“If you stand for nothing, you fall for everything”

We asked the community to tell us about the values and principles that guide their lives and businesses.

Jimmy Murn | CEO of Arise and Shine Center, Creator of Bright Knights

To me, the most important principle in life is truth, but functionally in life and in business I have found what matters most is perseverance. From a young age I had a deep thirst for Truth with a capital T. Whatever that is, right. But I had a sense that, this was the highest aim. And I mentally had a sense that there were some human sort of limitations of the brain which might get in the way. But I also remember having this notion that, even if people said it wasn’t possible or wasn’t worth it, or even if, those naysaying voices which arose from within along the way tried to stop me, that indeed I could access or achieve or experience Truth with a capital T, and that I couldn’t get there without that notion or belief that I would, no matter what, reach that goal. Read more>>

Thomas Jay | Photographer

Making sure the person I’m shooting enjoys their experience with me ! I want my clients to feel welcome. I want them to feel happy. I want them to see the photos and see the best version of themselves. Read more>>

Jeannot Quenson | Visual Artist

Open-mindedness is an important principle to me. I try to apply this way of thinking to both my daily routine, and artistic practice. When approaching a new tool or technique, an open mind can lead to new or unforeseen outcomes. It’s important to set the right tone for creative exploration. Read more>>

Hallie Lewis | Owner & Designer, helen h. press

Loyalty. Loyalty is so beautiful to me because it sums up a whole bunch of excellent qualities all at once. Loyal people share a deep connection to that which they are loyal, and they exhibit a multitude of virtues to secure that bond. Loyal people are loving, faithful, brave, protective, smart, empathetic and thoughtful. A loyal friend remembers your birthday. Loyal parents strive to do their best raising their children; loyal sports teammates persevere on behalf of the team, instead of only for self-fulfillment. As a business owner, I’ve learned that I must remain loyal not only to my customers, but also to myself. Sometimes this means I need to say “no” to a project when timing isn’t right, take a design risk for the sake of artistic expression, or simply ensure that day in and day out I remain true to myself with both my designs and interactions. Read more>>

tracey ford | Tracey Ford Retired Army SGT aka “Laweziana” National Presenter & Certified Fitness Instructor

Keeping others healthy and fit so they can live longer healthier lives. Because my Mom is sick now and I was injured in Iraq and I know that medical issues is the most important part of your Life. Read more>>

Courtney Noelle | Singer & Songwriter

The presence of integrity in someone’s motives, actions and/or intentions shows an unyielding commitment to an ethical way of life by demonstrating accountability to “doing what is right-which may not always be easy. Integrity reveals the essence of an individual. And the absence of this character attribute can foster a world full of injustice from micro and macro means- which is what I desire to see reformed in the days to come. Read more>>

Erica Cox Leone | Clinical Sociologist, Reiki Master Teacher & Academic

Autonomy is my number one principle. Patients must have autonomy and choice in their healthcare. During both my reiki sessions and my spiritual counseling, I work with my clients until we reach a worthwhile and fulfilling outcome together as a partnership. Contemporary ideology and theory in the United States suggests that energy medicine, such as I do, is not as effective as Westernized medicine. But for the last sixty years, people have begun turning to complementary and alternative medicine because biomedicine is often not as effective. Humans are not autonomous. As Bogost said, “All things exist, but they do not exist equally.” The very essence of humanity is so complex, as we are all different- all eight billion of us. The overwhelming need for labeling and generalization is to make our neurological processes easier, for life to be easier. Is this a good option for healthcare? What about patient focused excellence?. Read more>>

Bora Laci | Lifestyle Blogger & Social Impact

Values that matter to me most are loyalty, kindness, and authenticity. It is so important to remember who you are and your worth. Social media platforms are a way to express who you are and share with your others your passion and interests. I want people who follow me to know that they do not need to give into social pressures of what they need to look like and that it is more than okay to be different and have different preferences than what society is telling them. Read more>>

Addy Asmare | Content Curator & Producer

Mindfulness. As members of a diverse society, I believe we all have a responsibility to be mindful in how we think, speak, and interact. In life we have freedoms; freedom to think, speak, and do as we feel, and with those freedoms come consequences. The beauty of consequences is that they can be positive, or negative depending on the decisions we make individually. I believe practicing mindfulness in business, friendships, relationships and everyday interactions with strangers reaps positive consequences. Read more>>

Kassandra Ayala | singer-songwriter

I don’t know if I value balance most of all but it’s one of the values I have readily hung on the coat rack of my mind. It’s there for me right before I walk out the door and the first thing I see when I come back home…. am I balanced? For me, finding balance in all aspects of life is “knowing when”. Feeling when to take a break from work to do something lighthearted, eating less meat, more vegetables, taking some hermit time for yourself/skipping the social thing is OK. When there’s balance you feel right. More love and time for you to share with loved ones and work on ideas. amen. huzzah. Read more>>

Vonetta Watson | Instructional Technology Specialist I Software Specialist I SME I Technology Coach I Mentor I End User Experience

“If it’s not exceptional, it’s not acceptable!” This mantra is ingrained into every aspect of our business model. Customers are, without a doubt, for Techgem Educational Technologies, the most valuable aspect of our company. Our tagline reads, “Technology Inspired; People Driven.” and we stand on this; people drive our services and business as a whole. Without our clients/customers, we could not survive. At the center of every service we offer is our commitment to customer focus. Understanding and valuing our customer’s needs and wants are essential elements that allow us to view our services from the customer’s perspective. Read more>>