Day 5: Finalizing My Mission Statement

 Photography by Sidney Diongzon

Photography by Sidney Diongzon

“He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes; he who does not ask a question remains a fool forever.”
— Chinese Proverb

After hours on end, I managed to write up the first draft of my mission statement:

It’s good, but something was missing. There’s a cause. There’s an action. But something didn’t feel right. I was stuck. Whenever I get stuck like that, I find it helpful to step outside and take a walk for a few minutes. The sun and fresh air helps clear my thoughts and it just feels good to be outside. And then I figured it out. Well, I figured out a solution to a solution: Seek advice.

A good friend once told me that the more people see a project, the better the end result. Makes sense. Relying solely on your own perspective limits you from seeing the whole picture. Everyone sees things differently, and they might see something you may not see at first. For my mission statement, I needed different opinions to help me find what was missing. So I went on Facebook and asked. I didn’t just ask anybody for their opinions. I was strategic and asked specific people who had experience in business, communications, public relations, and art. If you want to be a millionaire, then seek advice from a millionaire. If you want to be a writer, then seek advice from a writer. I’m really finding that common sense advice is essential to starting a business.

And then, they responded.

I was right to be strategic in asking specific friends because they responded with constructive criticism, which is so useful. After reading their critiques I found a common answer - it was too long. Too long? But it’s just one sentence! I looked at my mission statement one more time and realized they were right. It was too long. In fact, it was redundant.

This is my mission statement before:

And after listening to sound advice, this is my mission statement now:

That’s it! That’s my mission statement, and I love it. It’s clearer. It’s concise. And it gets straight to the point. It solved the mystery and I wouldn’t have figured out if I hadn’t asked. That was my big take away today. There’s power in asking questions. Not only do you get different perspectives, but it lays a foundation of humility and prevents you from walking a path of arrogance that might potential do harm in your business, or in your life.

So be a fool for 5 minutes and ask questions now. You don't want to be a fool forever.