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How Your Values Define Your Purpose

Your potential is something beyond what you can cash in at a bank. It’s based on what you still can do, not based on what you have done.”
Grant Cardone

Your Values help you define your purpose

I had to let go of an associate who was part of my practice. Parting ways with a staff member is never easy for any boss especially when you actually like the person. In this situation, it was not because he was a bad therapist, irresponsible or caused any conflict with our team. In the end, our values and priorities just didn’t align with the business I have been envisioning in my mind for the past few years.

In fact, it took me close to 6 months to finally let him go. When a member of my weekly accountability group kept going on and on about how one of his staff members was sabotaging his business success and the camaraderie of his team, I decided to no longer tolerate the little things that would lead to my practice getting to that same point. It was about 6 weeks in a row of him bringing this issue up when I had enough, went to my office and wrote the email to move in a different direction with my associate.

In 2016 I committed to a 4 year business and entrepreneur mastery program created by two successful business people. One, a chiropractor and the other, a capital venturist, who both wanted to inspire entrepreneurship in others regardless of their background, education or life status. From day one they empowered us to create the values that every decision within my business and other aspects of my life will be made from. They shared that this is one of the first steps to business and personal success.

This idea wasn’t something new to me as a therapist, but never before have I had it drilled into my head with such clarity and importance. Every one of us walk around making decisions in our daily lives on a vague set of rules, qualities and values. Some of us have clarity on what those are, some of us have no clarity at all.

I realized that if I had my business values clear when I opened my practice all of my hiring decisions would have been radically different over the years. Once these values clear and I stuck to them, it has made my decisions radically easier both in regards to who I partner with but who I also take on as a client. In fact, since defining my values, I have turned down more clients in 2017 then I did from 2005 when I graduated with my masters degree till 2016 collectively.

About 6 months after having my business values clear, someone from my social circles reached out to me hoping to work in my practice. At first I thought about it as I wanted a female therapist to round out my staff. After consideration of the pros and cons, I went back to my list of values and my red carpet qualifications, the more it became a clear no in my mind. This person may very much align with the practice values but I also created a list of contextual situations for individual that won’t make it past my “doorman” onto my business’s red carpet to either work with me or be seen as a client.

Every person and business needs a doorman and it shouldn’t just be for clubs and high end restaurants. In fact, at awards show, only those who are invited by their specific qualifications are allowed to walk on the red carpet. This doorman makes sure that each person walking inside meets the minimum criteria to even share the space with others who do qualify.

When I created my red carpet list to give to my “doorman” it looked like this:
1. No hiring friends.
2. No hiring practitioners right out of school who do not have training specifically for the populations we serve.
3. No hiring anyone who isn’t willing to invest money into their growth as a business professional in addition to their annual required clinical continuing education.
4. No hiring anyone who isn’t clear on the specific population they want to serve or have a specific annual goal in private practice.
5. No hiring anyone who does not have personal experience of being a client or practicing clinically researched mind-body wellness modalities or who thinks medication is always the first route of treatment for anxiety, depression or other clinical disorders.

One may think that my practice caseload got smaller by doing this but in fact I had a record year with a 30% increase in profit. I got to see the clients I preferred to work with, enjoyed more time doing things in my personal life and took more time off than ever before. . This is the benefit of creating your values for your personal and professional life.

In fact, I am finding that since I have been asking my therapy clients to share with me their values off the top of their head, not one has been able to list them with certainty. The clients that are the most vague about this are the ones who seems to be struggling most in different aspects of their lives.

The Family Room Wellness Associates Core Values

By showing love, caring, empathy, nurturing, sensitivity and inclusivity,
we support our clients and their loved ones throughout their journey of personal and interpersonal relationships.
Utilizing humor, passion, gratitude and open/honest dialogue in a safe and dependable environment will allow a co-created space for everyone’s growth.
Growth/Self Awareness
Offering integrative mind-body wellness therapies and coaching,
we allow ourselves and our clients to continue striving towards their successes.
By holding ourselves and our clients to living with integrity and an increasing awareness of psychological, spiritual, intellectual and physical potential, we can help draw out innate strengths and wisdom.

I started experimenting with this amongst a broad spectrum of my clients from elementary school kids to adults in their late 60’s. When I asked my elementary school client about his concerns regarding why he was not enjoying school, he was not clear himself why he was struggling. When I asked him if his teachers and parents made it clear to him on how learning these subjects would benefit him on finding his purpose, his face lit up and he shook his head vigorously. Imagine asking the typical kid, let alone a 5th grader about their purpose.I think we are missing an elemental aspect of the human condition.

It may be the same with each of us. The more unclear our values, the more difficult it is to define our purpose on this earth. If the school had a clear set of values that were imbued into the culture of their academic environment and curriculum, my assumption is that we would have more positive engagement, less behavioral issues and higher grades.

Imagine a school that serves a population of American inner-city students in an area where there was years of racial and political fighting way back in the 1960’s that resulted in the “white flight” to the suburbs. The school, St. Benedict’s Preparatory School almost had to close its doors due to the challenges at the time. In 1972, the headmaster a Benedictine Monk named Edwin Leahy, decided to use the Boy Scouts of America handbook to guide his students to being independent, accountable and leaders.

Leahy says this system he set up still allows students to make mistakes and bad decisions that fail that he calls a better learning experience.His school now has a 90% college acceptance rate.

As a former Scout, these values are instilled since day one of your involvement in your local troupe. These values in this case are called Scout Law and are the basis for decisions, interactions and goals.

The Scout Law has 12 points. Each is a goal for every Scout. He does his best to live up to the Law every day. It is not always easy to do, but a Scout always tries.

A Scout tells the truth and keeps his promises.
People can depend on him.
A Scout is LOYAL
A Scout is true to his family, friends, Scout leaders, school and country.
A Scout is HELPFUL
A Scout volunteers to help others without expecting rewards
A Scout is a friend to everyone, even people who are very different from him.
A Scout is polite to everyone and always uses good manners.
A Scout is KIND
A Scout treats others as he wants to be treated. He never harms or kills any living thing without good reason.
A Scout follows the rules of his family, school, and pack. He obeys the laws of his community and country.
A Scout looks for the bright side of life. He cheerfully does tasks that come his way. He tries to make others happy.
A Scout is THRIFTY
A Scout works to pay his way. He uses time, property, and natural resources wisely.
A Scout is BRAVE
A Scout can face danger even if he is afraid. He stands for what is right even if others laugh at him.
A Scout is CLEAN
A Scout keeps his body and mind fit. He helps keep his home and community clean.
A Scout is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties. He respects the beliefs of others.

Another client came in to see me recently struggling with depression. After our second conversation, I asked him if he was clear on his purpose in life. He shared that he loved his job which was in crime prevention and emergency management but knew he had a ceiling of how far he was able to grow in his department. I sent him home with the following questions:

What does he want to accomplish in the next 10 years?
What does he want to accomplish this coming year?
What are the three themes of this coming year that will be your daily reminder or mantra to keep him on track of his goals?

When he came back the next session, he realized that his dream of creating his own business came out of the limitations and frustrations he saw in his present job. The desire to help others, in the way only he can, came out of attending interdepartmental meetings over the past several years. He realized that there was a niche that no one was filling and many times he was the person people referred to as the go to guy for that concern.

Putting your potential into practice

What are you personal values?

Create a list of 5-10 works that can inspire you on a daily basis to make decisions from. My mentor Rick Sapio broke all of his values down to three words, Simplicity, Probability and Leverage. He believes that these values are the blueprint that efficient, successful companies follow to maximize results.

I challenge you to use this as a lens to make your personal decisions through.

Now that you have your values clear, how can you utilize these words to create your personal vision of what you want your life to look like?

Let’s take some time and put on your “values glasses” and describe your ideal life.

Who would you be surrounded by?

What would your daily schedule look like?

What type of food would you be eating?

What does your workout regimen look like?

What would your romantic partners be like?

How would you be treating people?

What would your psychological/spiritual practices or rituals be?

What do you want to accomplish in the next 10 years?

What do you want to accomplish this coming year?

What are the three themes of this coming year that will be your daily reminder or mantra to keep you on track of your goals?



Jason Wasser, LMFT is a Florida Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Certified Neuro Emotional Technique Practitioner and Certified Entrepreneur Coach.
He runs a full service online Therapy & Coaching practice in South Florida and is the host of the You Winning Life Podcast.

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