make a mission statement.

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This is advice you've heard before.  I avoided it myself for a long time because I had a hard time summing up my mission in a concise statement.  But it's kind of a big deal.  You really do need to 

make a mission statement.

So what is a mission statement?

n.  a formal summary of the aims and values of a company, organization, or individual.

The purpose of a mission statement is to summarize what your business is about.  This tells your customers what you do, and it gives you something to use as a guideline to make sure that what you're pursuing is inline with your overall objectives.

Think about the big picture.  What is the purpose behind what you do?  What are you hoping to accomplish?  Who are you trying to reach?

Having a mission statement for your creative business and using it as a filter for new ideas and programs will help keep you focused.  When you consider a new product or endeavor, you can take a look at your mission statement to see if it aligns.  If so, go for it!  If not, consider whether it's really something you want to pursue, or if it might be time to tweak your mission statement to encompass this new direction you're venturing into.

It's ok if it's a work in progress, but it's important to come up with something as a starting point.  It can change as your business changes and grows.  I consider my mission statement a work in progress.  Here's what I've come up with for jenuine Ruby:

To wholeheartedly encourage, equip and empower women in their faith, in their business and in their creativity, and to provide quality handmade items and art with excellent customer service.

My tagline, which you see at the top of my website reflects this mission statement:

Inspiration and resources to encourage you in creativity, faith, dreaming big and taking action.

I wouldn't inscribe these on a plaque or anything just yet.  They may still be tweaked here and there.. but it is a starting point.  When I have an idea of something I'd like to create, I can filter it through my mission statement to see if it lines up with my overall mission for my business.

I want all that I do to be done wholeheartedly.  That's right at the beginning of my mission statement, so it's the first filter any new ideas come through when deciding whether or not to proceed. Often I'll think of something that I might consider to be a good idea, but when I look at my mission statement, I realize it's not really something I feel I could put my whole heart into... or maybe I'll still pursue the idea, but decide to put a different spin on it that feels more authentic to me.

You could spend hours looking at examples online.  If you do search for ideas, I encourage you to jot down some keywords that you'd like to incorporate into your own mission statement, and then think about it for a while.  You can get creative and make a diagram, or write the keywords on post-it notes and move them around until you come up with something.  The important thing is to create a mission statement that is authentic and clear.  You don't have to post it publicly, so the idea is not to create a statement that sounds impressive.  It's primary objective is to help you focus and keep your overall mission in sight.


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Inspiration and resources to encourage you in creativity, faith, dreaming big and taking action.