I work with many clients who come to me because they are really struggling in their business. Sometimes it’s a matter of their sales numbers not being where they need to be. Other times they are dealing with workflow and/or product/service delivery issues. In some cases the business is doing well overall, but the business owner simply isn’t happy.
When a client engages me to advise in such a situation, I typically start with a simple question: Are you on track with your mission? Usually the answer is NO.
While the consequences often differ from situation to situation, more often than not the root cause is the same. Far too often business owners get sidetracked and lose sight of their mission. It’s never intentional, but without question the resulting effects can be catastrophic.
While you may think this topic is geared more for someone who has been in business for a while, I actually think there is equal benefit to those who may be just starting their business.
When starting a business, it is really important to know what your mission is. When I started out more than 15 years ago, my mission was pretty simple. I wanted to:
I can honestly say that after 15+ years, I am on track with my mission. That does not mean that there haven’t been modifications in how I do what I do (adapt or die right?), but my mission has never changed. Because I have stayed focused on my mission, I am achieving it to the fullest.
HOW DID I GET OFF TRACK?
So how do we lose sight of our mission and get off track?
It isn’t ever just one thing, and it typically occurs over time. Sometimes it is a revenue generating opportunity that pulls us in a new direction or perhaps we are simply responding to alternative consumer demands. Whatever the cause, it’s usually disguised very well and seems like a really good idea at the time.
While there are times where this actually works out for the best, those instances are usually the exception and not the rule.
So why is it a bad thing to get off track with our mission? Well, if we have gone through the process of determining what our values are and we’ve built our mission from those core values, then our mission is the essence of what we are all about as a person. It comes from deep within us and is a part of our character.
Spoiler Alert: I will be focusing on values in my next blog.
HOW DO I GET BACK ON TRACK WITH MY MISSION?
When I am working with a client and we have identified that the root cause of their struggles is related to them having gotten off track with their mission, they often feel defeated. While this is natural, it’s also unnecessary.
In my opinion, not being able to identify the problem is a much greater dilemma. Once you’ve identified the problem, you can move on to the problem solving stage and in this particular case I think the solution is simple.
STOP DOING WHAT YOU’VE BEEN DOING & START DOING WHAT YOU SHOULD BE DOING
If you read my recent blog post on HOW TO SAY NO, this is the perfect time to practice that concept in your business.
I know this probably sounds a bit too simplistic, but it isn’t. When you learn to say NO to the things that separate you from your mission and choose to focus all of your time and attention on accomplishing your mission every single day, you will be amazed at how quickly some of the challenges you have been facing begin to fade away. More importantly, you will find that you are much happier and feel fulfilled in your business.
When we are on track with our mission, we function better. We are happier knowing we are on a clear path that we fully believe in, and our business becomes fun again rather than feel like we are working a job. We have passion and purpose and flows from our pores.
I trust you will find this helpful as you build your business. If you have questions or simply want to dig deeper, I’d love to speak with you. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.