What Three Train Journeys Taught me About VALUES.

Journey One (2003) – When values match around a cause, people take action 

It was a Sunday morning, and I was on my way to London. I was feeling really nervous about the day ahead, but excited at the same time. You see it was the day of the London Marathon, and I was running (and occasionally staggering). Whilst this wasn’t my first time running, I knew I hadn’t trained enough, and it was going to hurt, hence the nerves.

With me were a couple of friends who were also running and all three of us were running for a very worthy cause in Guide Dogs for the Blind. 

We were discussing fundraising, what had worked and how it felt good to be making a difference when suddenly a passenger in another seat rose to her feet and emotionally explained that she had been listening to our conversation and that her deceased Mother was blind and had benefitted from a guide dog, not just for mobility, but companionship. In front of all of the passengers around us she then took £50 out of her purse and handed it to us to go towards the amount we had already raised. 

We were humbled by her gesture and learned more about the cause we were supporting. What happened next was special… her contribution to the conversation inspired 3 other people to stand and make donations.

You see we had shared enough about our values in the conversation for her to trust us and want to take action. Her demonstration of her values motivated others to follow. 

Lesson – When your values are in sync with your mission, magic happens.

Journey Two (2004) – Live your values, and opportunities find you.

It was 2004 and I had just spent two days walking around Euro-Disney in Paris with my family, everyone was tired, and it was time to go home on Eurostar back to London. 

Now this is a 3-hour journey, with other tired families, and my kids at the time were 4 and 5 years old. On this occasion it fell on me to keep them entertained for the trip and like most forward-thinking parents I was armed with colouring books, games and stories. 

Within a short amount of time other children of a similar age started to gravitate towards our table and were welcomed to join in. I could literally see the relief, and gratitude on the faces of the exhausted parents which felt good. 

It was only 20 minutes from Kings Cross, London when one of the Dads who had been watching me interact with my new audience, stood and approached the table. He thanked me, then said the words. “I’m intrigued… What is it you do?” and long story short, the following conversation resulted in me wining a speaking contract with his company a couple of weeks later.

You see, our marketing is about building confidence. Confidence that we are honourable and confidence in our ability to deliver. During his time watching me and with the subsequent conversation, he felt comfortable with who I was, enough to be interested. 

Lesson – Living your values attracts likeminded people and accelerates trust.

Journey Three (2005) – Don’t hide who you are, people are paying attention

My final journey to share was just a standard fare trip to London from the Cotswolds where I am based. I was with a colleague and we were discussing our scheduled meetings for the day ahead and were excited. My colleague was new to the business and was with me to learn the ropes and understand how to position what we did.

We arrived at Paddington Station and stepped onto the platform when I got a tap on my shoulder… “Excuse me, I hope you don’t mind me interrupting you, but I have just heard your entire conversation on the train and loved your passion and vision for your business. Can I buy you lunch?” It turned out he was an angel investor and was interested in us leading one of his investments, which I might add was not quite what we did… nevertheless a friendship was born, and he continued to introduce us to some very good opportunities.

Lesson – Share your passion regularly, it’s like catnip for humans and draws people too you.

So now I have shared three stories about the power of demonstrating your values, I want to ask you a question… Do you know what yours even are? I mean, have you really given them consideration and understood why they are important to you?

If the answer to the above question is yes (If so good for you) then let me ask you, how do you demonstrate them for your business? Do the manifest in your marketing? Daily conversations? Your customers experience with you? If not, could they?

Every month we run an Identity Workshop which helps attendees connect to their values, and learn how to be more attractive by expressing them… You can find out more here.

Very best

Warren Cass