Late last year, I started feeling a little bit disconnected from my work. I was losing a deep sense of purpose and my vision felt a little fuzzy.
I think we can have a love affair with our business. And just like with any relationship, our feelings can fluctuate. Sometimes we can disagree, and not feel quite so close.
When I actually paused and had a look at why that was happening, I realised a likely reason was that I hadn’t actually articulated my purpose, my vision, my mission for my business in a really clear and tangible way. It was in my head, and it was definitely in my heart, but I hadn’t put it on paper and put it in front of me where I could reconnect to it every day.
I realised this was a really important thing for me because I’m very visual and a big reader, and so I decided to take some action. These three statements – my Purpose, Vision and Mission are now beautifully illustrated onto a Lighthouse image and displayed on the corkboard in my office. As anticipated I’m enjoying a resurgence of connection with and energy for, my business again.
The value of this exercise for me was clear.
And so, I got to thinking about you. Do you have a clear and enduring sense of purpose? I think most of us have a pretty good idea of our why, but perhaps like me, you’d like to have that feeling of a deeper connection? Greater clarity? If so, the framework I’m sharing in this post will be enjoyable to implement and the examples from my clients, really valuable for inspiration.
The Purpose, Vision, Mission Framework
This framework was developed by a wonderful friend and colleague of mine, Carolyn Tate, from Melbourne and is taken from her latest book, The Purpose Project.
I’ll walk you through the process below, and you can also download a copy of the exercise here.
Why is it important to have these 3 cascading statements clear? I’ve discovered three key benefits.
Purpose keeps you anchored on the bad days
We all have wobbly days in business, some really challenging times when things are not flowing the way you anticipated. You can be feeling disappointed, invisible, and wondering, is this all worth it, asking yourself why you’re actually doing this at all.
It’s when you have these days that you want to be able to turn to your purpose, your vision and your mission, to remember why it is that you’re doing what you do. That’s when you can re-energise, reconnect, refocus because there it is right in front of you. You can take a great big deep breath, remind yourself of the bigger picture, pull yourself up out of your funk up and keep on moving forward.
Your Vision and Mission provide a filter for decision making
In this context, it means that when an opportunity presents itself, you can ascertain if that’s what it is, or if it’s actually a distraction, one of those bright, shiny options that are masquerading as an opportunity.
When you have your purpose, vision and mission statements right in front of you, you can look at the opportunity, you can hold it up against these and ask yourself, “does this take me closer to that vision? Is it aligned with my purpose? Does it fit with my mission, or not”?
Having this filter so that you can make decisions and choices more easily is invaluable. It keeps you on the path to make sure that you actually gaining traction, not just taking action. When you have clarity on your destination, it’s much easier to identify the path that takes you there.
You can share how you stand for something deeper than just what you sell
Standing for something bigger than just what you sell is such a core part of our next chapter businesses. At this stage of life, in particular, I, and 99.9% of the women that I support, have this real desire for our businesses to have true meaning. It’s this desire to leave a legacy, a feeling that you’ve contributed something of significance to the world.
My core service is Business and Life Mentoring for women in their 40’sand beyond and I deliver this through one to one programs, Masterminds, VIP Days and Retreats. That’s pretty standard in the market, I’m really not alone here.
But why do I do it? What’s underneath the service itself? That’s where my purpose and vision kick in. What I really stand for and believe in sets me apart:
To connect women with their self-worth so they can take consistent, confident action on their business and life goals.
I stand for women truly recognising, claiming and owning their value, especially at this time in our lives when we may have lost connection with that deep worth because of how we’ve been socialised and because we’ve often focused on other people’s needs for a long time.
A compelling purpose can allow people to resonate and connect with you, to want to come on the journey with you. Or conversely, it can actually help them recognise that you’re not such a good fit, and that is just as important. You don’t need to convince and convert people, rather it’s all about contributing and communicating.
Purposeful Marketing Messaging
Once you have this clarity, you can share your purpose, vision and mission, right through the copy on your homepage, on your about page, across your social platforms, on your podcast and in your videos. Weaving in your thoughts really gives people a great sense of connection. Congruent messaging across your platforms reinforces your positioning.
Now you can see the importance of having these statements, let’s look at how you actually create them.
How do you create your Purpose, Vision and Mission Statements?
- Purpose keeps you focused on why your business exists, why you’re doing what you do.
Your purpose is the heartbeat of your business, it drives everything else. Consider it to be your guiding North Star, it feels connected, it moves you and often, feels almost spiritual. It can’t come from your head. It needs to come from your heart, this real reason why you do what you do. You would definitely get on a soapbox and talk about this! It feels important to you, you feel strongly about it.
- Vision aligns you with your goals, the destination you’re moving towards.
We then move into the land of Vision. This is when you imagine and describe what the world would look like when your purpose has been realised. Imagine that, whatever your purpose is, suddenly, it’s happening all around the world. This is what the world looks like when your purpose has been realised.
- Mission empowers you with the actions to actually accomplish it.
Your mission is how you get from your purpose to your vision. It’s how you bring your purpose and vision to fruition. This brings in your actual services, your path, the way you’re going to bring this to life.
Actively creating the statements
Over the past 2 weeks, I’ve been running a lot of strategy sessions with the women who’ve just started in the current round of the Next Chapter mastermind, and we’ve anchored every one of these sessions with Purpose, Vision and Mission.
It’s been really exciting to see how the women felt so energised and focused when they were connected to these statements we crafted together. As the words came together and articulated exactly what their business was actually all about, they lit up. I’d like to share three examples with you.
To help people feel better physically, emotionally and mentally, so that they can enjoy a vibrant and fulfilling life.
A world of strong, flexible and balanced people who have committed to their own well-being so they can contribute fully to their families, workplaces and communities.
To inspire and support our members to thrive by prioritizing well-being in their busy lives within a nurturing, encouraging and inclusive environment and community.
Anita Gilbert is the Founder of Flex Body in Northbridge, and her Purpose Statement is why she gets out of bed every day. It’s not just about providing classes. Her vision is clear and focused, she’s changing a part of the world that she has influence over. The way in which she shows up in the world, knowing she wants to support people to become strong, flexible and balanced individuals, helps her to make clear decisions about what’s going to be available in the studio, and what sort of experience she’s going to create for her members. It influences, on a daily basis, the way in which she and her staff and herself will show up for her members.
To help people deeply appreciate the beauty and fragility of life, so that they live fully richly and courageously without regret.
People consciously and consistently making the choices and decisions that enrich their lives each day.
To support our community and clients to develop the beliefs, habits and courage that allows them to create and shape a life they love.
Emma and Audrey, the Founders of this newly renamed business work together in a partnership around time management courses and workshops. You can see just how different their approach is to the more typical time management through the way in which they have developed and are communicating their statements. You can hear and feel the depth of their approach, it’s not just about balancing your diary and how managing your time. It’s the why behind it, and their own personal experiences have deeply influenced the way that they shape and communicate their purpose.
To enable women to create and live a positive and empowering new narrative when it comes to menopause and ageing.
Millions of women embracing midlife as a magnificent opportunity to regroup, revitalise, refresh and reconnect with themselves and what’s important to them, transforming their own next chapters and the world because of the ripple effect their increased confidence and action creates.
To inspire, empower and support 10,000 women in midlife and beyond, to move through the messy middle to create their own magnificent midlife experience, and set themselves up for long term health, happiness and fulfilment.
This cascade of statements has been developed with the fabulous Rachel Lankester in the UK, the Founder of The Magnificent Midlife Movement where she provides Mentoring, a Members Club, online workshops and a Podcast for women who have hit midlife and suddenly find themselves thinking, is this it? Rachel was incensed by the negative narrative around midlife, menopause and ageing and is a beautiful example of how a personal experience creates purpose momentum that’s woven into the heart of your business. This is differentiation at its best because no one has lived your life, no one has had your experiences and no one has your take on things.
Just like with the other examples above, you can hear the mission that Rachel has, which will influence the type of courses and experiences that she creates because she is so clear on the destination she is taking her audience towards.
Now it’s your turn!
Start with a reflection on what you feel you’re here for. Usually, it’s not a case of finding your purpose – that’s an external search. It’s actually a case of uncovering it. It’s already there. It likely just needs a little bit more depth and refinement.
That’s was my experience. Originally, I thought, yes, I’m a business mentor, and I can teach strategy, see opportunities, help to close the gaps in your business, take your ideas and help you develop and implement them and help you with all sorts of business development.
But I know that none of that is important or even possible until you have belief in your own value until you really connect with your worthiness. Initially, I thought that came from confidence. Then on reflection, I realised that confidence is more of a surface level emotion. It’s important to have it, but underpinning this is self-worth. An absolutely anchored belief in your value, and the value of what you have to contribute to the world.
When I lean into this refined purpose, when I close my eyes and I repeat it to myself, it feels exactly what I’m here for. And that’s the level of connection that I would love you to have as well. I’d love you to explore into to play with the world.
Take some time to reflect and connect inwardly as you craft your statements.
And then, my next invitation for you today is to come and join the Your Next Chapter Community – Business & Life Beyond 40. This is a wee oasis in the online world with a focus on inspiration, clarity, connection and growth and I’d love to continue this conversation there.
Just click here to join.
I can’t wait to see what your personal Purpose, Vision and Mission anchor statements are! You can also listen to my Podcast on this topic here.