Crafting a mission statement for your new business will help you more easily prioritize and guide your activities.
As a new entrepreneur, your mission will help you start gaining strategic clarity – the ability to define a vision for the future and see clearly what is and is not a part of that vision.
This is part 3 of a series on the value of writing – and using – a mission statement. In part 1, I shared some examples of effective mission statements and a simple formula for how to write one for your business. In part 2, I provided an activity to explore everything your business is not – because sometimes the best way to identify what you want is to state clearly what you don’t want. Now, in part 3, we’ll explore some examples of how to actually use your mission statement as a decision-making tool.
Most people write the mission for their business and stop there. They sometimes treat it like a check-the-box exercise. But, that’s missing a big opportunity.
Remember, a self-aware entrepreneur is more easily able to adapt to a changing business.
As your business experiences twists and turns, your mission will give you a clear center of gravity, helping you stay grounded. It should help you make decisions.
Prioritize with your mission statement.
Anytime your stuck on a problem or making a tough decision on which way to take the business, ask yourself questions like:
- Does this help me achieve the mission of my business?
- How aligned is this decision, action, or choice to my mission?
- Does it help me to achieve my mission?
Here’s an example.
Let’s say your mission is: “to preserve the world’s oceans for future generations.” Now, let’s say that someone asks you to contribute to a project for an elephant conservation center – a worthy cause no doubt. The question is: does spending your time here get you closer to preserving the world’s oceans for future generations?
- If yes: Just get really clear on why and how it helps your mission, so that you can make an informed choice.
- If no: Stop the action in its tracks. Wish them good luck. Pivot. Get back to your actual mission.
- What decisions or choices have you recently faced?
- How aligned or not aligned were they with your mission?
- What clues will you know if it aligns with your mission?
- How comfortable are you saying no? If not, here’s another article for you.
Sometimes, you’ll have to carefully weigh the options in front of you. Sometimes, the choice you need to make will be as clear as day to night. And, sometimes, you might not know you’ve made a choice that’s misaligned with your mission until after you’re doing the work. It takes some trial and error. That’s normal. Take your time and use every experience as an opportunity to learn.
- Your mission is more important than ever from the 321 Liftoff blog.
- Writing a mission statement? Define what you’re not from the 321 Liftoff blog.
- Start saying No with this simple trick from the 321 Liftoff blog.
- How to Say No Without Feeling Guilty by Breitman and Carlson.