Now that I’m coming up on 54 years on this planet, I’ve had a ton of opportunities to study what makes success happen. I’ve seen it through my own – and others failures- as well as through long-term successes. Whether it’s in a boardroom, a classroom, a marriage, or a home…I keep seeing a recurring theme, that I feel compelled to share with you.

When you look with common sense at the companies that you favor, or the relationships that seem to work, or the families that seem to have their stuff together; you yourself will also see this same recurring theme.

What is it that seems to light the fire underneath the success in these varied situations, you ask? In a nutshell, it’s VALUES.

Success seems to come when a STRONG stand is taken inside a family, inside a company, inside a relationship.

Apple didn’t just happen. Apple became one of the greatest business success stories in history because two college dropouts decided to take a strong stand for why they believed that Apple should exist. They believed that the consumer should get elegance, simplicity, and connectivity; and they stopped at nothing to take a strong stand for these relatively simple beliefs.

It seems that many of us stand for nothing, or our stand changes depending on the season, or the circumstances, or the winds of change, or the amount of time we have to focus changes.

If you are truly ready to take a stand, then take some time away from it all, and write out a list of values for your family. Write out a list of values for your relationship with your spouse. Write out a list of values for your company, or companies. THEN TAKE A STRONG STAND.

I have done this. It is very hard. It takes time. It takes courage. It takes a “burn-the-boats” mentality. All good things take time.

But if you do this, in the end, what you are left with is the opportunity to create a simple structure to live into. The stronger your stand on your values; the greater the chance that you will have long-term success.

Isn’t that what life and success should be about? Shouldn’t life and success be about Values? Shouldn’t we take a strong stand for our beliefs? Shouldn’t we allow ourselves to live a life consistent with these beliefs?

If your answer is YES to any of these questions, then take the time NOW to get clarity on your Values in all these areas.

I have personally witnessed the radical transformation of a family in our Business Finishing School Program, who decided to teach their 16-year-old daughter Values-Based-Decision-Making (“VBDM”).  You see, their entire family – with four children – was in chaos because their 16-year-old decided to date an 18-year-old drug dealer for the past two years. They tried everything to break up this destructive relationship. They dealt with their daughter stealing from the house, leaving for days on end, and harassing the younger siblings, until the police got involved. It wasn’t until the parents taught their daughter VBDM, that the daughter realized that her boyfriend didn’t align with her stated values. Then and only then did she decide to break up with this menace and completely turn her life around.

How much heartache and pain did this simple exercise save this family, and future generations?

It can have the same impact on you, if you take the time to do it.

The benefits of this exercise FAR outweigh the time to create the list of values.

Please let us know the difference that Values-Based-Decision-Making has made in your business and personal life.

If you are interested in learning more principles like this, check out for information on who we are and how you can expand your knowledge on foundational business principles to leverage long term success.

To your continued success,

Rick Sapio