Guest post by Katie Crocombe

As entrepreneurs, we so often hit the ground running right away with starting our businesses. There is the sheer thrill and adrenaline rush that comes with “finally doing it!” We think about our “why” some as we get started and then things get moving and before we know it we’re a few years in – for better or for worse – the train officially left the station!

On one hand we’re overwhelmed in the best of ways seeing how far we’ve come, and on the other hand, we often find ourselves overwhelmed with exhaustion and burnout. The thrill and rush wear off, the newness of everything suddenly feels static and while we might be busy and continuing to grow, we are feeling a lack of motivation, a lack of drive and an overall lack of fulfillment.

I know this all too well, because it’s part of my story as an entrepreneur in my first business, and I often see it my coaching clients too.

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So what do you do? I really believe you have to go back to the basics and you have to make sure you’re building a business that serves your life, not a life that serves your business. And, while there are many ways to coach around this, and many facets to examine, I find it consistently helpful to go revisit the basic of your values- your personal, unique-to-you values.

Some people can quickly call them out and others simply have no idea. Regardless, once reminded of them, or upon discovering them, it’s often very apparent that their business is not aligning with them when fulfillment is waning.

So, how do you know if your business is in alignment with your values?

I suggest starting with these 5 questions:

What is my why?

This might sound basic, but it could have shifted since you last determined it or it might be a good time to just reintroduce yourself to it! If you’re not even sure where to start with this, I highly recommend checking out all things Simon Sinek!

It’s hard to ensure that things are lined up properly if you’re not sure of your over-arching why behind your business.

How do you want people to feel working with you?

If I called one of your previous clients up and asked what it was like working with you, what would they say? Is it the answer you hope they would say? How would you want them to feel after experiencing encounters with you? All of these answers help point to your alignment or lack thereof.

What’s it like to be on the other side of me?

Ask some people who are close to you – not necessarily a co-worker, employee or contract employee. But more someone you “do life with” – maybe a spouse, an older child, a dear friend, a close family member – ask them what they see. Ask them what positive things they consistently see woven throughout your life, and then ask them what, if any, negative things they see. Patterns in one’s life can serve as a flashlight of sorts by shining light on values that influence our choices and give us the opportunity to see if we are consistently living them out.

What in your business is an energy gainer or drainer?

Certainly some days are better than others {hello life of the entrepreneur!!}, but taking out your Eeyore days (as my coach refers to them) what generally fires you up that you work on? What could you do again and again because you enjoy so much it and it just doesn’t even feel like work? On the other hand, what feels so exhausting and draining that you just want it to be over before you even started? Digging into the answers of these questions brings a new level of awareness to our business and how our values are aligning.

One year from now where do you want to be?

If you can get really honest with yourself in this area and not just focus on a gross profit number you want to hit or a number of followers, but dig deep as to where you want to be in your whole life- including your business as a part of that but not the whole- that is so helpful. Possibly create a vision board to get a lot of it out in a creative way- so it’s not “sitting static” in your mind. See trends in your wants and be honest with yourself as you answer, “are my day to day choices leading me to where I want to be?” If yes, then consciously or subconsciously you seem to have a handle on your values, if no or you’re really not sure, then it’s high time to check the alignment!


What are my personal values?

As our own bosses, it’s very typical for our business values to be quite close to our personal values- so, how are yours matching up? Do you know what they are? You can start to find clues as to what they are as you make a list of your top wants for your life/business. In the decision process of determining your top wants, you can start to see patterns and criteria used to make decisions. These point to your values.

And if you want some further help in discovering your values – download this FREE guide to do so!

Take time to answer these questions and sit with them a bit- maybe leave a page open in a notebook on your desk and throughout your day just jot down what comes to mind. Then intentionally look through your answers. If you are just completely taken aback by how well things are aligning then it’s certainly time for cupcakes and champagne and lots of “continue to’s”!!

On the other hand, if you’re more aware than ever that things are out of whack and you really are just feeling generally drained, my coach’s challenge to you is to make 3 small shifts towards aligning your business with your values on a weekly basis.

Wherever you fall, give yourself grace and know that little shifts add up to big changes over time. And, before you know it that vision you had for one year from now, can be right where you find yourself as you hold on to your values and keep your business in line with them!

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Katie Crocombe, the founder of Flourish + Co, is a professional life coach and speaker who partners with women to design an intentional life. Katie is passionate about encouraging female creatives to build their business in a life-giving way that empowers them to be the best version of themselves.


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