If you worked for a company without a mission statement or a brand, what would you think? How would the company’s employees know what direction they were going, or what kind of decisions to make? Do they make key decisions to push innovation and technology? Do they decide to make ‘Green’ decisions or quality decisions top priority? Any employee would make decisions based on their own personal choice or brand instead of aligning with the vision of the owner, general manager or CEO.
This is why companies have mission statements and company values. It’s even why some larger companies develop 5 – 10 year visions. It helps direct the employees for decision making and align thoughts and actions. Without aligned thoughts and actions, you could have one employee strike a great deal on a 5 year lease, but another employee developing relationships to move the company to another state where there’s better commodities and cheaper land for expansion. These kind of misalignment’s happen and cost companies lots of money. In fact, some decisions are made that can prevent or out-cost other opportunities.
Your life and career are somewhat like a company. The decisions you make in life, like which job opportunity to take, whether or not to have kids, and where to live narrow down your next choices. It’s like a highway. You have several roads your life can travel down. When you make decisions at forks in the road, you turn down a different path. There are several paths that fork from there, some merge back in with other paths, some block you from others. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but if you don’t have some sort of idea where you want to go, you could prevent your ultimate goal from ever coming to fruition. Sometimes, we can get back on track, but at a very large detour or cost.
So, spend some time thinking about where you want to be in 5, 10 and 25 years. It doesn’t have to be a fully thought out plan. The 5 year plan should have the most detail, the 25 year plan should be very high level, allowing for growth and clarity.
But most importantly, develop a personal brand, a statement that says who you are and your main 2 to 3 goals in life. You can change them if you go through a life changing event, but typically who we are and what we want to get out of life is somewhat consistent for us. These goals aren’t specific details, but more like passions. You may want to be the best mother, but how? Compassion or encouragement may be a goal of yours. Inspiration is one of mine. I live to inspire others. It feeds me like nothing else.
Make a list of the top 10 things that you are passionate about, then continue to combine or narrow them down until you have 2 to 3 things. You’ll be amazed that some of them combine really well. Loving to bake and loving to write are both a passion to create. Write a sentence to loop them all together with a direct vision. It may not be the easiest or fastest thing you’ll do in a while, but I guarantee it’ll be worth it. Making life decisions is so much easier once you know what you want to get out of life. Just see if it fits your brand.
The article below has some great material and ideas on personal branding. Go get started!