You’ve probably seen manifestos around various causes, communities, and book launches. As part of a 10-week women’s leadership course I co-facilitated this spring, we were challenged to develop our personal manifesto.

I did this exercise when I went through as a cohort member last fall, but as I was helping to lead the work in the spring, I was able to sharpen the focus and identify exactly what I stand for, the values I try to embody, and what I expect from others.

These values span my friendships and client relationships.

Even though many are personal, I thought they might be useful to you for showing up authentically in your life, and screening for clients you actually want to work with.

As an example, I don’t work with people who don’t take responsibility and try to blame others. Another coach might be able to work with them, but I know I can’t.


I stand for integrity – I do what I say I will do.

If we have a business or personal relationship, I expect you to do what you commit to.

I know that music, dance, and art are critical to my joy in this life. It is imperative that I carve out time for these activities.

I believe I am doing the work I am meant to do.

I believe self-care is not self-indulgent – it’s critical for professional success over the long term. (This was the topic of my TEDx talk.)

I am devoted to supporting my mental, emotional, and physical health. (My new mantra – Shine light, speak truth. Old mantra – Keep my light shining bright.)

I prioritize and schedule time to exercise.

I have a thriving, successful business that has flexibility built in.


I believe in creating white space to dream, clear, and create. Without white space, good ideas have no place to land.

I know that doing mindless tasks like walking or chopping veggies bring my best ideas. When I am stuck or need inspiration, I walk or cook.

Done is better than perfect – Seth Godin is right.

In my world, making things is valuable and people who make good things get paid well for them.

I set aside time to make “bad art” – to experiment creatively with no expectations of quality.


I believe retirement is the wrong goal, but financial freedom is good.

I believe progress equals happiness, as Tony Robbins always says.

I know that joy is always available to us, even in the middle of struggle and heartache and grief.

I believe the world is made for people who aren’t cursed with self-awareness (from the movie Bull Durham). Ignorance may actually be bliss. *sigh*

I believe in a Generous Universe.

My world has a zero tolerance policy for crazy makers and narcissists.

My work inspires people to live the life they want to live, even if other people don’t get it. (Maybe especially if other people don’t get it.)

I believe in the power of a home-cooked meal to soothe the soul. I believe making and eating stews and soups can heal much of what ails us.

I believe in the power of internal and external alignment. Being out of alignment crimps the hose and energy can’t flow.

I believe that unplugging from our electronics keeps us human.

I believe that everyone needs to take a vacation.

I believe there are seasons in lives and businesses.

I believe in celebrating the small.