Mission statements have long been the provenance of big businesses. These formal summaries of the goals and achievements the company was aiming for has been at times grandiose, at times completely baffling, and every once in a while, a little bit inspiring. But are they the sole provenance of big business? Not any more..
Mission statements provide great value to individual professionals. Anyone from a life coach, to a writer, to a dog walker can define their aims and values and intended path to get there. Dave Ramsey says, “without a mission statement, you may get to the top of the ladder and then realize it was leaning against the wrong building.”
Or tree. We don’t judge.
The most important thing to keep in mind when writing a mission statement is to KISS it: Keep It Simple, Sweetie. You don’t want it to be so long and cumbersome that you struggle to tell somebody what it is should they happen to ask. A good format to follow is this: who are you, who do you help, what’s their problem, how are you helping, and what’s the desired result.
Here’s an example. George Fox helps his 11th grade history students learn and retain more information about history by making his classes more Interactive, so the students are more engaged and more interested in what’s gone on in the past.
What in Naraka happened over there?
Another example. Suzie McNeil helps her Home Ec students become more interested in cooking by creating simple, delicious recipes that fit within the students’ often limited home budgets.
How about a bad example? Jonathan Yost helps his economics students by acting like he knows what he’s doing and ignoring anyone who contradicts him
What about a horrible example? Sarah Beth Combs teaches English so her kids pass state-mandated tests because she’s burnt out and doesn’t care anymore.
You thought that was horrible? Here’s one even worse. Amelia Bradberry teaches algebra.
So here’s your basic fill in the blank: _____NAME_____ helps _____WHO_____ with _____WHAT PROBLEM_____ by _____SOLUTION_____ because _____WHY_____.
We’ll even fill in a couple blanks for you: YOU help YOUR STUDENTS. Your mission? To take it from there.