What’s the Point? Crafting a Mission Statement

One of the joys of running your own business is realizing you can do whatever you want. Yes, it might not generate income, or in the extreme I suppose you could get arrested, but my point is I think it’s important to stop once in a while to think about what you’re doing.

Really think about it. The daily pressures from everything else that needs attention makes it easy to forget: Why are we doing this? We all need to make a living, so it has to be more than that.

Frankly, at the risk of sounding preachy here, we all should think about this regardless of our business. But I can say unequivocally that if you’re trying to keep in business, you can’t stop to ponder these issues too often or for too long.

But I put aside some time recently to think about it, to boil it down to the least number of words that express why we do this work (aside from just making a living). And let me tell you – if you’re serious about this exercise, it can be much harder than it sounds.

Here’s what I came up with. I know it sounds a bit grand, but what the hell. Why should any of us limit what we want to do with our lives? In practice we’ll all probably fall a bit short – I certainly do – but what the hell, shouldn’t we strive for something that matters to us, something bigger than meeting payroll and paying taxes?

Here’s my statement:

“We believe that every person is entitled to freedom in all its forms, and to health, a safe home, food security, quality education, opportunities for productivity, and a sustainable environment.

Yet most people lack the resources to secure these rights.

Our work is to help other individuals and organizations provide these rights for the lives of many.

We do this by finding necessary financial resources – by searching all possible sources, obvious and non-obvious, and then devising practical solutions that do not rely primarily on charity, politics or government regulation.”

And there you have it. That’s the best I can do to describe what I believe, what I care about, what I’m trying to do, and what I hope the other folks around here want to be a part of.

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