Thursday, February 22, 2007

Existential angst

Who would have thought that defining our dreams would be so gut wrenching? My throat tightened as I recited my proposed mission statement at our second meeting. The words “what I want to do is…” brought up so much fear and dread in the pit of my stomach! It’s that voice inside my head that says, “Who do you think you are? You can’t do that!” Luckily my fellow Mogulettes set me straight with fabulous encouragement and support.

We were still not 100% clear about what our missions were by the end of the session, so I suggested that we each come up with 10 ways we can bring in income, without judging or striking out anything that seems too wacky or far fetched. I later found another suggestion from “The Girl’s Guide to Starting your Own Business”, which recommends making a list of values for your company, narrowing them down to a few core values and then formulating your mission from that.

Here’s a sampling of mission statements I gathered from various websites:
Establish Starbucks as the premier purveyor of the finest coffee in the world while maintaining our uncompromising principles while we grow.
The Gap:
Gap Inc. is a brand-builder. We create emotional connections with customers around the world through inspiring product design, unique store experiences and compelling marketing.
To connect people to their passions, their communities and the world’s knowledge.

More mission statements from Man on a Mission .

The whole process of thinking about my business brings up many more questions than the Mogulettes can answer, so another assignment we’re going to work on for next time is to find a mentor -a man or a woman that's successful in our particular field of interest and who might be willing to guide us. Related articles at How to find Business Mentor and Businessweek: Why You Need a Mentor.

-List 10 things you can do to bring in income
-Look for a mentor
-Polish up your mission statement

Here are some more questions from the SBA website that we need to ask ourselves regarding our particular niche: (see full text here)

-Is my idea practical and will it fill a need?
-What is my competition?
-What is my business advantage over existing firms?
-Can I deliver a better quality service?
-Can I create a demand for my business?

The final step before developing our plan is the pre-business checklist:

-What business am I interested in starting?
-What services or products will I sell? Where will I be located?
-What skills and experience do I bring to the business?
-What will be my legal structure?
-What will I name my business?
-What equipment or supplies will I need?
-What insurance coverage will be needed?
-What financing will I need?
-What are my resources?
-How will I compensate myself?

"If you’re not following your heart, you’re living someone else’s dream."
Lyn Christian

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