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.

Desiree Lanz | Intuitive Reader and Energetic Healer

The principle I value most is freedom. To this day, my mom jokes with me that when I was little and she asked me to do things, I would sometimes reply with, “I have my own life.” Freedom is behind what motivated me to become an intuitive and to ultimately start my business. Intuition gives me the power to invent, to be original and to sense my own inner guidance without the noise of external factors. I consider myself an artist with energy, and intuition is the force that guides this creativity. Read more>>

Brooke Wheeldon-Reece | CEO and Creator of The SPARK Mentoring Progams

Integrity. I was always taught integrity meant – Do what you say and say what you do, full stop. My parents taught me from a very early age the importance of keeping your word, being responsible and above all being honest. I wore this as a badge of honor- be honest no matter the cost. In my 20’s, at the start of my career, I had a job with purpose but a boss that wasn’t transparent or honest and he definitely didn’t walk his talk. This formed a culture of people who gossiped, rolled their eyes behind backs, stepped over each other to gain attention and worst of all to me, smiled while doing it. Read more>>

Jashim Jalal | Entrepreneur – NYC Wedding Photographer/Content Creator

I was born in Bangladesh and raised in Brooklyn, NY. Education was the biggest pillar in our family and anything short of “success” was not acceptable to my immigrant parents, The work ethic instilled in me was to always work hard and do more. In hindsight, this wasn’t the healthiest mindset, but as I’ve maneuvered through my career, my approach to work ethic has empowered me to be ambitious, take risks, and stay hungry; through all of that, I’ve realized that no matter how successful you become or where life takes you; who you are is defined by how you treat other people. “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou Read more>>

Lena Rudnick | director, screenwriter, story consultant

The value that matters most to me is authenticity – it all comes down to being honest and making sure I’m connected to my own voice. (Sounds easier than it sometimes is) For writing and directing my own work, I ask ‘Is this just a cool idea or was I put on Earth to make this?’ It might sound lofty but ‘cool ideas’ don’t pass the test. It’s a great way to check my ego and keep focused, plus, the cool ideas rarely have staying power in the writing process! When I’m hired onto to a project, it matters that I can find a way in that feels authentic. My story consulting sessions often feel like therapy because I’m asking a lot of very personal questions trying to connect people to their material in a new way. Read more>>

Sarah Walk | Songwriter, Musician, Producer

I think being honest to my own perspective and story has always been the root of my creations. I know a lot of writers that can tell someone else’s story or make up fictions really well, and there’s nothing wrong with that but Ive always found it hard to tap into something that isn’t mine or understand it enough to write about it. I think the most powerful form of creation is the one that connects the human experience, and the experience I know is my own. Over the years I’ve found it really interesting how often a song that I write can be re interpreted or cloaked on to someone else’s personal truth, so I think the best way for me to connect is to be honest and let the listener make the song their own. Read more>>

Laura Vitolina | (She/Her), 3D Character Modeler

My American Host family once told me “You should never stop learning”. I think it’s something that I remind myself quite often. WIth technical art jobs like 3D Modeling and Animation it is so important to be flexible and always learnin the newest tools. It is something that will make your work stand out as well as optimize the time you spend on it. In the film industry in general, it is important to be a well educated, well rounded human being especially on social issues. We are telling stories to connect communities around the world and it is essential never to stop learning about these communities. Read more>>

Elizabeth Kyokwijuka | Actor

Courage matters the most to me because without it or the continuous cultivation and practice of it, I would be living half a life. There’s a quote from Maya Angelou about courage that I live by now because of the truth it holds. She says that courage is the most important of all virtues because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. Integrity, discipline, honesty, kindness and curiosity are virtues I try to consistently nurture in my life and this is only possible by way of the mother virtue that is courage. All that is good and worthwhile springs from courage and I truly believe there’s no freedom without courage. Read more>>

Wyntesha McAllister | Beautifully Blessed Mother, Chef & Mentor

Faith is my most valued life principle. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. To activate faith, you have to have a strong belief in something bigger than yourself. It’s beyond manifestation. My faith drives me, sustains me, and keeps me whole, especially during our current world climate. I would have never started my business “SheCooks 24/7 Catering” if I didn’t allow faith to be a driving catalyst in my life. I would have allowed the have nots, the can’t do and the should not illuminate instead of the possibility of what can. Everything started to come together once I started. So I encourage anyone that has an idea, a dream, or a passion for something to start right where you are. Learn to tap into your faith and push through! Read more>>

Delil Baran | Actor

Authenticity. I believe it’s not always clear when you’re being authentic. And when you’re not. We’re a big product of society and luckily we have one that we must interact with. Sometimes the balance can be off between who you are and what society tells you who to Be. In the end everyone exists in your mind as what you see them as and not what they actually are. In reality. So saying that , authenticity is the root to all good stuff. When you can go beyond the self that you always were . And can find a truer self of you. I think that’s a big reason of why I love acting so much. I’m always myself , slightly different as I model characters out of what I have experienced so faR in my life and every time you find new things about yourself and you add them to your toolbox. And you also find things that don’t fit with you and hopefully you can throw them out. Read more>>

Naomi Porter | Serial Entrepreneur & Student Activist

Building a team that has a shared vision of empowering and serving others is what matters most. EntrepreYOUership is led by a diverse global team because representation matters. Our mission is to help youth launch businesses and support the next generation of founders. EntrepreYOUership’s support extends beyond our events by providing youth with access to free consulting services, funding opportunities and an extensive network of mentors. Read more>>

Jay Malloyd | Blogger & Wardrobe Stylist

As a creative, it’s important to recognize your values & stand firmly in the principles you hold dearly. In a world where we can become so easily influenced, I believe that my success is contingent upon how I value integrity and authenticity. For me, integrity is not only necessary for success in your field, but also for your own personal advancement. Having the right intentions and coming from a place of love & civility in everything I do is very important to me. Read more>>

Michael Plasencia | Musician and Multi Instrumentalist

I really value genuine connection’s because being in the music industry is really tough sometimes and being around people where relationships aren’t based on what you can do for each other is different vibe. I feel like when music is made and its from matters of the heart and not just a gig the music hits different. Read more>>

Kat Arias | Professional Bachata Dancer & Director of the Ferocity Dance Company

I started my business because I personally felt like I didn’t belong anywhere so I created a place for me; therefore inclusivity to people from all walks of life is very important to me. It is also something that I am continually learning about and trying to be better at because there’s so many layers to it. Dancing is something that is for everyone but so many people feel that it isn’t for them for a variety of reasons – whether it be because they’re not made to feel welcome for who they are, or what they look like or because the dancing structure is not made accessible to them. In my Company, I want people to know that there is a place for them to be who they are, and that I will continue to work towards that vision so that they feel seen, heard and valued but most importantly free to pursue the joy of dancing. Read more>>

Patrick Kelley | Founder, Owner, Winemaker, Farmer – Cavaletti Vineyards

Authenticity. Authenticity is about being honest in what you do and why you do it. As a winery we are focused on producing world-class wines from our local region. We make classically styled wines that are farmed by real people, right here in our community. That principle means that we often have to take the hard path of doing all the work ourselves from taking over struggling vineyards, to harvesting with our teams by hand. It would be a lot easier to simply order fruit to be delivered from vineyards in other places, but that means that we aren’t hiring college kids and helping them earn money to pay tuition. It means that a vineyard in the area doesn’t have a buyer for their fruit. It means that our customers don’t have their eyes opened to another locally sourced and sustainable product. It also means that we spend a lot of time educating our customers on what we do and why they should care. Read more>>