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I have had quite a number of people forwarding me copies of their painted picture documents as they develop the vision for their businesses. It is a very personal document as an entrepreneur to put your thoughts down on paper; to allow yourself to be vulnerable and dream without fear of failure. It is delightful for me to see into other people’s worlds.

As I read one today I thought I wonder how this founder feels about the document they have produced? Does it inspire them…? Would they re-read it regularly to stay on track? If so, it more than does the job.’

I have spent much time on our purpose and values. What I learned from others is that both should be short… then it can become part of you, almost cult like. My purpose is simply ‘to change gifting in Australia forever’ — short, sweet and everyone gets it.

Values are based on who you are. I suggest writing a whole bunch of stories about who in your business personifies the brand… Then the values will fall simply out of those stories.

Everyone at RedBalloon knows our values by heart. ‘Do what you say you’re going to do? Be generous with your knowledge? Be a team of leaders, have fun and be a little dog with a big dog attitude’. Very easy to remember and we post stories on a notice board regularly about who and how these values are being lived.

I wanted a living document that everyone ‘gets’ that does not only have but really embraces. Hence the vivid nature of my painted picture.

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