Sunday, December 7, 2008

Have You Got A Mission Statement?


Everyone should have a mission statement. Most businesses do. Some people do. It is my believe that my personal mission statement will direct my business as well. I'm fortunate to have carved out a way to work from home, doing what I love to do. Some of those things I'm paid for, some I'm not. But it all works out!

Why Write A Mission Statement?
Steven Covey points out that writing your mission statement is “connecting with your own unique purpose and the profound satisfaction that comes in fulfilling it.” I look at it as a way to constantly bring myself back to the point. I've got a couple of dream boards (one in the hallway, one in the bathroom). I have a picture of Machu Picchu on my office desk. I relate to the pictures – and they portray the things I want. My mission statement, laminated and to the left of my computer (I'm lefthanded), represents what this journey is really about.

How Do I Get Started?
It was simple for me to get started. I went to the Franklin Covey mission statement builder (see link below). They say “our mission statement builder can help to add focus, direction and a sense of purpose to your daily decisions.” Who doesn't what that tool in their arsenal? I recommend that you set at least an hour to the side to do this exercise. Building a mission statement should not be rushed. You can choose one of three options – I went for number 3. You can view what each one will do for you, and I chose the one that best suited what I was looking for. I found myself in tears at one point – I really took a good look at what I wanted, and it made me cry.

What Next?
They emailed me my mission statement. It was a conglomeration of what I'd written. I copied it, looked it over really well – and then started making it all make sense. I worked with what my original thoughts had been, and made it concise and valuable for me. Here's some of what was in my original mission statement:

Your Journey Mission Statement:
write a book
travel the world
help my friends
I was on a scooter on the island of Paros in Greece. The wind was blowing in my hair, it was warm, I had on shorts and a swim suit and looked marvelous. My sister Cruzanne was with me. We were riding all over the island.
I'm traveling and living around the world.
I have my laptop and I write about the people I meet and the places I go. I interview business owners, college students, retirees. I do it because I must - I love to write and I love to get to know people. It results in a book.
I listen well
I know the right answers
I love my friends
I listen well: I hear what people want.
I know the right answers: when I listen, I can answer what it is they need.
I love my friends: my team is made up of friends, old and those I have not met yet.
I listen well: to my mom and dad, they are old and still have stories to tell me.
I know the right answers: to help my family do the things they can't do by themselves.
I love my friends: and my family will always have my love - even when I'm mad at them.
I would be healthier.
that I am doing what I love now.
1/2 million to my church to pay the daily bills, so they would not have to worry about and be able to really me the missionaries they want to be.
rest, don't overwork and don't stress so much
take my vitamins and eat right and exercise

Whoa! That's way too long! Notice the overriding theme. I listen well.

Here's some guidelines to follow:
Keep it simple and brief. We're talking three or four sentences.
No negative statements, only positive.
Make your mission statement guide your life. Choose actions that will develop you into the person you want to be.


Finally – let's look at my finished mission statement.

I live each day with a listening, happy heart that guides me in healthy actions. I meet new and old friends, share in conversation and build a loving, kind business. I write, talk, travel and play with intensity and bring the benefits home to those I love.

Now that's a statement I can live by!

Helpful links:
http://www.franklincovey.com/tc/resources/view/msb/index.html
http://www.quintcareers.com/mission_statement_development.html
http://www.timethoughts.com/goalsetting/mission-statements.htm

picture is of me on the island of Mykonos, Greece -- a very happy time in my life. BTW, this is my 18th wedding anniversary - Happy Anniversary my darling!

4 comments:

Susan/Together We Flourish said...

I love how you showed us your random thoughts and then compiled it into a simple concise statement. It's fascinating what comes out when you do an exercise like this. I'd say that you are absolutely on the right tract

Randall Hansen, Ph.D. said...

Deb... nice piece on mission statements and thanks for including link to one small part of the QuintCareers.com resources on mission statements, which also includes several articles and a bunch of sample mission statements. You can find it all within the bigger umbrella of career and personal branding tools, located here: http://www.quintcareers.com/branding_self-marketing.html

Keep up the good work of empowering people!

Deb said...

Susan - thanks! the process was a big part of the fun. I'm enjoying saying my mission statement out loud too. Makes me feel good!

Randall - you keep up the good work! your site helped me a lot and it was worth sharing.

Deb Brown

Michael Shepherd said...

Your blog post is inspiring just as the Greek islands inspire people to determine what is truly important in life.

Cheers,