How to Never Forget the Why Behind Your Project
So on the way to Vegas, we rented a tablet and watched The Founder. I worked at McDonalds for nearly a decade and really wanted to see this movie. I am so glad I did, it was very well done, but oh wow did it ever make me upset.
Now before I get into this, I just want to say, by no means am I bashing McDonalds. That is not my intent, and plenty of people do that already. Like I said I worked there for nearly 10 years and they really do become your McFamily. I moved up through the company, and really do believe in the company. They do plenty for the community and it really is all about family.
I have to say though, that if the movie told the story correctly then I am upset. Ray Kroc is not the man I imagined behind such a family inspired restaurant. I won't get into too much detail just in case you haven't seen the movie yet, but basically he did not have the same vision that the McDonald brothers did. Rather than focusing on family, he focused on the brand. He was rather sneaky in his dealings and wanted to make the restaurants bigger no matter the cost. He forgot why that restaurant was such a success in the first place. Yes he built an empire that is one of the biggest name brands in the world, but at what cost?
So here is my creative tip for you today! Never forget the why behind your project. Yes as you continue to grow in your own company it will be easy to forget why you started it in the first place. It is easy to grow and expand into something that you think people will want. And maybe they do. But you don't want your company to be almost unrecognizable after awhile. You may look back at the beginning and realize that you and your company don't have the same mission statement anymore. What made people fall in love with your company, may not be part of your brand anymore. It can either make or break you.
Yes companies are suppose to grow over time. That is what makes them exciting. Some of the best companies have stood the test of time and have become what we consider classic. Let's take Coca Cola for an example. Their main product is Coke. Yes they have expanded into other pop flavors, but the basis of their company is coke. If they decided to drop that, what is their company all about? Just pop. Well to start off they will have to change their name. That would be a HUGE task. Coke has also built their brand by targeting families. They know that parents will buy their children a coke with take out or at restaurants, because it is a treat. That is why all of their commercials are family orientated. They will continue to focus on families and relationships in order to push their brand.
So in order to remember the why behind you and your business here are some tips:
- Write out a mission statement. Have it somewhere where you will see it regularly. It will help remind you of why you started the business in the first place. It may change over time, but try to keep the heart of it the same. When writing out your mission statement, focus on who you are creating this for and why you are doing it. Those are going to be your basis for any project. Even if a business idea goes belly up, think about what you want to be remembered for. That should be included in your mission statement, because your name is attached to this. You want people to remember what you stood for in your business.
- Create a business plan every year. Sit down, look at what you accomplished. See what worked really well for you and what didn't. Find out why people love what you are selling. As long as it is something you still love to do, then keep going with it! A business plan update every quarter, 6 months or year allows you to reconnect with your "baby". It may just be the snap back to reality that you need, when things start to get out of control.
- Keep your original product. This is the product that started it all. Maybe it was a blog post, a physical product or a digital product. Whatever it is keep it. This is what got you motivated to move forward with your plans. This is what inspired you. Keep it and treasure it always. This constant reminder, should be something you are proud of. It's what got you excited to start in the first place. Don't forget that!
Has your business changed over the years? Did it change for the better? Let me know in the comment section below!
Peace, love and creativity!