Identifying your values or writing out your mission statement isn’t usually the first thing entrepreneurs do when starting a business. Typically, vision, hustle, and business plans are the first things to matter.
But somewhere along the way, almost every successful business owner hits a point where—even if they’re seeing profit—the company doesn’t feel quite right.
There isn’t a central rally cry amongst the team. There’s confusion about the “why” behind it all. The once clear vision is now all over the place.
That’s when leaders realize they need a mission statement or a set of values. A written down explanation about who your company is and why you exist.
It sounds simple enough, but most organizations spend months crafting the perfect mission or values. It’s a big decision because it’s not something you want to change often, if at all.
So how do you begin the process of finding yours? Can you have a set of values or a mission if you’re not a non-profit company? Yes.
Start by asking these two questions: What breaks your heart? What makes your heart beat?
Dana Spinola, founder and CEO of Fab’rik, shared these questions on the Launch Youniversity Podcast. As a clothing boutique owner, she didn’t know if there was a way to incorporate her values and mission into a retail store… until she started with what breaks and beats her heart. Listen now to hear what she discovered.
What breaks your heart?
Why does your company exist? What problem were you looking to solve? Why is it a problem in the first place? Is there anyone else trying to solve this problem? Why are you different? How can you be the best change?
What makes your heart beat?
What do you love most about your business? What do you love most about your customers? What hopes and dreams do you have for the future? How can your business make a real difference in the world?
Mission and values exist for all businesses — big and small, across every industry.
Once you identify your values or mission, you and your team will have a renewed sense of pride for the work you do. You’ll have something to look to when you hit bumps in the road. And most importantly, you’ll know with certainty who you are as a company and what your purpose is.