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Your Why Is Not Your Vision (Or Your Mission)


TRANSCRIPT AUTOMATICALLY GENERATED [00:00:00] Hey, Hey, you said this week, I was in a networking event in a room with someone and they completely reframed a fundamental business idea for me. And I wanted to share it with you and explain how it fits into your overall business strategy. So we went into this small group breakout room. There were five of us in there. And the question we would given to discuss was what is your, why? Now for me. I haven't got a big rags to riches story. I don't have an addiction to recovery story. I don't have a particularly fascinating origin story. In my opinion. And so this kind of question. Always makes me recoil a little bit. And one of the women in the group. Went and first thank goodness I didn't have to. And she said, well, I've got two whys. The why I started and the why I keep going. So I want to shout out Kelsey Smith of mama has goals for this reframe because it really broke open the concept of why for me. And today, I want to talk about where your, why fits in your business. Because I think a lot of people think of their why as their. North star as their guiding points in their business. And while that might work for you as a solo preneur, when you're leading a team where you're thinking about bringing on a team, Your why is going to be different to their, why? So it's not necessarily what you need to lead them. So let's dive in. Your why is not your vision or your mission? These concepts are closely related to each other, but they have different roles to play in your business. Let's start with your, why. So your why is really the driving force behind your actions? It's the. Core belief that drives you or motivates you to do what you do. And I want you to think about that suggestion that I had from CACI. Maybe why you started your business. Isn't why. You continue your business. So for me, I left corporate completely burned [00:02:00] out, unable to. Think about going back to corporate. And so I started my business. My why was to create a life that was flexible and free to me after years and years in corporate. However many years on. That's not why I fight to stay in business. Now I fought to stay in business because now having been in the entrepreneurial world, I've seen the unsound. The cookie cutter, the generic advice that masquerades as business strategy. And I know that businesses are going out of business all the time, because of that advice. That fires me up. It makes me angry. I'm passionate about it. You can get me on a soap box. Talking about this topic. Your why is the emotional foundation for your actions? It's that fuel? I'm what a lot of people get it confused with is your vision. Now your vision for your business. Is what would the world look like if your business succeeded? What is that desired future state? So for me, my desired future state is that big business that I was a part of, that was toxic. That had really awful culture that had really long working hours that was completely inflexible will change. My vision for my business is to impact the business world so that businesses are measured, not just by how successful they are. But by how much people enjoy working there and how much they support the people who support them. My, why is that? I'm passionate about sound business principles about people understanding their business and being able to think for themselves instead of following a recipe. My vision is the what, what comes from that? What am I trying to achieve? Your vision is really important. It creates that north star for your business. Other people might not be passionate about sound business advice. Like I am, they might not know it at that level. But they can get behind really great big businesses. And they can understand that when they are making decisions in your business. They can [00:04:00] ask themselves, is it taking me in that direction? And therefore make decisions. They can understand that vision and they can be inspired by that vision when they come to work. The other place, people get confused as between vision and mission. So your mission statement is the action orientated piece. So you've got your, why you've got your, what, and your mission is really like how. How will you fulfill that vision? So my vision is that we have these big businesses that are successful, but also amazing places to work. My mission on the other end is how we will change it. I know that trying to change big business is being that like little Digger on the side of the evermore that got stuck across the Suez canal. It's going to take forever. If that's how we attack it. then It will change because we have grown small businesses into better big businesses. So my mission is to create sound business strategies that are customized to individual businesses so that they can grow from small businesses into big businesses in the best way possible. So your mission is kind of your practical day to day. All we on the right path towards our vision. So the vision is what keeps us on track going in the right direction. Our mission is the path that we have chosen to get there. Now, one thing we don't really talk about is the evolution of our wise. Remember at the beginning where I talked about that reframe way. Kelsey had said, well, I have a why I started and a why I carried on. That's the evolution that we're talking about. I want to use Tom's as an example here. So Tom's the shoe brand. When they started their vision statement was providing for the comfort of children in impoverished regions worldwide. Hey, that was what they stood for. That was their north star. The why for it was actually that the founder had traveled and had seen the conditions of children were living in. In impoverished nations and he wanted to do something about it. The company steered towards providing for the comfort of children in impoverished regions. How they [00:06:00] did that was by creating a one for one program. When you bought a pair of Toms, another pair of Thomas was given away to a child in an impoverished region. So I want you to see how the Y connects to the vision connects to the mission. Now they've grown as a company and their vision has grown as well. So they've vision is a future where all people have a chance to thrive. And instead of they wonderful one program, as they mission of giving away one pair of shoes for every one, they sell. They commit a third of their profits to grassroots programs that are looking towards building an equitable future. So they vision. Everybody has a chance to thrive the mission is that they're a global footwear and lifestyle brand. Who commit to. Giving a third of their profits to grassroots programs working towards a more equitable tomorrow. And they're involved in. Mental health. Ending gun violence, human trafficking. it's a much broader spectrum than where they started. They've grown. And so their Y has grown, their vision has grown in their mission has grown. Having been in business for a while, you know that you have grown as a person, as a leader, as a CEO. And it's natural for your wise to evolve with you over time. When you first started out in your business is in its infancy and you were just a little solo preneur. Your why can be so intertwined in the business, whether that is how you set goals, the vision for the business, whether it's. You know that you're creating this product because it solves the exact problem that you have, but as the business grows you as a CEO of growing as well. We move from a more profit focused Y to a purpose driven. Y. And I think one of the things we don't talk about and it makes it really hard for new business owners is we don't talk about the fact that it's okay. That when you're starting out very often. Your primary focus is I just want to make enough profit to pay what would have been my corporate salary. And that's okay. And then as you gain experience and perspective, you start to realize that you want to not just. [00:08:00] Pay the bills, but also make an impact. And so you start to develop a purpose. I think a lot of people think you have to have this purpose driven why to start with. And that's not always the case. Also as you start to grow be you bring other people into the business. So initially it's just you. Your why might be centered around, I need to pay. My bills, but as the business expands and you sought to have a team. You'll why much shifted towards being a better leader? It might shift towards supporting employees and their families. It may shift to creating a, an amazing culture at work. So your why should be evolving as you evolve as a person and as a CEO and as a leader. So now that we've got a concept of what is our, why. What is our vision? What is our mission? We now need to think about how do we apply that with a team. And this is important because first of all, we want to make sure that there's alignment between the CEO's Y and the company or the business's vision and mission. We want the CEO to have the fuel to keep moving. Then we also have to think about how do we motivate the individual team members. And they might not be motivated by your why. They might not have experienced what you have experienced. They might have their own why their own unique story that they're bringing to the mix. But they still need to be motivated and inspired. By the vision and mission so that they are driving that motivation in the right direction for your business. At the same time. If they get to understand why you're so passionate about what you're doing with the business. That helps to connect them to that sense of purpose as well. So, what you're looking for is an alignment between the individuals, why. And the vision and the mission. So they're not disconnected, but not everybody has to have the same Y and that is why your, why is not the vision. You want people to be able to see the vision, to be inspired by the vision, maybe even contribute to the vision. From their own unique perspective. That's how we encourage a diverse and [00:10:00] motivated team pushing towards that same one goal. So it's that time of year we're coming up mid September. We're going to go into planning for Q4 and then planning for 2024. The first thing I always ask people to do. Is go back to what is my vision? What is my mission? Because that's going to be the north star and the guidebook on how you get there going forwards. So you have to keep checking in with yourself. Now. I don't expect those to change every quarter or even every year, but it's a worthwhile exercise when you do panning to reflect on your, why. Remember, you can have a why you started and why you carry on it's okay. For that sort of evolved. And to ask yourself if your vision for your business still aligns with that. And if your mission is still how you intend to get there. Because that creates your north star for all the work that you and your team are going to do in implementing that plan. And it gives you that kind of guidebook. On what you need to put into the plan. But it starts with understanding that your why is not your vision or your mission. But all three are important to your business. Your Y. Is like the heart of your journey. It's the passion. It's the fuel. Your vision is where are you trying to get to? What is the destination? And your mission is the high level map to get you there. When you get all of these elements in alignment. You feel super motivated, your team knows exactly where they're going and how to get there. And now everybody starts to pull in the same direction. And that's where you see momentum and that's where you see impact.

There is a massive focus on your why in entrepreneurland but your vision and mission are as important…and not the same thing. 

In This Episode

  • Understanding your why, vision, and mission
  • Why each is important in your business
  • How they evolve over time
  • How do you use all three with your team
  • Including them in your planning process


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The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this podcast episode and article are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this article or episode. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this article. Diane Mayor disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this article.