In my last article, I wrote about the fundamentals of personal branding – essentially recognizing and ascribing value to who you are what you are capable of accomplishing. While it’s laudable to recognize your inherent value, one should not begin the process of personal branding without developing a viable mission statement.
Typically, corporate officers collaborate with their colleagues to develop a mission statement – a statement that defines their core purpose & guiding principles…the reason the entity exists in the first place. Likewise, since we all were created for a purpose (we didn’t just randomly appear on earth for no apparent reason), we should do our best to discover, understand, and pursue our purposes as well.
An effective mission statement should be inspiring, long-term, and easily understood & communicated. No consumer wants a long and drawn out story to explain why the makers of their favorite soda formed a business. Subsequently, you should not have to write a thesis to explain your core values or reason for being IF you truly understand and embrace your mission. Additionally, your core mission statement shouldn’t change month-to-month…remember, these are your guiding principles – not whimsical observations about who you are.
For example, my personal mission is very simple:
“I will help my clients identify their challenges (and not just the symptoms of those challenges); develop tools to create solutions to their challenges, and assess their progress and create plans for sustained success”
In sales, we call a statement like this an “elevator pitch” – a brief narrative I can give if riding on an elevator with someone who asks “so, what do you do?” Please note that I’m not writing about a vision statement, which is not the same as a mission statement. A vision statement is a declaration of your desired state or dream (e.g. “I want to be the best Director of Field Sales that I can possibly be”); a mission statement details what you will do to reach your desired state. Knowing where you want to be is a great start, knowing what it takes to get there is essential.
So, what is your personal mission statement?