Do you know where you're going?
Have you ever sat and thought, "Where am I going in my writing business? I have no clue. I mean, I think I do? I know I want to make money. I know I want to help people, entertain people with my stories. Yes, I do want to offer value in the marketplace, but how do I do all that?" Well, you start by creating a mission statement. Let me be clear here. I do not claim to be an expert in creating mission statements. I am merely sharing with you what I've learned that has changed the course of my life.
Laurie Beth Jones was introduced to me by my pastor during a seminar we had some time ago at our church. Ms. Jones was very cordial and very inspirational. I enjoyed my time with her, sitting under such an intelligent, clear-minded teacher. She was graceful, gentle, and powerful, all at the same time. Her work helped us get clear on our mission as individuals and as a church body.
"A mission statement should be no more than a single sentence long. It should be easily understood by a twelve-year-old."
~Laurie Beth Jones
We learned about the three elements of a good mission statement. Laurie taught us that a mission statement should be no more than a single sentence long. It should be easily understood by a twelve-year-old. It should be short that people would be able to recite it, even when awakened from a deep sleep.
I took what I learned from that seminar and brought it into my writing business. As of today, it has brought much-needed clarity on who I am as an author. I, with this, recommend Laurie's book titled The Path: Creating Your Mission Statement for Work and Your Life. It's a great read as it will bring you into deep awareness and clarity of your mission in life.
Let's begin with the core values. The mission statement centered on a central value is your core value. Now, I have some questions to ask you. What do you want, as a writer, to represent in this world? If you left the world today, what would be the legacy you would leave behind that consisted of one word or phrase. What would it be? Would it be integrity, honesty, freedom, relationships, loyalty, service, humility, justice, equity, or respect? What concept or principle would you be willing to hold yourself to that would make a significant impact on this world?
I had to deeply think about these things.
For me, it would be freedom. Freedom is my core value, and I would rather die than take anything less. Explore your personal-core value and spend some time reflecting on this. It won't do you any good to hurry along with your mission statement without first exploring your core value. Look inward and trust yourself in the journey of discovery when identifying your personal-statement of worth, core value, and hence your mission statement.
Every mission statement requires action. Without a corresponding work that defines the core value, it will only be a vague idea. It's just a word, but then it's what you do with that word that makes it a mission.
Here's an exercise to ponder on. Typically, action words are verbs. Select three different verbs you think would fully describe who you are, and also what you would fight for and die. What represents who you are and what most inspires you? What excites you? Which words are the most meaningful and purposeful for you? Identify any verbs or action words that are the most appealing to you.
Then, describe the action and specify what it would look like when you execute it. What does this action mean to you? Ask yourself if any of your choices astonish you. Did you feel validated or accepted when you applied these action words to yourself? Do you see your chosen verbs as applicable to your life now?
Now it's time to combine your chosen words with your core value. Make sure you give yourself some time to complete this exercise without any distractions effectively. Just take some time to be away from everything else. Begin to craft a short sentence that would be a mission statement for your life. Write and rewrite it until you have a concise, clear account written down. Note that it should be memorable.
Never the less, the initial mission statement you might come up with is just a work in progress, and remember to view it as an unfolding process. You want to make it accurate and transparent as possible. Take your time with it and be patient in the process.
How do you go about this? Write a sentence with your core value. Read the sentence out loud and ask yourself these questions. What do I like about choosing this for a core value? Is this what I do or want to do? Does this ring right for me deep in my soul? Keep in mind that this is a time to reflect on yourself and your life honestly. It's a step-by-step unfolding process, like an onion peeling back its layers.
Furthermore, the chosen verbs are words you believe help define your unique abilities. Let's say your answer is an absolute yes to these questions. Continue digging deeper into the process of creating your mission statement for your writing business and your life. Use the chosen verbs and the one-word core values to craft sentences in the form of probing questions, something like:
Can I (verb)+(core value)?
Example: Can I manifest freedom?
I said freedom is my core value. From the example above, I've chosen the verb manifest. I could also use it to execute and demonstrate, and it will read right with me. So, I would ask myself, “Can I execute freedom? Can I demonstrate freedom? Can I manifest freedom?”
After going through this exercise, as an author, I saw the need to be specific in the kind of freedom I would like to achieve in life based on the skills and talents I have. I realized that the term "financial freedom" is what truly reflects my core value, and I wanted to be transparent, and as well encourage others to find that place.
I honestly will fight for financial freedom, and I am fighting for it these days, intending to get rid of my debts, creating a comfortable lifestyle I want, purchasing a home that suits my taste, and traveling with my family. That's the financial freedom I am fighting for — it will also create "time freedom" for me so I can spend quality time with what matters to me, which is my family.
What matters to you?
You may enjoy reading further:
What would be the legacy you would leave behind?
Allow your audience in on your vision