Updated: Mar 7, 2022
BY JENNIFER THOMPSON
Integrity, honesty, quality, hard work, loyalty, and kindness. These are the most valuable characteristics I look for in others, and these are the characteristics I strive to put forth in my daily life. The reason I bring these values up is that they are at the center of what my personal mission and vision are all about.
As this month brings new beginnings, I challenge you, that if you do not already have a personal mission and vision, you develop one. Personal mission statements define who you are and identify your purpose in life. It explains how you are planning to pursue your purpose and why it matters to you. A good mission statement should inspire and transform others around you. It should give confidence and excitement, and it should most definitely define you as a person. A personal mission, much as a corporate mission is your brand, your pride, and your joy. This mission statement is like your 30-second commercial. Why are you unique and worth talking to. Do not underestimate its power!
The main component that defines a mission is that it should contain a statement of core values that shape the acts of behavior of the goals and objectives. Allow me to elaborate. As a sales professional, I have always had my own personal mission that defines me as a person regardless of the industry I might be selling for. My mission statement is unwavering and I do not compromise even if it costs me the sale. It is what I stand for and what I am known for and it will never be up for negotiation. My mission includes my core values, my objective, and my approach to reach that objective. My mission statement is “To provide informed, valuable and adequate solutions for each customer to address their individual needs with integrity, honesty, great value, and quality.” Not necessarily a mouth full but clear and consistent.
Remember my first sentence? Seems familiar? Those are my core values and I include them in my mission because I want these values to be a representation of who I am and how I treat everyone. I am never afraid to walk away from a company that compromises my values and I am never afraid of going back to a former customer with a new product because I am 100% sure that I honored my mission statement. Therefore I know that the customer is going to buy from me because of what I represent. I can fill the need if there is one with fairness and integrity and will recommend me without hesitation.
Your mission statement does not have to be long or complicated. It can be short and simple. Like for example “Helping dogs find their forever homes” or “Providing stimulating conversation and companionship for the elderly”. Take a minute to look at some of your favorite products and companies and see how their mission statements vary and include certain things. You will find that none is like the other and although unique they all have a positive message that touches you one way or another, some are more general and some more specific, some are long and some are short. It is up to you to decide what fits you. It is a very personal thing to develop and it should not be done overnight. My mission statement was developed over many years during my early years as I was figuring out who I was and what was important to me. It changed over the years to include values that I saw lacking in the industry and that I refused to ignore. There is nothing worse than feeling like you have been lied to for the sake of someone’s commissions. Fortunately, I was able to make good money by doing things my way. Yes, I left some companies because their practices did not align with my mission, but at the end of the day, I was happy to have honored my own values without compromise.
Well, I hope by now you are eager to know how to develop your own and unique personal mission statement. Here are several tips that will help you get there. Get your pen and paper or laptop or whatever you use to work on your ideas and get ready to honestly answer the following questions. Developing a good mission statement takes time and thought. Do not get frustrated if it’s taking longer than you expected. Justleep working on it until you find the right fit. You will know when it happens.
What are your core values? What do you value? What is important to you? How and why are these things connected to you and what do they represent to you? How do these values affect you and others around you?
What is your goal? Where do you want to go? What is the end game? This can be a career, a spiritual journey, a life achievement, a physical location, a mental state, professionally, health, or body goals. Be completely honest with yourself. This is what you really really want.
What is your “dream” result? Don’t be modest now. Here is where you can really be bold. Don’t hesitate to be descriptive and detailed. Give yourself permission to dream big!
What do you want people to say about you? What are the characteristics that you want your friends, associates, family, clients, partners, and acquaintances to recall when they think about you? How do you have to act to achieve these adjectives?
What do you want your legacy to be? What will you want to be remembered for 100 years from now? Did you make an impact? Did you change lives? Were you an example to strive for?
Once you have completed this exercise I recommend you take a couple of days and then review it. Make changes if necessary and adjust your answers if necessary. Remember others and how your answers impact them. Share them with someone you trust and listen to what they have to say. You might have missed something they see in you that you might have overlooked, or have some insight on what you represent. Take your time deciding what are the most important things for you. Create a mission statement that you are proud to call your own and use it as much as possible. Remember it and memorize it. This is the statement you will live for and that represents you. The one that people will remember you by.
Finally, if you are having a difficult time deciding if a particular situation goes against your mission statement, think about what your core values are. How does that particular situation go against your core values and how will it impact your legacy in the long term, and especially, how will it impact those around you. If you compromise in the small details, then your mission statement is completely useless and false. Then, you can no longer have the ability to confidently utilize it without someone knowing you can’t stand behind it. I once explained to my former employer that the reason I resigned was because of the company’s bad reputation. It is like a stinky sponge...if you handled it or touch it, your hands will also stink and it will take many washes before the smell disappears.
Your Mission statement should never be compromised. Your legacy will be destroyed. Your reputation tarnished, and it will be difficult to recover the trust of those who once viewed you with respect.
My dear reader, the important thing here is to give yourself a brand recognition as the person you are and the way that you conduct yourself. How you do business and treat those around you. What is valuable to you and mainly your standing in your community. It’s worth developing your brand and tooting your own horn. What better way than to have a Mission Statement that represents you as a person, before anything else.
If after reading this article you are not convinced that you should have your own personal mission statement, think about the added value a mission statement adds to yourself. It creates a personal brand worthy of getting to know better. It opens doors and helps others see that you are a dedicated professional with a commitment and long term vision. It creates a personal persona that few others are able to follow. It creates a reputation that you can be proud of. As long as you are true to yourself and honor it, your mission statement will bring you many satisfactions.
One more thing...some people apply this same concept to their families. If you, indeed, would like to create a mission for your family, then you must work on it altogether. Find the core values that best represent all of you and commit to honor it.
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By: Jennifer Thompson