by: Melinda Cohan, November 2016
If you’re like so many of the people I’ve talked to in the past couple of days—since Tuesday’s election—you might feel a bit paralyzed right now.
If you’ve spent any time on social media, or in line at the grocery store, or at the coffee shop, you’ve undoubtedly heard symptoms of a nation deeply divided; of a deeply divided humanity. Right now, there is a strong sense of “us versus them,” and “right versus wrong.”
You may feel like nothing you can do can change this. You may feel hopeless as a coach.
I have an exercise that can get you back on the path to making the impact you DO make, by serving others.
It can help you refocus – to regain clarity about why you’re doing what you’re doing – and it can help you move forward, even in the darkest of times.
And this is one of those dark times, isn’t it?
That’s why it’s a perfect time to revisit why you’re here, so you can reposition yourself, continue moving forward, and help us heal, as a country.
And I want you to know that here at The Coaches Console, our leadership team just went through this exercise ourselves, again. It doesn’t matter if you’re just starting, or if you’ve been in business for a long time, like we have (13 years, to be exact). It is ALWAYS good to check in on your mission, to make sure it’s exactly what you want and need it to be.
So as the end of each year approaches, we evaluate why we’re doing what we’re doing. We develop a vision for the coming year, in relation to our mission, and we create plans for fulfilling that vision. Finally, we talk about which values we can embrace to accomplish the vision.
That’s why today, I’m sharing the following two-part exercise with you … so you too can revisit, reexamine, and refocus your mission.
Let’s do this.
Exercise: Revisit, Reexamine, Refocus
Part One. Get Clear on Your Why.
We’ve listed three questions below; ask yourself any or all of them, because each one offers a unique path for identifying what’s most important to you. Different approaches work for different people, so answer whichever ones feel most comfortable to you.
And write down your answers, so you have them in black and white as you grow and revisit this exercise again and again.
1. What is my mission, “why statement,” or destiny?
Your answer to this question provides a “big picture” view of your business. It’s your solution to a threat to this planet and humanity. Look at what’s going wrong in the world, and consider how you feel called to help right that wrong.
This is something that may bubble up inside you, or it may be something you feel really strongly about. Either way, you’ll feel it.
It’s likely that it will reflect a common denominator of your past work and experience. For example, I worked as a florist in high school. I also had a job decorating houses for an interior design department. In a different job, I worked with companies and their businesses and team environments. In yet another job, I coached people. The common denominator: to help people live their full potential, in whatever form that takes. It’s completely unrelated to job titles, but that common denominator was at the core of each of those jobs. List your previous experiences, and determine that common denominator.
2. What makes me feel sad about humanity or the world we live in, and what would I like to see changed or improved?
3. What excites me and inspires me to make a difference?
Spending some time with these questions should give you the perspective you need to dial in on what your mission is now, and whether you may want to consider changing your focus … or to reassure you that you’re already on the right track.
As I mentioned above, our team just went through this process ourselves. We discovered that our mission is spot on, and it helped us recollect, and refocus.
And now more than ever, we know it’s critical that we keep that mission at the forefront of our minds and make sure everything we do—every client we serve, every project on which we work—is all about this mission.
Part Two. Define Your Vision.
The purpose of this part of the exercise is to help you determine exactly what you’ll do in this next year to fulfill the mission you just re-clarified in Part One.
Consider your vision for the next year.
When you close your eyes and envision your business at the end of next year, it’s December, 31, 2017, what have you accomplished that supports your mission?
Paint the picture of where you see yourself then, and, more importantly, focus on how that feels to you.
Remember, write this down.
Now that you’re clear on your mission and vision again, remember that your courage and your mission must be louder than the hopeless voice – the gremlins – in your head.
What will you do, every single day, to make sure that little voice doesn’t run your life and your business?
What will you do, daily, to further your mission?
I’ll say it again: the world needs you now more than ever.
One last thought I’d like to share with you now:
I believe women will change the face of this planet. I believe we already are, and we will continue to do so. Further, I believe entrepreneurs will change our global culture.
When you combine those things together, you get us: women entrepreneurs.
And together, we are unstoppable.
No matter where you live or what your culture is or what situation you’re currently in, when you bring women entrepreneurs together, we ARE the transformation in this world. Your work is needed, and your business will leverage your work faster than anything.
This is why your business is so important. This is why you must nail and master your mission, your business, and get your work, your message, out there.
And to all you guys out there—thank you for being champions of the amazing women in your life!