We’ve always believed that forming a strategy is impossible until your 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.

Ryan Tian | Filmmaker, Director & Editor

Gratitude and Faith are the essential core values in my life principles. Gratitude roots my heart to cherish everything, every moment and person in my life. It is easy to get used to taking them for granted. Faith brings me a vision and drives me to move forward no matter what shows up on the way. It’s been said that you will achieve your goal if you are faithful. There is a much bigger world than the tangible world we could see and feel. Being thankful and faithful not only benefits me to live a balanced life but also helps me a lot in my visual art’s creation. It powers me good energy for bringing visual stories alive. Read more>>

Chelsea & Tess Cox Gillman & Cox | Executive Leadership Coaches and Consultants

At TC&A we lead with our character at the core of everything we do. Character is the foundational piece that allows us to strengthen our skill sets, build consistencies in our positive behavior, cultivate relationships that will support us, and ultimately gives us the ability to thrive with confidence. This focus of character, competence, consistency, creativity, and confidence guides us to be the leaders of ourselves, first. With this confidence, we are able to better serve our clients. We support them as they become the leaders of themselves, first, so they can better lead their teams in the workplace and those in their personal lives as well. Read more>>

Nicole Lewis | Photographer & Designer

I genuinely believe that art is the universal language that connects us all to each other. Art can speak where cultures create barriers between us. Creativity can permeate belief systems, nations, and generations to unite us rather than divide us. No matter how different we believe we are – there is something intrinsic about the realm of creativity that moves the heart and connects us to one another. This is my “why” that is at the core of everything I put my heart into – I live to create a connection between human beings through art because we are far more powerful together than we could ever be alone. Read more>>

Buck AE Down | Recording and Visual Artist / Writer

We are living in one of the most intense income disparities between capital and labor in all of American history. The people who are paid by the hour in this country are working harder and harder for less and less. Therefore – if you are going to take some of the money that they busted their ass for – you better be giving them something good, At the bare minimum – something you worked on at least as hard as they did for the money they paid you. Your work ethic should always be worthy of the efforts of the hardest working, lowest paid at the worst job customer. Art and music are some of the few luxuries most working-class folks can indulge themselves with. As an artist, your job is to make sure that your audience feels valued and respected, and the best way to do that is to make sure that the product you are putting out is your absolute best and as affordably priced as possible. Read more>>

Natalie Waltz | Founder of Tabu

I had a boss once who would always talk about the importance of staying curious. That’s stuck with me over the years. From personal and professional relationships to product and brand builds – staying curious helps you create deeper connections, forces you to always think critically, and ultimately never stop learning. I try to live by this principle and I look for it in the people around me. Read more>>

Rosa Fortuny | Actress

Perseverance is something that I’m still on the learning. I push myself everyday to spend a quality amount of time doing something that is focused on my main goal, focused on what makes me happy. Every day, I can’t go a single day without sending e-mails, learning a monologue, contacting my manager, helping out a friend with a self-tape, improving my English diction, thinking of new ways of just getting close to my goal. I think having your own rules it’s important but we also need to remember to treat ourselves as if we’d treat a little kid, being kind to myself that’s also something that I had to learn while surfing life and now I feel much more in peace than a year ago or six months ago. For now, what I think it’s best for me, it’s to do and don’t overdo as well. Consistency, perseverance and kindness. Read more>>

Meera Varma | Mental Health Activist & Student at UCLA

Validation is a principle that’s extremely important to me. It’s a mindset and process of understanding that whatever you are feeling and are going through is okay. Emotions are extremely complex and often very difficult to understand. Sometimes we don’t know why we are feeling a certain way, and that’s okay! As a mental health activist, I always tell my friends, family, and audiences I speak to that their feelings are valid, no matter what they are in that moment. Knowing that “it’s okay to not be okay,” is something that I emphasize because oftentimes we try to strive to be “okay” all the time. By validating our own emotions, we can start the process of developing a deeper relationship with ourselves and seek comfort in our emotions. Read more>>

Ruhi aka Rohini Hak | An engineer by profession and an award-winning director, writer, musician, and producer of films highlighting global issues

“Empathy”, beautifully defined as the capacity to understand or feel what another person is experiencing from within their frame of reference, that is, the capacity to place oneself in another’s position. The importance of this value and its relevance in creating a better world is distinctly obvious in the current world scenario.
We are in a state of chaotic disconnect even though we are perhaps the most connected in the technical sense via innovations in technology. Read more>>

Imani Parker | Artist & Entrepreneur

The most important principle that I hold within my brand is transparency. It is important to me as an artist that my work be relatable and honest, especially for the communities I represent in my art. My art highlights the beauty in everyday life, and in turn is appreciated more for its honesty and transparency. As an entrepreneur in today’s world, I also believe in being transparent with my supporters on the importance of maintaining a healthy work life balance, and not sacrificing mental health for social media or anything else. Read more>>