How to Build a Values Aligned Business: Practicals for Business Owners

February 7, 2022

The question isn’t, “Will my business have an impact on the world around me?” but rather, “What kind of impact do I want my business to have?” Many of us start our business with a vision for “doing good” at the forefront, only to get caught up in reaching goals and making a profit as the weeks, months, and years go by. 

But to be clear, reaching goals and making a profit is an integral part of business. Without these, there would be no business at all. How do you balance these aspects of the job while considering your impact on your employees, clients, and community?

We sat down with Harry Pearson to hear his insights as he has walked this journey as the Co-Founder and CEO of OneAscent. We also share some thought-provoking questions to help you as you build a values-aligned business. 

Your Vision for Your Values-Aligned Business

Before you start building your values-aligned business, you have to lay the foundation. This is your vision. What matters most to you, and what impact do you want to have?

For Harry, he desired to combine his love for people, his passion for finance, and his desire to build a business that would serve people well. His business centered around the question, “Who is the owner?” If God is the owner, we are the steward. What would be most pleasing to him?

OneAscent was formed to be a place where advisors could be equipped and encouraged to meet the needs of faith-driven investors, and faith-driven investors could be supported and empowered to steward their money for an eternal purpose. 

The next step is taking your vision and creating an environment and process that puts these values at the center. For example, Harry centered every interaction with clients and his business around four things: stewardship, contentment, generosity, and faith.

What is your vision for your business? What values will uphold this desire?

Do you need guidance in your financial strategy? Schedule a consultation today! 

What Makes A Values-Aligned Business Different Than A Business That Serves Clients Well?

Historically, businesses are broken down into at least four areas: sales, revenue generation, operations, and financial management. Most of your day-to-day decisions typically fall into three “boxes”:

  • How do I get more clients?
  • How do I deliver values to the clients I am currently serving?
  • How do I run a profitable business?

These questions have their place in every business. But a values-aligned business should make decisions guided by vision, mission, and core values.  

What other aspects of your business do you need to develop to carry out your vision, mission, and values?

In addition to the four business areas mentioned above, OneAscent adds two more. First is Organizational Development, in place of Human Resources, which exists to find and equip the right people, spur innovation, and budget time and resources for professional and personal development for each employee. OneAscent believes every person has a unique calling, and empowering their employees to live it out is just one more way to build a business that puts values at the forefront. 

Business As a Ministry 

The second business area that OneAscent prioritizes is Ministry. OneAscent asks the question, “What are we doing to take care of every stakeholder and be an ambassador of the gospel?” 

For OneAscent, that looks like giving 20% of its net income to strategic ministry partners, encouraging employees to use their time, talents, and treasure for ministry, setting goals for ministry KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and celebrating achievements, and covering the cost of employees’ first mission trips. Investing in your people and your community is just one more way of investing in your values. 

Do you see your business as a ministry? What “message” is your business proclaiming?

Endurance Through Tough Times: Challenges in Maintaining A Values-Aligned Business

After you define your vision, mission, and values and begin building your business around these core aspects, the next difficult challenge is continuing to prioritize a values-aligned business when other things try to get in the way. Sometimes you have a slow quarter, and profit is more important than ever. Sometimes you are in a great season of growth, and decisions are made quickly instead of deliberately. 

One of the best ways to stay on track is to be surrounded by many trusted counselors. We need people around us to keep us grounded and hold us accountable. Many business owners are surrounded and supported by many good people, but there is an important distinction between good people and those who encourage you, push you, and lead you into truth. 

Do you have a care or advisory team that has the same desires and passions for a values-aligned business as you?

Your Next Step to Live Well and Finish Well

Building a values-aligned business isn’t a checklist but a journey. Our advisors have worked with businesses like yours to discover how they can use what they have been blessed with to impact the world around them.

Reach out to us today to schedule a consultation! We would love to walk with you through this journey.



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