July 16, 2007

No Mission Statement: One Simple Question

published this at 9:05 am


inside-out thinking

Last week a Dawud Miracle and I discussed the problems faced by businesses. We mentioned entrepreneurs, small businesses, even corporations. So much of what came up was not encouragaing — bad messages; bad service; empty offers; no customers; not unique or remarkable; broken promises; clueless and out of focus. Not much most folks would take a risk on.

It’s as if some folks “get,” and the rest don’t get to know.

People rush after productivity tools and use them to further confuse their issues. People wait for customers, and no one comes. They talk about the chances they never got, but that that doesn’t get them. They’re stuck.

Why should anyone be stuck? . . . overwhelmed and out of focus? Why are there problem solvers without problems to solve?

It’s a disconnect. A swiss cheese hole in the available information.

Voices across the Internet say . . . Find your passion. . . . Choose your target market. . . . BUT, they stop there. No one says HOW to do that.

It’s got to be frustrating.

This connector can’t stand to watch problems going unsolved. I’m for breaking OUT of this paradigm starting now — with tools, models, and some basic Inside-Out Thinking.

Inside-Out Thinking

What is Inside-Out Thinking? Plain and simple, it’s starting from you — head and heart — who you are, as a person or as a company. We’re going to the core to find the values on which to build a concrete foundation.

I’m not talking hours parsing words on mission statements that gather dust. Their pretty, but they don’t pay the bills. I’m talking key, core terms that tell about DOING.

Don’t think heaven or humanitarian honors. Forget making money or impressive words.

Please, answer to one simple question.

As a company, as a person,

What businesslike thing do you LOVE doing?

Here’s how to answer that:
Forget any thought of money. Don’t you dare devalue or discount what you love doing. Not sure? STOP. Quiet yourself. Remember your successes. Here’s where to look for them.

You get the idea.

If you don’t know how to complete the picture of you. Ask a friend to tell you what you love doing. Ask quite a few. They know. Truth is, so do you. Once you find out what you love doing, that’s when the thinking starts.

I’m getting jazzed about this.

So, go ahead, give it a shot . . . what do YOU love doing?

It’s not hard. It’s just different — there wasn’t a model before. There will be now.

–ME “Liz” Strauss
Is your business stuck? Check out the Start-up Strategy Package. Work with Liz!!

To follow the entire series: Liz Strauss’ Inside-Out Thinking to Building a Solid Business, see the Successful Series Page.

Filed under Inside-Out Thinking, Strategy/Analysis, Successful Blog | 47 Comments »

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47 Comments to “No Mission Statement: One Simple Question”

  1. July 16th, 2007 at 10:00 am
    April Groves said

    What a great question – and I love the non factors (money, honors).

    I love being a problem solver. I get down right giddy when I see somebody with a situation that I can impact a positive change upon. It can be an introduction, a word, a suggestion, an ear, a shoulder, a hand – whatever.

    And I love putting nouns and verbs together in a meaningful way – writing, discussion, human interaction – that does it for me too.

  2. July 16th, 2007 at 10:32 am
    ME Strauss said

    That’s it exactly, April.
    We have to know what the parts are before we build the whole. Money and our sense of “not being worthy” talk us out of doing what we’re really talented at doing.

    We love doing what we’re good at. So that’s the place to get clear.

    Sounds like you are.

    It gets more fun the further along we go.

  3. July 16th, 2007 at 12:33 pm
    Benjamin Bach said

    I love to inspire people, and educate them on how they can be wealthy – and not just money (which I tackle through comprehensive Real Estate Investment planning), but truly abundant in all areas of their life.

    What a powerful post !

    Liz, did you hear Phil Gerbyshak, Steve Sherlock, EM Sky, Greg Balanko-Dickson and myself on Sirius Satelite this morning? There is an encore at 8pm EST… details at my website

  4. July 16th, 2007 at 1:23 pm
    ME Strauss said

    Hey Ben!
    You found something to love. How do you do that? That sounds like a rewarding thing!

    Missed the first run . . . hope to catch the encore! :)

    Finding what you love is only the start. Being able to actually do it is the part that no one talks about. -eh? :)

  5. July 16th, 2007 at 3:37 pm
    Kirsten Harrell, Psy.D. said

    Hey Liz,
    Great new series! I can’t wait to read more. You always deliver such great content in a way that is easy to grasp.

    I love helping people connect with their inner resources and the power of positive thinking to create health, happiness, and success. I love that I can do this in a variety of ways – one-on-one coaching, group seminars, writing, and ipopins.

    Looking forward to more…:)

  6. July 16th, 2007 at 5:22 pm
    Scot Herrick said


    Finally someone has stepped up — a little thought leadership on passion and translating that into something tangible!

    Maybe I’ve been to the wrong places on the blogosphere, but I just haven’t seen much of anything beyond “find your passion.” Which then just automatically moves directly into “doing what you love.”

    There’s actually a lot of work to do in between those steps and I would LOVE to see someone tackle that in a way that translates passion into doing into dollars. Those are separate steps and I know I have a lot to learn.

    Can’t wait to read the rest — thanks for doing this series.

  7. July 16th, 2007 at 5:41 pm
    ME Strauss said

    Hey Kirsten,
    You have centered in on what you love so well. YEA! for you. It’s so much easier to serve when we know what we do. :)

    Thanks for the words of support. :)

  8. July 16th, 2007 at 5:49 pm
    ME Strauss said

    Hi Scot!
    You are the same kind of practical thinker I am on this issue . . . I get dreamy on other things, but I take it not to well when folks don’t teach the whole story. I’ve been looking and reading for a while . . .

    I kept noticing this was a hole . . . much like in teacher’s college when they don’t tell folks what to do on the first day of school (Never met anyone who could say they learned other than by doing it.)

    Sometimes folks don’t know how to explain. Maybe that’s why the situation is the way it is. Either way, I’m doing my best to make it change. :)

  9. July 16th, 2007 at 6:22 pm
    Susan Cartier Liebel said

    Liz, we share a brain…mine’s been tingling lately…it must have been you!

  10. July 16th, 2007 at 6:26 pm
    ME Strauss said

    Hi Susan!
    Thank goodness! If you weren’t taking some of that electric charge, I’d be fried by now! :)

  11. July 17th, 2007 at 12:01 am
    Chrisitne OKelly said

    Wow! Such thought provoking questions! The one the really stumped me was the first… “Three years from now, if a wealthy patron financed you, what would you be doing?” This is one that has always been difficult for me to answer and I don’t like that.

    When I look to the past, I see that there is a very long and consistent history of being a “fixer” whether it’s a person or a business or an inefficiency, I LOVE to “fix” things and see them grow.

    I also love traveling, writing, learning, and exploring new ideas. I hope that with more parts of this series I can pinpoint my ultimate goals so that I can reverse engineer a plan to get there. THANKS LIZ!!

  12. July 17th, 2007 at 12:45 am
    ME Strauss said

    Hi Christine!
    If you could be doing anything you want what would it be?? Who cares if it’s one or three years?

    Reverse engineering is a good thing. It’s like planning a destination and then planning a route to get there.

    Most of this is loosening up your thoughts and letting yourself think them. It gets easier the more you do it.

    When you know the whys, then it gets easier too.

    You’re welcome. :)

  13. July 17th, 2007 at 6:10 am
    Karin H. said

    Hi Liz

    Simple ๐Ÿ˜‰
    (Just completed the three strength statements out the “Go put your strengths to work”):
    1) I love combining (new) ideas, methods and (IT) tools to create a better practise, better working method and/or become a better manager, create a better business
    2) I love managing projects where combining ideas, tools and methods and contacts creates a ‘flying-start’ for everyone involved
    3) I love explaining what I’ve learned from 1 and 2 to a small group or on a 1-2-1 base to help someone else reach his/her goal – either verbally or in writing.

    I’d even go so far that item 3 also means ‘guiding’ a customer of mine to their preferred type of wooden flooring ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Karin H. (Keep It Simple Sweetheart, specially in business)

  14. July 17th, 2007 at 6:20 am
    ME Strauss said

    Hi Karin!
    You’re a real woman of action and problem solving. It sure sounds as if you’ve found a great place to work and put your love into your job!

    No wonder, by the way, that you’re so good at observing and blogging. :)

  15. July 17th, 2007 at 6:29 am
    Karin H. said

    Hi Liz

    ๐Ÿ˜‰ Mentioned to my partner only yesterday (and the day before and the day before that and…):
    I have the best job in the world!

    (Handy when you are your ‘own’ boss)

    Karin H.

  16. July 17th, 2007 at 6:33 am
    ME Strauss said

    Hi Karin!
    Oh it’s not so much about being your own boss, but that wouldn’t be enough if you only polished fine silver or only wrote sales copy about those lovely wood floors.

    I think it has something to do with you doing what suits you . . . dare I say, (yes, I dare) . . . what you love doing! :)

    Coffee’s great today. How’s yours?

  17. July 17th, 2007 at 6:51 am
    Karin H. said

    I love my job (Love being my own boss too for that matter ๐Ÿ˜‰ – well, not really my own boss, partner has a say in it too – sometimes ;-))

    Coffee is great too (new coffee machine, excellent varied choice in roasted pods everyday now)

    Karin H.

  18. July 17th, 2007 at 6:53 am
    ME Strauss said

    Hi Karin!
    Love what you do which includes being your own with a partner, doing so many things you are great at. :)

    And it includes excellent coffee as well! Cool, I keep saying I’m coming over to work with you. :)

  19. July 17th, 2007 at 6:59 am
    Karin H. said

    Ain’t it handy then that my new machine can make two cups at once?
    (BTW, can you install floors? That’s my partners love ;-))

    Karin H.

  20. July 17th, 2007 at 7:02 am
    ME Strauss said

    Yeah, that coffee machine is special.

    I don’t want to take your partner’s love. . . . besides it’s not mine anyway. Let’s you show and sell the floors. Your partner installs them. I can dance on them to show how sturdy and wonderful they are. I’m also fabulous at spilling things. :)

  21. July 17th, 2007 at 7:09 am
    Karin H. said

    I can dance on them to show how sturdy and wonderful they are. Iรขโ‚ฌโ„ขm also fabulous at spilling things.

    Ah, that bring us to the next benefit of wooden flooring: easy to clean ๐Ÿ˜‰

    (You’re hired as demonstration ‘model’)

    Karin H.

  22. July 17th, 2007 at 7:27 am
    ME Strauss said

    There you go, Karin,
    When you . . . in this case me, . . . present a story of what you love doing, people know it will serve them well. :)

  23. July 17th, 2007 at 7:41 am
    Kirsten Harrell, Psy.D. said

    Hi Liz… and Karin,
    Looks like the morning is off to a great start here! :) I haven’t had my coffee yet, but getting ready to head out to my favorite coffee shop to work this morning.

    Liz- I forgot to say yesterday that I am looking forward to reading your thoughts about finding target markets. That is a big problem for me. I am sure you will have some good insights.

  24. July 17th, 2007 at 7:44 am
    ME Strauss said

    I can’t wait to tell you about choosing your customers and letting them know you are there. That’s a BIG part of what made me do this . . . But the groundwork has to come first.

    I’m chomping at the bit to get there. :)

  25. July 17th, 2007 at 7:47 am
    Kirsten Harrell, Psy.D. said

    Me too! :) I will be patient though. All in good time.

  26. July 17th, 2007 at 7:49 am
    ME Strauss said

    Hey Kirsten,
    I promise to make it interesting until we get there. :)

  27. July 17th, 2007 at 7:56 am
    Kirsten Harrell, Psy.D. said

    No doubts. I am off to get a nice big cappuccino. Hmmm. :)

    Create a great day!

  28. July 17th, 2007 at 7:58 am
    ME Strauss said

    Hey thanks! I just filled up my cup and I’m off to do inside-out thinking 1.2 :)

  29. July 17th, 2007 at 8:34 am
    Roy Jacobsen said

    I love playing with words. The dictionary is my toybox. I love to pick at snarled up skeins of words to untangle their meaning. I love to let the hot air out of puffed-up bloviation. I love to show people that they can tell their own stories, and that simple words are usually the most powerful.

    I love to make people laugh. There’s so much to laugh at.

    I love to read about ideas when they are clearly and powerfully expressed, and I love to discuss them with other people.

    I could go on and on, and I probably will.

    Thanks for the great questions, and for tackling this issue. I find myself getting stuck between the “I love…” part and the making money part.

  30. July 17th, 2007 at 8:37 am
    ME Strauss said

    Hi Roy!
    Take heart! There are lots of folks who are stuck in the same juncture as you are.

    There are lots of folks who are stuck figuring out how to get to “I love.”

    So you’ve got one down :)

  31. July 17th, 2007 at 11:12 am
    1.2 WHY Doing What We Love Is Solid Business Thinking - Liz Strauss at Successful Blog - Thinking, writing, business ideas . . . You’re only a stranger once. said

    […] There’s a reason that so many folks — on TV, in IT, in academia, in every career — say the same thing. . . . find your passion, do what you love. […]

  32. July 17th, 2007 at 3:42 pm
    ann michael said

    I’m with April. I love solving problems, breaking logjams, and dealing with conflict (I’m half Italian – I was brought up on direct communication of conflicting views!). I love people. I love words – they aren’t good or bad until we make them that way!

  33. July 19th, 2007 at 11:45 am
    1.3 If You Don’t Know What You Love Doing . . . - Liz Strauss at Successful Blog - Thinking, writing, business ideas . . . You’re only a stranger once. said

    […] Here’s how it often works. He says. She says. I don’t know what businesslike thing I love doing. […]

  34. July 19th, 2007 at 11:12 pm
    Drew McLellan said


    As always — thought provoking. I like your concept a lot. It’s a great method to guide people to really digging a little deeper.

    Of course…there’s much more than just what we love doing. After all, I love sleeping in until 10 or 11 (after staying up way too late) but no one is going to pay me to do that.

    The trick is matching the love with the other person’s need. No one needs me to sleep in late. So…I’d need to keep looking. Unless you know someone who will pay me to sleep. Because, then I am selling my agency tomorrow! :)

    Do you think anyone loves ALL aspects of their work? For example…I love speaking at conventions/conferences. But I hate being away from my family for any length of time. I think every career/job has some elements we’d rather avoid but can’t.

  35. July 19th, 2007 at 11:19 pm
    ME Strauss said

    Hi Drew!
    Did you miss the word businesslike in the question? ๐Ÿ˜‰ Yeah sleeping sounds like a great thing to get paid for . . . maybe a mattress tester? :)

    Yep, I agree that ice cream melts, moments of glory fade, and it’s lonely at the top . . . every idea, action, and person has two sides. Nothing is all good or all evil.

    I can imagine you enjoy speaking at conventions, because you are so good at it. :)

  36. July 23rd, 2007 at 9:51 am
    2.1: The Ideal Customer Test - Liz Strauss at Successful Blog - Thinking, writing, business ideas . . . You’re only a stranger once. said

    […] connecting with the ideal customers for the service or product we offer. The process starts by doing what we love, because doing what we love makes good business sense. The next step is to find the folks who love […]

  37. July 27th, 2007 at 12:44 pm
    DreamCatcher Online Marketing Buzz for Wellness Practitioners - 07.27.07 « DreamCatcher, Inc. said

    […] What businesslike thing do you love doing? Who is your prototype ideal customer? […]

  38. July 31st, 2007 at 11:57 pm
    AgentSully said

    I love teaching. I love when I can help turn on the lightbulb in someone’s head especially when they’ve had difficulty understanding that concept in the past. That’s cool. I like leading people to positive outcomes. I like the exchange of ideas. And I love learning new things.

    And Liz, I love reading your stuff!! It’s helpful and always so genuinely positive. Kudos to you! I’m sure I’ll be seeking out your virtual manager service at some point in the future when I’m ready for it.

  39. August 1st, 2007 at 4:35 am
    ME Strauss said

    Hi AgentSully,
    I woke up to your comment this morning. Those first two sentences are what I hear when I read what you write. Put them together with the rest of that first paragraph and I see someone who knows something about teaching. :)

    You go, girl. I’ll be here. :)

  40. August 1st, 2007 at 10:56 pm
    AgentSully said

    Thanks Liz. You rock!
    My only question is, where do you find all the time? You must be some kind of efficient and fast writer!! And thinker for that matter!

  41. August 1st, 2007 at 10:59 pm
    ME Strauss said

    Aw Sully,
    Naw. I just live inside your computer. :)

  42. August 1st, 2007 at 11:53 pm
    AgentSully said


  43. March 29th, 2008 at 8:44 am
    Metta said

    Fabulous questions, Liz!

    I love sharing information, tools, resources, inspiration, insights. However, the sticking point for me in answering your “businesslike” question is that “sharing” is the operative word for me here: I LOVE sharing FREELY — without setting a price tag and turning the exchange into a business transaction.

    To reference Karin’s response to the “memorable hello” question, I prefer conversations, not sales: http://www.thekissbusiness.co.uk/2008/03/business-conver.html

    At the same time, Ron Hutton’s advice is also ringing in my ears: “The sooner you get used to selling softly, the better for your business.”

    Do you have any thoughts or recommendations about how I might get off the horns of this dilemma?

    With appreciation and interest,

  44. March 29th, 2008 at 12:35 pm
    ME Liz Strauss said

    Hi Metta!
    Thanks for the news and “soft sharing.” Sure I can help you. It’s an issue I had to resolve for myself. Some of the answer comes from asking questions and listening more . . . so that folks can get the information at the pace they need to hear it.

    Working on things like this with people and businesses is what I do. :)

  45. March 29th, 2008 at 3:33 pm
    Metta said

    Thanks for your prompt feedback Liz.

    After posting this comment, I did see several more posts that spoke somewhat indirectly to this issue, so I think I’ll keep reading and I may sign-up for your email course first. My hope is this would allow me to bring more clarity and focus to any work we might do together.

  46. January 26th, 2009 at 8:11 am
    Do Your Customers Look a Lot Like You? Could that Be a Good Thing? - Liz Strauss at Successful Blog - Thinking, writing, business ideas . . . You’re only a stranger once. said

    […] an online business doesn’t seem that complicated. People do it every day. Some even start by doing what we love — building a product or service that captures their imagination and best sk…because doing what we love makes good business sense. Then they figure out who’s like to buy […]

  47. September 7th, 2010 at 8:13 am
    7 Reasons Why Investing in an Internal Community Makes Solid Business Sense | Liz Strauss at Successful Blog said

    […] There’s a reason that so many folks — on TV, in IT, in academia, in every career — say the same thing. . . . find your passion, do what you love. […]

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