to the core values that are the most important to you in your business.

My 5 Core Values

I thought it might be useful if I talk about my 5 core values and what they mean to me and how I incorporate them into my business and my marketing. I don’t want this to be too self-indulgent but if you’re reading this you probably know a bit about me and my business, so it will have more relevance than me just giving random examples!

Authenticity –  I know that word has been completely overused in the online business world and has lost its impact a little, but I couldn’t not have that as one of my values. It’s so important to me in my work that I’m authentic and not being someoneI’m not, and that’s at the heart of everything I do with my clients, in both my photography and my coaching.

Kindness –  Delivering an amazing experience to my clients is incredibly important to me and this is reflected in my value of kindness – I always try and treat people how I want to be treated.

Inspiration – I love feeling excited about something. I’m the kind of person who gets into something and then buys 5 books about it! I just love that feeling when you can’t stop thinking about something that has inspired you.  I love being inspired by books, films, nature. I also always want to try and be inspiring. I want to inspire you to do bigger things and follow your dreams.

Courage – I really gave this lots of thought, because I don’t think I’m the bravest person in the world. If you are ever in the car with me driving at night on a motorway you’ll see I’m a complete wimp! But whereas bravery is more of an instinctive reaction to a situation, courage is more of a conscious choice. The decision to take action despite the fears and this is something I value. My mission is to empower more business owners to have the courage to show up and be seen.

Hope – in any character strength test, hope usually is at the top of my list. I always try and have a hopeful optimistic warmth about everything I do and I help my clients to move from a more fearful mindset into a hopeful, optimistic one where they feel anything is possible.

So they are my 5 core values in my business – whenever I’m making a decision in my business, I look at these values and ensure that what I am doing feels aligned with them.

Remember to grab my free values workbook so you can identify your own 5 core values.




PS. This is a taster of the magic that you get in my self-paced course, Uncover your Magic, where I guide you to craft your personal brand from the inside out. I have created a 10-step framework to take you through the process, and identifying your values is step 2. Find out more about my course here.