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Core Values—Let’s Create Them.


How do people view your character?

Is there honesty? Dependability? Responsibility?

“Core Values” are the lenses we view business (and personal) decisions through, and it’s important to understand what standards or codes are important to you.

Why? Why is it important to analyze and write down these values? 

Because it affects how you view business decisions and business growth.

In the books Entreleadership by Dave Ramsey and Permission to Screw Up by Kristen Hadeed, both authors stressed understanding and creating a foundation of values when starting a company. These values have helped shaped the company culture and have become guiding pillars when making decisions.

Core values can also apply to your personal life. They allow you to say “No” to opportunities that might not help you flourish. They direct what you want to be committed to, and become what you’re known for—dependability, honesty, responsible.

Through these “lenses,” decisions become easier, hiring is less vague, and the business’ integrity and culture can be kept safe.

Setting up these boundaries allow you to make decisions freely, without guilt, and sometimes without less confusion.

You have a vision of how you want friends, family, and co-workers to perceive you…

So why not write those traits down and commit to making them your Core Values?

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When sitting down to write your Core Values, it’s best to start with general terms, then create a more specific description, and finally, define it with specific actions.

Mercy Creates has three core values: Art, Freedom, and Hope. Let’s focus on the core value of Hope. (You can read more about Mercy Creates’ Core Values here.)

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The idea of “hope” is broad, and the definition is “a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen; a feeling of trust.”

So here is how we fleshed it out to be a core value of the business:

“Because we have been shown mercy, we give mercy to others when they do not expect it. This underserved mercy further solidifies the hope (or the trust) that they have their heavenly Father is just as merciful and forgiving. Mercy creates hope. Hebrews 6:13-20”

Mercy Creates is a Christian business that visually presents Scripture. Because the Bible is so integral to the business, we have chosen to align our core values with passages of Scripture.

Hebrews Passage

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When creating your core values, you may choose to align them to a quote, a fictional or non-fictional character, a passage of Scripture, or a historical event. This helps you further flesh out your core value and give you an example that can be easily identifiable or understood to someone who doesn’t work in your business or family life.

After identifying the general and specific core value, you can give it life through specific actions.

Here are our practical specific actions when relating to the core value HOPE:

  1. We create to remember and solidify foundational truths that are found in the Bible and have withstood the test of time. Regardless of our sins and mistakes, He is faithful, loving, and merciful. He is also a just, warrior-like, and fighting God. Artwork created will not be slanted of one view of God over the other.
  2. We create to remember moments in our lives, both good and bad, that have helped shape and mold us. These memories and people have been placed in our lives by God to mold us into a faithful steward of His kingdom on earth. Artwork created will capture humanity and emotions as best and realistically as possible.

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This core value of HOPE is evident in The Psalms Project. A majority of the book is singing praises to God and recounting His good works, so there is opportunity to have a slanted approach in representing the passages, glossing over paragraphs and lines of depression, loneliness, grief, and anger.

The Psalms Project could have been an emotional “best seller,” but our core value is preserving the integrity and priorities or our business and art.

And I couldn’t be more proud to talk about The Psalms Project because we stayed true to that core value.


Can you spare twenty minutes to brainstorm your Core Values? Click the image below to download a free worksheet that will help you create your Core Values!

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