“Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
I went through a large portion of my life without a mission statement. I remember thinking, “mission statements are for suckers” or something equally as stupid. Then I remember a few years where the idea of a mission statement didn’t sound so stupid after all. Then I recall a few years where I thought “I need me one of those” or something equally as brilliant. Then, a few years later, I actually sat down and started to put one to paper. Looking back I wish I would have done it much, much sooner. But perhaps this is the natural cycle. None the less if I could have done it over again I would have made one sooner.
From the time I put it on paper to the time I thought of it as final-ish (I think it is ok to tweak them as you grow) about two to three weeks passed. I visited it once a week for a few weeks and it was done. Immediately after I finished it, I recall a feeling of great peace – it was a very settling feeling. Within days I noticed how it made decisions easier – it made life less stressful. Especially as an entrepreneur, you will get several people who come to you with ideas for companies and ventures and projects and the like. This is all good and awesome and a gift. Still, we can’t do them all well. Having a mission statement acts as a helpful filter to these types of decisions. I am of the belief that a good mission statement helps us make all sorts of decisions better and with the end in mind – so as not to be distracted from what is really important.
A tip to get you started
One of my mentors recommended an online tool that Franklin Covey makes available for free called the mission statement builder. My family has used this tool many times as a starting point for mission statements. It asks a series of questions that will help you determine your values, which is a great place to start when creating a mission statement.
A takeaway from Entreleadership by Dave Ramsey.
Anyone have any other tips on creating mission statements? Any stories about how yours has helped you make a tough decision? As always comments re: good books, takeaways, stories, and/or lessons learned would be the coolest but anything is cool.