How do we get there? Remember that your organization’s vision is the destination.
Upon clearly understanding your vision (a.k.a. dream, goal, destination), the next step is to make a plan to get there. This is your mission.
Developing your mission statement is much like planning a trip. Before getting started, it is essential that you know two things:
- Where you are headed – The Vision, and
- Where you are right now
A map is of no value to you unless you understand these two things. We are going to assume that the destination has already been determined. Now, it’s time to pinpoint exactly where you are today. This is much like the “You Are Here” stars found on the maps at a shopping mall. Knowing exactly where I am makes it so much easier to determine the best route to Cinnabon. This same concept applies to developing the best plan to achieve your vision.
Upon taking assessment of where you are today, you will likely notice that there are many options of diverse roads you can take to reach your vision. Whatever plan you choose to get there is your mission.
Choosing that plan is not always clear. There are generally many potential routes between any two points on a map. Answering the following 5 questions may help to clarify the best options when writing a mission statement:
- What is my risk tolerance?
- How quickly am I able to move?
- What is my access to capital?
- Who do I need to help me get there?
- Do I have everything I need to make this journey?
As you work through these questions, the details of your plan will begin to take shape. Now it’s time to summarize your plan into a simple phrase. This is your mission statement. While your detailed plan gives you the full roadmap, the mission statement serves as guardrails along the way. Keeping your mission statement in view helps to keep your organization on track. We all know that the quickest way from one point to another is a straight line. Developing a solid mission is the equivalent of that straight line is reaching and achieving your vision.
For reference, the vision and mission of FundingSage are as follows:
“FundingSage.com is the authoritative source for entrepreneurs seeking funding.”
“Providing valuable information, tools and resources to entrepreneurs seeking to start, grow and fund a business.”
As a final note, remember that when writing a mission statement it is not intended to be set in stone. It is likely that you will encounter roadblocks and unexpected delays along the way. Always be willing to reassess your mission and make any necessary adjustments that will keep you headed toward your vision. Many organizations fail to do this. In those cases, plowing through the original mission becomes the focus. When the mission takes priority over the vision, you can become discouraged and find yourself spending resources on issues that are unnecessary for ultimate success.