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Your mission statement
Friday, July 19, 2013
When I decided to start a coaching business I had been laid off from a job I really enjoyed and felt in it I was making a difference in the life of families caring for someone with a dementia or mental illness. I was very fortunate that at that time there was a government sponsored entrepreneurial training program offered that got me going in the right direction. I so often talk to new entrepreneurs who offer the world and I wonder how would anyone know whether to hire them or not. They essentially say "I do everything." It used to be that you should be able to state what you do in less than one minute. It was called the elevator speech, indicating you had only as much time as it took to raise the elevator one floor. When I took this program back in 1999 the elevator speech was still being taught. Get some of Daniel H. Pink books Drive, The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us, and A Whole New Mind; Why Right-brainers Will Rule the World. He debunks the elevator speech in favor of some really good alternatives. Anyway, one of the exercises in the program in 1999 was to devise a mission statement for my business in 8 words or less. It takes much effort to really get to the meat of what you are offering to put it into 8 words. Mine after much revising, cutting, agonizing and questioning was this: To ease dementia caregiving through education and support. That mission statement has helped me when to say 'yes' to an offered direction or 'no' to it. For example, I have a keen heartfelt compassion for the mentally ill, for the homeless, the veteran with PTSD AND the caregivers of those with Alzheimer's. The latter is my business, so when I was tempted to broaden my services, probably to a dead end in some cases, I went back to my mission statement. It took a long time for people to know what an Alzheimer coach did but at least it was focused and now after 14 years, it is common (the term coach certainly is). I figured people don't want to be seeing a counselor (is caregiving a diagnosis?) or a consultant (who knows my family member as well as I do?) and certainly not a therapist (I'm not crazy!).

So if you are starting a health service business take the time to design an 8 word or less mission statement. It will save you a lot of time...and space on your brochure.
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"It was wonderful to speak to someone so knowledgeable about Alzheimer's."

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