Your Mission is Not Your Vision
Why you need both.
Vision and Mission are two very different things. And the smaller your business, the more you need them both. Those who have both and live by them always make more money.
Whether you think you do or not, we all run our businesses based on deeply held beliefs. The problem is we don’t do it consistently, but only when it’s convenient. The rest of the time we’re taking on clients, employees, vendors and partners based on the immediate benefit, without regard to whether there is a culture and values match or not. Six months or a year later we’re butting heads with the new staff, avoiding that troubling client, or looking for a new vendor.
Why? Because if you don’t have a clear vision for your own life or business, you’ll become part of someone else’s vision for theirs. Take on a a partner, employee or staff member with a strong direction, and it will overwhelm the weak hold you have on why you exist, where you are going and how you intend to get there. Meandering and random hope are not good business strategies. Get a grip on your vision and your mission, or expect to be pulled in every direction.
Vision = Values
Your Vision statement is for YOU, not for your customers. It is much bigger than your business, reflects your personal beliefs and values and is what would get you out of bed every morning no matter what business you were in. Your beliefs, values and principles don’t change based on your business. Your Vision statement should be the core driver behind who you hire, who you want as clients, and how you will relate your business to the world around you. In most cases, a Vision statement doesn’t tell anybody what you do, only what you believe and value as a business.
This should always be a values-based statement. It’s about your beliefs. Our vision statement for Crankset Group and 3to5 Club is “Live well by doing good.” We could be grocers and say the same thing, because it’s what gets us out of bed every morning. We can unpack that for you for three to four Guinnesses, as to how it impacts every aspect of our business.
Your vision is all about you, and what you believe. It drives you, your staff and all of your relationships forward. You may or may not share it publicly. It doesn’t matter – it’s not for your customer, but for you. Every decision, big and small, should be based on your Vision statement. Every one.
Mission = Marching Orders
Your Mission statement is radically different. It’s not about you in any way – leave yourself out of it. It’s all about your customer and the OUTCOME you expect to give them. Here’s a lousy Mission statement: “We will be the #1 pencil manufacturer with the best quality, highest profitability and the fastest growth.” NOBODY cares.
When people ask “What do you do?” they never mean it. They mean, “What can you do for ME?” When someone reads your Mission statement, they should know exactly what OUTCOME you are going to get them, not what you do.
Our Mission statement, “We provide tools for business owners to make more money in less time, get off the treadmill, and get back to the passion that brought them into business in the first place.” From that, you would never know that we build 3to5 Clubs around the world, have cloud apps, sell books, do workshops and keynote talks and have a sales development series called FasTrak. That’s because nobody cares what we do until they find out what we can do for them.
An OUTCOME is a RESULT expressed EMOTIONALLY. Your Mission statement should give some quick info about what industry you are in, but 95% of it should be about what you will do for me. If I like that potential result, I’ll ask you how you will do it. That’s your cue to talk about your capabilities, quality, growth, etc.
Do you have clients, staff or vendors you’re not happy about? Are you changing courses often? Having trouble finding that one product or service that drives your revenue and growth? It’s almost certainly because you don’t have a clear Vision or Mission statement.
Winging it has it’s consequences. Figure out what drives you (Vision) and what outcome you’re delivering (Mission) and watch your business grow.