We’ve always believed that forming a strategy is impossible until you’re clear on what your values and principles are. Without values and principles to guide you, making decisions can seem impossibly difficult. Given how important setting values and principles is to decision making we asked folks we admire to tell us about the values or principles that matter most to them.

Cambria Dickerson | Entrepreneur & Spiritualist

The principle that matters most to me is integrity. I think it’s very important to be an honest person of your word and have a sense of morality. Read more>>

Tracey Bryant Swint | Spa Owner, Educator, Entrepreneur, Queen of V Steam

Integrity is big for me! It has everything to do with good character. With me being a service provider, entrepreneur. and a holistic healer it’s imperative without any compromise that my integrity to the client, the community and most of all to myself be in good standing and shared with others and that it be felt in the authentic. This is the only way people will trust me and the gifts I share and provide. Read more>>

Shannon Dee Walker | Multipreneur

I would say it’s a tie between excellence and integrity as the value that matters most to me. There’s no such thing as perfection but if you strive for excellence you aspire to be top tier in all that you do and who you are. Integrity goes hand in hand with that in being honest and having strong values and principles. I think these values set you apart as being growth minded. Read more>>

Marisol Morales | Brow Specialist

Honesty. Honesty makes my guests feel confident about the services I provide as well as the advice I give. I have always been upfront about only recommending the services and products you truly need. Read more>>

Joy Alantis | Author

Being true to oneself. I am my brand, so how I present myself to the world cannot be outside of who I am no matter what. The version of me you see cannot be a fabricated image with the sole purpose of simply making money. That will eventually collapse. If people find out that I am not who or what I claim to be, then I lose trust, I lose credibility. So I enter spaces as I am and that means I give myself space to grow, to change, to be different, based on what I have experienced and learned at any moment. If you trust me to be authentic, then you know you are getting the best version of me at all times, even when I am at my worst. That is who I am at the moment. Being honest about who I am allows me to not take the judgment of others so personally. Read more>>

Desmond Du | Motion Designer & AE Tutorial Maker

Being thoughtful and intentional about how we live our lives matter the most to me. By knowing where our desired destinations of success are, we can easily plan and charter a course to get there as smoothly as possible. Part of my Motion Design and creative practice involves giving free one-on-one consultations and helping people with getting to the success they want or troubleshoot any problems. After dozens of all these sessions listening to people’s concerns, I come to believe that most people are unable to get the success they want not because they lack the skills or resources, but rather, because they do not have a clear idea of what they want in life or what their success looks like. They yearned for a positive transformation of their careers, lives, and identities. Yet, their definitions of those goals always seem so abstract and vague. Read more>>

Anna Yang | Motion Designer + Illustrator

The principle that I value the most as a designer is the ability to look within, so-called introspection or self-inspection. Oftentimes, working in creative industries means you have to keep up with the fast-paced projects. Design is not always creative or fun, especially when you have a tight deadline but you aren’t feeling creative. Therefore, the ability to listen and ask yourself, adjust according to your own pacing very important. Self-inspection also includes the ability to be immune to a current popular trend. Designers are constantly yearning to find new sources of inspiration, and it’s important to stay up to date by being aware of the design trends. I mean, it’s a powerful tool to have as it gives you the opportunity to offer clients innovative ideas instead of relying on the basics. However, every coin has two sides. In the search for inspiration or fresh perspectives, you might be heavily influenced by others and lost the originality of your work. It’s not wrong to seek new ideas but inspiration should stay as inspiration. Yes, we all want to showcase fancy and cool stuff to prove we are capable of creating such things, but you should never let trends replace your creativity. Everything is temporary, only your creative brain is permanent 🙂. Read more>>

Ty Brown Jr | Entrepreneur

Breathing on purpose is a value that guides my lifestyle. I focus on breathing because it is this life’s first and most precious gift, but one we ironically forget to acknowledge in the haste of living. To use this gift the way God intended brings purpose to our lives. Read more>>

Kyree Myers | Photographer

Being true to yourself means a lot to me. Whether it’s living by that or surrounding yourself with people who are true to themselves. I try to be as original and authentic as possible. With my personality and with my work. I feel like in the era we are in, people want to act and be like something they are not. You have to find the balance between being inspired and being influenced. Once you are too influenced you start to lose yourself. I draw inspiration from many different places which include other photographers, but you’ll never see me intentionally bite another person’s work. Read more>>

Jakeyla Carlton | The Management Key LLC

In life we go through many stages, we run into different problems, life-changing events occur and sometimes we overcome by having faith and we tend to call good things blessings. So at age 25, I have learned to value God, and just live life off of being a good person to others. Being a good person and helping others is important to me because there have been many times I have had a bad day and did not tell anyone how I was feeling but encountered someone with a good spirit who was just nice to me because that is their personality and those type of encounters always make my day, and a way for me to keep that unknowingly blessing going is by being a good person to others, and helping others even if they do not as for help. There are many great businesses that lack good customer service, and I believe if you do not have good customer service or have no interest in pleasing the people your business can never fully succeed without the people the business is nothing. Read more>>

Millicent Huff | Photographer & Registered Nurse

The values and principles that matter to me the most are being honest and transparent, as well as working hard for what you want out of life. This includes my regular life, as well as the business life. Read more>>

Prince Bugzey | Entrepreneur & Artist

The principle that matters the most to me is pride. Pride matters the most to me because as an artist or fashion designer you must have pride in your work. When I was in middle school and high school I did not have much pride at all. Did not have pride in who I was as an individual or even in the talents that God gave me. Once I got accepted into college and went through the first three years of college I realized many people did not have pride at all. I realized how people would abandon their principles to be accepted in society. That was something that I could not accept in my personal life and decided that I would have pride in my art and in myself. Once I started living through my pride I noticed how much happier I was and how it inspired so many people to have pride within themselves. Read more>>

Erin Geary | Graduate Student & Mental Health Advocate

I value authenticity the most as I feel no one should ever have to hide an aspect of their personality or who they are when they are around others. Though we are all people, we are different in the way in which we express ourselves and represent ourselves, so I feel that authenticity is a way for us to show our uniqueness. Read more>>

Damien and Kenady Nash | Relationship YouTubers and Authors

The principle that matters most to us is “you have to stand for something or you will fall for anything.” Being a business that has Christian values, we are not influenced by what culture is doing or not doing. We understand that we are representing something bigger than ourselves. So whatever we do from here on out is based off of our calling and divine purpose. As relationship authors, we understand that our first relationship has to be with God (horizontal). After fixing that relationship, we can properly interact with other people (vertical). We stand on this truth and have seen amazing results when we and others submit to this principle. Read more>>

Blake Showers | Illustrator/Mangaka

I think that representation matters to me the most. I want more kids of color to see themselves in media that they like. I feel like it can affect you psychologically not seeing people that look like you. You feel like you are not suppose to like the things you like or that you don’t belong in the realm. There were times gowning up that I felt like this. It’s not a good feeling. There were black people in things I watched and read, but not as much as today. I never want a kid to feel like that. Read more>>

Simene’ Walden | Educator, Speaker, Book Coach, Publisher

Honesty, Integrity, and Transparency are the values that matter to me the most. Being able to be trusted by God to carry out the vision and plan He has given you is huge. If He can’t trust you to do it, He may find someone else to carry it out. Clients and customers must be able to trust that you will deliver what you say you will or you will not have a business very long. Transparency is vital because in order for clients to feel compelled to start sharing with me their stories, I too have to be transparent. It makes them feel much more comfortable and it reassures them that I understand what they are facing in their vulnerable moments as well. Read more>>

Jordan Johnson | Actor,Voice Over Actor, Model

The principle that matters to me the most is trust the process. When you have a dream of where you want to be in life you’re taken along a journey. Along the journey, you face many obstacles that include rejection and sometimes you a crippled with the feeling of giving up. But every experience that you go through is preparing you for where you want to be. Read more>>

Carmen Galeano | Blogger & Marketing Strategist

A value that matters most to me is being authentic no matter what. I strongly believe that authenticity and integrity are the greatest principles that keep me not just personally, but also professionally. Because my work and content is directly connected to my life and family, I cling even more to them. Over the years I’ve learned the value of trust and how easily it can be broken. Too often it’s undervalued until you’re positioned to repair and gain it back. So in all that I do, I really try to stay as authentic to who I am regardless of my environment or even social media presence. I don’t want to look back on life or even my kids to look at my work and feel like it was nothing as I shared it to be. Read more>>

Evita Smith | Pastor & Life and Wellness Coach

One the most important values or principles for me is being authentic. We live in a society that tries to define what everything should be. Society tries to define such things as: beauty, success, influence, love, etc. Based on what the culture or society says begins to be the measuring tool or lens in which people judge themselves and others. When they don’t meet these criteria, people feel like they do not measure up. When one decides to be authentic, they make a decision to show up as their full self unapologetically. In turn, the right people are drawn to that person, business or organization. Additionally, one does not have to feel pressured to be what society says they should be. It frees one up to be creative, innovative and offer things that are not carbon copies of what already exists. Authenticity or being authentic is important to me because it allows me to be myself. It allows me the freedom to be unique. Additionally, it invites those whom I come in contact with either through ministry, business or friendships to do the same. Read more>>

Cocoa Brown | Actress, Comedian, Mom

The values/principles that matter to me are loyalty, kindness and treating others as you would like to be treated. It seems that these basic values have lost their way in basic human interaction. Narcissism and selfishness has become far too norm in today’s society. People have taken the term “by any means necessary” to a level of disregard for the feelings of others to get what they want. Consequences used to be a determining factor in how you moved and treated those a person claimed to love and/or respect. Human Beings operating in a space of no accountability or conscious has taken over the the most basic of human interaction, leaving a trail of bitter, mean and hurt people. I choose to operate in love, respect, kindness and loyalty and far too many times it is not reciprocated, but almost seen as weak or easily manipulated. Read more>>

Whitney Mckoy | Whit The Tonsorial Artist

Customer service and consistency are key values to me. Simply because these principles are the most important necessities to have running a business. People will respect you more for the respect you have for yourself and business. I treat each individual the exact same. Not one person can say they had a terrible experience with me. I love to give my clients the best service along with staying consistent to their needs. Read more>>

LOLA STONE | Creator of Skincare line for Keloids, Eczema and Problematic Skin

When the idea of creating a solution for having keloids came to mind, creating something with value and principle was extremley important to me. I wanted to create something that could not only help me when dealing with my keloids, but also help others with their keloids. Lola Stone Collection is more than a skincare line. It exist with an important principle of creating an enviornment that helps people defeat problems that comes from having problematic skin; mainly keloids. It is extremely important for me to build a brand that welcomes people to feel comfortable with voicing the many problems they are faced with when dealing with having these unusal scars. Some of the problems are severe itching, soreness, burning, consistent growth of the skin and the overall apperance of having keloids. Lola Stone Collection started after creating a YouTube channel documenting my journey of having two keloids surgically removed from the center of my chest. My journey continued because my keloids had grown back bigger and in worst condition. Read more>>

Nalat Black | Sustainable Development Goals Director, United Nations Association of Atlanta

Respect. If a relationship (that’s any relationship whether it be for yourself, between individuals, between organizations, between countries) is built on the foundation that is respectful of one’s human rights and dignity, then that will forge a way for the relationship to thrive. Practicing respect is a journey, involving breaking down prejudices and unhealthy habits that may have been handed down for generations. As ideal as it sounds to be able to practice respect in every waking moment, there will be challenges. What one views as respectful may not be viewed the same way by some. But I know that if I were to approach problems by thinking and speaking based on respect, then there’s a chance that the solution would be a welcomed and effective one. If I were to make decisions based on respect, even something as simple as whether or not I leave my dog’s poop on my neighbor’s lawn in the late evening because I forgot bags and I’m just so tired and don’t want to double back, my conscience can be at ease knowing that the decision I made was the right one. Read more>>

Brando Blu | Rapper & Poet

The most important value, in my opinion, is the value of love. Love is the most powerful energy any of us possess. Love can take you places you’ve never been, show you things you’ve never seen, and give you fulfillment you’ve never attained. So many people have chased after riches and gotten them just to be unhappy and regretful. I know the pain of regret is heavy because I’ve seen it and felt it in people that are close to me. I learned through my relationship with God that true love can’t fail. As many times as I stray and do my own thing, I’m always brought back to purpose by the realization that God loves me and wants the best for me. Read more>>

CT Cook | Educator, Authoress, Storyteller, & Worth Reminder

The value that means the most to me is that all of us have inherent worth. I’m so passionate about it, that I’m currently building a business around it! Society and media will tell you that you’ll be worthy enough when: *you have a certain number of social media followers *you have a certain amount of money in your checking/savings account *when you reach a certain salary or tax bracket *when you get that specific job title *when you weigh a certain amount or look a certain way *and on and on and on The truth about worth is that you already are worthy. You don’t have to achieve anything, you don’t have to make anything, you are worthy just because you exist. Full stop. I believe that if we knew this about ourselves, I mean truly and wholeheartedly believed that we are inherently worthy; that the world would change for the better. Read more>>