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Sharing my values
A short reflection on why documenting your values is important
📝 Notes from Jenn:
I am leaning so heavily into procrastination right now, but luckily for me, I procrastinate with other arguably productive things! For example, I heard about Arc, a browser app (gift link, though this is free, so I don't understand), and spent an hour and a half setting this up. This was not necessary, I could’ve done this any other time. There was also the night when I didn’t want to go to bed and instead heavily researched Japanese and Korean body sunscreen. Yes, that was needed, but no, I didn’t have to do it at 2 am.
In 2017, when longtime Miami tattoo artist Javier Betancourt couldn’t find any good coffee near his shop, Ocho Placas Tattoo Company, he set out to open White Rose Coffee, just two doors down. The pandemic affected both businesses and they reopened in 2021 in a fresh, combined space that is also home to The Betancourt Gallery. “Our space is a completely immersive experience,” says Joelle Maritza, owner of White Rose. “Guests can enjoy an impeccable cup of our specialty coffee while being surrounded by art that plays to all the senses.”
🛠 Current project: I don’t know if this counts as a project, but my friends and I have a standing Saturday night date to virtually watch Loki together.
🔏 Last week, paid subscribers received a photo essay of my weekend getaway to San Juan Bautista/Gilroy.
🍩 What I ate/drank/snacked on: Left is Boat Noodles Flavor and right is Spicy Seafood Salad. I enjoyed the noodles but only for a few bites (it really felt like I was crunching on noodle soup). If the seafood salad wasn’t spicy, I’d eat more of it.
Sharing my values
I set out to write a guide on brainstorming your brand’s values and realized I had already written one in 2020. The steps still work!
I used to think about “values” as a corporate company endeavor: say what people want to hear to make yourself look good, but don’t follow through with the actions. But as I worked on the new copy of my website’s About page, I also researched other freelancers’ pages to see what they wrote. There is a stunning range of about pages: three-sentence bios to every significant life milestone listed. One had their values listed, and even though I had never encountered them before and didn’t know how I even landed on their site, I felt intrigued and encouraged by what they wrote.
One of my general marketing advice was to revisit and update your company values every few years. Your values serve as a guiding North Star and can help you decide on big-picture items like new products or small details like social post topics. “Does X align with one or more of my values?” should be a recurring question.
Because I recently expanded my service offerings, I thought it was time to write down my brand values. I chose to go with phrases that also act as mantras when I need reminders. Even if you’re not a company or a solopreneur, I find that doing a values exercise can be helpful and introspective.
Here are my values, which are also on my About page.
Provide a space of trust
A big one for me, because it's necessary for interviews (trusting me to write about them authentically) and portrait photography (trusting me to capture them at their best). Surface-level interactions are not for me; I'm an introvert.
Be receptive and open
Dream big and try new things. Pay attention to what people tell me or what the universe tells me.
Learn, evolve, and share
I love learning new things or going deep on a topic. This is a reminder to constantly learn and evolve. I don't necessarily need to share everything, but sharing what I can is one way to avoid being a gatekeeper.
Make an impact
Every impact is an important one, it doesn't matter if it's on an individual level or a global scale.
Embrace myself & my differences
Pay attention to my gut! It's almost always right. Part of this is also to be true to me and make sure everything I put out aligns with who I am. I should be excited about new projects, not dreading them. Buck traditions and expectations.
Do the best you can
Life is hard and sometimes shitty. If I'm doing the best I can under the circumstances I'm given, and with the tools I have on hand, then that's all that I can do. No beating myself up on this.
👀 interesting reads
The obsessive tormenter who made professors’ lives miserable [The Verge]: Long read and also content warnings for racism, sexism, harassment, slurs.
But some within academia are now calling on institutions to do more to defend professors and other staff, who are also commonly targeted. Today’s academics have become public figures online and in the media in a climate of rising political polarization, racism and misogyny, and attacks on intellectualism.
Yugoslavia’s Digital Twin [The Dial]: “What happens when a country’s internet domain outlives the nation?”
After years of bureaucratic delays, the domain was finally shut down in 2010. Over 4,000 websites, some of the earliest examples of internet culture from the region, suddenly became inaccessible via their original domain. For many, the deletion of .yu represented the final loss of the former country, the erasure of its digital identity.