Entrepreneurs are faced with making a staggering amount of decisions daily.
What exact shade of blue to use in your branding, who to hire, what snacks go in the vending machine, what size paperclips are best…anyone else's hands getting clammy? While every decision is important in its' own way, there are a few that are truly life and business altering.
Choosing new projects and clients can be very time-consuming and difficult.
It is easy to get stuck in an agonizing loop of pros and cons and you may feel you are never reaching the “right” conclusion.
I have an awesome tip to help you get directly to the heart of these types of decisions. It is quick to implement and gives immediate clarity. I want to introduce you to the personal mission statement filter.
Today, I want to share with you a really cool coaching tip I got from one of my very first coaches, way back in the day – I think it was back in 2003 or 2004. He had talked a lot about using a personal mission statement filter. I didn’t really get what the concept was at the time, but basically he said before he takes on any new project he looks at these questions.
He had five questions, and they were things like “Does it require me to be at a certain place at a certain time?” and “Is it something that I will enjoy doing?” Different questions like that.
So I created my own, based on my own personal values, and the lifestyle and life I was trying to create for my business.
Does it sound fun?
If it doesn’t sound fun to me, I’ll do it for a while and then I’ll peter out. You can ask anybody who knows me well, I’m not known for gutting it out when it’s not going well or it’s not fun. That’s just not how I roll. I really like things to be fun, and I can make lots of things fun.
If it’s not fun, I’m probably not going to gut it out and do the work that’s necessary.
That’s just how and who I am.
For me, it has to be fun. To some of you, that may sound like a crazy thing. For example, my husband is like, “Who cares if it’s fun? You just do it.”
That’s not how I’m wired. I have to respect and own that this is kind of weird, but it’s true for me.
Am I doing it for the money?
I am a capitalist at heart, and I love to make money. Sometimes I can get so caught up in the idea of making money that I think I’ll be able to make it fun. I’ll be like, “Oh, my God, I’ll be making so much money, and I’ll just be able to hand off everything and I won’t have to do anything except cash the checks because it’s going to be so awesome.”
That really hardly ever works, so if I’m doing something and I know in my heart of hearts that I’m doing it for the money more than for my soul, I’m going to peter out. It never works.
I’m not sure if you’ve noticed this in your life, but the harder I chase money, the faster it runs away. When I settle in and I do work I love, and I do things that support other people, and I really just try to be a good person, it’s like the universe just throws money at me. It’s the craziest thing.
For me, I want to make sure that I’m doing it for the right reasons, because it feels right and feels like the right thing to help someone with the knowledge I have, and that I’m fairly compensated.
I think that’s a really big part that a lot of people screw up. You have amazing experiences, talents, and things you’ve learned from over the years.
You don’t need to give it away, people will pay for it, and they will happily pay for it.
There is such a thing as a value exchange. If you are constantly giving away everything for free, all you’re doing is giving.
Sometimes it’s because you have an issue receiving. I struggle with that. I really like to give, and I’m an information junkie and I can spit out a lot of resources to you rather quickly. My friends joke that if you go to lunch with me you’d better bring a notepad or two because I’m going to give you a whole bunch of ideas and things to check into.
That’s something that’s really true for me.
Those two, 95% of the time, my answer is right there for me. So my personal mission filter is really only two questions: “Is it fun?” and “Am I doing it for the money?”
Those two things really clear up everything for me. They give me so much clarity and let me stop working on things that don’t light me up.
For example, I used to get asked all the time if I would write someone’s résumé for them. I don’t want to write your résumé. I don’t like to. I think the best person to write your résumé is you. You’re the one who lived your life. You need a framework, you need tools, you need the know-how to make it look good, but nobody else can hop into your 20 years of experience in an hour-long chat and come up with the best parts. Even if I wrote your résumé, you have to go in and do the interview. So you’ve got to do the work.
Sorry, I got a little soap-boxy there. I apologize. However, that is one of the things that people would offer to pay me to do. The most I ever got offered was $1500. I just said, “No. I don’t want to. I don’t think it’s the right thing for you. It’s not fun and, frankly, I would just be doing it for the money.”
That is something I want you to think about: if it could serve you in your business and your life to really create your own personal mission filter. Come up with two to five questions that you assess before you invest a whole bunch of time, energy, and money, into chasing a dream.
I hope this helps!
Wahoo! You made it to the bottom of the post! I’m going take a quick moment and pat myself on the back for writing content you liked enough to read to the end!