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.

Kristina Davies | visual artist and educator

Being both an educator and an artist, I have several values that guide me: building an inclusive community, freedom of expression, and accessibility. For me, I am most alive in my art practice when I share my art with others, whether it be with students, practicing artists, or those who have had limited artistic experiences. I have found that creative freedom has been stifled in many people. There is a fear of judgment, of not being good enough, of disliking the end product. I’m all about the process. Creating a safe place for people to come together and tap into the beauty of self expression without fear of judgment is a powerful thing. Read more>>

Alicia Wyatt | Artist and Illustrator

Sustainability and the environment. I think this is a rather new value of a lot of businesses now-a-days as we begin to fully realize the impact humans have had on the environment. As a result, it does add a whole new layer to the problem many creatives face in creating something that’s essentially worth creating. Not only are you trying to create because you enjoy creating, but to have whatever that may be serve a purpose. I think that’s why I really like having an educational aspect to my illustrations. Besides just being aesthetically pleasing and interesting to look at, it can educate, it can share a unique passion, and it can communicate. Read more>>

Leslie Lew | Founder, Trauma-Informed Self-Defense Coach, Author, International Keynote Speaker

The principle I value the most and stand by is a self-defense mindset. The reality is that all women have to wake up each day with the lingering fear of a potential physical or non-physical attack. A physical attack can be on the streets or in environments that make them feel most vulnerable. Non-physical attacks are things like microaggressions in the workplace, being gaslit in a personal relationship, unwarranted comments from toxic family members and sometimes we attack ourselves with our inner critic. Read more>>

Matthew Lay | Artist

In my art career, I think one important principle (among many) is the skill of establishing consistency. You could obviously apply that principle to almost any other profession and I’m sure it still applies, but I think it’s especially relevant for entrepreneurs and artists. I’ve found that the more effort I pour into basic consistencies, the more I find a rhythm and “flow”, it actually makes other intimidating and challenging aspects of my career and life in general easier to manage. Read more>>