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.

Meredith Hintze | Corporate Social Responsibility Leader

Two values that are truly foundational to me both personally and professionally are integrity and authenticity. These are values that were instilled in me at a young age and are values that I now work to teach to my own children. Increasingly, as our world becomes noisier, filled with so many divisive opinions and personalities, it feels more important than ever to be centered around principles and values that are focused on what is true, what is real and what is right. Read more>>

Cassandra Hunt | Realtor and Denver City Living Enthusiast

Starting Keep Denver Weird was to showcase all that I love about this city even though it is ever changing. I have spent the past thirty years here and have seen it morph and grow but still able to maintain its beauty and originality. There is a reason so many people move to Denver, start businesses in Denver, and visit Denver. I want those who are natives not to lose their lust for the city and remind people why they moved here in the first place. This western city has a diverse culture all its own and I am blessed to see it daily. Read more>>

Krista Lea | Visual Artist at Artby13

Value is the deepest good. Value is in truth. The truth is home. “The unexamined life is not worth living”- Socrates. I find that I identify with a vast and sometimes contradictory menagerie of theories and concepts. Human life is not static, therefor I consciously attempt to remain untied to any one concrete belief. Beliefs are preconceived notions based upon what is known. If new information is presented that may contradict those beliefs, there is a process of cognitive dissonance that occurs. Cognitive dissonance is a psychological term. Denial by choice, for the sake of self preservation. Denial is an extreme emotional state that is highly powerful. Denial stands in the way of truth. As a seeker of the truth, discarding belief is to consciously avoid cognitive dissonance. I choose to allow myself a fluid existence, and a fighting chance of reaching full psychological individuation. Read more>>

Amy Bolden | Social Media Manager & Content Creator

In my work as an artist & creator, I value authenticity in presentation and process. If you’re taking shortcuts, paying for promotion, or anything else that revolves around getting ahead of the game unfairly… is it really real? For me in my business I approach every single client, niche, and project with the lens of capturing it as it is in the moment. That authenticity can translate into connecting people on the ground level and building it up from there. Read more>>

Lauren Scott | Eco Therapist and Pleasure Coach

I deeply believe in living a pleasurable life in the present. I have spent so much time being stressed and feeling anxious about the future and feeling deep shame about my identity that I put so much energy on a perfect future. Over time, the weight of the pressure I put on having a rich future and being a perfect person, eroded my self-confidence and belief in myself. Eventually, I was so depressed and stressed from chasing being wealthy and confident in the future and being out of alignment with myself, that everything crumbled. My business crumbled around me, I felt burn-out exhausted and was emotionally and financially in debt. It was pretty bleak to look around me and realize that I had spent so much time trying to live someone else’s life and I was missing my own. So I gently and slowly came back to the present, back to who I really am, what I really want, and what joys and pleasures I have now in my life. What I truly want is a lot simpler than I realized. Read more>>

Ryan Mayo | Founder, Owner & Customer Service Agent

The core value that drives us at Last Exit Goods is service. It’s the art behind the science: we sell a story to go along with our products. And let me tell you how that drives our growth in that old-fashioned word-of-mouth way! To me, service is such a huge thing that has been lost in the “one-click/two-day shipping” engagement most are accustomed to these days, but it’s the simplest thing in the world. We treat our customers like they mean something to us – because they mean everything. Even as we’ve grown over the past eight years, one of the things that remains so vitally important to maintain is the personal touch. There are humans on the other end of everything we do: our products are handmade, there’s someone behind our email addresses and phone numbers (many times, it’s me!), and I have always been inspired by other brands that just plain give a crap about each time someone makes a purchase. Read more>>

Marissa / Nick Pulaski / DiDomenico | Co- Executive Directors of Drylands Agroecology Research 501(c)(3)

Our Core Values (Drylands Agroecology Research) 1. Researching and developing innovative systems for regenerating land in a diversity of conditions benefits the evolution of our society 2. Understanding the patterns of water and how to store and direct water is vital to the restoration of Earth 3. Creating opportunities for learning and demonstrating positive regenerative practices strengthens community and reinforces a thriving educational system 4. Developing land management practices based on nature’s ecological patterns creates resilience 5. Promoting the use of materials and practices when possible that are not furthering industrial culture 6. The regeneration of the Earth innately effects the health of culture and community 7. Understanding earth based practices encourages healthy human development 8. Diversity is essential to the positive function of any living system 9. A positive and healthy relationship to the land and where our food comes from promotes abundant and prosperous communities Our core value that matters most to us right now is 6. Read more>>

Whitney Swales | Marketer, Perfumer and Owner of Wit & West Perfumes

The principle that matters most to me is authenticity. Authenticity in relationships both personal and work, as well as authenticity to myself and how I live my life. To me, to live authentically is to live by being true to yourself and focusing on what is important to you – regardless of what others might think or what others tell you that you should or should not do. This might mean taking a risk and attempting something that seems very daunting. However, as I have gotten older, I have realized that no one can make my life be authentic except me. This mindset shift helped me realize that I wanted to follow a passion of mine and take it to the next level by starting my own perfume brand, Wit & West. Read more>>

Lark Mervine | Makeup Artist, Esthetician, Educator, & Performer

I believe everyone deserves to feel beautiful and confident, and my goal is to help every client feel that way! I am here to celebrate my clients to the fullest! It is an honor to have the opportunity to meet and work with people from all walks of life. I am so privileged to share such a personal experience with so many unique individuals. I love celebrating what makes you, YOU! It is so important to me that every client feels safe, welcome, respected, and appreciated. I sincerely love making a deep connection with my clients while they’re getting pampered, and I thank each and every one for trusting me, connecting with me, sharing their stories with me, and for counting on me to be their biggest cheerleader!. Read more>>

Tadashi Hayakawa | International Artist and Motivator

Sincerity, humility, and imagination are guiding forces in my life. These concepts have made me a better person and artist. As I near my 80th birthday and I reflect back on all the lessons I have learned in life, I believe being more conscientious about the power of sincerity, humility and imagination has made a tangible difference in my work. Also, in my many travels back to my “furusato” (homeland) of Japan, I have experienced that sincerity, humility and imagination are natural characteristics of the Japanese people. I found these to be inspirational, foundational elements to their actions and culture. My “Origin” and “Echoes of Heritage” bodies of work are influenced greatly by those travels to Japan. Visiting with my family and friends, enjoying nature, and traditional Kabuki theater, and many celebrations and festivals of Japan are present in my thoughts as I create my art. Read more>>

Kayla Gilbert | Blackheart Creations

When it comes to my art, it’s most important to me that it’s genuine. I dabble in a lot of different styles and content because I really just enjoy creating – it’s part of who I am. That said, as a commission artist my most satisfying component is that my client loves their product and is proud to show it off. Whether a pet portrait or a business logo, I want to create art that people can really connect to. Read more>>

Talisa Caldwell | Creator/Owner of Freedom Creators Co

I have always cared a lot about my health and my body. I have always had very sensitive skin, and sensitivity to the foods that I put in my body. Too often, I would buy products and not pay attention to the label until later when I started getting irritation on my skin, or I would start to get headaches from artificially scented candles. A lot of people don’t know the harmful effects of these chemicals that are added into our everyday products! Store bought candles for instance, have chemicals in them that are also found in diesel fuels, household cleaners and glues that cause environmental and bodily pollution! And people are burning these in their houses everyday! It is of upmost importance to me that people can trust that are buying products that are not full of artificial chemicals and ingredients that can be harmful to the environment and to the body. I know that we are in an age where people are starting to pay attention to what goes on and in their bodies a lot more. Read more>>

Jordan Lyn | Fiber Artist/ Illustrator

What I value the most is being truthful to myself. Trying to keep what I envision in my head translate onto the canvas and not be obstructed by the ideas of, will people like this? Will it get enough likes? Will it sell? It is almost addicting to see how well something does and focus so much on it that you forget that you should be creating for yourself first. I always want to stay truthful about who I am and what my vision is. Read more>>