Value Your Values if Your Startup is Going to Have Any Value

By Nick Bentley

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Time and time again, we’ve seen startups fail for any number of reasons. And while we could sit here and list all of the possibilities your startup might fail, it’s much easier—and less scary—to nail down the one or two underlying reasons that rest at the base of all startup failures. One of the biggest problems startups face—especially as they start to see some growth and success—is not sticking to their initial core values.

Value Your Starting Values

Without sounding too new-age about it, the point is simple: when you start to stray away from your initial cause or beliefs, you tend to lose sight of your goals and start shifting the goalposts as your vision becomes hazy. This can be a dangerous, deadly mix for any startup, especially one experiencing any fluctuation in growth. If you’re at a stable, steady point in your growth hacking, fine—you might be able to afford some reevaluation of your direction.

But the values that you started off with should still only be changed with the utmost hesitancy and forethought. When you move any foundation that you’ve built upon, everything up top tends to shake and you risk having it all come crumbling down to the ground. Keeping the faith throughout the difficult times of a startup can be trying, but if your initial vision was compelling and strong enough to take you this far, why second-guess yourself now?

Staying Strong with Proper Personnel

To ensure that you have the right foundation around you to persevere during the rough patches every startup inevitably endures, start off on the right foot by surrounding yourself with people who share similar values to your vision. Having a strong supporting cast around you can help keep you focused during times of wavering fortitude. Pick your partners wisely and make sure the vetting process is long and involved—you should be vetting them at all times, even when you’re not discussing business.

Study your business partner’s values completely. Do they tend to give up on their sports teams when they go down by a few points? Do they skip out on bills or tip poorly? While these might seem like odd vetting points, the underlying purpose here is to find someone that shares your same core values of business and humanity or even better—compliments your weak points.

Knowing When to Say When

Finding the right partners for your startup will also help you realize when it’s time to switch up your tactics a little bit. While your initial values shouldn’t change (e.g. starting off trying to provide affordable tech for people and then price gouging three months in), it almost always becomes necessary to change things up here and there as you progress.

If we all had a perfect business model from the get-go, this wouldn’t be an issue. But chances are your model is flawed in a few ways—this is fine. Almost everybody’s is, especially during a self startup. The problem is that you can’t anticipate every single occurrence, especially if this is your first startup. But when you have the right people around you and you stick to your initial values, dealing with obstacles that pop up and slightly adjusting to accommodate them becomes a lot easier—you just check the decision making process against your core business vision.

Are the new changes in line with your initial values? If they are and the changes work, problem solved. If not, how can you tweak the changes to meet up with your initial values?

Value Leads to Value

When it’s all said and done, ensuring that your values are rock solid will bring value straight down the line—from the people you work with to the people you hire, to the customers your attract to the ultimate goal of your startup: a high valuation. It all starts with the critical values that you instill in your startup. To find out some of the best values all successful startups share, click here right now.


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