Getting Unstuck

Last time we introduced the four steps to help any business leader get unstuck and make meaningful progress in a short period of time. The response has been terrific! Thank you for joining in the discussion. If you haven’t see the program details check it out here.

In the busyness of moving your business and career forward it’s easy to get so focused on the immediate path ahead that without warning you can get pulled off track and find yourself stuck.

Here the 4 steps to get unstuck:

  1. Return to your VISION

  2. Get clear on your MISSION

  3. Identify and pursue your IDEAL CLIENT

  4. Get results using a proven STRATEGY FORMULA

If you missed our post about returning to your VISION you can check it out here before you continue reading.

Photo by olm26250/iStock / Getty Images

Today we are going to focus on step 2: getting clear on your MISSION. When you’re done reading you will have a simple formula to create a compelling mission.

But first, a little story…

“C’mon! We’re on a MISSION!!!” The words were flung over her shoulder with urgency as we hustled through the crowd. Unlike the “no man left behind” policy of our military, I knew if I didn’t keep up I would DEFINITELY be left behind.

It was late December and my daughter had just received a gift card for her 5th birthday. I tried desperately to reason with her to hold off a few days before spending it, but it was burning a hole in her pocket. So we there we were, braving the final rush of Christmas shoppers to convert this gift card into a toy. And, yes, we were on a mission.

You’ve seen someone on a mission; they move with determination and purpose. Companies do the same. Which means if you aren’t moving with determination and purpose it’s time to check your mission.

Be prepared to put a lot of thought into this because you’ll have it for the foreseeable future. Yes, your mission can change over time, but it shouldn’t change very often. For example, the mission for Apple in 1976 was a lot different than it is today. However, if Apple changed their mission every year they would never see sustainable growth.

The mission describes what you want to be today and in the future. It should be personally motivating and energizing. You also want to include the problem you are solving for your client.

Here’s a simple fill-in-the-blank formula to get you started:

We do/provide __________________ so our client’s (problem)___________________ is taken care of allowing them to (success measure) _______________.

Easy.

Here’s an example: We provide bookkeeping services so our client does not need to worry about tracking expenses allowing them to focus on growing their business.        

A word of caution: It can be tempting to expand your offering based on what the client needs but if it distracts from your mission or core business it will actually undermine your growth.

Going back to our bookkeeper example, there’s a strong likelihood your client also needs help with tax prep. If you offer tax prep services you will need to become proficient in tax prep, tax law, and all that is related. While you get educated on taxes for small businesses you are not able to spend that time obtaining new business from existing or new clients. It also causes some dissonance with your clients because, while bookkeeping and taxes are related to the finances of the  company, they are not the same. They end up wondering, “what exactly do they do?” Sale lost.

Let’s take this mission statement to a new level and add in the IDEAL CLIENT.

We provide bookkeeping services to restaurant owners so our client does not need to worry about tracking expenses allowing them to focus on growing their business.

The mission statement provides clear focus of exactly what the business offers. This is important for everyone in the organization and ideal clients to understand. If your team doesn’t understand they won’t be able to service your client; if the client doesn’t understand they won’t know why they need to hire your team.

Question: What do you need to clearly state your MISSION? Leave a comment below and let us know how we can help.

P.S. You no doubt noticed how we added that little IDEAL CLIENT piece into the mission statement. So how did this bookkeeper know she wanted to provide her services to restaurant owners? After all, nearly every business in the world could use a bookkeeper. We will explain in the next post. For now, please leave a comment below letting us know how we can help you with your mission.