Just One Thing: Mission Statements

You don’t need a mission statement to build your business. I’ve helped build dozens of successful multimillion-dollar businesses without one. The largest company I helped build, which grew from $8 million to $1.6 billion, never had a mission statement.

So you don’t need a mission statement. But you do need a mission. In fact, you need two – two missions based on the two things that every business must do to survive and prosper:

  1. It must offer a product or service that its customers are willing to buy.
  2. It must be profitable.

If you can’t distinguish your product or service in some way from the competition, people won’t buy it. And if you can’t sell your products and services profitably, you’ll soon run out of money and have to close the business.

Which is why every business must have two basic goals: to create value (or the perception of value) for the customer, and to sell it profitably.

These are the universal missions. They must be pursued relentlessly. There can be no other objectives with greater importance.

The founder/CEO must devote 80% of his time to them. So must all of the key managers.

You can write them down if you want to, but you don’t have to. You do, however, have to make them top priorities by caring greatly about them and by expecting everyone that works for you to do the same.