Capture Your Business in a Unique Mission Statement
Believe in Yourself, and Believe in Your Mission
“Believe in yourself, and the rest will fall into place. Have faith in your own abilities, work hard and there is nothing you cannot accomplish.” – Brad Henry
I strongly believe in my mission for my business:
Online Journey is written for the women who think that they are just too old and/ or ordinary to start successful businesses and drive their own futures, and to show them that they are not.
I like that:, because it’s simple and it resonates with me: I don’t want to be old and ordinary. I don’t want to give up and just say that this is all that I can be, and I don’t want other women their middle years to feel like that , too. After all- why should we?
Our Happiness is Precious
I believe that we are worth fighting for: our pride, security and happiness are precious, valuable. We’ve worked steadily over the years; learned many skills and adapted and sacrificed. We have reared our children, held down our careers.
No! I want to tell women in their middle years: “You’ve got years ahead of you, so fill them with something that’s going to make you feel great, proud; in control. Not just older.”
Your Mission Statement
Your Mission statement needs to identify:
- how your business solves a specific problem
- how your business is unique
- what is the driving philosophy behind your enterprise
In business, one thing that is certain is uncertainty
To create, build and scale a successful business the answers to these questions need to be carved in stone in your mind. In business, one thing that is certain is uncertainty- everyone who is starting out as an entrepreneur needs to know that, and to know that their absolute belief in their mission statement is deeply enough ingrained to keep them powering forward when things get tough.
Anita Roddick- The mission statement of The Body Shop was: “To dedicate our business to the pursuit of social and environmental change.”
Pretty cool, don’t you think? And she did do it- spectacularly. Through leveraging her brilliant understanding of business and marketing she made it her mission to ban the testing of cosmetics on animals, not just in the UK, but all over Europe.Furthermore, she ensured that the ingredients used in Body Shop products were sourced from producers who were paid fairly for what they made- so she was right there at the beginnings of the concept of fair trade.
Her mission was massive: political, ethical. Anita Roddick used her business to bring about radical changes in the world of business-turning the focus from being purely the generation of wealth to being the generation of fairness and empowerment. for everyone involved in the production, sale and use of her products.
Sara Hirsh Bordo
Bordo created the first female-founded, collaborative entertainment studio and creator network- ‘Women Rising’ in 2013, with the mission of creating content and experiences to empower women and girls. It was named “One of the Most Innovative, Interesting, and Purpose-Driven Women Led Startups to Watch”, by Inc. Magazine.
Women Rising has led several high-profile events such as the first TED x Austin Women in partnership with the United Nations Foundation, the Women’s March on Austin rally, which became the largest gathering of women in Texas History.
In film production, Women Rising set out to explore social narratives while championing female heroes. With a world premiere at SXSW Film Festival, A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story went on to win awards at all 10 festivals it played and qualified for the Academy Award.
Write your Mission Statement on Your Heart
So, to create a successful business there needs to be a mission statement written on your heart, because this is something that you are going to need to nurture, love, grow and support like another child.
And you? Well you are going to need to learn some new skills, even if your fledgling business is in an area where you have worked throughout your adult life. You’re not going to need the whole skill set to drive forward a successful business, because you can hire and outsource many skills.
Patience, resilience, adaptability
But there are other skills: patience, resilience, adaptability that you are going to need in abundance. As the leader of your own business you will have to organise so many more elements than you had to do as an employee.
Actually, no, not really. Haven’t we patiently helped our children to grow and learn? We have taught them how to ride bikes, helped them learn to read and to make up with their friends when they fell out. Haven’t we worked at our jobs, year in, year out; showing resilience through the office fall outs and adaptability to new management regimes?
You Can Do it
When you think about it, our lives have taught us the skills essential for success. Although I’m not pretending it’s going to be easy, because what’s the point? You’ve been around long enough to know that nothing that’s worth anything is easy. You’d know I was talking garbage. After all, with all our experience of life we know what hard work is and we are not afraid of it, because that’s just what we’ve always done.
So where are you, exactly?
Is fear holding you gripped by the back of the neck, leaving your legs pedalling in the air? Do you feel that entrepreneurial ship is the route for someone else- another woman- someone who’s brave and wears red lipstick and doesn’t give an eff about what everyone else thinks of her?
Are those women really so different from you?
Look at the people who have made real changes in their lives: started new businesses in their middle years, walked out of unhappy jobs and homes. Are they really so different from you?
Scared to death sometimes
The fact is, that these people who achieve massive changes in their own lives and then go on to do great things for others are also scared to death sometimes, but they are driven hard enough to just do it- start the business; begin the journey.
Entrepreneurial ship as survival
Reading further into Anita Roddick’s story, it’s clear that for her she had a powerful mission which drove her forward; to create a business: ‘Nobody takes entrepreneurial ship as survival, but that’s exactly what it is, and what nurtures creative thinking.’
So, on to your mission, (should you choose to accept it…)
Have you defined your mission statement? It doesn’t need to be long- but it does need to be something that you believe in passionately, and that you can convince others to believe in enough to work alongside you.
Your mission for your own life
Look, I’ve talked about Anita Roddick and Sara Bordo, women whose missions are driven by a passion to change the world for others. Maybe your mission does not seem to be so far-reaching and noble. Perhaps your mission is to start by changing your own life first- maybe that seems just, well, small, in comparison.
The thing is- your life does matter
However, don’t underestimate the effect you can have:think about it being the ripple effect- you make a small change, which has an effect on others close to you, and so the impact spreads. And with the power and reach of the internet, who can say how far your idea can go? Your confidence, staying power and energy will determine that-so why limit yourself?
Think of it like this:if your business mission solves a problem for you, then it’s a fair bet that it can solve a problem for thousands of others out there who are experiencing exactly the same pain point but not figured out how to fix it yet. That means that a huge part of your mission has got to be to find those people and serve them.
Write down your mission statement
So, write down your mission statement today by putting it into a few sentences. You may want to sleep on it, then return to it the next day and do any edits and additions that you think are necessary. Remember, those words are going to be your mantra in the days, months and years ahead, so you’ll need to believe in them powerfully. At the same time, they need to be able to grow, develop and change as you and your business change , so don’t feel that those words are bars to your prison- they are more like a framework than that.
As your enterprise changes and develops it will organically teach you about your original mission statement and how it can be realised in the practical mechanism of everyday business life. There will constantly be a need to reflect and adapt in accordance with the rapidly changing world of commerce.
Don’t be afraid to change it- like your business itself, your mission needs room to grow.