My internet friend Bess, illustrator extraordinaire, wrote a challenge on her blog for manifestos.

How could I resist?

This is not a whole lot of fun to read, but the content is all there. If you want to know what makes me tick in business, read on.

What do you hope to achieve through your business?

I want to be engaged and excited, not just satisfied.

I want to choose when, how, and with whom to work.

I want to have a direct connection between my income, and my audience. I want to sell directly to, and interact directly with, the “end consumers” of what I create. No middlemen.

I want to create the kind of company I dream of working for.

I want to work with awesome people, who are exuberant and optimistic. Who are gutsy enough to challenge the status quo (and me). Who believe that long-term relationships are more important than short-term money.

I want to help people flourish. I want to help them learn about their businesses, earn more money, and make better decisions. I want to help them realize the power they have.

I want to stand my work as a challenge to the rest of the world: try harder, do better, help more people. Do it yourself. Don’t wait for an invitation.

I want to build an empire of cheerfulness.

How will you get there?

  • By focusing, always, on creating tools that go beyond “what’s on the tin” to help customers build a better future: not only tracking time, but showing people that they should raise their rates; not just answering support emails, but showing them how to drastically improve their workflows.

  • By being willing to go the extra 10 miles — without anyone asking (or even noticing).

  • By being willing to give up control to my team; give up being right, and focusing on everyone growing together.

  • By accepting imperfection, because nothing will ever be finished or perfect, and it’s better to share something imperfect and let it help people now.

  • By treating customers with respect — and by earning their respect in return.

  • By talking, writing, and teaching about our business’ mission, history, successes and failures, so other people can learn about alternative ways to be a business, and be inspired to try it on their own.

What are the underlying values that guide your work?

Group number one:

  • Beauty is as crucial to human happiness as function
  • By doing great things, we invite & give permission for the people around us to do great things
  • There is no such thing as “business ethics,” there is only “ethics,” full stop.

Group number two:

  • Software can be uplifting
  • Software can be cheerful and beautiful (even business software!)
  • Software should help you grow, not just do what you expect it to do

Group number three:

  • Openness
  • Empathy
  • Joy
  • Stewardship


  1. I thought it was fun to read! I love how you put your process out there, your manifesto is clear and really uplifting and inspiring. Thanks so much for participating and for being such a positive business force 🙂 b

  2. […] her personal manifesto, she lists the underlying values that guide her work.  It’s a beautiful […]

  3. Monique NB says:

    I love your manifesto, if I had one, it would as perfect as yours. Inspiring. Reminds me of one of my favourite quotes:

    “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.” -Henry David Thoreau

  4. Shawn Adrian says:

    Nice work Amy! Makes me want to write one as well. I totally connect with the part about “helping people to flourish and realize the power they have”.

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