I've been reading EntreLeadership: 20 Years of Practical Business Wisdom from the Trenches by Dave Ramsey. It's the story of how he built a business from nothing but a card table in his living room into a multi-million dollar operation. It's the principles that have allowed him to run a business that honors both his customers and his team members (he doesn't call them employees because he wants people who are sold out to his mission).
One of the first steps recommended in the book is to write a personal mission statement. I've helped several churches craft mission statements, I've created a mission statement for my marriage, but I'd never written a personal mission statement. So on Saturday I took several hours and wrote out my mission, vision and values.
Every time I've walked with a church through the process of creating a mission statement I've said: "A good mission statement lets you say 'no' to good choices."
If you have a mission statement that actually reflects the unique mission of your organization, then you you can limit your involvement in activities to only those things that line up with your purpose. For example, if you run a thrift store, you should probably not get into the business of home remodeling. It's not a part of your mission, even though it may be a good thing.
Mission - is what you are going to do today to live the life you want to live. These are the tactics you will employ to achieve your goals. What you do may change, but your mission defines the parameters of what you do and describes how you're going to do it.
Vision - is where you are going in the future. This is the strategy you've decided on to achieve your goals. A vision is typically couched in broad language, but underlying each statement is a SMART goal. You can look back in 5 or 10 years and see that you've accomplished your vision because you've achieved the goals.
Values - are the core principles that outline your vision and undergird your vision. Values are more than just what you believe, they are what you get excited about. When someone challenges your values, you get angry. When someone is interested in your values, you get excited. You can't stop talking about your values and people know this about you. If you read off the list of your values, your closest friends and family should see a clear picture of you.
Have you worked on a personal mission statement? How has it helped you?
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