Last weekend YMCA Storer Camps celebrated 100 years of camping. I was there celebrating with over 834 of my closest friends. I’m not exaggerating when I say 834 of my closest friends. Many of them are people I haven’t yet met. But I know if and when I do meet them, we’ll hit it off immediately.
One of the reasons I know this is because the camp’s Core Values are perfectly aligned with my Core Values and shared by the other 834 people in attendance.
Having Fun? Check! It is a camp after all!
Helping Others? Check! The motto of camp is “I’m Third” meaning God is first, others are second, and I’m third. The camp also celebrates different mottos for the first five years of your camping experience. The fifth and forever motto is Service.
Education? Check! Storer is one of the largest Outdoor Education Centers in the country and has been leading the way with innovative curriculum for environmental and experiential education for decades. I learned how to teach on the banks of Stoney Lake.
Nostalgia? Check! I did say it was the 100th anniversary, right?
It is quite rare that you will ever work for someone else’s organization and have it align so perfectly with your own values. The one organization you can count on to most perfectly align with you will be the one you run. That’s one of the benefits of being your own boss.
The beauty of having your business aligned with your Core Values is that it never feels like work. That is why I always encourage business owners to spend some time uncovering their Core Values.
- Once you know them, you can tweak your business to align more perfectly.
- Once you know them, you can change the parts that don’t align at all.
- Once you know them, you can amplify them within the business so that others who share your values will be attracted to your business.
- Once you know them, you can hire people who share those values.
- Once you know them, you have a blueprint for making all decisions going forward.
I am willing to bet that all 834 people at camp last weekend shared at least one of those Core Values with camp (and with me). It was those values that drew these people back for the reunion and celebration.
I am lucky and blessed to have worked for two organization, encompassing most of my life that have perfectly aligned with my Core Values. The work I do under the banner of Phil’s Forum is more of the same—Having fun helping others through education (with a healthy dose of perspective from reliving my past experiences and drawing out their lessons).
When you align your work and your values, it never feels like work and you never want it to end. Who wouldn’t want that?
PS Here is a link to some worksheets that will help you uncover your Core Values.
PPS There were hundreds more people who couldn’t make it to the camp this weekend for the celebration who also shared some of the camp’s values. There are thousands in your town who also share your values. How do you become a beloved business? By creating a tribe of customers who feel the way you feel.