• This is your Mission – should you choose to accept it!

    This is your Mission – should you choose to accept it!

    I talked in an earlier blog about the benefits of having a business plan and how having a business plan is necessary to know where you are going in business and to help you to steer the course to success.

    Whilst most business owners know the value of having a business plan (even if the vast majority don’t actually have a business plan), many do not understand the value of having a clear Mission statement – or in fact many aren’t really clear what a Mission statement is.

    A Mission Statement is a short statement – usually a short sentence or two that clearly defines your company purpose and primary objectives. Having a Mission statement can be the driving force and focus behind the business. It can be the beacon for you and your employees as a reminder of what you are doing and why you are doing it.

    How to create a Business Mission Statement
    Creating a Mission statement that clearly expresses your business purpose and primary objectives can take time. However going through the process can often help business owners to get clarity about what it is that their business is about and help them to reconnect with their passion and motivation in being in their business.

    The challenge for you as a business owner is to create a Mission statement that accurately reflects your passion and values and declares how you are going to make a difference in the world.

    Process for Creating an Inspiring Mission Statement

    1) Plan enough time to create your Mission statement – a few hours to a full day.
    2) Set a date in your diary for creating your plan – make sure it is going to happen.
    3) Involve others connected with the business – this can give you valuable insight as to what you provide for others and help to generate lots of creative ideas.
    4) Be prepared – get the things ready that you will need for brain storming e.g. a suitable space, white board, flip chart, coloured pens, paper etc
    5) Prepare a list of questions to ask yourself and others involved with the business.
    6) Have fun exploring what your business/team is about.
    7) Use inspiring and exciting words to grab reader’s attention and create a dynamic visual image or your business.
    8) Make sure your Mission statement is short and clearly stated so anyone – so even a 5 year old can understand it!
    9) Be proud of your Mission Statement – own it and share it. Publish/post it for your employees, customers and stakeholders to see.

    Some questions to ask to help create your Mission Statement:
    What is it that we do?
    • Who do we do this for?
    • What do we offer our clients?
    • How do we serve our clients?
    • Why are we in this industry?
    • Why did we start this business?
    • What is important to us (our values)?
    • What are we passionate about?
    • What image of our business do we want to convey?
    • What is it that we offer that is special, unique or different?
    • What impact do we want to make in the world?
    • What are we committed to delivering?

    Examples of Mission statements to inspire you:
    Nike: To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.

    Starbucks: To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighbourhood at a time.

    Coca-Cola corporation: To refresh the world…To inspire moments of optimism and happiness…To create value and make a difference.

    Amazon: To be the most customer-centric company in the world, where people can find and discover anything they want to buy online.

    Dow Chemical: To constantly improve what is essential to human progress by mastering science and technology.

    Intel: Delight our customers, employees, and shareholders by relentlessly delivering the platform and technology advancements that become essential to the way we work and live.

    Ebay: Provide a global trading platform where practically anyone can trade practically anything.

    Now you have your business Mission Statement let this be a guiding focus for your strategic actions and plans. Having a Mission Statement that accurately reflects your business will help you to attract and gain the right clients and engage your staff.

    Having a powerful message in a Mission Statement is important for your business. If you would like help from me to create your Mission Statement or business plan please click here to contact me for a free strategic consultation.

  • Are you a Human Being or a Human Doing?

    Are you a Human Being or a Human Doing?

    I have to confess that my default position is one of dynamic doing. I like to be busy doing things and I often exhaust my family, who watch me in a whirl of frenzied activity trying to get as much done as possible each day. I pride myself on being able to multi-task and I frequently try to more than one thing at a time, like writing this blog, whilst listening to an audio webinar and also planning what I need to get from the supermarket.

    Now whilst this seems very efficient I can often find myself very frustrated at the end of the day with no real sense of accomplishment. As I have been “busy” rushing from one thing to another my mind has felt flustered and befuddled trying to work out what to do next. Flitting from one subject and action to another, my brain simply can’t focus and I end up wasting a large amount of time being distracted. So life begins to resemble ground hog day – endless lists of things to do, which I busy myself doing then lo and behold it starts all again the next day – more never ending lists of things to do and lots more busyness. It’s mentally draining and frankly boring!

    So in an effort to break this repeating cycle and end each day with more satisfaction and inner calm I have been looking at how I can do things differently to get more done in less time and spend more time doing things that are important to me.

    Being Rather Than Doing

    Seeing how much of a human “doing” I am programmed to be I decided to try a different tack and explore how it would feel being more of a human “being”.

    “Being” rather than “doing” requires a whole different way of thinking. For a start it requires a lot more mental stillness and mental discipline. When you are being rather than doing there is the sense of time slowing down as you bring your mental focus to what needs to be done now. Being present and focused on solely the action to do now, helps to quieten the mind and actually results in the action being completed more efficiently and effectively. Distractions are kept at bay and the whole experience of getting the task done is less exhausting.

    For someone whose brain likes to rule the roost and charge full tilt from thing to the next thing, this has been a mighty challenge. To help me with the process of change I have looked for times in my life when I experience being rather than doing.

    Being in the “Zone”
    For me I often experience this sense of being when I am exercising. Through exercise I become present to what is going on in the moment. I can feel my breath in my lungs, I can feel the weather on my skin, I can feel the muscles in my legs. I am in touch with my environment. I notice the details of the road or path in front of me, the changes in the slope steepness or snow conditions, the feel of the water on my body, the sound of the ball on my racket. All these details show up when I focus my mind on being present in the moment.

    Often when people experience this it is called being in the “flow” or zone. We can also feel this at other times when we are fully engrossed in something we are doing, e.g. listening to music, making something, singing, driving, doing any hobby you are passionate about.

    Being present doesn’t exclude doing something at the same time. It just means being present to what you are doing in the moment. It is about raising your awareness so that you are conscious of what you are doing and not getting distracted by thoughts in your head about other things not to do with what you are doing NOW.  It is often called being mindful.

    Undertaking tasks with this level of mindfulness and intention takes some effort at first to still the mind. However I have found that when I can come from a place of “being” in my activities, things just seem easier. The tasks get done without all the head chatter and I finish them in far less time – thus in effect creating more time – to do non urgent things that I want to do.

    Being mindful has many benefits. Aside from the sense that there is more time, I find that the sense of focus that it required to be mindful helps me to feel calmer. The endless thoughts that spin through my head seem to slow and I have far more ability to simply observe them for what they are – just thoughts. And I have the choice NOT to jump on the negative thought train hurtling down the track to who knows where….

    So being mindful at least for a small part of each day can bring a sense of peace. Being mindful will not stop your thoughts – they are going to keep coming whether you want them or not. However being mindful will help you to become more of an observer of your thoughts. Once you can observe your thoughts for what they are, then the balance of power will shift and you can gain more control over how you respond to your thoughts. This is a great thing as this leads to a wonderful sense of really having choice and being in control – and who doesn’t want to feel more that they have more choice and control in their life.

    Ten Tips to being more Mindful

    In my practice to experience more “being” rather than  “doing” these are some of the things that I do to help me be more mindful:

    1) Daily meditation – just five minutes of quiet contemplation makes a difference
    2) Be grateful everyday – for what I have rather than what I don’t have
    3) Be really present at least once each day
    4) Connect with people
    5) Take time to appreciate the beauty around me
    6) Breathe deeply and smile
    7) Let go of the past – it is gone and can’t be changed
    8) Practice observing my thoughts and emotions
    9) Accept that all is ok now
    10) Enjoy the journey

    You might like to try some of them yourself and see if becoming more mindful helps to move you from being less of a human “doing” to more of a human “being”.

    Let me know your thoughts or experience of being practising being more mindful.

  • Planning Your Way to Business Success

    Planning Your Way to Business Success

    How many people would choose to build a house without a set of plans to work from?  How many people choose to build a business without a business plan to work from?

    I am in the process of building a chalet in the Alps. I would never think of starting this project without a comprehensive set of plans.  In order to create the plans I had to have an initial vision of how I wanted our home to look like.  I had to be able to articulate my desires and wishes to an architect who was then able to translate what I wanted into a drawing.

    Having plans of how to achieve what I want is crucial for building the chalet.  Without the plans the builders would have no idea what they were trying to create. No one would be aligned and everyone would be doing their own thing.  Inevitably building the chalet would take significantly longer to complete and with no plans who knows what the finished chalet would look like.  Certainly nothing like I had planned and it would be simply luck if I liked it or not.

    This example sounds ridiculous but lets take a look at the process of building a business. In many ways this is similar to building a house.  You have to start by putting the foundations in place before you start a business – what product are you going to sell, to whom, where for what price.  Once the foundations are in place it is possible to build the business from here.  By putting the external structure in place, by connecting up to the networks that will supply the business, create the space for people to work in and to grow the business level by level.

    Very surprisingly though only 4% of businesses have a clear plan of what they are trying to build.  With no plans employees have no idea of what they are trying to build.   There is no team alignment and very often poor communication within the organisation.

    Whilst planning is simple it certainly isn’t easy.  If it was, more businesses would have a business plan.  Thinking about what you want takes time and requires the space to be able to do it.  It is too easy to dismiss the time taking for planning as a “waste of time” as things are getting done in the business. However this is short sighted as too often business leaders get caught up in working “in” the business rather than “on” the business.  Having a plan is critical to knowing where you are heading.

    Taking the time to step back and view the business from a different perspective can help to change how you see things and lead to innovation and efficiency within a business

    Having a plan can help to create a clear direction for the company and help you feel more in control.  If you have a plan it becomes the tool for focusing on what to do next, what the priorities are, and how to keep everyone aligned.

    So do you have a plan for where you are heading?

    If you don’t have a clear business plan and would like help to create one, please contact me for a free strategy consultation