You are your business’ author — your business, your story. Writing a captivating company story, vision, or mission statement is a fundamental way to compel customers, investors and your employees to understand and engage in your business’ mission or vision.
Some questions to ask yourself as you create your statement:
- Who are you and what do you do? Not just at work — what are the routines, habits, and hobbies that have taken you to where you are now?
- Why do you do it? What have you seen that was invisible to others? Why are you an entrepreneur?
- What would move someone else to care, too? Are you doing something good for the world? Are you tackling a long-standing problem that takes away frustration and pain?
- Who are your customers? Psst… you don’t have to call them customers. Who are the people that care about your business? What else do they care about?
- Where do you fit in the marketplace? And not just in the marketplace, but in the world. Why do we need you? What space are you carving out?
- What makes you different? Not just from other companies in your space, but from the mainstream? From “the old way”? From the past?
Do a brain dump
Whichever way you write — on paper, your laptop, or speaking into a voice recorder and transcribing it later — allow yourself to bubble up any thoughts or ideas around the questions above. At this point, there’s no need to worry about editing yourself or even writing complete sentences. Don’t inhibit the ideas that rise to the surface. Write a lot and give yourself multiple pages to pull from — you can pare it down in the next step.
Pull out the most evocative language
Take a little break between the time of your brain dump and beginning to distill your idea into polished language. As you read through your notes, what keywords or phrases evoke an emotion in you? What do they make you feel? Highlight or rewrite these ideas until you have 1-4 sentences that simply define what’s important to you, what you’re here for, and why it matters.
Try out your statement on others
Do they react how you’d hoped they would — with excitement, enthusiastic agreement, or a pensive thoughtfulness? You don’t have to please everyone, but it’s a good idea to get a gut check from your trusted friends and advisors.Updated September 26, 2017