I accidentally created a mission statement, and it turned my business around!
Sometimes we wonder why we have not achieved what we want. We wonder why our hard work has not already yielded success. In short, we lose track of how far we have come and how we are going to get to the next point!
Business has been fairly good recently, but it has taken a long time to get here. While taking stock and trying to figure out why, so that I can focus on what works and what doesn't, I came to a surprising realization. My entire focus had changed from where it was 6 months ago!
I am not a big fan of motivational quotes or phrases, but this has really worked. It was a true eye-opener. I was so focused on making money that I was getting in my own way! 6 months later, without realizing it, I had created a mission statement and started thinking about everything backwards.
One of the huge changes I had to make was to focus on my audience and customers more than previously, and the more time I spent focusing on the quality of my content and the ROI my advertisers receive, rather than on how many dollars I made each month, sales started coming in way faster. It seems that by focusing on the quality of end-user experiences, my offer became much more attractive. People and companies now reach out to me, which is great for more content and more business.
What is a mission statement?
A mission statement is not the same as a plan. It's your ideals, your motivations, your intentions, put together in a simple way that reminds you what you are trying to achieve. Of course, we all want to make money. But there is more to it. Why are we trying to make money here, instead of trying to get a promotion? What are we offering in exchange for our success? Who do we want to interact with, how do we want to be seen?
Your mission statement reminds you of what you are trying to achieve; your mission. When you do any task, you can repeat your mission statement and ask yourself: "Is this contributing to my mission?"
My mission statement is simple:
This doesn't seem like much, but it is a powerful message to me personally. I've worked in digital marketing companies where the sole focus is monthly revenue. It sucks, especially when trying to retain customers. To me, adding value is more important to my business than short-term gains.
I actually break my mission statement down into 4 priorities:
1. Add Value to my Audience & Niche
This is the highest priority. My audience need to trust me, I need to add value to them, and I need to make sure the niche stays healthy. Without my audience, my company will go downhill fast, and I can never get anywhere.
Everything I do on behalf of my company, my clients or myself has to first be measured against the effect on my audience. I have to keep my audience informed and my niche healthy.
2. Add Value to my Partners & Clients
Ever wondered why customer service is so important? Because your reputation depends on it. If you have unhappy customers, pretty soon you have NO customers. I treat my clients and partners the same way I would treat an employer I really like working for. I WANT to try hard to do a good job.
Before I think about sales and revenue, I make sure I am adding value to my clients and partners. Their success is my success.
3. Add Value to my Company
True, I own the company, but it's not the same as looking after myself. I have to make sure the bills are paid, the brand is strong, the staff are happy and the business is running well, before I can pay myself. If I get complacent, negative, lazy or greedy, I won't have a company for much longer.
Even if I don't want to do things a certain way, even if personally I find it difficult, I have to take the actions that add value to my company.
4. Add Value to Myself
This has to be a part of the mission statement too. If I don't add value to myself, why bother at all? As long as I have covered all three of the above, why not have fun with what I do? Why not learn and grow? I keep up-skilling, networking, meeting amazing people, going great places. All of this helps me grow, enjoy and support myself.
For example, earlier this month, the business needed me in Manila and Singapore, but 10 days apart. So, after looking after staff and clients, I went to the beach with my laptop for a week! I added value to myself, whilst dealing with my other priorities.
After looking after the audience, clients, partners and company, I add value to myself.
What is Your Mission?
I don't mean "what do you want to achieve," I mean, what do you want to put out there into the world? What can you do that will solve an issue, help people, untangle a messy system or add value to others, that will in turn add value to you?
You are welcome to borrow my mission statement, but I encourage you to consider your own. Just try thinking backwards!
Any time you are working on something or prioritizing your time, remember your mission statement, and ask if your thoughts or actions are helping you to get there. If you are wondering why you haven't arrived at your destination, remember your mission statement.
1) To my audience and niche
2) To my clients and partners
3) To my business
4) To myself
So tell me, what is your mission statement?