“An’ it’s all right now, learned my lesson well.
You see, ya can’t please everyone, so you got to please yourself”
Ricky Nelson, singer (1940-1985)
Since most entrepreneurs are the “soul of a business”, writing a personal mission statement is a good first step before you tackle the mission of your business. A personal mission statement is a proclamation of your purpose. It declares your reason for being, what you value, what is important to you, and it helps describe how you are going to do to live this mission. It is your personal compass.
A well-thought-out personal mission statement helps you make decisions. For example, is it OK for you to cheat or to lie if it helps you get a deal? Should you accept the job transfer away from your children? Should you agree to do work outside of your mission? Is money more important than a commitment to a customer or a friend?
To get started, try the following exercise to help you flesh out what is important. Pretend that it is your 70th birthday. You have been asked by “Time Magazine” to write your own biography highlighting your professional and personal achievements. What would want your colleagues at work, your family, and your friends want to know about you? How do you want to be remembered? What did you do with your life? This exercise helps you create a balance sheet of your life’s most important achievements and values.
After completing this sometimes difficult exercise, the next step requires you to review what you wrote. What did you learn? What do you really want to do with your life? Does your work today reflect your purpose? What should you start doing today and what should stop doing? It is now time to write your personal mission statement.
Although your personal mission statement can be any length, 30 well chosen words would be best. Begin it simply with the words, “My mission is to ….” Begin the writing process by listing things that are important to you. Combine the words into phrases or sentences. Carefully wordsmith the phrases until you have a complete thought that describes your purpose.
When done display it in your office, post it on your make up mirror, and carry it in your wallet or purse. Review it frequently and edit it as things change. This process is as important as the words themselves, since your personal mission statement is a living document about you and your purpose. Live your life with purpose.
John Bradley Jackson
© Copyright 2006 All rights reserved.
Please visit my website at www.firstbestordifferent.com
I have a mentor who shared his mission statement with me. It inspired me to write my own. Indeed, the very process of writing it caused me to be reflective with the purpose of living with more purpose.
“The purpose of life is a life of purpose.”
Robert Byrne, Billiards champion and writer 1930-