What is your business’s mission statement? Your professional mission? Personal mission?
Mission statements are 5-second elevator pitches. If everything your entity stands for, accomplishes, and dreams of were a dissertation, your mission statement would be the guiding thesis statement. Mission statements should highlight the most important long-term initiatives of your business, yet fit within a single Tweet. Your statement should be easy to understand. It should inspire support for your cause. It should remind you why you started this initiative, prioritize your daily struggles, and guide your future growth.
A mission statement simply and succinctly summarizes a purpose, goal, niche, agenda, or more. Whereas your vision statement will explore where you want to be in the future, the mission statement says what you will do today to get there. Your mission is the cause, and your vision should be the effect. Your mission is the process, and your vision is the product. A mission statement can be whatever you want it to be. They are not required and they can change over time. They can also be develop for your practice, your career, and your personal life.
What mission statements guide your work and your life? Why do these few, concise words matter? How will you better communicate and enact your ideals?
At the end of every day you may ask yourself: “What did I do today that advanced my business (or career, etc.)?” Perhaps you drafted a new proposal, met with a hospital administrator, or simply provided high quality music therapy and communicated with everyone involved. My professional mission statement reflects my “wide net” of interest, guiding my service to patients and the field:
“To advance music, health, and humanity
Through compassionate, evidence-based music therapy
While continuing education, research, and advocacy.”
This public (yet personal) statement reveals that I am more concerned with experience and service than competition and business expansion. By the end of the day, have I shared the Truth in music? Improved health? Helped humanity? Was I compassionate yet scientific throughout my practice? Did I indulge my curiosity and help my fellow colleagues?
This statement is the one I publish on Music Therapy St. Pete, LLC’s website. It helps people understand what my business is all about. However, I’ve also let myself be guided by a simpler mission statement. My private (but more honest) mission statement is simply, “To provide excellent service and foster authentic relationships.” Good service and communication has brought more business than any blog post or business card.
Finally, I do also think about a personal mission statement, as well as a familial mission statement, but these we can chat about in person. Hopefully over coffee! Cheers!