Shannon McCaffery
Attitude,  Challenges,  Clients & Customers,  Entrepreneurs,  Goals,  Mindset,  Motivation

Aligning Your Work & Life with Your Deepest Values

Let me tell you a quick story – (Adapted from Melody Beattie’s More Language of Letting Go.) Two monks were walking along the sidewalk during a heavy rainstorm. They came across a nicely dressed young woman stranded because she couldn’t cross the street without getting soaked. 

One monk, without hesitation, picked her up and carried her over the puddles to the other side of the street. The other monk was furious that he did that. They have a vow of celibacy and not having contact with women. The monk who carried the woman replied: “I left that girl back on the corner. Are you still carrying her?” 

At the heart of this story is about letting go. For the monk who carried the woman, it was about helping others—being in the moment and letting it go. 

It’s a reminder that your true purpose lies in the present, not in the burdens you may carry from the past.

This story is a terrific jumping-off point to explore your own ideals, values, and code you want to follow. And also about not “carrying” any professional setbacks you may have had.

Are you carrying around any professional setbacks?

Maybe you worked with a client or had a customer who just wasn’t happy with working with you, and maybe it wasn’t a perfect fit at the start.

You persevered, and then they ended your working relationship. 

How did you take it? Were you able to work through your feelings, maybe using R.A.I.N.

Or are you still carrying it around with you?

In all my eNewsletters, I strive to be honest about my own experiences, holding nothing back. 

And I love doing this because I know how that can help. I’ve learned so much from others when they pull back the curtain, and I relate and don’t feel so alone anymore because they understand…

So… yep, that has definitely happened to me- where a client and I came to an impasse, and we decided to end it. 99% of the time, we always ended in a kind, caring way. I don’t want to hold onto resentment and blame them or myself. Cuz I know it’s only hurting me, not them. (Hence, I mention R.A.I.N. a lot!) 

Then, I had the 1% when I first started out in business. Yeah, they outright ended it and not on terrific terms.

I’ve learned soooo much from that experience. When a potential Dream Client asks about how we can work together, here’s my promise: 

“Work with me for 30 days. If you’re not completely satisfied,  I will work with you until you are or give you a refund. Promise. No questions asked, and we will part as friends.”

This commitment stems from my core values and desire to create and foster genuine connections, prioritizing meaningful work over monetary gain.

I don’t want someone’s money if, after 15 – 30 days, they realize it’s not working. It’s about the work and the connection.

I can work with anyone, and so can you!

When you do this work, you won’t attract anyone except for your dream clients. All your marketing is to attract your dream clients and repel the rest. 

So make a pact with me: we’re only going to work with people we connect with and are on the same page with our mission and values.

Think about what’s most important to you. What are your core values you live by? 

Do you have them written down?

I invite you to reflect on your core values. What principles guide your decisions? Below is a short exercise to help you dive deeper:

Your answers will help you start to shape what you most value. And your values are your fundamental beliefs. 

Knowing these will help you create better goals, set up better boundaries, and create a more purpose-driven life and business.

  1. Think about your personal and professional experiences and identify the most meaningful moments or accomplishments where you felt most alive, fulfilled, and in flow. What were you doing? Who were you doing it with, if anyone? What values come to mind from those moments?
  2. Look at the people in your life and people you admire. What are their values that resonate and connect with you?
  3. Think about less satisfying moments. What was missing? 
  4. Identify and explore your passions and sources of inspiration.
  5. What stories inspire you?

After you answer these questions, start to write all the values that come to mind. Your values can be the same for the core areas of your life, or they can be different. The 5 core areas are life, work, relationships, finances, health, and spirituality.

If you want a list of values to jumpstart this exercise, James Clear has a list of 50 values.

Next, you want to go through your values list and narrow them down to 5 that are the most important to you, the ones you consistently live by.

Your values are the compass that guides your journey. They help you set goals, establish boundaries, and lead a purpose-driven life. I encourage you to identify and live by your top five values.

My top 5 values for my life, work, and relationships are authenticity, kindness, curiosity, growth, trustworthiness, and spirituality are paramount. They’re the core of my Soulful Marketing approach.

I hope this inspires you to do this exercise. And if you have done it before, it might be interesting to look at it again. As we age, our values can shift and change.

Happy Valentines! Here’s to heart-shaped cookies, candy, everything hearts and roses! Next week I’m going to be out of town celebrating my birthday. It’s a big one (Yep, I’m gonna be 60. Holy Moly. 🙂 And in my mind, I will always be 45!) I look forward to sharing pictures and whatever I’m learning along the way. 

Crafting Your Very Own Soulful Manifesto for Your Work & Your Life

I’m excited to share with you my updated Soulful Marketing Manifesto and guide to crafting your own. This tool is designed to help you align your life and work with your deepest values. 

Download The Soulful Marketing Manifesto & How to Craft Your Own here.

2 Inspiring Quotes I’m Pondering: 

I have been listening to Rick Rubin’s book, The Creative Act, and totally loving it! 

“The goal of art isn’t to attain perfection. The goal is to share who we are. And how we see the world.”  (Replace the word “art” with whatever your purpose is, and boom – a whole new perspective!)

“We can’t force greatness to happen. All we can do is invite it in and await it actively. We’re all different, and we’re all imperfect, and the imperfections are what makes each of us and our work interesting.”

Powerful Affirmations to Inspire:

“My belief in my ability to attract and manifest wealth grows stronger every day.”

“I am deserving of financial freedom and abundance, and I allow myself to receive these gifts now.”

~ From my Visionary Guide (New custom GPT I created.)

Weekly Earworm: 

“I never knew… Over My Head” by The Fray. Doing so much change in my business this past week. I’m definitely feeling “Over My Head.” 🙂 

Weekly Scavenger Hunt: 

This week was more about cleaning up the neighborhood. With all the wind and rain, and not many walks, we had some errant recycling flying around that I guided back to its proper garbage can.

Cool & Interesting Stuff: 

  • The Marketing Behind The Super Bowl Halftime Show – This was an interesting video that explains the history of the halftime show, and I thought you might be interested in it too.
  • Some Amazing Winter Photos of Animals – Need I say more? The cute factor is off the charts!
  • Facebook just celebrated – gulp – its’20 year anniversary – wow! (FB started in 2004. I created an account in 2008.)

AI Info & Resources: 

  • I love this take on AI and Radical Self Betterment. In fact, I created a new Custom GPT (Aptly called Visionary Guide) based on an idea I learned from an expert who does visualizations. I programmed it with tons of visualization ideas and language and gave it to several of my favorite experts and authors to get inspiration from. And it only took me 20 minutes to create it. I will write about that next week and share more about how I’m using it.!
  • Etsy Now has an AI gift ModeCheck it out and give it a go. It’s kind of cool.
  • Creating Custom Instructions for Your Free & Paid ChatGPT – This is honestly gold, and much about what I was sharing last week, going one step further to create a Custom GPT, not just custom instructions. It’s an easy read and will go a long way in helping you understand how you can get the most out of a free or paid ChatGPT or other AIs. It’s all about the instructions you give and how you train it to learn what you want it to do for you.

Weekly Photos:

This week, it’s all about real RAIN. You know, the wet, stormy kind! Poor CA got totally dumped with snow and rain this week. AND, it made for some very cool cloud pictures. Especially those really dark, angry clouds, kind of noisy and grumpy. I think I’ve had enough rain for a while. And I’m incredibly grateful that where we live, there’s no danger of flooding. 

A little photo of Emma and yours truly is the millionth attempt at a decent selfie. Progress is perfection sometimes. I think she’s having a better hair day than me! Ha!

And check out the graphic pic I created with the AI DALL-E. That was for my eNewsletter about my AI Crush last week. I’m using these graphics when I post this email to my blog. You can see more here.

P.S. Help Me Share the Soulful Marketing Manifesto & How To Craft Your Own Guide! All this talk about values really inspired me to FINALLY change my optin on my website to be more in line with where my business is going. I’m giving away my Soulful Marketing Manifesto and How to Craft Your Own Soulful Manifest. If you feel inspired to share the optin link, I’d be incredibly grateful – thank you!

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