If you haven’t crafted a catchy and effective mission statement about yourself, then what are you waiting for? This is what the “15-words-or-less challenge” is all about.
Whether you are an entrepreneur or not, a mission statement can guide your next career move or your next investment decision. It’s important to know what you don’t do, as well as what you can do. Know your limits, and be passionate about your work. As the age-old saying goes, when you are passionate about work, it doesn’t feel like work.
An article I read today about personal branding strategies has prompted this post. Writer Tom Peters challenged me to write down my mission statement today. And he says I should re-evaluate the statement bi-annually. So, here we go. You’re about to follow my thought process and see what evolves.
Step 1 (quoting from Peters’ article): “What is it that my product or service does that makes it different? Give yourself the traditional 15-words-or-less contest challenge. Take the time to write down your answer. And then take the time to read it. Several times.”
At this point, my “tag line” is “Scientific and Technical Communications.” It’s a little dry, but specific. I need more power in this statement.
I’m offering business services (writing, research, and marketing services). I enjoy working with startup companies and fellow entrepreneurs. What makes my services different is me. Of course my passion and commitment to success are huge, but who wouldn’t say the same? My background and experience – the people, places, and things I’ve been involved in – sets me apart. Specifically, I have a talent for research and writing, and I’m a decent artist too. Great researchers must have a scientific and creative balance that enables them to think creatively and analytically; to see the big picture yet focus on important details. Orchestrating a solution to a problem takes a substantial amount of creativity and knowledge.
Whoa, that’s way more than 15 words. Let’s see what I can pull out of the paragraph above to craft my mission statement. I like the last sentence the most.
“Orchestrating scientific and technical communication materials with intelligence and creativity.”
Hmm…not sure about “orchestrating”…developing? crafting? organizing? delivering? producing? professional?
I like crafting. Sounds unique, non-traditional, which is me on many levels. I think crafting and creativity may be redundant, don’t you?
“Crafting scientific and technical communication materials with intelligence and heart”
Is that too soft? I am probably one of the most passionate people I know but I don’t want to seem cliche, because that’s not me. Maybe drop the “and heart?” Errr…
“Crafting scientific and technical communication materials that delivers and inspires” (or with inspiration and intelligence)
or “…materials for entrepreneurs” No, that’s too specific, I don’t want to limit myself to JUST entrepreneurs (although that IS my favorite type of client)
Focusing again on the original question…what is it that makes my services different?
Peters gives some words for thought…
Step 2: “Start by identifying the qualities or characteristics that make you distinctive from your competitors — or your colleagues. What have you done lately — this week — to make yourself stand out? What would your colleagues or your customers say is your greatest and clearest strength? Your most noteworthy (as in, worthy of note) personal trait?”
I’ll start by looking at my recommendations, here’s the keywords that others have used to describe me. I would consider these to be among my greatest strengths.
personable, reliable, attentive, respectful, integrity, meticulous, receptive, precise, proactive, good communication skills, follows direction
To make myself stand out this week, I’ve contacted clients and directly asked for recommendations, I’ve applied to (and successfully obtained) a new gig, and I’ve shared a variety of interesting articles on my social media channels. I’ve also written two promotional blogs for DIY Bride, which is an expansion of what I already to for the company.
Personable, proactive and receptive. Those seem to be repeatedly used by my clients and colleagues. Good! Seems like I’m making some progress here.
I’d like to think my clients save money just by having me involved with their business, which goes along with being proactive. I can identify potential problems and data issues before they become a costly crisis. Also, I am always willing to work within a client’s budget and time constraints, especially if there is potential for a sustainable work flow.
So, let’s try this again…
“Crafting scientific and technical communication materials with personalized service”
“Crafting scientific and technical communication materials made-to-order”
“Intelligently crafted communication materials for non-writers”
I like the last one because I generally find my clients are excellent at what they do, but not great writers. But is it catchy enough? Will it grab the attention of the next CEO interested in my services? Hope so.
Step 3: “Ask yourself: What do I do that adds remarkable, measurable, distinguished, distinctive value? What do I do that I am most proud of? What have I accomplished that I can unabashedly brag about? What do I want to be famous for?”
I go the extra mile. I have a go-getter attitude. I give enormous weight to my clients’ input, and I crave feedback. I include extra perks for clients like formatting touches, extra time, or social media marketing.
I can brag about my success as an entrepreneur and freelancer, and my ingenuity. I’ve invented my own job and I couldn’t be happier.
I want to be famous for being a successful female entrepreneur, a girl who follows her heart with clarity and ambition. An inspiration to others who want to be their own boss.
“Intelligently crafted communication materials for non-writers”
So I want to know your thoughts. Did I pick the right mission statement? Have a better suggestion? I’m asking for advice so please, share your opinions!
UPDATE: I laid awake at night troubled by the mission statement. Ugh. Someone recently said to me, “I’m glad to see you’re thriving.” From a scientific perspective, this is quite a compliment. It means I’m not just surviving, I’m thriving. Living optimally. And I thought to myself, THAT is my mission. To thrive.
Thus, my personal mission statement is: I create therefore I thrive.