One of the first tasks I was given in my position at The Sweet Tooth was to define the Company’s Mission in a written statement. This was not an easy task. Amy has grand ideas for the company, and they expand constantly. I thought it was going to be impossible to get The Sweet Tooth’s mission condensed to a single statement! I know the first thing I have to do if I want to accomplish something, is to get started and that’s exactly what I did.
I did some research on the internet and found some pretty good information. Wikipedia said, The mission statement should guide the actions of the organization, spell out its overall goal, provide a sense of direction, and guide decision-making. It provides “the framework or context within which the company’s strategies are formulated.” After I read the information on Wikipedia, I was nervous. This statement of mission seemed very important, like extremely important. I thought something this important has to have a lot of words, big words, like words people had to look up to know what they meant. I started jotting down ideas, and doing more and more research only to get more and more frustrated. Minutes of work, turned into hours and hours turned into days but I felt like I was getting nowhere. I actually thought I would be better off writing the business plan first, so that’s what I did.
I was willing to do anything to keep from working on The Sweet Tooth’s mission statement. In my effort to avoid my task, I completed as much of the business plan as I possibly could. I reached a point where I could go no further without facing up to this task. So I starting trying again to form The Sweet Tooth’s mission statement. I tried and tired but was not happy with anything. I was totally frustrated and felt dejected. I closed my laptop and decided to drown out my sorry with a cupcake. I slowly enjoyed every crumb of that cupcake and went back to staring blankly at my laptop. I was still stuck, not going anywhere… but I noticed something. I no longer felt dejected, I actually felt kinda happy. The only thing that changed was I had one of The Sweet Tooth’s cupcakes and it made me happy!
Well I had a place to start and I felt good. I started drafting statements that sound like… The Sweet Tooth’s goal is to make our customers happy by providing them with delicious treats in an environment that blah blah blah. The statement was not something we would say, it did not feel right it was too formal. So I simplified it, really simplified it. The Sweet Tooth’s mission is to Promote Happiness. I like it, but how will the boss feel about it?
I had to pitch the idea to Amy. I planned to let her know that it did not just apply to our customers, but also to our employees, members of our community, anyone that comes into contact with The Sweet Tooth. I would let her know how it can guide the actions and decision making of the company, I had it all planned out. I told Amy, “The Sweet Tooth’s Mission is to Promote Happiness…” Before I was able to continue the speech I prepared she said she like it.
Promote Happiness, our two word mission statement. Next time you see those two words in our email signature or on our web site, know that it’s more than just a tagline. It’s provides us with direction, guides us in our decision making process, it’s what The Sweet Tooth was established to do.