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Passing Values Down to Your Grandchildren

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Let me state the obvious: I am not a grandparent. I am not even close to having my own children. You might be thinking that I am not the best person to be writing a blog about passing qualities down to grandchildren. But, I can absolutely say I have some of the best grandparents in the whole wide world (sorry everyone else, it’s just the truth.) 

From an early age, my grandparents have instilled strong family values into their grandchildren: me, my fifteen-year-old brother, and my twenty-year-old-cousin. We see the eternal value in having the family that we do and this all started with my grandparents. From an early age, I would watch the adults in my life just live out their lives and model myself from them (as you probably did.) Children are so receptive and follow in the footsteps of those who surround them. 

When my grandparents were younger, there was no other option to work hard. For instance, my grandpa is a farmer and has been most of his life. I asked my grandpa where his work ethic came from and he attributed it to his grandpa. He said that he looked up to his grandpa so much, the man who raised him. Even at his age, he still goes out on the farm every day: tending to his cows and picking produce out of the garden to sell at the farmer’s market. He owns a small business with my uncle, Trinity Nursery, where they sell all kinds of flowers and produce out of their two greenhouses. My grandma is so giving of herself. She is a retired special education teacher and has been a caretaker to her father and now her brother for years. She has cooked Sunday lunch for the whole family almost every Sunday since my parents were married in 1996. She attributes her work ethic was passed down from her parents and they taught her to take pride in herself and everything she did. 

I can pretty much guarantee most grandparents feel similarly: they want to instill the values that they hold dear to their children and grandchildren. Work ethic is something that must be taught. As a millennial, I know we are thought of as not having “the best” work ethic. Stereotypically, millennials are lazy, arrogant, and expect everything to be handed to them. While this may be true for a small percentage, I see it differently. I see that so many millennials have the drive to work hard that it can be somewhat impossible to break through the clutter. I know for myself, I have seen my grandparents work for what they have. They have given their family the world. I can see the value in work and what I can accomplish when I put in the effort. 

I am sure you have values that you can trace back to your grandparents, whatever those may be. It is important that we acknowledge those things and where they came from. If you are fortunate to still have your grandparents, take a second and thank them today. Tell them how much the things they have instilled in you mean to you. Maybe some of your greatest qualities come from your grandparents. I know mine do.

How Do You Define Your Values?

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From the first time a potential customer hears your company’s name, they are subconsciously analyzing what makes up that company. Things like why are they here? what do they do? and what makes them stand out? are among the questions that wrack a consumer’s brain and this is all before they consider buying your product or using your service.

In this day and age, consumers are getting online and researching all there is to know about a company before applying for a job, eating at their restaurant or even just getting a haircut. The decision is made before they step foot into your space. Your online presence and your brand convey something a good review just cannot say: your values.

It is important to define a company’s values in a language that is plain and simple so that customers can grasp them, but complex enough to define your entire brand in just a few words. Values allow the potential consumer to really take a glimpse inside your brand and see whether they align their beliefs with yours. Today, a company’s values are just as important as the first sale and it is imperative for a brand to have them and use them well.

First and foremost, a set of values identify a brand to its consumers. It shows the company in a favorable light and provides the customer with all that the brand is and wants to be. Values clarify what a firm stands for, and if they have a great set of values compared to a competitor that has lax values, (or none at all) I know I would choose the one with the clear values backing their brand.

Values allow a company to have something to fall back on in light of a difficult decision. If a conflict arises, a company can look to their values to answer there question. If one of their values is honesty and they are knee-deep in a scandal, it might be best to tell the public the truth.

Ment has been focusing on defining our values recently and we thought we could share our process with you in hopes that it could help your business maybe do the same.

First off, we sat down and did our research. There are five existing core values for the coworking industry: Community, Openness, Collaboration, Accessibility and Sustainability. While these values are ones we uphold as well, we felt there were different words to describe how Ment feels and how we want it to feel for others. Therefore we pulled up our handy dandy Google search and began looking for other words that stuck out to us but still fell under the five industry values. There were many (a lot) of -ment words that we pulled out and as you will see we kept a few of them too.

We wanted to really harvest what we were trying to do as a coworking space and then provide that to the members and the community of Bowling Green as a whole. With this, we landed on four core words that we ended up realizing they cultivated the image of a plant growing into a garden.

Take a step back and think about what makes up your brand, what makes it stand out, and what you want to convey to the public. Those qualities are what will make up your values. Proceed then to share them on a website, blog, or on your social media accounts. Your values will allow you to dive deeper toward your customers and provide a more personal approach to business which will result in a brand that will last through any recession, any hiccup, and any mistake.