Last night I helped a friend start a non-profit because she had no idea where to start. It made me realize that there are lots of people who want to start something but have no idea where to begin.
Before you do anything, you need to know who you are as an organization (mission), what you want to do (vision), and how you’re going to do it (values).
Every major decision you make will be based on this foundation. If you’ve never established your mission, vision, and values, you need to do it now. Let me show you how Google did it.
Creating Your Mission Statement
This is your identity. What are you in it for?
Your mission statement needs to reflect the purpose of your business. Everything your business provides needs to be a part of this mission. It needs to be broad enough to encompass your business but not too broad to avoid losing your identity.
Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.
Crafting Your Vision Statement
This is what you want to become. What is the end goal of your business?
While your mission helps define your purpose, your vision gives you an end-goal. This is the ultimate result of all your hard work.
Google’s vision is to develop a perfect search engine.
Confirming Your Core Values
These are things that you will never, ever compromise. No matter what.
Your core values for your business should come from your personal values. What do you do to gain the trust of your friends? What do you look for in a good friend? Build your business on these same values.
One of Google’s first slogans was “Don’t be evil” because so many companies were being evil. This has become one of their core values:
- We want to work with great people.
- Technology innovation is our lifeblood.
- Working at Google is fun.
- Be actively involved; you are Google.
- Don’t take success for granted.
- Do the right thing; don’t be evil.
- Earn customer and user loyalty and respect every day.
- Sustainable long-term growth and profitability are keys to our success.
- Google cares about and supports the communities where we work and live.
- We aspire to improve and change the world.
What to do with Your Mission, Vision, and Values
Print them out and put them on your wall.
Put them on your website.
Leave them in small print at the bottom of your invoices.
Paste them above your toilet so you see them every morning.
Make sure they become a constant reminder to you and anyone you’re working with. Ideally, you should see them daily.
You can find ours at the top of our about page.
If Google did it, you should do it too.
Photo by: Blyzz