Ernest Hemingway was one of our greatest authors of short stories. "The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway" is thought to contain some of Hemingway's best writing. There's a personal story about Hemingway, most likely apocryphal, that he once won a wager where another writer dared him to write a short story of six words or less. Hemingway's purported submission was, "For sale. Baby shoes. Never worn."
Picking up on this theme, Smith Magazine has recently sponsored a project whereby they have solicited their readers to submit their own memoirs...in six words or less."Six-word Memoirs" has become a New York Times best seller. This is a great read. The entries are alternately...funny, revealing and poignant. Here are some submissions: "Made costly mistakes, learned valuable lessons." or "Wasn't born a redhead. Fixed that." or "Outcast. Picked last. Surprised them all."
6-Word Mission Statements
It is a valuable exercise to apply this same practice to Mission Statements. As you most likely know, a Mission Statement is a formal written statement of purpose of a company or organization. The Mission Statement guides the actions of the organization, spells out its overall goal, provides a sense of direction, and guides decision-making. The Mission Statement provides a context or framework within which the company's strategies are formulated.
In my view, many Mission Statements seem to be overly long, trite, boring, and not very compelling. On the other hand, some of the best Mission Statements are compact, convincing, and inspirational. From the corporate world, here are two standouts:
Google: To organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.
3M: To solve unsolved problems innovatively.
6-Word Mission Statements for Financial Advisors
For financial advisors, your Mission Statement should answer the fundamental question of, "What gets you up in the morning?" or "What do you do, and why do you do it?" Additionally, you might also answer these important issues, "Who can you help?" and "What is your influence?"
Applying all of this to create Six-Word Mission Statements for financial advisors, here are some attempts:
- Wealth Management, and peace of mind.
- Make a difference. Lead. Coach. Teach
- Create strong relationships. Commitment to clients.
- Independent ideas. Topnotch advice. Independent wealth.
Now that I have the hang of it, here's a 6-Word Mission Statement for my own firm, ClientWise:
- Clear and focused. You too. ClientWise.
Can you come up with a 6-Word Mission Statement that works for you, your clients, and future clients? Just wondering...