It was a cold, wet, and Saturday morning in late April of 2009, and I was tucked snuggly into the corner of a hip coffee shop in the west end of Toronto. For over two hours I sat there, engrossed in a book, filling out the exercises, and charting a course that would forever change my business.
After being told over and over and over again to read, “Mastering the Rockefeller Habits“, I had finally pulled it from my shelf of mostly unread books, and walked two blocks down to a nearby coffee shop with pen and paper to do the work.
But I was skeptical. Most business books, I’ve found, would be better off as five page magazine articles, rather than being drawn out into 250 page paperbacks through the use of redundant examples. But not so with the Rockefeller Habits. From that day forward it has been the number one business book on my list.
Verne Harnish, the author, had created more of a workbook than a typical ‘business book of the week’. From the planning of your meetings, to the one-page plan to your quarterly focus, Mastering the Rockefeller Habits was a literal blueprint for planning my business – in a simple, yet effective manner.
The exercise that truly stuck out was the development of core values. Both Harnish and legendary business book author, Jim Collins, have repeatedly shown that the best businesses in almost every industry rely on some sort of core values to guide their mission and define their values.
I often tell budding business owners that with a properly crafted set of core values, a business hardly needs an employee handbook, as the correct decision in almost any given situation can be identified with a brief review of the company’s core values.
And so on that grey spring morning, while the smell of roasted coffee baked into my sweatshirt, I labored over the six core values that would guide my Turbulence Training fitness business for the next decade on our mission to help one million people transform their bodies and their lives.
Little did I know that creating core values for my fitness business would bring me one step closer to achieving my biggest goal to date in business – that of running EarlytoRise.com. It was the consistent taking of actions like this one, and sharing what I learned from these actions, that allowed me to build my reputation to the point where I earned the right to take over ETR.
Developing the core values for my fitness business also prepared me for the day when I would create the core values for Early to Rise, so that I could share them with you today. Matt Smith and I just finished putting these together for our team. Please note, however, they are not just for our employees and ourselves, but most of them also apply to ETR readers as well.
The ETR Core Values
#1 – Dedicated to Improving Others
We teach valuable skills and foster the application of these skills so that our readers and employees can improve their lives.
#2 – Self-Reliance and Personal Responsibility
While ETR teaches and preaches the need for and benefits of finding positive social support, networking with like-minded people, and attending educational seminars, at the end of the day it’s still your decision to follow through on all of this. It is up to YOU and you only.
#3 – Live by Example
An ETR member exudes the principles of EarlytoRise.com at all times, especially when representing ETR. We rise early, manage our time and energy, and are dedicated to a life well lived. We are, of course, not “all work and no play”. Time is made for the finer things in life, enjoyed responsibly.
#4 – Concentrate on What Counts
We focus on what matters. Ignore the noise and concentrate on the big items that move the needle in your life towards your goals.
#5 – We Deliver The Truth
We tell the truth and we expect others to tell the truth to us. The only way to build strong relationships among team members, with joint venture partners, and with our readers, is to always be truthful.
#6 – Customer Service, Customer Service, Customer Service
This is our team’s mission. Every communication focuses on improving the customer experience. We have always had great customer service and always will because it helps people implement our proven products and they get more results. And that is why it’s so important, is because it ends up impacting so many more people and moving us towards the TT 10 Million Transformation Mission.
#7 – Always be Learning and Improving
You’re not just satisfied with what you know now. You’re always improving.
#8 – Never, ever, ever, EVER give up on what is important to you.
Never give up on getting better, and never give up on helping our readers and clients. Everybody’s going to have some struggles, but we’re going to be there helping.
Print those out and keep those by your desk as you live by example the ETR way.[Ed. Note. Craig Ballantyne is the author of Financial Independence Monthly, a complete blueprint to helping you take control of your financial future with a web–based business that you can operate from anywhere in the world – including a coffee shop, your kitchen table, or anywhere around the world where there is Internet access. Discover how you can achieve the American Dream and your financial independence here. You’ve never seen anything like this before.]