How to Write the Perfect Mission Statement

Think about all the time you spent on your business today. All the little tasks you did. All the emails you read and responded to. All the time you spent in meetings, on conference calls, and creating your social media content. What was the point? Was there even a point? If you’re not attacking each task and opportunity the day brings with intention, purpose, and passion, you’re wasting a boatload of your precious time.

Do you have a clear mission statement for your business? Not something that’s just in your head, but a purpose physically written down on a piece of paper? When your customers look at your website or social media channels, are they able to clearly identify your purpose?

Defining your mission is essential to your brand. It’s what will keep you on track to push through all of the hard days when you feel like just throwing the towel in and getting some boring 9-5 desk job. This is also a key component of attracting your dream clients and customers. But before you can nail down your very own mission statement, you have to have a clear understanding of what a mission statement is.

What is a mission statement?

According to Entrepreneur, a mission statement is, “A sentence describing a company’s function, markets and competitive advantages; a short written statement of your business goals and philosophies.” Now, at first glance, that may sound way too simple, but that’s really it. Don’t make your mission statement harder than it needs to be. Let’s look at an example of a great mission statement:

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

I’m pretty confident that you already know whose mission statement this is. If you said Starbucks, you are right. It’s so simple, yet powerful and you know exactly who it is – and it doesn’t even say “coffee” anywhere in it!

Bottom Line: Your mission statement is the soul of your brand. 

Having a mission means you always have a North Star. It guides you through every obstacle and every messy decision. Whenever you feel lost, you can turn to your mission statement. Also, it’s important to point out that your mission statement is not just for your customers; it’s arguable that your mission statement is even more important to have for your employees and other people involved in your business. I cannot tell you how many times someone has hired me for PR, someone else for graphic design, another person for social media, someone else for event planning, etc. It’s great to have a lot of minds on your team, however, that can backfire horribly when you don’t have a clear message to put everyone on the same page.

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Creating your mission statement

Even if you’re absolutely positive that your mission statement is dead on, I encourage you to take a few moments to think about these questions to help you define or refresh the point of all this:

  1. Why are you in business?
  2. What do you bring to the table for your customers?
  3. Why should people care about your business?
  4. What do your clients take away from doing business with you?
  5. What is your competitive advantage?

This is where you need to consider what makes you completely different. If you own a beauty brand, your mission statement shouldn’t include wordage like, “enhancing the natural beauty of women.” Half the beauty brands out there could make that claim.

If you aren’t sure where to start, take 5 different people around you – they might be involved in your business, a significant other than is familiar with your business from the outside, your mom, friends you vent to about your business, etc. Just make sure they are 5 people that see your business from different angles. Without any explanation or discussion beforehand, ask them to write down a potential mission statement for you business. Once you collect all the answers, analyze the statements for similarities and differences.

Here’s another fun activity – imagine your mission statement on a coat of arms. The statement should be real, elegant, and unforgettable. It’s not about sounding catchy or finding a marketing tagline; accuracy and clarity are your top priorities.

Finally, utilize the rules of Twitter – take the 140 character limit and make sure your mission statement fits within it! Be short, sweet, and to the point.

Thinking above and beyond

Once you have your mission statement, ask yourself if everything you put your time and energy into today lines up with the mission? How about your to-do list? Your monthly goals?

When you take the time to consciously consider if you’re projecting your energy in the direction of your ultimate goal and purpose, you’ll become aware of how much time you actually spend doing things that aren’t brining you closer to your mission.

Want some completely free mission statement feedback? Leave yours below in the comments and I’ll respond with my thoughts!

  • I really like the example you give and the questions. I’m curious Allyn, do you let your mission statement evolve over time or try to find one that fits for the long term?

    • It’s absolutely something that will evolve over time. No matter what you do, the goals, dreams, and intentions of your business will change as you grow. When you have a business that isn’t changing or evolving, there’s a huge issue there. The important thing is to evolve with awareness and purpose – don’t change your mission statement every month just because you can’t make up your mind. Every change should have a meaningful foundation.

  • Great post Allyn! I especially like the activity ideas— even if you think you have your mission nailed down, it’s always good to ask those around you how you’re actually being perceived! Mine isn’t exactly short: I design visual brands, websites and collateral for color loving creative boss ladies, helping them merge their personality and passions into a one-of-a-kind look for their business. When Creatives want their business to *look* as good on the outside as it *feels* on the inside, they come to me. 🙂 Might be a little wordy, but I think a good homework assignment could be to distill it down!

  • Skye A.

    Hi Allyn.
    I would love it if you could take a look at my mission statement and provide me with some feedback so that I can refine it or redesign it altogether. Thank you!

    My Mission Statement

    To amplify connectivity amongst the world by ascending energetic vibrations through the exploration of the authenticity of the heart, the acceptance and implementation of innate gifts, and the provision of the unconditional love, guidance, and support to do so.

    • Hi Skye! Can you share the link to your website so I can take a look at your business and then give you feedback? Thank you! =)

      • Skye A.

        Hi Allyn.

        I am in the midst of launching my business so the website is not up just yet. I am an Angel Intuitive, Psychic, Medium, Ordained Minister, Life Coach, Holistic Nutrition Coach, Reiki Practitioner, and Hypnotherapist specializing in Past Life Regressions. I use a combination of these modalities to provide insight, guidance, and support to my clients for personal and spiritual growth in past and current lives. Is this enough information? Thanks!

        • Skye A.

          Hi Allyn.

          Did you ever have a chance to look at my mission statement again? I provided some additional details on my business and scope of practice. I am working on my website right now so it won’t be ready for another couple of weeks. Any input you can provide would be appreciated. Thank you!

          • Hi Skye! So sorry that I missed your second comment with the additional info. The biggest issue I notice with your current mission statement is that the first time I read it, I had no idea what you were saying. It was one of those sentences where I got to the end and was like, “Huh? What the heck did I just read?” I had to re-read it over and over again before I could really start to feel your message and mission. The typical consumer isn’t going to take that time to process it. You’ll lose them after the first 5 words if you don’t get right to the point. You’re also missing two important elements – addressing your target audience and stating your competitive advantage. Think about the skills you have (or maybe how the skills you have work together), what do you provide that no one else can? Focus on the “why” more than the “how”. Hope this helps! =)

  • Thank you for this post! I just had an “aha” moment after reading your post and I now have a more clear vision of what my mission statement should be. it’s actually been there all along but I just couldn’t really see it 🙂

  • Hi Allyn,
    I love your explanation of the Mission Statement and the simple reason you need one! Here is mine for my Etsy Shop http://www.etsy.com/shop/umeone I am an Artist and Vintage Treasure Dealer. “To spark the memory of those special moments in time of carefree fun and relaxation – living by the Golden Rule.”

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  • Great post as always! Without knowing what purpose your blog will be unfocused and have a hard time finding it’s readers.

  • Hi Allyn,
    Thanks for the post! Writing a mission statement is one of the hardest things that I had to do for my first business. It took soooo long! I love your idea of thinking of it like a tweet. It makes it less daunting and like something we do all the time.
    ~Cass

  • Marcia Lancaster

    Hi Allyn. I enjoyed your blog on Mission Statements. You have the best suggestions to make a mission statement. I know I have to have an idea of my brand, not sure how to do that yet. “CREATIVE PASSIONS” is the business name I am thinking of using for the name of my Doll making & Doll rehabiliation business, one customer at a time to do either for all types of Dolls including one of a kinds and Porcelain Dolls from Molds. I plan to have a blog as well as classes and making my own. The advantage of Doll making is the creative release that heals the soul.

    The mission statement I came up with is:
    “Rediscover childhood CREATIVE PASSIONS, bringing out individual artistic inspirations that heal and restore inner peace one at a time”.

    A book that I hope to use as my inspiration to start this busines is “Learn to be a Doll Artist” by Martha Armstrong-Hand

    I would appreciate any advice you can give me. Thank you so much for the blog on this subject.
    Marcia Lancaster

    • I think this is absolutely beautiful @marcia_lancaster:disqus! <3 Thank you for stopping by and best of luck in your business!

  • shelly clanton

    Hello Allyn, how are you doing? I do have a website up and I would love it if you could look at it and give me some pointers. I need a mission statement. I have already started a support group which is going really well. Thank you for your time, here is the site info. http://www.shellystor.org

  • shelly clanton

    Hello Allyn, how are you doing? I do have a website up and I would love it if you could look at it and give me some pointers. I need a mission statement. I have already started a support group which is going really well. Thank you for your time, here is the site info. http://www.shellystory.org

    • Hi Shelly! Happy to take a look, but the link you left above is taking me to an invalid page. =( Can you double check that the link is correct?