Crafting a personal mission statement
To be successful in our business, we need to have a clear vision of where we are going, as well as how we are going to get there. This can be done by creating a personal mission statement, describing the ultimate purpose for our solo journey.
We are all familiar with corporate mission statements. Yet few of us take the time to consider our personal mission statement in relation to our solo businesses. What’s the ultimate purpose for your solo journey?
To be successful in our business, we need to have a clear vision of where we are going, as well as how we are going to get there. This can be done by creating a personal mission statement.
Our personal mission statement or purpose is the why to our business. It gives us the answers we need to keep us going when things are getting us down, when we are struggling or when we find ourselves asking that perennial soloist question – why do I bother?
The answer usually, and certainly with all the clients I have worked with, has nothing to do with self-centered goals. It has more to do with a sense of life purpose and of providing a service to others. The fulfillment we get from giving and from making other people’s lives easier and more enjoyable is what keeps us going.
"The fulfilment we get from giving and from making other people’s lives easier and more enjoyable is what keeps us going."
It is said that purpose is where our pain and passion intersect. A good example of this can be seen in the life of Gandhi. He studied law and was passionate about it. He longed to find a way in which he could help improve people’s lives through his knowledge of the law.
Then, when he visited South Africa, he experienced first hand the iniquities of the apartheid system. This caused him immense personal pain such that he resolved to use his knowledge of the law to free others from tyranny and discrimination. From finding his purpose this humble, unknown and otherwise unremarkable Indian lawyer become one of the most influential people of the twentieth century.
Want more articles like this? Check out the setting business goals section.
Have a look at your own life. Where is, or was, your passion? Revisit some of the painful experiences in your life. Do they give you any clues as to your life purpose? How can you align this with your business and your work?
Other questions you can ask yourself include:
- What is it that gives me real meaning and purpose in my life?
- What parts of my work or jobs I’ve done in the past were meaningful to me? Why?
- If I won the Lotto what would I do? (Once I got bored of lying on the beach and drinking champagne!)
- How do I want to leave the world a better place?
From here we can create our personal mission statement – ideally this will be brief, powerful and easy to remember. For example it may be about inspiring or enabling others to become successful, or simply bringing joy to people’s lives.
A big clue here as to whether you have found your mission is how you feel. Clients I have worked with often become quite emotional. There can be tears; tears of joy at the relief or tears of sadness for having lived so much of their lives without a clear sense of purpose.
Uncovering our personal mission statement is not always easy. There can be many layers to uncover. Beyond the biological imperative of survive and reproduce, there are many compelling reasons for what we do in our lives: money, status, adventure, novelty, excitement and pleasure.
But if we examine them closely we realise that the fulfillment we derive from them is dependent on getting something and it is usually only temporary. Because of this any success or joy will only be fleeting leaving us ultimately victims of circumstance and leading essentially meaningless lives, regardless of how outwardly successful we may appear.
Knowing our true mission and creating a personal mission statement enables us to integrate ourselves fully with our work and our lives. This helps us identify what gives us long term fulfillment, and therefore sustainable success in all we do.