Align Your Business Mission and Personal Mission
By Audrey Seymour
Do you know the mission of your business? What is the reason for its existence, who is it designed to serve, and what specific impact does it intend to make in the world? And, how does your business mission line up with your personal mission in life?
Identifying the mission of your business gives you the clarity and focus to prioritize your time, energy and cash flow in order to keep on purpose and draw the ideal clients. At the same time, writing a mission statement once doesn't mean that you're done, since it is likely to evolve over time just as you do. If it's been at least a year since you've updated your business mission statement, take the time to review it for the upcoming year.
Keeping your business vibrant and alive requires ongoing attention in external analysis as well as personal discovery. For guidance in the analysis part of the equation, you can refer to any standard business plan resource such as one of those on my recommended small business reading page; in this article I am focusing on one aspect of the inner work that supports a thriving business: the alignment of inner and outer mission.
Years ago a client I'll call Ed came to me when he was looking for the right audience for his career consulting services because sales were down. Having heard the standard advice that choosing a niche was the way to success, he was determined to be diligent in researching the most lucrative options.
After extensive research into market conditions and various industries, he decided that his business mission would be to help nursing professionals suffering burnout find a rewarding new career.
Ed was committed to making it work, so he invested time and money for us to develop a brand along with marketing materials that would appeal to nurses who might be ready to change careers. However, when it came time to execute his marketing plan, weeks went by without much progress.
Ed finally came to terms with the fact that his heart wasn't in it. He could not inspire prospective clients to hire him because he was not inspired either. Ed ended up abandoning that business investment at a loss, having learned that he could not simply follow business trends at the expense of his own fulfillment.
Another client I'll call Will was in a similar predicament with few prospects and low enthusiasm for his management consulting work. In contrast to Ed, Will invested a significant amount of time asking the bigger questions about what his calling was.
He discovered two main themes for his life mission. This allowed us to create a grid of options that combined these two themes in various professional titles. We "took the temperature" of each business idea listed in the grid until he found the one that called to him the most.
Continuing with this "from the inside out" approach, we developed a new business name, logo, tagline and brand that expressed his own passion and purpose and also suited his intended audience. Several months after we completed our work together he called to share the good news that he was booked solid for several months ahead.
After years of witnessing the results from these two approaches, I no longer let my clients ignore their inner mission when establishing the mission of their business.
When you are building a business from the deepest level of authenticity, which is your purpose on the planet, your niche and target audience will become obvious. When you are marketing to those you are meant to serve, there is virtually no competition because you will be able to speak directly to their soul in a way that no one else can.
How closely does your business mission match your life mission?
© 2010 Audrey Seymour. All rights reserved.