You are your own boss – Now what
Congratulations, you have made the tough decision to go it on your own and build the dream…or maybe you began this venture some time ago, but you know that a reset is needed to take you to the next level. We all hit our own personal ceilings of achievement, and in fact we know that we will hit them repeatedly as we learn, implement and grow.
Whether you are just starting out or you are hitting rewind and evaluating what you have done previously so you can take it up a notch, this is going to be great stuff for you.
I can tell you that I have rebuilt, rebranded and restarted a number of times as goals change, visions change and let’s face it, the world changes, and therefore the market changes and we have to change with it in order to succeed. What this always brings is a multitude of emotions, but the leading one is typically excitement and motivation, followed closely by trepidation and doubt. Fortunately, excitement is a much stronger emotion if we let it lead the way.
Now that you have made the decision to build this new venture, where do you begin? So many of us have a general idea of what our business is going to look like but that is where we often don’t go deep enough, and we start taking on the tactical chores of getting the doors open or the new ideas functioning. By the time you have gotten through the next 4 modules of this training your business is going to take on a life of its own. If you are going to give your dream a real feeling, that it is its own unique being that has the capacity to grow, help others and be held accountable to predetermined goals, then that is where building your business for success must start. Remember your business is an extension of you…just like a child, we are here to give it a solid foundation, the tools to expand and the resources to succeed. From there it defines itself and where it will go.
Now that you have the outline of an idea of what your business is going to do, produce or provide, you have to be able to express that to your potential clients. It is critical that they feel a connection with your business and what it can provide to them. How it can change and improve their life. Why they can’t live without it, or why their family or business needs it in order to attain their dreams or succeed at a higher level. Maybe your service makes a business run more efficiently, if so, are your customers excited to implement this change…can they actually feel how things will be different. Are they inspired and losing sleep because they know tomorrow will be better? This is the goal and to do this you have to create a mission statement where people literally see themselves using your product or participating in whatever you are offering.
So how do we do this…like anything it is a process that we can break down into an exercise of steps to make it easier. Let’s get started with your mission statement. Your mission statement is not just for your customers to get to know you but is the first piece that your employees, volunteers and team need to be able to connect with and relate to. Quite simply it’s the buy in. This short statement that may also be considered your Brand Position is the heart of your company and will define your purpose, your values and your goals. This is where the rubber meets the road and there are no gray areas here. It is who your business is and what it stands for.
Let’s get started with this exercise. I suggest you get any of the brains behind this endeavor together. If it is just you, then that works as well but you may want to bring in some of your circle that has knowledge of what you are aspiring to do. They can provide invaluable feedback. A flip chart or white board works really well for this as you can save it and take photos to refer back to later when you are putting your statement into final form.
The first thing you have to define is what your business does, how do you accomplish it and why. Often this sounds simple until you have to explain it. I mean you know what you want to do and what you want the outcome to be but how do you put it into words. I suggest that you look at this from your customers perspective of what value you bring to them and what their needs are. You can even expand that into what do you provide to your employees or yourself. Begin by brainstorming and making lists… Start tossing out words, or phrases that encompass the earlier question of what, how and why. there are no wrong answers…after all it’s a white board…it can be erased, and in fact that is exactly what we are going to do next.
This is where you pick the favorites. The words or phrases that you or your team love the most, the ones that you feel really describes what you want people to think of and feel, when they hear about your business. Once you complete this step you should have a pretty succinct list, that when you read it, you feel contentment and pride in what you have created. I know that when our team did this, it was such a relief to finally have down in writing what we had struggled for so long, to be able to express in words.
The next step is where it all begins to come together. This will take a bit of time so be patient. You are going to need to block out a bit of time that is uninterrupted time as you need to be able to dig deep and do your best work here. Get comfy, maybe turn on your favorite music, you can even do this in your jammies…whatever will help you release your creative juices and take those words and phrases and weave them into 1-3 sentences. It is important when you are writing this to speak in the present and not in the future. These are statements that you are not hoping to do, you are already making it happen every day for people. Always remember the 3 questions that you asked earlier, what, how and why.
This final piece I suggest you do a few days later…let the masterpiece rest, and let your brain reset. You will then come back to what you have written, and it will come across as something that someone else created. You will read it more like the people that you have intended it for. Have you written it clearly and do you generate the feeling that you were going for? Did you get too wordy…if so, cut it? Shorter is better as long as clarity and messaging are strong. Will this mission still be viable in the future and maintain its message as your business grows?
Now that you have this beautiful description of what your business is going to provide to the community and beyond, the one thing that you don’t want to do is put it on a shelf or hide it in Google Drive. Now is the time to show it off. This is one of your greatest assets in terms of marketing. People need and want to know how your business is going to improve their life…so don’t be afraid to tell them. Here are a few places that without question people need to see your mission statement.
Congratulations…you have now shared with the world what you do, how you do it and why. The next time you see me, we are going to talk about your elevator pitch for all of those networking events that you are attending.
Please share this with other entrepreneurs that are looking to build or rebuild their dream and remember it is your choice to focus forward.
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