How to Create a Must-Have Mission Statement

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Ah, the elusive Mission Statement. You know it's important. You may not be sure why you need it, but you do, and that is PRESSURE. The truth is that your mission statement is very important; it's your company's headlining message to the world. It's your why. It's the first tool for potential clients, customers, and partners to gauge whether your brand falls in line with their value system. But a good mission statement provides more than an external message to the world at large... a good mission statement is the core of your company's culture. It influences your internal systems and structures. It creates a vibe. It is your North Star. 

So what even is a mission statement? Is there some magic formula that makes clients flock to you like the salmon of Capistrano? Not exactly... your mission statement is supposed to feel unique, but just like the 'About Me' section of an online dating profile, you want to be sure that you are making an impression without coming on too strong. Here are some hot tips for creating a Must-Have Mission Statement:

  1. Do a free-write exercise.  I know, this feels like busy work, but it's NOT, OK?? It's actually one of the most effective ways to just get it all out there, so that you can see what you're working with. Ask yourself, "Why this brand? What made me want to become an entrepreneur in this field? What matters to this brand?" Get all your why's out on the page. 
  2. Consider your HOW. What is the main service your company provides? Why is that important. Write it all down. Feel free to draw on your past experience or key competencies you are able to provide because of your particular expertise.
  3. Kill your darlings. Step away for a while, then come back to your lists and cross out anything that feels superfluous or off-brand. Your mission statement is about getting to the core of your company, so anything that feels like it is beside the point can go. Finally, choose one WHY and HOW that feel the most direct and important to you and put them in a separate document. Congratulations! This is the meat of your mission statement.