I Could Never Do That

The Startup Business Strategy Purpose

Bear with me for a moment, but do you think it is possible to learn new things?

Do you think it is possible to learn new things regardless of your age, your gender, your culture, your abilities, your location, your financial status, your health status? Do you think this is possible?

Perhaps somethings we can learn, are relatively straight forward and others are more complex. Maybe you want to learn how to fold a shirt in less than five seconds, well there is a YouTube video on that. Maybe you want to learn about quantum physics, yes another YouTube video.

But maybe somewhere in between those two examples we hear ourselves saying: “I could never do that”. To me that is worse than: “You could never do that”.

This is why having a sense of purpose is so important.

So if you are contemplating starting a business, or you are in the process of setting one up, or are well on your way with an established business, it is critically important for you to have a clear understanding of why you are doing this.

In corporations, Mission, Vision and Values Statements are used:

  • Mission – what are we (the business) about?
  • Vision – what are we (the business) going to ultimately accomplish?
  • Values – how will we (the business) accomplish goals?

The mission statement of a business justifies and explains its reason for existence. As the business’s purpose, the mission should guide everything the business. At every organizational level, individuals can use the mission to evaluate priorities. If a proposed course of action doesn’t further the mission, it shouldn’t be pursued.

A business’s vision is its ultimate goal, its interpretation what success will look like in the future when the company accomplishes its purpose. The vision statement translates the mission’s statement of purpose into a specific destination that implies or explicitly states action. The business’s vision shapes the business’s long term or strategic goals or objectives.

Values are the defined principles in how the business will go about conducting itself in order to achieve its Mission and Vision. In all my businesses, the core values are Learn Lead Legacy. These are also underpinned by my Ethical Principles and Sustainability Practices (some businesses may have similar but is written as a Code of Conduct). I have written them because they are important to me and re-inforce my Mission and Vision.

Then and only then, once we are clear on our purpose (our Mission, Vision and Values) then we can define our strategic objectives or goals. The goals fulfil the business’s strategic plan. They take at least a year — often several years.

Short-term goals, the business’s tactical objectives, take up to a year to achieve. Every tactical objective that is completed brings the business closer to fulfilling its strategic goals.

Operational goals deal with day-to-day operations, carrying out tactics on the front line. Employees bring them to completion in a single day, a week or a month.

Now in talking to many of my clients and other entrepreneurs and business owners, I see that we often jump straight into operational goals. However I think the more time you spend figuring out your Mission, Vision and Values, you will be more energised to drive the required outcomes from your goals at a later stage. You will be more empowered and focused to make better decisions in the longer term. Considering many of these decisions are financial, getting it wrong could be catastrophic for you – something you definitely do not want to do.

So how can you do this?

Well I would suggest the following…

First, find time and a space that you will not be disturbed. In fact perhaps a space where you may feel inspired. It is essential that you are in your optimal emotional state for this.

Second, get hold of what every writing or capturing instrument that you enjoy – for me I use the Moleskine coloured note books (different colours for different themes) and one of my favourite pens.

Third, write and keep writing. Start with your purpose and then keep adding to it. Do not be judgemental at this stage. The objective is to get your thoughts down and then you can start to organise them further.

Fourth, be patient – this does take time, may be months. However the outcome will be linking you emotionally to your purpose of why you are wanting to set up or scale up or sustain your business – perhaps one that will be your legacy.

Finally, if you are still struggling and find that voice inside you says: “I could never do this”, well make sure you learn how to fold a shirt in five seconds, then if you have to, progress to quantum physics. Because I am convinced that somewhere in between you will be up and running!

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