With endless possibilities, new opportunities and receiving conflicting advice, it can be hard for some entrepreneurs to stay focused on their vision. We should know.
At Zady, our ethical-fashion startup, there are many little things that we have not gotten perfectly right along the way. For example, we didn’t have a newsletter sign up when we first launched and therefore missed an important way to connect with the earliest traffic to our site.
Yet, what we have gotten right and what we are most proud of is our continued commitment to our mission of creating a beautiful alternative to fast-fashion. As we hit the one-year mark, this commitment has not only brought the team closer (read: we all work just that much harder), but also is the primary reason for our growth.
So what does it mean to be “mission first”?
Read below for three tips on how to integrate your company’s mission into every aspect of your work.
1. Get your team on board. We invested a lot of time as a full team contributing to discussions and goal setting around our mission. It was a chance for everyone to reflect on and discuss what the Zady mission of ending fast-fashion means to them. Days can seem to fly by and sometimes meetings on topics not directly related to immediate outcomes can seem frivolous, but these discussions brought us all closer and helped us focus on what was most important.
You can only work as a team if all members know what they are working towards. These brand meetings helped all of us feel the mission personally and are going to pay out in the years ahead as we create our strategic goals.
2. Don’t be afraid to use special opportunities to reinforce your mission. Whether it’s partnering with a charity that fits your mission (think Warby Parker and Vision Spring), using speaking engagements to raise topics beyond the bottom line or including your mission in any collateral you have, it’s important to be surround sound with your vision.
This spring, we had unique opportunity to have a full page ad on Zady. We had trepidations at first, not wanting people to think that we were standing on our soapbox. But it was a one shot deal and there was a lot we wanted to say, so we dove right in, and we took a stand on the fast-fashion industry. We could not have been happier with the outcome and the feedback we received. We clearly said something that was on a lot of people’s minds, leading to positive accolades and support from all corners of the globe
3. Be authentic with your mission. With all of the above said, consumers are smart these days; they will see right through a company that uses the veneer of mission without fully embodying it. We as consumers are exposed to a lot of green washing, and are skeptical of companies that seemingly out of the blue introduce something “mission”related. So find what truly inspires you and your team and communicate that message authentically. There is no magic formula for authenticity, that piece has to come from you and your team. Think about your company in a more global sense, what beyond sales are you trying to do for the world? Answer that question and you have your mission.