If you’re an entrepreneur or some other type of self-starter, it’s likely that most of your goals revolve around your business or another sort of major undertaking. Now that you’ve spent some time writing out your goals, a practice you might consider is to take those goals and turn them into a written Mission Statement, or what Michael Hyatt calls your Core Value Proposition Statement.
Similar to writing out your goals, having a well-written Mission Statement or Core Value Proposition Statement puts you in a position to turn your vision into action. It does this primarily in two ways.
First, a statement gives you and your team a specific target by defining your goals and providing specific parameters in which to operate to reach those goals. These parameters are not limits rather than a statement of core values—a reflection of you and your company’s character and DNA. Second, a statement is your elevator pitch to potential customers and clients. It is here that you succinctly state not only your what you but also your why and how.
Elements of a Well-Conceived Mission Statement
A well-written and thoroughly thought-out mission statement answers these five important questions:
- Who are we? (Your company’s name)
- What do we do? (Part 1 of company’s unique solution)
- How do we do it? (Part 2 of company’s unique solution)
- Who do we do it for? (Your company’s target audience)
- Why do we do it? (Your company’s promised transformation based on your values)
A well-written Mission Statement is also brief and to the point. It’s a statement, not a story. The Mission Statement isn’t the place to share company history or sell your product, it’s an attention grabber to answer your customer’s ultimate question: “Why should I care?” Don’t go on and on either, or you risk losing your customer’s attention.
A good Mission Statement also avoids being vague. Be concise and state what value you bring to your customer’s lives. Avoid broad statements that are too general or grandiose—the reader either won’t care or won’t believe you. Without explaining your systems, you need to share how you intend to get the customer from where they are now to where you perceive they want to be. What value do you add to their lives, and is it worth their time and/or money?
A Conversational Approach
There was a time in my life when I had the unfortunate experience of being a telemarketer. While I can’t say I look back on those months of my working life with any great fondness, I do remember the way we were trained to begin our sales pitch with the customer. We very quickly stated who we were, what company we were calling from, the purpose for our call, and how we could add value to the listener’s life. A Core Value Proposition Statement is similar, only without the annoyance of bothering your customers in the middle of dinner.
If you’re an entrepreneur who uses social media or blogging as an avenue for reaching your customers, I would highly consider crafting a Core Value Proposition Statement in addition to or in place of a Mission Statement. Why? Simply because it’s far more conversational than a Mission Statement could ever be.
Such a statement is personal while being a succinct reflection of you and what you bring to the table. Use the formula below and fill in the blanks to write your first Core Value Proposition Statement:
I am __________[your name], and I help ____________[target audience] do or understand __________[your unique solution] so that __________[your promised transformation].
Again, you can see from the outset that the Core Value Proposition Statement is more about you than your business. If you’d like, you can adapt the opening to include your company like this. “I am Joe Smith from A1 Company, and I help…” This way you quickly associate you and your company’s name without greatly extending the length of your statement.
Here’s what my current core value proposition statement for this blog looks like.
I am Jeff M. Miller and I help ordinary people who are stuck in a rut change their behaviors so they can be extraordinary.
My statement is short, pointed, and encompasses everything about my blog—both for me and my readers. In short, it lets my readers know what to expect from my blog and it defines for me what kinds of information I should and should not share on my blog.
It’s Your Turn
Now it’s time for you to sit and work on crafting your own Mission Statement and/or Core Value Proposition Statement. Don’t worry if this takes some time, especially if you only recently gave voice to your life’s goals. Spend some time writing several drafts and set them aside for a while if necessary. Coming back to your statement in a day or two can help bring clarity to your ability to state your vision.
If you can’t figure out how to write out your statement, it means your goals are still too nebulous and need some refinement. Go back and read How to Create Goals that Stick.
Once you’ve got a better handle on who you want to become, what you want to do, and how you intend to add value to other people’s lives—because you’ve successfully lined out your goals through your written statement—you’re better prepared to start charting the steps toward your goals.