My Four Core Values

I was recently interviewed on a podcast called Embrace Your Core. One of the questions asked was “what are my four core values?”. The interview hasn’t been posted yet but while prepping for the conversation, I realized that I’ve barely thought about my values before, except that one branding conversation I had with a coach.

Before this, I can’t say I was ever really clear on what “values” were so I googled it (as one does) and came across this article that made the most sense to me. It states:

“Your values are the things that you believe are important in the way you live and work. They (should) determine your priorities, and, deep down, they’re probably the measures you use to tell if your life is turning out the way you want it to.”

After this, I revisited a list of values I tried working on last year and narrowed it down to four. Here they are:


While in some ways, I love and dislike my parents for suffocating me with their love and keeping me locked up for most of my childhood, I think they also contributed to my strong need to be free. What does freedom mean to me? It’s the freedom to create what I want, when I want. The freedom to travel where I want, when I want. The freedom to take a break. The freedom to buy things I want and need when I want or need them. The freedom to love who I want and be who I want. The freedom to live as I please without restriction or judgement. When I had to think of this list, it was the first one on it and it’s the most important one to me. It’s the reason I left my job to pursue my own business and the reason I took 2 months off to travel to places I’ve never been. It’s a tall order to fill but the continuous hope of freedom is what keeps me going.


To be honest, I found this one in the article I mentioned above but it perfectly described a value I’m struggling to work on but means so much to me, work/life balance. Before I left my full time job, this was particularly hard because I preferred to use every waking moment I wasn’t at work to work towards building a business. While I don’t regret any of the choices I made, I can imagine I’ve missed out on a few experiences with friends, family and even co-workers. Finding the right balance between work and life is hard and takes a lot of conscious effort to get to but it’s the one thing I know I want to have. Most people think I enjoy working day and night in my cave but there's a difference between enjoying what you're working on and the act of working. I'm more of the former. The truth is I'm doing the act of working hard now so I can work less later.


Without discipline (or focus), I wouldn’t be the person I am today. If I didn’t have the discipline to work on my side projects instead of going to happy hour or the movies or dancing, I’m not sure where I’d be now. I can’t say where I got my work ethic and how I was able to say no too many times, but I’m happy I made the decision to work instead of play (most days). I’ve gained skills I never thought I’d have, created things I never thought I was capable of and won an award for something I poured my heart and soul into. I think the next goal for me however, is to figure out how to remain disciplined while also striking that balance I crave.


This one was tricky to find a word for. I initially wanted to find a word for “always knowing your why”. More specifically in my case, my why for creating something but also my why for making really any decision in life. I liked the word “authenticity” because I think knowing your why makes everything you do feel more authentic because it will always come from a place of truth (unless you lie to yourself). In my work and now in life, I strive to only do things that connect with me on some deeper level so I know it will always come from the purest of places.

Making this list of four was actually easier than I anticipated, probably because they are four values that are ingrained in me even though I’ve never thought about them this deeply before. What are your four core values?

Do it with passion or not at all,
– Kim Goulbourne aka “Bourn”

CommentsWhat are your four core values?

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