Businessman and Author Josh Kramer on his ten Guiding Principles in Business and Life

The importance of honest, consistent communication cannot be overstated. Good, bad, or indifferent – people can handle it so long as it’s not a surprise. The classic principles in The Unicorn in You reflect such common themes that apply to both personal and professional progress.

I proudly consider myself a generalist and it serves me well because open mindedness is an essential quality in this field. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, and if your aim is to help others for the right reasons, you’re able to recognize that there are many good methodologies that can help many people – even if they are not the ones you subscribe to.

The things I’m most proud of are intangible. Integrity, which is at the center of The Unicorn in You, speaks to me deeply, because you either have it or you don’t.  And I’m often reminded of something my grandfather always told me, “Your word is your bond.” It’s a sentiment that guides so much of how I strive to conduct myself as a representative of our family business that is approaching one hundred years of existence.

I love the purity of what I do. It comes from an authentic place that’s real, with no agenda other than to share some ideas on what’s helped me get to a better, more peaceful and joyful place in my life.  When I finally came to understand that this is a journey – and not in a cliché sort of way – it freed me up from the self-imposed pressure that I was somehow going to reach a destination.

No matter what I’ve faced, I’ve tried to find the positive. Since I’ve always believed that someone, somewhere always had things worse, it’s allowed me to live with a sense of perspective. I have overcome many challenges by being patient and trusting that everything will work out as it is supposed to. It took me a long time to get there and it still requires effort at times. But in the grand scheme of things, I’ve always felt that as someone who really has had all the breaks, my struggles pale in comparison to those of others.  

Many, if not most teachers, come to this work from a place of personal need, which is why they’re willing to share. There is sincerity in my words, and a genuine desire to help others.

Being authentic is essential to creating connection. In this field, it means being true to your style, tone, and presentation. It’s been said that authenticity is erasing the gap between what you believe inside and what you reveal to the outside, and I think it’s important to carry and project that sense of honesty. To be sure, I also believe that the principles in The Unicorn in You – kindness, gratitude, integrity, humility, and acceptance, will form a strong foundation for anyone, regardless of where they are in their self-help journey.

There’s a widely held belief that only we can help ourselves. To me, that points to finding a natural and organic way to alleviate the weight of our expectation.  Many of the self-help books I’ve read over the years demonstrate processes that often felt unnatural. The Unicorn in You doesn’t feel like a process at all, but instead a perspective that shines a light on the principles that can guide us toward peace and joy. So, to that end, it’s about helping ourselves and providing a reminder that being rather than doing is a sensible path.

Being vulnerable goes a long way in connecting others and demonstrating that we’re all in this together – whether in business or not. It’s best to be human about that reality and recognize the benefit of humility.  

There are three ways you can start to grow as a person. First, take stock of your values. If you haven’t given them much thought, consider what grounds you and guides your sense of being. Second, honestly assess where you fall short when it comes to what matters most to you. Being truthful about this can lead to greater growth.  Third, commit to small, manageable changes.  Small, patient steps are the key to bigger strides.  And a bonus one would be to keep your word. If you do what you say and your word means something, you’ll be as rare as a unicorn.

Joshua Kramer is the creator of The Unicorn in You, a personal growth and development perspective that emphasizes five key principles as the foundation for peace and joy.  He is the Managing Partner of Kramer Chandler, a real estate business founded in 1922, and an active member of YPO.  When not pursuing his passion for traveling, he can be found walking around town with his beloved Havanese, Buddy.

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