“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.

Jacenta, Taylor, Janice Irlanda, Millard, Martindale | Licensed Professional Counselor, Art Therapist, and Artist, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Licensed Professional Counselor, Art Therapist, and Artis

Jacenta’s Answer: If I picked one it would be Authenticity. It is one of the most important values I intentionally live by and uphold. It took me some time to unlearn many of the aspects of authenticity that were taught to me in my education journey. As therapists, we are often taught to remain neutral, remain outside healing circles, and refrain from self-disclosures. Through my journey, I have learned that transparency and self-disclosure can open up powerful moments in therapy when used mindfully and with intention. There are times when it is needed to step into healing circles. Read more>>

Zach Kiekhaefer | Singer/Songwriter

As a singer/songwriter, values and principles create the base of my entire brand. I stress authenticity more than anything else. Being authentic and true to yourself is really the only way you can be successful. You can’t be the next Drake or the next Justin Bieber. You can only be you! I’ve seen lots of people try to copy exact paths from people who are successful. They’ll move to certain cities or only listen to certain people. For a while, I specifically was trying to reach certain milestones based on my age. Justin Bieber released his first album at 15 years old. When I was 15, I was disappointed that I wasn’t reaching those same milestones (even though I actually had some success at that age!).  Read more>>

Jennifer Lopez | Baker of Dog Treats

Authenticity, compassion and transparency are what my business is built on. I wanted my company to be different than other dog companies. My compassion and belief that all animals are sentient beings is the reason I decided to produce vegan dog treats. I’m sure a few people were scared away but that’s okay. I have a following of pet parents that are happy with my dog treats and transparency of who I am and what my business is all about. I learned that being my authentic self, loving myself, is the only way to be and it can rub off on others! Read more>>

Gina Parrish | Content Creator & Writer

One thing that has always been at the core of Make a Date of It is authenticity. We’re not relationship experts. We’re not marriage counselors. We just want to have fun in our own relationship and grow together as a couple–and we want to help other couples do the same. It can be difficult to find a balance, though, especially on our website and on social media, in what to share and what not to share. We post photos of us having fun together and ideas for how other couples can have fun together too. That doesn’t mean our lives are perfect or that we have the perfect relationship. At the same time, we don’t feel obligated to share our nitty-gritty life details with strangers. Authenticity has its challenges, but we strive to be realistic and remain focused on our message to get out and have fun with the person you love. Read more>>

Matthew Sierra | Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt

The value of suffering is something most people would avoid embracing. However in Jiu Jitsu, through training we are taught how to push through the suffering, not shy away from it. We train a martial art that uses leverage and technique to control and submit our opponents. Through this training we are put into uncomfortable positions that slowly build up our tolerance to uncomfortable and suffering positions. In short, Jiu Jitsu helps you suffer and mastering the art of suffering is so important in today’s world. There’s a lot of stress and suffering in every individual’s life, there’s no exception to that. Training Jiu Jitsu has taught me to value “suffering”, understanding it’s going to get better as long as I keep doing my best. Read more>>

hadley evans | DLZMKSBTS | Producer, DJ, Engineer

For me; Authenticity is the value or principle that matters to me. You have to be true to yourself number one. When you make art, you should want some part of yourself or experiences to come thru. Something to be proud of not matter what. When you make art just to look cool or just for a ride of a wave at the current moment, its going to look/sound like it. No matter how successful you are. Be authentic and everything else will fall into place. Don’t pretent, it doesn’t look comfortable! Read more>>

Tracy Allen | Montessori Parent Educator

Respect is the value or principle that matters the most to me. Maria Montessori was one of the first to respect the child enough to let them reveal to her what they needed. She didn’t assume she knew better, despite being the first female doctor in Italy. She was humble and observant. She didn’t impose what she felt children should respond to. Instead she watched and was curious. Her work led to a pedagogy method that is constantly being reinforced by modern psychological discoveries and the current gentle or respectful parenting practices all echo her original findings. Read more>>

Cristin Salaz | Owner of WeFill and Steward of Mother Earth

The value or principle that means the most to me is simple: “leave the earth a better place for future generations of all species.” I have been fortunate to experience the beauty of so many parts of our earth. Watching species diminish and disappear from human activity and pollution breaks my heart. As a biologist I’ve seen these changes in migratory bird populations in just a couple of decades. As a diving instructor I’ve seen once healthy reefs turn into desolate graveyards with only skeletons of coral, and no fish. As a caver I’ve seen human greed for building materials destroy precious limestone caves full of ancient formations and archaeological wonders. I want future generations to see the beauty of our earth and not what it’s turning into…humans tend to protect, conserve, and respect jaw-dropping landscapes rather than wastelands, so I want to do my best to keep our earth beautiful. Read more>>