Need momentum? Here's where to find it
by Brittany Taylor
published August 29, 2016
updated June 5, 2018
¶ The first time I balked at crafting my own mission statement, I was reading Strategic Planning for Dummies. After a few years of thumbing my nose at serious business stuff, I was, you know, starting to get serious about business.
(I’d learned that when you’re not serious about business, your business doesn’t make you enough money to live on, which means you have to move in with your parents, who might be awesome people, but still, awkward.)
Dutifully, I took notes on competitive research and audience targeting. I wrote out the differences between a mission statement and a vision statement. And while I actually did research my competition and stalk my audience, I shied away from the statements.
Why bother, I thought? My mission was to make money and my vision was to make a lot of it. No need to waste another line or two scribbling that done.
Turns out the hours I spent on the rest of that first business plan were wasted. Why? Because everything that I wrote was driven by my mission to make money and my vision to make a whopping big pile of it.
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When your mission is money, your business doesn’t do business.
¶ Why? Because nobody wants to do business with a business that’s just in it for the money.
I mean, face it: We want sales associates at Macy’s to act like they actually care about our size-10 dark-wash jeans. Sure, they’re there for their ten bucks an hour. But we want more than that in the service they deliver.
Not delivering on that expectation of more ourselves gets us into trouble.
Mission gets us out of it.
Aside from paying for the roof that keeps out the rain, why do you do what you do? It’s a simple question, an obvious question, maybe. It’s also the most important question I can ask you.
So, boss, why do you do what you do?
I know, like every kid going on a mission trip, you’ve got a big reason why you’re working so hard. I know there’s a point of view you’re fighting for and set of values you want to uphold. Once you determine what your mission is, you’ll feel illuminated.
¶ Boss, I’m getting excited just writing those words. There is not a single lie or exaggeration there—it’s all true. These feelings are ones I’ve felt. They’re feelings other bosses have related to me. They’re real, and they are waiting for you to realize them.
To do that, you need to first realize your mission.
I know, I know: a mission statement sounds boring
I hear you, I thought the exact same thing—but the reality is this: If you’re bored writing mission statements, then you’re bored by your business. And boss? I know that’s not true.
It’s easy to say, “oh, you need a mission statement,” which is exactly what I’ve done here. It’s harder to talk about creating one, and even tougher to craft one that rings true.
Ready to write a mission statement for your online business? Click here to get my step-by-step guide.
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My name is Brittany, but my friends and clients call me "Britt." Online small business owners hire me to create content strategies and write their blog posts, email newsletters, and social media updates. I work with bosses around the world from the marshes of Charleston, S.C.