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“Somewhere along the way, my personal values stopped aligning with my work…”

I share my story about going back to the start, which is self-leadership. For business owners to lead others, we must first lead ourselves.



Going back to the start is a hard pill to swallow, but sometimes it is what’s necessary to get back onto the right path. In this episode, Julie shares her experiences that led her back to the start of self-leadership. After some tumultuous times in business and then in her personal life, Julie realized she needed to get back on the self-leadership track, and that starts with core values. Over the next several months, Julie will share her self-leadership journey with you.


Hey there, you’re listening to They Don’t Teach This in Business School,  a podcast about lessons learned on the business owner journey that only experience can teach.  I’m Julie Bee, and I’m really glad you’re here today with me. 

It’s been a while  – and I’m glad to be back in the podcast studio! 

Today I’m going to share what led up to a big realization I had a few months ago about going back to the start. I feel like that Coldplay song, The Scientist, should play right here…, “Nobody said it was easy, no one ever said it would be this hard – oh take me back to the start.”

That start for me is self-leadership, and this is definitely not something they teach in business school. It’s kind of learned along the way that you have to lead yourself first before you can lead other people well. Over the next several months, I’m going to share the steps of my journey to going back to self-leadership with you, through this podcast. 

But first, how did I get here? How did I figure out that I needed to go back to the start of self-leadership? 

Last fall and winter, my company went through some major changes in personnel. Not only did personnel change, but the direction of the company also changed. At some point I realized that the mission and vision of the company needed to change. All the while I had finally found my passion – which wasn’t my existing business – and all I wanted to do was work on that new passion, which is turning into a new business. 

Then, due to some unforeseen situations, I got really sick. I wasn’t sleeping well. I was stressed about things going on in my personal life. And everything – EVERYHTHING – from work to my marriage to my relationships with others – they just felt off kilter.

If there was ever a time I wanted to burn it all to the ground and walk away, that was the time. 

But in January, I started a mastermind group program. After a few meetings, I had a major realization – my PERSONAL core values had changed. Those core values are at the center of my business, so the core values at work weren’t quite right. IF you’ve heard me talk before, you know how big of a believer I am about values-aligned decisions. 

I realized that a lot of decisions I’d made in 2021 weren’t in line with my current core values – they were in line with old ones. And probably the biggest realization of all was that the industry I’m currently working in – marketing – doesn’t align with at least one of my core values. 

I mentioned that my core values have changed, but the thing is, I don’t really know what they are yet. I have a feeling about a few – I think abundance is one of the new ones. There’s also one that I know is sticking around – loyalty. I doubt that one will ever change for me. 

But right now, I’m on this self-leadership journey because somewhere along the way, I feel like the wheels fell off and I need to get back to steady. And I know, without a doubt, that the first step in self-leadership is to dig in and identify, or maybe rediscover is a better word, my personal core values. 

Over the next few months, I’m going to walk through some self-leadership steps and share that journey with you, through this podcast. I’ll share my new list of core values when they are done, and I’ll share the process I used to get there.  

Self-leadership is hard for business owners and entrepreneurs because we often don’t have someone looking over our shoulders to tell us that we’re off track from our values. Let’s be honest, that’s kind of why we’re business owners – so we don’t have someone looking over our shoulders. But sometimes it’s nice to have that kind of support. And because we aren’t usually taught a self-leadership process, we have to feel our way through it and figure it out as we go. 

Self-leadership is a necessary skill for business owners to have, because you have to lead yourself first. If a business owner cannot lead themselves, they’ll have a really hard time leading their teams. I’m looking forward to digging into this topic and the steps I go through to make sure I’m leading myself in a values-aligned way, and I know I’ll learn a lot along the way. As I share this journey with you, I hope you learn a thing or two as well. 

So stay tuned to They Don’t Teach This in Business School because we have some great episodes coming up. Interviews with other business owners, addressing people and process issues, and my own self-leadership journey are just the beginning. I’m Julie Bee, thank you so much for listening, and I’ll be back soon with another episode.