March 22, 2018

Funding your mission

Yesterday, we heard from Mike Spanger who shared an inspirational story about how he broke through his chronic writer’s block by discovering his mission.

Mike wrote:

I realized my “mission” is to convince software engineers to use test driven development... I went from “What the hell do I write about?!”, to seeing blog post ideas everywhere.

I can tell you from experience that stumbling upon your mission is extremely powerful. I don’t want to get too “woo woo cult leader-y” about it, so I’ll keep it pragmatic:

Having a mission makes marketing your business way easier.

But later in his message, Mike writes:

At this point I’m not sure how I’ll leverage this into some type of consulting, but one step at a time.

I’m not worried about Mike funding (i.e., monetizing) his mission. He could do almost anything and it would probably work.

That’s the beauty of having a mission... it basically gives you an objective that you can measure, and a gut instinct that can act as a reasonable substitute for a business strategy.

In other words, having a mission will help you tell the difference between opportunities and distractions; the difference between good tactics and bad; the difference between time well spent and time wasted.

If I were to advise Mike on what to do next, it would probably look something like this:

Funding your mission is really as simple as that... 1, 2, 3.

But there is a catch: These steps only work if you have a mission

Without a mission, you’ll have no idea 1. what point of view to evangelize, 2. how to create a community, or 3. what products and services to offer.

Having a mission answers all these questions. It’s not the only way to answer them, but it’s one good way.

That’s it for today. Tomorrow, I’m going to offer some (hopefully) constructive (unsolicited) advice on the wording of Mike’s mission.

Stay tuned!