In my entrepreneurial coaching sessions, even with brand new clients, it quickly becomes clear that we are not going deal just with business issues, we are going to deal with life issues. As women entrepreneurs, we view our businesses as organic extensions of our lives. In part because of the work-life merger, we weave these dual aspects of our lives together like peanut butter and jelly. They are separate, yet interdependent, whole parts.
As we prepare for the future of business, it is critical that we have a single solid mission statement — one that embraces both business and life. This post shares a high level overview of how you can craft your own life-business mission statement. In a minute, I will also share a limited time opportunity to work with me one-on-one to do this. But first, here's my mission statement:
To empower and encourage women to maximize their potential through small business ownership.
This statement first encompasses my approach to life, and secondarily, my approach to business. My business changes constantly depending on many factors. The economy, technology, consumer preferences, etc., require that I reinvent my business from time to time. Having a mission statement that is bigger than my business helps me to remain consistent and focused despite external personal and professional pressures.
I reinvent myself and my business to adapt to changing times and life seasons, but through it all, my mission, which is divinely inspired, has remained unchanged since 1998 when I crafted it. Here are some tips to help you create a mission statement that embraces your life and your business in this powerful way.
- Start with your life. Write down your core values and all of the things you enjoy about your life. Include things you like to do, as well as people you like to be around. Consider what you are doing when you feel most useful, when you are making the most meaningful contribution to the world. What do people say to you when you are doing the things you love to do? What are you doing, saying, and being when you feel most vibrant and alive?
Ponder this list. Meditate on it. Pray on it. Do not rush this!
As you read your list out loud, to yourself, and to others, specific passions that transcend your life, your family, your friends, your spiritual beliefs, and your business will emerge. These core areas are the ones you want to focus on as you create your mission statement.
- Consider your business. I wrote my mission statement before I started the Indie Beauty Network, and it has helped me to weather many business changes through the years. It's my light post, and when I'm close to it, I shine. When I move away from it, I become dim and ineffective.
If you don't have a business, you can use the information gleaned in Step 1 to start one. If you already have a business, you can use the information to strengthen it, reinvent it, and create new platforms for growth.
Focus on how you can expand the things you enjoy doing to create profitable business opportunities that will help you enjoy your life as you also generate a fair profit.
If it helps, think of my slogan: Enjoy your life, build your business, have your way, as you ponder the issues involved here.
- Create your mission statement. This is where you bring your life and your business (or your business idea) together to form a single statement that embraces both. It should be short and to the point. (Mine is just 13 words!)
To create it, use a separate sheet of paper to record action words that describe how you envision behaving as you fulfill your mission. How will people be impacted as a result of an encounter with you? What effect do you want to have on them?
As you can see, the action words in my mission statement are: empower, encourage, and maximize. You may have more, you may have less, but three is generally a good number. String the words and phrases together to create several drafts of your statement. Marinate on them for several days and they will begin to crystallize to form a single phrase that so clearly describes your life that you cannot but conclude it's the perfect mission statement for you.
The Path: Creating Your Mission Statement for Work and for Life by Laurie Beth Jones, was instrumental in helping me create my mission statement. I highly recommend it.
To learn more, join me on Monday, June 20, when I will be a guest on Laurie Beth's weekly podcast. I'll be chatting with her about my my mission, vision, and path. We'll be live, and you can join us here.
Limited Time VIP Coaching!
[This program is no longer available.] For a limited time, I am available to help you women craft a mission statement. In addition to the techniques described in this post, I will share ideas that will help you plan the next level of your business and personal growth and addressing any road blocks that may be hindering your success.
Read more and register for your one-on-one session here.
Question: What is your mission statement?