“If you stand for nothing, you fall for everything”

We asked the community to tell us about the values and principles that guide their lives and businesses.

Patricia Liggins | Doula & Public Health Advocate

The last three years I have become exposed to the real and true existence of systematic racism, biases (both implicit and explicit), and prejudices that have placed a great number of people in my community in challenging, unjust, and unfair positions. This exposure has put me through numerous physical, mental, and emotional ups and downs. Some nights I go to bed angry or on the verge of tears because someone else has been harmed in a space where they should have been protected. Some days I have to just lie down and exhale to my husband all of the good fight I needed to expend on behalf of others who don’t even know I exist. Read more>>

Corey Laury | Music Composer, Artist, Youth Music Instructor

For as long as I can remember, I always had myself and the other person in mind. What I mean when I say that is that I know how I would want to be treated so I tend to be very respectful to others and to be considerate of others feelings, of course not at the expense of my own. I always feel that respect should be the default, especially when you meet someone you know nothing about and they haven’t done anything to you, you know. Read more>>

Alaina Thetford | Entertainment Talent Management. A&R. Biz Dev. Branding. Artist & Investor Relations. Marketing. Project Management.

Strength of character. The entertainment business is rife with underhandedness and questionable ethics. Always has been. And sure, there are plenty of people who operate that way and achieve their goals. I always say that I have to be able to sleep with myself at night. I have to be able to lay my head to rest at the end of each day and be good with the way I acted, the things I said, how I treated other people, the things I asked other people to do. I expect a certain level of operating from myself, and I expect it from my colleagues, the clients that I work with, the companies I align myself with. Read more>>

Dhillon Alamshaw | Social Media Content Creator and Manager

When discussing principle I believe that friendship is the most pivotal asset any individual may posses. The value of friendship and trust coincides hand in hand with each other. Being able to rely on an immediate friend group to connect you with different businesses and individuals is the strongest benefit anyone has. Most of the connections I’ve made come from friends like Will Collette who have gone out of their way to connect me with various companies that share similar beliefs. Read more>>

Andrew Wille | Photographer, Creative Producer, and Educator

The principles that matters most to me are kindness and integrity. I have always lived my life with integrity, while trying to be kind in any scenario I find myself in. While we can’t always control what happens to and around us, we can control how we respond to these things. Through my life i’ve done my best to always respond with kindness and integrity, and am proud of the person that i’ve become as a result of it. In business, whether its a client, student, or peer, I’ll always choose to work with those that share those same principles as well. It kinda all stems from the ‘Golden Rule’ – treat others the way you want to be treated. The better people we can be, the better we make it for everyone else. Read more>>

Cynthia M. Ruiz | Author, Professor, Leadership Expert and Executive Coach

The most important values I have are integrity and gratitude. I strive to act with integrity in both my personal life, business and as a Professor. I interpret integrity and doing the right thing no matter what or what others think. I have learned a long time ago that leadership is not a popularity contest. Not everyone will be happy with the decision I make, however when I act from a place of integrity, I will also make the best decision for me. Gratitude keeps my life in perspective and sets the tone of my day. Read more>>

Andy Ashcraft | Game Designer

Ethics is perhaps the most important principal in my work these days, mostly because there has been such a steep learning curve for people like me (cis-gendered, white, manish) in regards to the invisible nature of our privileges. That is to say, growing up, I was told I could be anything I wanted to be, and I absolutely believed that. What I didn’t understand then was that not everyone was getting that same message. The very nature of games includes a ‘magic circle’ in which you step out of the rules and expectations of ‘real life’ and enter a new world where the rules and expectations are different. This affords us an enormous opportunity to shed light on our biases by asking us to think outside of them. My colleague, Shlomo Sher, and I have started a podcast called ‘Ethics & Video Games’ where we dive in to these (and other) issues. Read more>>

Stephanie Villano | Founder of Here and There Collective

There’s this pervasive idea that we are all in competition with one another or that there isn’t enough space or resources for all of us to thrive or be successful. That outlook never really resonated with me and I’ve always been of the mindset that working together, sharing resources – whether that’s tangible ones or intangible resources like time and knowledge – and cultivating community is beneficial to everyone and is how we all become successful. Choosing to see the world through that lens is an important principle for me. Read more>>

Kristi Salerno | Movement Medicine Woman & Founder of KRIA METHOD

What matters most to me is being true to myself. There is so much to compare yourself to out there. So many success stories and people with similar ideas that are even perhaps doing it “better” than me… but at the end of the day, the only thing that matters is what my heart is calling me to do. There is no greater feeling than going where you feel called and giving the highest and best version of the gifts have to give. I’m not for everybody. Everybody is not for me. But aligning to my truth– my heart– is the surest way to attract those whom I AM for. So being true to my heart… that’s my only job. Read more>>

Vanessa Joseph | National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach & Social Entrepreneur

Wow, it’s challenging to choose just one. Respect, compassion, authenticity, and boldness are the values that matters most to me. I believe as humans, having respect for one another – our collective individualism, our life, and the earth is the most fundamental baseline. Compassion is going a step further than just respecting others, by using our energy to give hope and spread kindness Read more>>

Drew Himmelrich | Furniture Maker and Concert Mechanical Designer

I read a line once, “If you serve French fries, make sure they’re the best in the world.” I’m not making French fries, and I’m not, like French fry chefs, making the same thing that thousands of other people are making, but the principle of “if you are going to do it, do it as best as you can,” is one that I live by. I am not going to be done with a project until I know it is the best that it can be. I know what is attainable within my ability and I will always work to hit that mark. This principle gets very close to perfectionism, but I make it a point to remind myself how that is impossible. Working towards perfection only works to make someone more frustrated, and I certainly do get frustrated when things aren’t up to my standard but taking something to a standard is at least attainable. Read more>>

Bruce Edwin | Producer

I understand one’s value to be defined as “a person’s principles or standards of behavior; one’s judgment of what is important in life.” As such, the value that matters most to me in business and life in general, is honesty and integrity. If one is dishonest or can be bought off in order to go against what they know is right, then they are not someone we should be around. The other very important principle is “are they trying to do good in the world?” If for example, a person is working in an industry, and that industry is one of the top leading causes of death in society, then that is a reflection on the integrity of that person and I have no use for that. Read more>>

Elvie Williams | Executive Producer * Singer/Songwriter * Vocal Coach & Founder of LV Vocal Studio

The principle that matters most to me is self-worth. I once read that “the wealth of my spirit is the light of my world”. – Iyanla Vanzant From the wellspring of our thoughts about ourselves our world and what we draw in, whether good or bad is shaped. I have learned through my journey that you can’t attract abundance, opportunity, or healthy relationships if you lack self-esteem. As I have grown in acceptance, love, and clarity of who I am and what I have been created to do, the world I’ve created for myself has become one that reflects the light of hope. This light is rooted in my belief in self. Read more>>