“When you discover your mission, you will feel its demand. It will fill you with enthusiasm and a burning desire to get to work on it.” W. Clement Stone – Bestselling author and founder of Combined Insurance Co.
Over the last few weeks, I have been sharing articles about how to take control of yourself and your business in uncertain times. This week we explore the value of having a clearly defined purpose, or mission, for yourself or for your business.
What is a mission? A mission is a statement that clearly defines the following three things:
- What you do. This is the products and services you provide in your business, or the work you do as an individual that will take you to your vision (your goals). What you do is described in vivid action words, such as “build, invent, design, fix, write, develop,” etc., and includes clear descriptions of how you do this.
- Your unique value proposition. This is the unique value you provide to the world. This is the “result” that people or organizations (which are simply larger groups of people) receive from you or your efforts when they buy (or buy into) what you do. The result could be joy, wealth, information, knowledge, skills, a better life, etc. In addition, it describes how you deliver this value uniquely. It is what sets you apart from your competition and why buying from you (or buying into you) is the best decision your clients, those who employ you, or people in your personal life, can make.
- Who you serve. These are your customers, employers, or those in your community or family, etc. These are the people or organizations that most value your unique value proposition and need the products, services, and value that only you can provide. This could be anyone (as everyone needs food, for example, if you are in the grocery business) or it could be very specific (such as – raising money for children with leukemia).
What does a clearly defined personal and/or business mission statement do for you in uncertain times? It does the following and more:
- Creates clarity on the value you bring to the world. Clarity for you, clarity for others, and promotes confidence. It is critical that you clearly articulate your value so those who might buy your services or employ you in their business can know with greater certainty whether they need your services and why.
- Creates clarity of focus for your day-to-day activities. Your mission guides you to focus on the essential tasks of making or improving yourself, your products and services (what you do), marketing and selling them to those who will buy (who you serve), and delivering on your unique value proposition when they do. Your strategic directives to staff are better understood, your marketing messages are clearer, your sales efforts more effective, and your delivery operations more streamlined. Everyone is focused and pulling the oars in the same direction, at the same cadence, and your success is greater.
- Takes the focus off outcomes like “making money” (which cannot be controlled) and puts the focus on what you can control, which are the activities that lead to your desired outcomes. It is now all about doing the tasks that lead to success as efficiently and effectively as possible.
- Tells the world whether you have the products, services, and value proposition they need and, as importantly, tells people when you don’t. The result is more time spent with qualified prospects and ideal customers who have already pre-qualified themselves and come ready to buy.
If you have bought into these ideas so far, what do you do now? Create your mission statement. If you and your business already have one, now is the time to review it to determine how current situations may have changed what you do, adjusted your unique value, or changed those you serve. Given your redefined vision (discussed in a previous article that you can access by clicking here), how does that vision impact your mission, if at all? Restaurants changing to delivery and curbside pick-up is a good example of changing what a business does, or how it operates, and sets a new value proposition. Companies changing from distilling spirits to making hand sanitizer for the medical industry is another good example where the products, value proposition, and market all changed. Once the changes are made to your mission, then refocus the roles in the organization to build and improve those products, market, and sell to the new market, and deliver the value proposition, as applicable.
If needed, CLICK HERE to download our mission statement exercise. Once developed, align your product development, sales, and delivery services around what you do, who you serve, and your unique value proposition, respectively. You can even use this tool to develop a personal mission statement to help you through these unprecedented times.
With a clear understanding of what you do, for whom you do it, and the value you create, you take control of your business, your life, and your day-to-day activities, and it makes you FEEL better. You feel in control in these uncertain times.
If you would like assistance in developing or modifying your mission statement and value proposition, I am here to help. This is my give-back to the community during this time of change due to Covid-19. CLICK HERE for a no-obligation free consultation.