How to Slay Your Mission StatementBy Emily Breedlove, Camp Girl Boss
When it comes to starting a new business, often one of the earliest steps in the process is sitting down to draft a mission statement. This act is a pivotal moment for any early entrepreneur simply because the act of clarifying and declaring the succinct intention behind the project is BIG! This moment can be intimidating and overwhelming at the time, but it doesn’t have to cause complete paralysis.
Since drafting your Mission is so critical, let’s look at the step-by-step process that you can take to get started.
What is a Mission Statement?
A good mission statement is a clear, concise, and compelling phrase that explains the “why” behind a business. It helps people understand what a business really stands for, behind the work that it does.
Once you look at what a mission statement is you begin to see the reasons for creating a mission statement. Having a well crafted and clear mission plays an extremely important role for the Founder, the Company, the Team, and the Customer. It sets an understandable and predictable target for everyone to be shooting for. Here are seven reasons why a business needs a mission statement:
- Determines the company’s direction
- Focuses the company’s future
- Provides a decision-making template
- Forms a basis for alignment
- Welcomes helpful change
- Shapes strategy
- Facilitates evaluation and improvement
Writing Your Own
So, are you ready to get started with writing your own mission, now that you’ve heard all of the reasons why it’s so helpful? Great! We have outlined the six steps to create a mission statement. And don’t worry, they are super simple and even fun:
Step 1: Ask Tons of Questions
- How are you solving your problem?
- Why do you solve that problem?
- Why do you matter to your customers?
- What is your “special sauce”?
Step 2: Get Creative! Brainstorm around Answers
- What are the words that kept showing up?
- How do those words make phrases that stand out?
- Are you noticing trends in your language?
- Are you still missing pieces?
Step 3: Pick All Your Favorites
- Favorite your Words
- Favorite your Phrases
- Find your Favorite Flow or Sequence
- TIP: Post-it Notes are an easy way to switch around the sentence sequence if it doesn’t sound quite right yet
Step 4: Write a First Draft
- Start writing through the draft and don’t stop until it’s all out
- Try switching out some words or the sequence
- Keep writing, erasing, starting over, and reworking the draft until you land on something that you are proud of
Step 5: Get Some Feedback
- Find some friends and/or family to practice with
- Practice welcoming and receiving their feedback
- Make some adjustments after saying it out loud
Step 6: Finalize & Share it!
- Write down the best version that you want to share with the world
- Read aloud by yourself and then with a larger group of people
- Pay attention to how they respond and allow yourself to keep making edits until it feels right
The best mission statements go hand-in-hand with corporate philosophy and culture to help guide a company from the present into the future. We recommend you start by surrounding yourself with inspiration and post-it notes! Give yourself permission to get creative and start listing out all the possible ideas you can come up with.
Then set a time and challenge yourself to narrow all of the ideas, words, doodles, and random thoughts into your favorites. From there, you can start noticing trends and tying them together. Just remember to have fun and be gracious to yourself. A mission statement is in fact a moving target and will evolve with you.
Emily Breedlove is a Serial Entrepreneur who transforms communities through empowering women and girls to embrace their own Creative Magic. Her work ranges from the Founder and Global Champion for Camp Girl Boss to serving as the first Female Director of ScaleUp WNC a 90-day business Accelerator in Asheville, North Carolina. Emily sees Disruption as the highest form of public service and she advocates regularly for people to boldly innovate whenever possible.