Put Your Future Down on Paper

The only social missions that work are the ones that you care a lick about. That’s the biggest indicator right there.

It’s not your marketing team or budget allowances and it’s not the press release or fundraising event you’re fretting over. The social missions that weld the greatest impact on a cause and in business growth are led by people who are emotionally committed to their social mission.

Before you research non-profits partners, choose your tactics or analyze what resources you can commit, you need to have an outline of what you want. I do this periodically when I’m thinking about what I want from work and from life. It’s not about subscribing to vision boards or “The Secret,” it’s about saying out loud (or on paper) what you want. The best part is that it doesn’t need to be specific. It can be ideas or qualities that trigger an emotion in you.

When I asked readers last week how I can make the greatest impact, I talked about laying out a plan that would lead me to my goal. I wasn’t clear on what this goal was, however, so I began by writing out a list of qualities that I knew I wanted (key words). Then I built a quick mission statement around those and created steps to get me where I want to go.

There are three reasons to write down what you want:
1) You dream bigger
2) You get clear on what you want (& when we know what we want, we’re powerhouses)
3) You have a vision to reference when you feel off track

My Key Words (some repeat)
-Change–doing good/making a difference
-Impact people’s lives – help
-Mentorship or team of peers
-Multi-sector, partnerships
-Leadership / mentorship
-Chance to lead
-Independence & authority
-Partnerships–reaching outside my organization
-Doing good
-Thought leader
-Take risks
-Find the place to have the most impact

My Mission
Implement and manage a social mission & have the work be so good, it’s modeled by others.

What values and qualities move you? How do you see yourself as having the greatest impact? Write it down or read it if you’ve already written it.



Leave a comment
  1. Audrey February 18, 2010 at 12:06 pm #

    Thanks for sharing your process and final result. Your mission is clear and I love how you focus on quality to become a leader in your field.

    You’d laugh if you saw our apartment right now! It has two big (1 meter wide) pieces of white paper taped up full of key words and concepts. As you wrote, one of the best reasons to do this is to “have a vision to reference when you feel off track.”

    Now, if we only had a portable white board to take with us…

  2. admin February 18, 2010 at 3:36 pm #

    thanks for your comment. I’m best when I put things down on paper (goals, to-dos, questions or fears). I’m glad you enjoyed by ‘key words’ and mission. I always appreciate when people bring me into their processes and inner thinking space.

    Have you thought about creating a private page on your blog to use as a ‘whiteboard?’ Not quite the same, but portable!


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