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.

Kate Ivy | Wedding and Elopement Photographer

I love this question! I think it’s one of the most important things to ask yourself as an individual, but also as a business. There is a Maya Angelo quote – “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.” If you were to apply that to the photography field – people will forget your editing skills, or how quickly you emailed them back – what matters is how you made them feel. And there are quite a lot of people who don’t feel included. Read more>>

Sarah Fleming | Photographer

My values begin and end with treating my clients like family. This means honoring the trust they place in me with their time and investment, and taking the time to get to know them – to get to know what makes their story unique and to craft a session that helps tell that story. Sure, this is a business, but if we’re chasing light and making things happen in minute 59, it’s more important to see the shoot though than stress about the time. When a client opens their gallery for the first time, it should be like reading a book only they could have written, rather than just watching themselves ape the latest Pinterest poses. Exceeding expectations is the ground floor for my business. Read more>>

Merrily Talbott | Founder, Savvy Sweets LLC

What drives my business is the idea that our minds are powerful and that taking care of our mental health is a priority. When I was in my early 20s, I started therapy in an effort to make sense of my dysfunctional family. Over the years, I’ve lost a friend to suicide, seen kids I care about become drug addicts as well as watched strong, independent women fall victim to domestic abuse. These are serious issues that have affected me deeply. Twenty-five years ago I was teaching peer counseling to teenagers and trying to reduce the stigma of asking for help with the daily social-emotional issues that we all face. Read more>>