Some time ago, my friend Jonathan Fields invited me to write a guest post for his blog. Delighted to receive his invitation, I wrote back asking him for his submission guidelines.

His reply was simple: “Kindness and value,” he said.

Kindness and value.

Those two qualities are at the heart of the culture of Jonathan’s business. Each blog or social media post, each interview, each page on his website, each brief contact I have had with him reflects and amplifies these qualities.

Along with humor, heart, creativity, honesty, clarity, and humility, these qualities create a business ecology in which I feel safe, valued, cared-for and seen.

The culture of Jonathan’s business is grounded in his values. And it emerges from the values by which he lives his life.

That congruence between words and actions, public and private personae, is what I look for when I’m making decisions about the people and places that I choose to invite into my life and business.

It’s what your potential clients and customers look for when they enter the world of your business.

The qualities that are at the heart of how you live your life form the central organizing principle of your business as well.

You can’t fake this, and there aren’t any shortcuts to congruence and integrity.

Becoming the qualities that are essential to your well-being — embodying them in every aspect of your being — is a life-long practice. Like any practice, it takes commitment, honesty, and a willingness to begin wherever you are.

My business and my life are organized around these values and qualities:

  • Love. Truth. Integrity.
  • Humor. Kindness. Generosity.
  • Clarity. Wholeness. Sovereignty.
  • Play. Creativity. Trust.
  • Congruence. Presence. Grounding.

These are the qualities I cultivate in my inner being. And everything in the world of my business flows from them.

Once you know which qualities are essential to you and your business, everything — from your business model to the systems and structures you create to hold your business, from your marketing to your web design to your programs and products — will emerge organically to fill in the pattern that’s seeded by these qualities.

Decision-making becomes much simpler.

Ask yourself: “Does this choice make me and my world kinder, more loving, more truthful, more creative? Or does it take me further away from the person I want to be?

“Does this choice make my business more cohesive, whole, congruent and radiant, or does it weaken, fragment or undermine the culture of my business?”

Take a walk through the country of your business, as if you were someone entering it for the first time. Look at each page of your website or blog with fresh eyes.

Click on one of your offers, and follow the path your clients walk to enter more deeply into the culture of your business.

Are the natives friendly? Do they speak your language? Are there familiar landmarks along the way?

Is there a clear path you can follow? Do you feel respected, loved and welcomed as an honoured guest?

When the country of your business is in harmony with your values, your clients and customers will feel safe there.

And that safety and stability are the ground on which they stand when they come to you with their vulnerable hearts; when they offer you their trust.

Which qualities are at the heart of your business? Where do you express them most fully?

What steps can you take, today, to align the culture of your business with your deepest values?