Have you ever tried to write an “About Us” page for your website? Really worked on your “elevator speech” or “30-second commercial”? How about a mission statement for your business, your church group, a volunteer group or even yourself?
If you have, you know that crafting a “personal mission statement” is much harder than it seems because you have to do soul searching and then you have to boil it all down.
Years ago when I was an undergraduate at Kent State, I took what I thought was going to be a “cake walk class” called Values for Survival. Filled with students from diverse backgrounds, it actually helped me to reflect at an early age about what’s important to me and what I wanted to do with my life. Although it was pass / fail as I recall, the class was anything but easy. Introspective. Thought provoking. Authentic. It sparked more than one interesting conversation.
For those who struggle with defining and categorizing their marketing efforts — you know who you are! — you are probably familiar with the difficulty of focus. Focus means eliminating things. Focus on a market. Focus on a service. Focus on communicating the key benefit your product provides. Boiling it all down to the essence.
Somehow a personal mission statement is even more challenging because it’s about you, not the external professional, more tangible things. Not the products you sell, not the service you provide and not the business you work for.
Recently at SOBCon, Lorelle Fossen challenged the group to describe their purpose of their website in 10 words or less. Easier said than done! Many came up with tag lines, not the mission statement.
This is a follow up to the challenge issued by Iain Hemp at Outstanding Club to create a personal mission statement. Recently I entered his group writing project contest and expected that there would be thousands of entries (the two winning prizes: $25 Amazon giftcard) but instead, there were only three. Mine and two others! Why? I think because crafting a personal mission statement is harder than it seems.
My votes for the winners go to the two other personal mission statements: Jake Dahn’s Personal Mission Statement published at jakedahn.com by Jake Dahn is one of inspiration: I would like to encourage creative thinking and push peers to be creative, to further inspire us all.
Rob Jenson’s Personal Mission Statement published at jensenrf.wordpress.com by Rob Jensen is one of mentoring: Working with people to create trusting relationship to understand their needs and help discover and apply the right tools to help them be successful on their own goals.
I think because of that Values for Survival class many years ago, I got a headstart on this project, so it’s not fair for me to count my statement. It is hard to judge someone’s personal mission statement, isn’t it?
Funny thing. My personal mission statement in the class was boiled down to two statements: 1) Find a better way and 2) Make a difference. So I guess my more current statement of “Learn. Evolve. Share.” still fits me all these years later.
So, I’ve decided to extend this “personal mission statement” challenge, but make it easier. I’m adding a marketing overlay. What is the mission of your product, your service or business? Can you boil it down to your “professional mission statement?
Try it. What was your experience?