You’ve heard of mission statements. Most of you know what they are. In case you don’t, Entrepreneur.com’s Business Encyclopedia does:
A mission statement defines what an organization is, why it exists, its reason for being.
Though this is what a mission statement should be, most businesses actually draft a mission statement that consists of meaningless marketing tripe.
Nike: To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world.
Pizza Hut: We take pride in making a perfect pizza and providing courteous and helpful service on time all the time. Every customer says, “I’ll be back!”
Apple: Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices with iPad.
Every business needs a mission statement — including your business as a freelance writer. But please, please, please, don’t make your mission statement a list of marketing hype and impossible promises. “Perfect pizza?” “Innovation in every athlete?” Impossible dreams are nice for singing about, but make bad business plans.
Instead, your mission statement should be a brief and inspiring reminder of why you’re writing instead of watching movies on Netflix or working at the local high school. It should be concrete, simple, and powerful for pushing your personal motivational buttons.
For what it’s worth, here’s mine:
To afford what my family needs and serve my personal values while working from home with abundant time for my wife, children and friends.
Nothing impossible in there. Nothing meaningless, or intended to trick consumers or customers into liking me better. Just honest words about what’s important to me, and why freelance writing helps me achieve those important things.
So what’s your mission statement? If you don’t have one, what would it be? Leave comments. I’m eager to hear.