3 Things: Be nice. Work hard. Be brave.

Company values are something I’ve always paid attention to, no matter where I’ve worked. When I ran my small business I created them, too, and still have my own set of personal values I strive for.

These three, succinct concepts fit well the workplace: Be kind. Work hard. Be brave. In fact, I love these so much, I bought the shirt.


Not sure if they are still available, but I snagged a comfy dark-as-night grey sweatshirt from Natural Life and wore it to work today. (Best part? It has pockets, y’all. POCKETS!) These three words help me focus, reminding me to strike a balance between working like crazy and being, well, nice.


I’m an INTJ at my core, and we are, sadly, known for coming across like we commute from an ice palace on the back of some spikey creature. (I do believe the phrase “resting b**ch face” may have been inspired by some of us. *sigh*) Of the three, this is the harder one for me to convey outwardly. I can let any task cloud my vision, and need to remember to put that ol’ human touch into things. Even though I love numbers and spend most of my day nose deep in these beautiful things called spreadsheets, I’ve gotta show I’m not a bot.

Which is the exact opposite of my sister, who is queen of taking feelings into account when she moves about. And thinks “math” is in the same category as Voldemort.

StartupStockPhotos from Pixabay“>


Working hard, I must admit, comes naturally to me. However, working hard at the right thing isn’t as easy. Sometimes, I need to step back and see if my priorities are lined up right. Sometimes, this means stopping and taking a moment to go over what my boss’ expectations are, making sure I’m doing what needs to be done as opposed to what can wait.

Still, this one is a keeper and a value I’ve taken with me wherever I’ve worked – even when I worked for myself.

(Yes, I’m one of those who has answered “work” to this question: What is one of your hobbies?)


One place I’ve worked has “be brave” as part of their core. “Be brave?” I thought. That one struck me as a tad… odd, but a few days at that company helped me understand why it worked. We had to make decisions that impacted others, and we had to do them quickly. In fact, that job was one of the most stressful I’ve held, and being “brave” truly made a difference in pushing through most days.

Days I did well truly felt like winning on some sort of battlefield. Each successful day really did add to my confidence. However, I must admit working in a timed, metric-laden, high stress environment had me wound tighter than a cork for far too long. Would not recommend. I’m happy to have moved on to a much healthier workplace, but am grateful for the lessons learned.

Being brave, to me, is about having the courage to show up, do the work, assuming responsibility for my mistakes, and finding that precarious balance between accurate assessment and over thinking.

“Be brave” is a concept I took with me to my next job, and does help me push through awkward and uncomfortable moments, as well as making choices without approvals. It really does work.


Do these three words work for you? If you are not employed, they can work in your situation, too. A little kindness (be nice), commitment plus follow through (hard work) and a willingness to both stand up for ourselves and others, as well as take constructive criticism when we need to (be brave) truly can propel us to a stronger, healthier, more confident exisitence.



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