Get Direction & Clarity by Knowing Your Values

In today’s episode I’m welcoming Melissa Davis to talk about how to get clarity and direction in our business by knowing our values. We delve into the crucial process of translating our values into tangible actions and enabling us to authentically ‘walk our talk.’

Join us as we explore how this deep reflection on our values not only aligns with our purpose but serves as a guiding force toward genuine business clarity.

This episode is a compass for solopreneurs navigating the path of purpose-driven business in the evolving landscape of conscious entrepreneurship.

"Actions are how we live our values. Right? What are the roles that embody me and who I am that allow me to live my values. They're incredibly helpful for understanding when it's right, and how to take action on anything, not just… Share on X

In our conversation, Melissa and I addressed the following topics:

  • How Melissa’s own journey was shaped by her values and how they now influence her work with Humanity Inc.
  • How we can translate our values into actions and ‘walk our talk’
  • How this deep reflection on our values really leads to business clarity
  • and much more…

Melissa’s Resources

Humanity Inc.

Foundational Clarity Canvas

Follow Melissa on LinkedIn

Sarah’s Resources

(FREE) Sarah’s One Page Marketing Plan

(FREE) The Humane Business Manifesto

(FREE) Gentle Confidence Mini-Course

Marketing Like We’re Human – Sarah’s book

The Humane Marketing Circle

Authentic & Fair Pricing Mini-Course

Podcast Show Notes

We use Descript to edit our episodes and it’s fantastic!

Email Sarah at

Thanks for listening!

After you listen, check out Humane Business Manifesto, an invitation to belong to a movement of people who do business the humane and gentle way and disrupt the current marketing paradigm. You can download it for free at this page. There’s no opt-in. Just an instant download.

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Imperfect Transcript of the show

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Ep 182

Sarah: [00:00:00] Hello, humane marketers. Welcome back to the humane marketing podcast, the place to be for the generation of marketers that cares. This is a show where we talk about running your business in a way that feels good to you, is aligned with your values, and also resonates with today’s conscious customers, because it’s humane, ethical, and non pushy. I’m Sarah Zannakroce, your hippie turned business coach for quietly rebellious entrepreneurs and marketing impact pioneers. Mama Bear of the Humane Marketing Circle and renegade author of Marketing Like We’re Human and Selling Like We’re Human.

If after listening to the show for a while, you’re Ready to move on to the next level and start implementing and would welcome a community of like minded quietly rebellious entrepreneurs who discuss with transparency what works and what doesn’t work in business, then we’d love to welcome you in our humane marketing circle. If you’re picturing your [00:01:00] typical Facebook group, let me paint a new picture for you. This is a closed community of like Like minded entrepreneurs from all over the world who come together once per month in a Zoom circle workshop to hold each other accountable and build their business in a sustainable way. We share with transparency and vulnerability what works for us and what doesn’t work so that you can figure out what works for you instead of keep throwing spaghetti on the wall and seeing what sticks. Find out more at humane dot marketing forward slash circle.

And if you prefer 1 on 1 support from me, my humane business coaching could be just what you need. Whether it’s for your marketing, sales, General business building or help with your big idea like writing a book. I’d love to share my brain and my heart with you together with my almost 15 years Business experience and help you grow a sustainable business that is joyful and sustainable. If you love this [00:02:00] podcast, Wait until I show you my mama bear qualities as my 1 on 1 client. You can find out more at humane dot marketing forward slash coaching.

And finally, if you are a marketing impact pioneer and would like to bring humane marketing to your organization, Have a look at my offers and workshops on my website at humane dot marketing. Hello, friends, and welcome back to another episode. Today’s conversation fits under the p of Personal power. If you’re a regular here, you know that I’m organizing the conversations around the 7 p’s of the humane marketing mandala. And if you’re new here, this is your first time, a very big warm welcome.

But you may not know what I’m talking about, You can go to download your 1 page marketing plan with the humane marketing version of the 7 [00:03:00] Ps of marketing at humane dot marketing forward slash guanpage, the number 1 in the word page. And this comes with 7 email prompts to really help you reflect on these different piece for your business. So today, I’m talking to Melissa Davis about the importance of your values. And if you’re familiar with my work, you know how much I care about values as well. I wrote about them in the Marketing Like Human book and they are also part of the Marketing Like We’re Human program.

And it’s really by talking with Melissa that I realized How knowing your values really gives you clarity and direction in your business. I always knew they were important and At the Marketing Like We’re Human program is this foundational marketing program, but when she mentioned clarity and direction, I’m like, yeah, I’m totally with you. Before I tell you a little bit more about [00:04:00] Melissa, allow me to share a little bit more about The marketing like we’re human, AKA the client resonator, my flagship program that I’ve been running since 2009 19 pre COVID, imagine that. And, uh, it starts again with a live cohort on March fourteenth. So today I was just talking to a potential participant and described the program to him as a program for deep thinkers.

I think you heard me say that before on this podcast. I really feel Like a deep thinker myself, and I feel like that’s who I do my best work with. And so, yeah, it’s a program for deep thinkers who want to create their marketing foundation once and for all. So starting from within, from their why, and aligned with whom they are and aligned with their values. So if you’ve been listening to this podcast for a while, you [00:05:00] are already familiar with the 7 p’s of humane marketing.

So passion, Personal power, people, product, pricing, promotion, and partnership. And that’s exactly the framework that the program follows. And besides in-depth videos and workbooks, we also have a weekly call to deepen the content of these topics. Even though I say it’s about the marketing foundation, I often have participants who are not really new to business. So, Yes.

It’s foundational. But oftentimes, in business, we come to the foundation maybe 2 years in, maybe 5 years in, or even 10 years in. And that’s because first, we are just wanting to Do the marketing stuff, you know, the the the the how. We are interested in the how. And so a lot of times people come to me after being 2 years, [00:06:00] 5 years, or 10 years, and often that’s kind of when they’re pivoting In their business and they’ve been through the motions.

They’ve done what people told them to do in their marketing and just realized, A, it’s not working. Or b, it may have been working, but it brought them the wrong clients or it’s just not aligned with Them or their bigger why. So, yeah, that that’s probably a third, um, uh, participant is Is the 1 that is looking for this bigger why. That has been in business and of course, I’m talking a little bit about myself and that’s why I created the program. Um, so, you know, I had a business, a LinkedIn consultancy business for 10 plus years, but I just Felt like there’s more than that.

There’s more than just the business that pays the bills. And so that’s really what this, uh, program also does. It Connects you with your why, it connects you with your [00:07:00] life’s work, and, uh, creates this foundation that is aligned with who you are and allows you to bring more of you to your marketing. Yeah. So that’s what we do.

We we go deep and we create the Foundation once and for all so that you can find out which marketing activities will flow for you. It’s part Self development, part very pragmatic business best practices, part left, part right brain, mind and heart. And if that’s resonating with you, have a look at the program details and watch some of the case studies, uh, as well at, uh, humane dot marketing forward slash program. And then let’s get on a call to answer your questions and find out if it’s a good Fit for you and where you currently are in your business. Okay.

Back to Melissa. So Melissa Davis is on a mission to make sure that every change [00:08:00] maker gets the clarity they need to reach their full potential and deliver their gifts to the world. Through her work with startups, entrepreneurs, and change makers, she’s uncovered an Invaluable process for helping them get foundational clarity, love that, on their purpose and Packed so they can go out and into the world and start top taking action. So in our conversation, we addressed the following topics, how Melissa’s own journey was shaped by her values and how they now influence her work with Humanity Inc. How we can translate our values into actions and actually walk our talk.

So going beyond Just that poster in our office that has our values up there. Well, how do we actually bring them into our business, bring them into our marketing? And then also how this deep reflection on our values really leads to business clarity and, uh, of [00:09:00] course, so much more. So Without further ado and blah blah, let’s, uh, dive right in. Hey, Melissa.

So good to see you. Talk to you again. Really delighted to have you on the humane marketing podcast.

Melissa: Oh, I’m really excited to be here. Um, I love your work, Sarah, and I have your book right here.

I mean, um, rereading. Yeah. I I, um, I’m thrilled to To kind of sit down and, and, and really just dive into all of this because I think it’s so important, um, To me as well. Um, and I just I really love I really love the work you’re

Sarah: doing. Thank you.

And and maybe we can start by sharing how we Connected. I think that’s always interesting for, uh, listeners to hear because, you know, there’s this rare occasion where I do accept, Uh, a podcast pitch, but it’s very rare. Most [00:10:00] often, it’s, you know, conversations or, uh, Kind of like serendipity meetings like ours, uh, that then lead me to say, hey. I want you on my podcast. So why why don’t you start by sharing that story?

I’m trying to remember the story.

Melissa: Did I reach I reached out

Sarah: to you. Yeah. You reached out to me where, uh, we were connected on the collect, Uh, the, um Oh, yeah.

Melissa: That’s right.

Changing work collective. Changing work

Sarah: collective. Yeah. And so you reached out to me there. And then I was, like, Looking at your website and it said, Humanity Inc.

I’m like, oh my gosh. Yeah. Yes. You know, there’s serendipity right there. Yeah.

Yeah. And so we

Melissa: have Well, that’s what I thought when I read your, you know, your bio, and I I think I saw you post, um, may it may have been something about the book. Um, right. And it was just like, I’ve gotta connect to Sarah. You know, you know you know when when you see it.

You know you know when [00:11:00] you see That authenticity, um, show up. Yeah. And and it just it it felt like we needed to connect.

Sarah: Yeah. And here we are a few months later.

Thank you. Um, so, yeah, let’s let’s talk about Well, you mentioned authenticity. Uh, we wanna talk about values because that’s the work you do. So maybe start us off there. Like, How did you get into this work and why did you call like, I have so many questions.

Why do you call Your website, Humanity Inc, and what does that have to do with values? I guess that’s my

Melissa: first question. Okay. So there’s like a little figure 8 of a story here. Um, so I got into values.

So values was the initial impetus for me to kind of leave, um, Um, traditional work and go off on my own. Um, so I’d worked with, um, a few I’d [00:12:00] Worked with a few different larger organizations and then, um, a few smaller startup organizations. And, Um, what triggered my exploration of values was actually misalignment to values. And I think that’s probably how everybody starts to recognize This distance between them and something else that’s happening. Right?

So, you know, what I recognized specifically in in The the the 1 startup that I’d been with for 5 years, um, was that we didn’t have A singular set of values that drove us all in the same direction. And and so, You know, when I sat where I sat in the office, I was looking at this wall with these, you know, you can buy that big sticker with whatever writing you want on it. And I had the values of the organization. And I sat there every day and I rolled my eyes at this list of values that the organization said They were driven by, [00:13:00] and it was just bullshit. You know, I hope I can swear on your podcast.

I’m sorry. Yeah. No. It really wasn’t. It was just and and so I started calling them eye roll values.

And I don’t know if I started doing that at the time, but I definitely did later. Um, you know, and it’s kind of like the worst thing that can, you know, erode an organization is having declaring that this is what we’re all about, But we don’t reflect that at all within our organization. So we kind of tried to dig in and and really understand What was happening in the organization? What were our, you know, um, driving values? What what came what brought us all together To grow in in the direction the organization wanted us to.

Um, and so eventually I left That organization, because no 1 was interested in looking at that with me. No 1. You know, I mean, particularly in the leadership, um, There. And so [00:14:00] that was really frustrating. So my first experience with exploring values was incredibly frustrating, but, but it, It just really led me to kind of dig in further.

And I, and I really developed this whole structure around it, you know, and, and continue to just Build on how I understood values and the roles that they played. And it was really focused on within organizations. Um, and I landed a a really fantastic job, um, And was incredibly excited about it. It was really aligned to my values. It was aligned to the work that I wanted to be doing with values embedded in my work.

Um, and I ended up being laid off 3 months later when the giant client that I was brought in to to support left. And as most layoffs go, they’re the best thing that’s ever happened to you. You know, I mean, if you’ve ever been laid off, it’s devastating at the time. But if you ask 9 [00:15:00] out of 10 People who ever, you know, got laid off ends up being the best thing that’s ever happened to them in their career. And that’s true for me as well.

So, Um, you know, initially set off to continue my job search, um, and advance my career, and I just couldn’t nothing. Nothing sounded good. I had a few offers. I just I couldn’t stomach it. I would read these job descriptions, and I was just like, Do this.

I don’t wanna do any of it. It all makes me nauseous. It all just felt so shallow and so Boring, and I just I just couldn’t do it. I really, like I physically was like, Do it, um, which is funny because I was pretty driven before. Um, and and it really struck me at that point that I’ve been doing all this work of examining organizations.

Right? Like, why am I not turning this in on myself so that I could Figure out what this thing is that you [00:16:00] felt this fire, like just restlessness to do something completely different. Um, and it didn’t occur to me until then to turn the work I was doing in values around on myself. Right. Uh, and that’s really, that’s the impetus for me going into business.

Now, at the time, that business became values to brand, and it was focused on marketing. Um, I’d had some experience in marketing. Um, I went off and I studied with Donald Miller and I became a guide. Um, I’m no longer, um, a StoryBrand guide, but it was incredibly valuable for me to kind of build, Um, you know, some authority in the marketing space and their, um, their model, um, and Structure around it is just so incredibly simple and and wonderful. Um, and so When was that?

So when was this whole? 2017 Teen maybe ish. No. Eights are not my thing. No, mine [00:17:00] neither.

You have to be 18. My husband is the master of the debates. Right. You know, like, what what time was Owen born? You know, like, I’m like, I don’t know.

There’s just my brain doesn’t work like that. Right. Um, and I’ve worked in accounting. Um, so yeah. And and and so I continued in that, and And it just over time evolved into really understanding that what I was doing wasn’t marketing And what I loved wasn’t marketing.

I could do it and I became incredibly proficient at it and fantastic at writing and articulating What other people couldn’t articulate well, um, and that is that’s a real gift of mine. Um, it’s But I discovered it really wasn’t marketing. And what I really wanted to do was help people get clarity because I started working with organizations, it was very small Organizations, but organizations, um, [00:18:00] in their marketing efforts. And I had a lot of technology background, so it was really easy to kind of like dive in. But they had they actually had no clarity around how they wanted to talk about what they needed to in their marketing.

And so I kind of went, I need to be back here further. I need to be earlier in the journey. Mhmm. Um, and Mhmm. Because that’s what I that’s my gift.

I I’m really fantastic at pulling putting dots together, and it all starts with values. Values just they there’s So many roles that values play. It’s we we often look at values in this very thin kind of, um, lens Of what’s important to me. You’re right. And values are so, so much more than that.

And there’s so much tangible evidence in our lives to tell us what our values are and to explore them and to reveal themselves to us. And so it’s really accessible and it offers so much information [00:19:00] about our gifts and about our passion and What we really want to be doing with our lives and who to surround ourselves with and how to go at it. And so, um, And I was so passionate about doing work that mattered and solving problems that really advance humanity. Not, You know, not this localized sense of I just wanna make my life better, which is fantastic, and I think that That’s a step. Um, but what really was important to me was to work with clients who had a sew that.

Right? This idea that This work matters because I wanna help solve this bigger problem in the world. Right. Yeah. And so it eventually changed to Humanity Inc.

Sarah: Okay. So the the website then changed to Humanity Inc. Yeah. And And, yeah, really, there was this huge resonance when I when I saw the [00:20:00] website, Humanity Inc, but then also when we had This conversation a few months back when you were sharing about the values, and I’m like, yeah, that’s how I’m talking about the worldview And how, you know, in the in the 7 p’s of humane marketing, you you start with passion and personal power, Which is exactly what you said. I’m earlier in the journey, and so that’s what you’re helping your clients with.

Um, and and 1 word that really stood out as Well, is the word that you use clarity. And and I have been starting to say foundation. So it

Melissa: Like That’s what I end up call I call myself a foundational clarity

Sarah: coach. Ah, there you go. Yeah.

So so it really is that that saying where it’s like, well, Yeah. You need clarity, and then you need that clarity to build your foundation. And that’s what in a way, that’s what you did. You figured out your values, And then you brought those values into your business and into your marketing and called it [00:21:00] humanity, Inc. Because you care about these

Melissa: things.

And so you want And my clients care about those things. Right? You want to help people. Yeah. Our our niche, our clients value what we value and they believe what we believe.

Exactly. And it’s within the scope of the values that we are driving and making central to our business. Right? We have, You know, we we have a lot of beliefs and we have, um, a number of values that are very central to us. And, you know, what we do is kind of like, what’s the, Um, what’s the stake in the ground that I’m putting out there and what are the values that drive that?

And our niche, You know, our, our customers and our clients, they share those values and they believe what we believe. And so, you know, it drives me crazy when I see an entrepreneur trying to understand the values of their niche. And I’m like, you have to understand your values. Right. Your values.

Absolutely. Start with you. Decide your niche. Yeah. [00:22:00] Mhmm.

Yeah. And then you may have to figure

Sarah: out the next thing I can do. Out there is so outward focused. Right? Yes.

We feel like we’re wasting time if we’re look looking inside. And so I guess the question then, The logical next step question is, well, knowing my values, how do I turn those values into tangible Actions or, you know, business advice. So

Melissa: take us there. Oh, that’s the most exciting part. I mean, Our values provide so many clues as to what our outward action needs to look like.

Um, you know, and they play different roles. You know, some of our Our highest values are part of the problem that we solve for our niche. [00:23:00] And that’s a little bit of a process, but that really that 1 in particular kind of blows people’s minds. Right? We’re all, I think at our core, 1 of our deepest drives as human beings beyond safety and belonging Is to live in alignment to our values because that leads us to this Fulfillment, right, and to the these higher levels in the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the pathway to doing that is actually living in alignment to our values.

At the base of that Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, values don’t play, um, a role. They don’t play as big of a role In, um, in making sure that we’re safe, making sure that we’re fed, making sure that we have a roof over our house. Right? It’s kinda hard to focus on values When we have to take care of our basic needs. Beyond that, as we, you know, as we move through belonging and then and then further up, our drive [00:24:00] Is to feel passionate and to feel fulfilled and happy and surround ourselves with people that are like us.

And so, um, there’s good sides to that, and there’s not so good sides to that. Right? You know, our values kind of shift and evolve A little bit over time, they they reprioritize, um, but there is this massive drive to do that. And so what happens throughout our journey, wherever we are, whatever we’re doing and whatever we desire, there’s often a value of ours that we struggle to live. Right?

So our values, um, we can have really strong values for something and not do a very good job of living it. Um, if if a value is not lived, we feel this Dissonance, this cognitive dissonance. And it it can actually make us feel sick. So we know it when it happens. We we don’t feel good about ourselves.

We don’t feel good about our lives. We don’t Feel right? We feel unfulfilled. Um, [00:25:00] and so what we do is we seek to close that gap, Right? In a lot of different ways.

Some are healthy and some are not healthy. Um, but we reach urgency See, when we realize I’ve gotta do something that allows me to live this value, um, at a much higher level. And so ultimately, every problem that any entrepreneur solves is tied to helping our Clients and customers close the gap on a value that they’re not living very well. Mhmm. And we may directly do it or we may indirectly do it, but we’ve got to And how we connect to living their values.

And so that is 1 of the most direct ways that our values play into how we show up as entrepreneur, but they also determine our differentiation. I wanna work with, You know, I can work with any marketing expert. What differentiates you, Sarah, [00:26:00] you know, and your teaching Is your values. Right? Um, and it’s 1 element of it, but it’s probably the most important element of differentiation is I wanna work with somebody who shares my values.

Right? It’s important to me to get visible. I’m talking about myself right now. It’s important for me to get visible. I have something really important that I want and need the world to know, and I have something to offer that I think is really important because We need more change makers to get out there and do the work of solving the big problems so that we can advance humanity.

Right? Exactly. Okay. That value that I’m closing there for myself and for my clients is accountability. It’s this sense of I must, I I know I have a higher potential and I’ve got to live it.

I have this accountability to it. Um, if I sit here and I don’t get visible and I don’t do it Right. I’m not living my value of accountability. I’m sitting on my [00:27:00] butt and I’m wasting away and I’m not doing the thing. Um, and what I’m drawn to with you is is your value of Living in in your conscience, living in showing up in a humane way And living in compassion.

And so that is How you do the work that you do. And it’s important to me to align with somebody that does that because I don’t wanna go out and spam The world with anything. Right? I can’t this this interview is incredibly timely because I just really, like, hit my limit on the number of Invitations that I get on LinkedIn that are immediately followed by a pitch. I saw your

Sarah: post.


Melissa: I’m like, And not doing it anymore. Um, and I’ve said that before and I still do it because I’m like, what if they’re [00:28:00] like the most wonderful connection that I ever, you know, Um, I’m probably an eternal optimist, and I really I really don’t like to shut people down and live in that energy. Um, but then it happens, and I’m deeply disappointed. And I’m like, why were you disappointed in this, Melissa?

Well, it’s that value. Right? Yeah. Um, so we work with people, right? There are operating values that we have, and there are differentiation.

You know, they’re how we show up To do the work that we do. And we must really embrace those values because that’s what other people are are very much attracted to. We have very little competition in the world. Right? Mhmm.

Very little competition in the world because Yeah. The way that you do it, the uniqueness Of how you do it is incredibly different from everyone around you. Yeah. There are plenty of people, right, That are drawn to it, but you have to get visible. I know we were talking about that before.

So you still need to get out there. [00:29:00] Um, but then Yeah. But that’s the targeted

Sarah: action that we were saying. Well, how do you turn this these values that are internal Into something external. Um, well, you just said it.

Right? It’s like, okay, I wanna be visible, but I don’t wanna just be visible in any kind of spammy way. Right? Yeah. You would never do that and just start spamming everybody, um, um, LinkedIn with with your pitches.

So So it’s like the value gets transformed or transmitted to the action that you’re taking. And And for you, it’s values. For me, it’s worldview or the humane approach to whatever you do. And It’s so true. And another thing that came up when you mentioned the Maslow’s pyramid, I’m like, yeah.

That’s that’s really good because my I call my people and I know you are a deep thinker as well. Right? That’s kind of for me, that’s a flag. It’s like, this person is a deep Thinker, just like me. And they don’t, you [00:30:00] know, they they they look at things.

Yeah. They just think Deeply about things and they care. Uh, you know, humane marketing is for the generation of marketers that care. It’s this deep deep Care and thinking about things. Um, and you’re right.

That doesn’t happen at the bottom of the pyramid. Right? It’s like you Have evolved, uh, or Yeah. Well, you can’t

Melissa: the privilege as well. You have the privilege.

Exactly right. And have the privilege to. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

It’s it’s too it’s too much. Um, it had it happens. There are some people who can who can do that And who are struggling to to make it, um, for whatever reason, um, through the hierarchy of needs, it happens. But it’s very it’s it’s too much to ask for someone who is who is struggling to Strictly aligned to their values, [00:31:00] um, and to focus on that and and to be able to do that. And it’s it’s, uh, yeah.

Sarah: Yeah. And we need to, you know, understand that and show empathy because we’re not in the same situation.

Melissa: So Exactly. Right. And have someone that they can work with.

Right. Or something that we can offer. Right. That, um, is more accessible.

Sarah: Exactly.

Yeah. This whole conversation also made me think of, uh, another conversation I had on the podcast about activism, Like business, uh, as activism. Right? And in a way, we’re we’re almost talking about that here because Especially because we care, you say, you know, humanity. You mentioned the current, uh, challenges.

So in a way, it’s almost like it’s Borderline activism because we are truly just saying, no, we’re not just doing it for the profit. We’re really wanting it to do also [00:32:00] to move humanity or, you know, solve the problems we were facing right now.

Melissa: Yeah. And it is like, I, you know, I, I use word, put a stake in the ground, you know, what do you stand for? Uh, and I think that Oftentimes that gets confused with, I have to have an opinion about everything, or I have to show my solidarity With what’s happening in the world or I have to make a statement, and that’s not what it means.

What it means is I understand the lane That I’m passionate about. Mhmm. I understand where my stake in the ground Is and where people are looking to me for my thoughts and opinions and solidarity and strength. Mhmm. And, Um, I’ve I I and I do struggle with this even.

You know, um, you know, when you when you look at what’s happening in the world and people around you look for A [00:33:00] statement. Right. Something big happens. And I think we all have to kind of look internally and say, what What is my lane? Is this something that the world is looking to me for my thoughts Um, there that’s a big difference between reaching out to the people in your lives who And having conversations.

Yeah. And having conversations. That’s not what I’m talking about. Right. Yeah.

Um, but I think it’s very challenging. I think the world is is, And social media specifically conflates this sense of having a stake in the ground with Showing up to every big thing that happens and demanding that you put a stake in the ground in a space that’s not yours. And But it’s such a good point. Yeah. Quite a big challenge to me.

And I, um, have to remind myself all the [00:34:00] time that That’s not my I didn’t put a stake in the ground on that fight. If I had, then it is demanded that I that I Have something to say, I suppose. Yeah. Um, you know

Sarah: what I use for this? I use the 17 sustainable development goals for this with my clients, And I have you know, this is the UN who basically looked at all the current challenges that we have and said, okay.

Here are 17 that are currently really pressing. Um, and so I have my clients look at that and say, look. All of these problems right now are super important. Uh, all of them, all 17, but you can’t focus your energy on all 17. So Choose 1 or

Melissa: 2 maximum.

I would argue.

Sarah: I would argue. 1. Yeah. 1 is this number 17 is partnership.

And so I feel like that applies to, like, almost everything because we need partnership and [00:35:00] community in

Melissa: every That’s a how though. It

Sarah: yeah. It’s it’s almost like it’s kind of a side. Right? Because the other ones are are, you know, Water, ocean, um, climate, like electricity

Melissa: and all of that.

So so yeah. It’s almost like unity. You know? Exactly. So

Sarah: that’s why I say Pick 2, but make sure a partnership is 1 of them.

Right. But but then yeah. Exactly what you say. Then it’s like, well, if, You know, that there’s something going on that has to do with that topic, then, yes. You know, people expect you to maybe make a statement.

Um, but if it’s not, then then it’s not it’s not your role to to to pitch in. So I I really like how you said it. Is it my lane? Is this expect because I use the word worldview, And there as well, it could be like, oh, I have to always express my worldview about this and this and this. Yeah.

Like, no. I I [00:36:00] actually don’t feel good about Because then we have the polarity, you know, with all these wars that are going on right now. And so it’s like, well, no. I don’t need to say, you know, if I’m I’m not usually, I’m not on any side, but I yeah. It’s not part of My role, even I guess, as an activist, it wouldn’t be part of of my role in this case.

Melissa: Yeah. Yeah. And, you know, and There are times when I think that we do need to make a stand. There are definitely, you know, Points where it’s incredibly relevant to our work to do it. Um, and and then we should.

You know, it’s just deciding, Is this because we feel the pressure to, you know, is this something that’s relevant Yeah. To be in my work? Um, not just everyone’s making a statement, and therefore I need to. Mhmm. So [00:37:00] Because, of course, we have opinions and we have thoughts and we have, you know, I mean, um, and explorations and confusion and, you know, and And questions and it but it doesn’t mean that that and and I’m talking about a brand.

I’m talking about, You know, us as humans behind a brand and a business and this stake in the ground that we’ve put around, what do we stand for? And this is why I’m doing the work that I’m doing. Right? That’s what I’m talking about. And it’s it is.

It’s incredibly challenging. However, understanding what you Stand for understanding your values, understanding, as you said, the roles that I play. What is my role in my work? And then how do I show up through that role to make a statement, um, or to Further my stake in the ground or to explain or whatever, that’s incredibly helpful to take action. Mhmm.

Because actions are how we live our values. Right? What are the roles that, Um, [00:38:00] that embody me and who I am that allow me to live my values. So, um, they’re, they’re incredibly helpful for understanding when it’s right, you know, and how to, um, Take action on anything, not just, you know, not just activism, but but on anything. How do I show up on social media?

How do I show up? It’s walking the talk. Yeah. How do I show up? Right?

Those are the roles. Mhmm.

Sarah: I wanna talk a little bit about The idea of changing values. So not us necessarily, um, but more like Humanity at large. Right?

I feel like we’re going through a huge shift of changing values. Um, right now, Uh, maybe we’re still in the middle of the storm, but we’re definitely getting towards something, um, Kind of more conscious and, you know, at [00:39:00] least the the probably the the people that we hang out with, Uh, have very different values from maybe, uh, our grandparents had. So how have you looked at this also kind of in from a larger Effective, you know, how do generations how do their values change?

Melissa: Yeah. It’s really interesting to look at, And it’s not something that I’ve spent a lot of time focusing on, you know, the the the evolution of values because Cultures have these kind of underlying, you know, values that drive them.

Um, communities have values that drive them. Generations have values is that drive them. Um, and so there are all these different flavors of these group values. Right. And, you know, and then we have our individual values.

And values come from a lot of different places and named a couple, but Religion, our family, you know, our culture, right? There are all these kind of [00:40:00] outside forces that impose values on us. Right. And then we have these innate values, these things that we’re, like, born with or that develop from experiences that we have in our lives. And for whatever reason, they’re all there, for right or for wrong.

And, you know, values, We often put this kind of positive slant on values, and there’s this incredibly powerful driver that values can have on us. But there’s also dark side of values, Right? Values are how we show up in our bias. Values are how we show up in our judgment. And so they Aren’t always positive drivers in our lives.

So it’s really interesting to look at, you know, how they influence How we move around in the world and how we see things in front of us. Um, and so It’s fascinating to look at. It is fascinating to look at how things shift and change because those cultural values, those [00:41:00] religious values, right? I think what’s happening is that we’re questioning more Than we were before. Right.

So I think all of that’s still happening. Right? There’s always an evolution of cultural values. There’s always an evolution of Religious values and of course through generations, those values that get passed on change too because our parents have different experiences in the world and they want to Still different things in us. And so there’s just an evolution that happens.

But I think what’s happening now is that we’re questioning it more. I think we’re going, is that mine? Is it really my responsibility to carry on this value? Is it it’s not mine. It’s my parents.

It’s it’s it’s this religion that I don’t wanna have anything to do with anymore. It’s this Culture in America that’s toxic. Right? It’s not mine. I think we’re just [00:42:00] I think we’re more introspective.

Well, general You and I

Sarah: also everybody. About change makers. Right? And so just this word change maker, well, obviously, We want change. And so, clearly, our values can be the same as the values that, Uh, our parents or grandparents had.

Yep. So we are looking for something that is different than we have today. And so, necessarily, our values need to be not according to, you know, what has worked in the past 50 years. So I I feel like, yeah, that’s fascinating too. And I’m sure you kinda see a pattern with your clients as well that often the values are,

Melissa: you know, similar.

So Of course, they are because my clients value what I value and they believe what I believe. Now that doesn’t mean they’re exactly the same by any stretch. And that’s the beautiful thing. I think I would be bored out of my skull if [00:43:00] every client I worked with wanted to do what I did and had the exact same values and the same experiences. That’s not even close to true.

Right. Their experiences with their values are so incredibly different. They show up in so many different ways, and they drive them in different ways. And the combination we have these like, oh, I get so excited talking about this. There’s this magical combination of these values that we have that come together That, like, create they they they make a shape out of this fire that we have.

And it’s So cool to see that come together. I often could see it coming together before they do. And so they’re like, I don’t know why you’re so excited about this. But, you know, you can you can really see it. You can see the essence of Sarah when I see that magical combination and Why this stake in the ground is so important to you and how these gifts that you have come together in this way that allow you to go out and do that.

[00:44:00] And, um, yeah, I think we’re, we’re just, um, we’re getting to the point where We’re invested in in understanding ourselves at a really deep level, and I think that’s expanding. I think people Know that it’s possible. You know, we we kinda have this when we talk about conscious or, you know, inhumane marketing and, Um, being more compassionate about the world and open minded. And when we look at social media, we’re like, ugh. Right?

However, social media and the Internet have also done amazing things for open mindedness and for Exposing us to ideas and thoughts and solutions and pathways that we never would have been exposed to. And so I think that is also contributing to this idea of it’s possible for me to move from this [00:45:00] state of being to another State of being or from this state of action to another state of action and to experience this transformation and this capability that I have To go out and do something big. Mhmm. And so for some people, what would just be this little, like, forever frustration Of knowing they have potential that, you know, that just dies with them at the end of their lives. They’re realizing that there are pathways to take action on it And do something about it.

And to me, that’s the the most tragic is to have that and to know that you have this fire, to know that you have this Big potential and to never have taken action on it.

Sarah: Yeah. What you described before is basically the definition of a change maker. Right? It’s like, okay, I I know I I can contribute to this change.

And and, um, I was having another conversation about pivots. I [00:46:00] was part of some summit about pivots, and I feel like there’s Such an awakening of, uh, pivots now because people are kinda like you a few years ago. Right? You’re in this corporate job, And you just like, I know we can do something much bigger than

Melissa: what we’re doing. I didn’t even know what it looked like.


Sarah: was just Yeah. It’s just like this Inner knowing, and it’s like, well, I need to get out of this prison, and I just need to create it myself. And I feel like there’s a lot of and a lot of people in this

Melissa: Situation. And to be clear, I had to take a part time job to do that. Of course.

No. That’s the other thing. It’s like you can’t just jump ship and then Well, you can. But I I wanna, like, you know, I hate when, you know, it seems to somebody from the outside that, you know, you just make this jump. I just decided, and now I’m an entrepreneur, and I’m making a million no.

That’s not what happened. Right? You know? Yeah. Yeah.

Yeah. So, [00:47:00] um, there is Nothing wrong with taking the step and saying, okay, what do I need to do to allow myself to take this The step towards what I know is bigger. And I’m like, you know

Sarah: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

I I I feel like we’re at a very Promising crossroad, um, of of change. So I’m just super grateful that you’re helping all these change makers find clarity because That is the 1 thing that can waste you a lot of time if you don’t have clarity. Right?

Melissa: Um, and I’m so grateful that you’re helping them Figure out how to get out into the world with the message that they, that they have and need to deliver and to grow. Because if we can’t grow, we can’t impact.

Yeah. Period. That’s the thing. I mean, that’s that’s it. Right?


Sarah: You know? I feel like that’s a a beautiful place to to close. This was wonderful. Thanks so much for [00:48:00] being here.

2 things. Um, please do share where people can find out more about humanity and your work on clarity and values. So share that. And then I have another last

Melissa: question. Okay.

Um, so you can find me on my website, Um, humanityinc dot world. Um, and you can find me on LinkedIn, um, at melissa highsley hyphen davis. And if you have show notes, so we can put it there so that you don’t have to try to spell that. Um, those are the 2 primary places that I hang out.

Sarah: Yeah.

And my my last question that I always ask is, what are you grateful for today or this week? This year, I can say because we’re at the beginning of the

Melissa: year. Um, well, I’m grateful that you invited me on this podcast and I was really excited to be here because I I really do love your work so much. Um, and let’s say this year, [00:49:00] um, I’m grateful for Realizing that I needed to bring other people into my work. Mhmm.

And for that shift of I need to create this myself to I need to collaboration has always been really important to me, but but there’s this I mean, you know, you’re a creator too. And I don’t know. There is it’s tough. It’s tough when you’re creating To shift from creating to sharing. And and so it’s, um, I’m grateful for that shift.

I’m very grateful for that shift, and I’m grateful that I’m getting more comfortable being a lot more visible. And so I’m really excited, um, about everything. Yay.

Sarah: Thank you for moments. Right?

It’s kinda like Exactly.

Melissa: That’s what I [00:50:00] live for. And it’s really fun when they’re your own too.

Sarah: Yeah. It’s amazing.

Thanks so much for being here and, uh, to be continued, of course. To be continued. Thank you. As always, I hope you got some great value from listening to this episode. Hopefully, uh, that makes you think deeper about your values and how they impact your work.

In order to find out more about Melissa and Her work, go over to humanity inc dot world, and you can also get her foundational clarity canvas at humanity inc dot dot com forward slash foundational dash clarity dash canvas. And if you are looking for others who think like you, why not join us in the humane marketing circle? You can find out more about The circle at humane dot marketing forward slash circle, and you find the show notes of this episode at [00:51:00] humane dot marketing forward slash h m 1 8 2. And on this beautiful page, you’ll also find a series of free offers, such as the humane business Festo and the free Gentle Confidence mini course, as well as my 2 books, Marketing Like We’re Human and Selling Like We’re Human. Thanks so much for listening and being a part of a generation of marketers who cares for yourself, your clients, and the planet.

We are change makers before we are marketers, so go be the change you want to see in the world. Speak soon.

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