I’m reading a lot about strategic planning at the moment, and in with all the terminology and ‘buzz-words’, these three just keep popping up.
Have you ever stopped to think about your own mission, vision and values? I think as freelancers, it’s really important that we have strong, well-defined ideas of our business – it’s all too easy to be vague, and forget why we do what we do.
So let’s look at each of these ideas in a little more detail…
What do you want your business to change in the world? This is your inspiration – how far can you go? We all know how useful it is to have something to aim for – and aim high! That way, even if you don’t quite get there, you’ll have achieved more than if you had aimed low.
Your mission (if you should choose to accept it) is to…
How would you finish that sentence? What are the practical things you do in order to move closer to your vision? This is your mission. It’s your purpose, the thing that makes you get up in the morning.
These are probably closely linked to your vision and mission – if your vision is to allow businesses to communicate across the world, one of your values might be the importance of global business for emerging economies. If you place high value of justice, your mission might be to provide high quality legal translation. I’m a big fan of letting your values guide your business – I think it’s one of the best ways of making sure you are passionate about what you do!
Once you have defined these three key elements of your strategic plan, it becomes much easier to see the bigger picture, and focus on setting goals which help you move towards them. I’m currently working on mine, and I’m going to print them out and stick them above my desk when I’m done, along with my business goals 🙂
Oh, and did you spot the two different movie references in this post? Gold star to anyone who did!