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State Your Purpose

Mission statements with kick

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This story appears in the September 2000 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

You wouldn't leave for a trip to an unfamiliar city without a map, so why would you start a business without a mission statement-your guide for all that comes after?

A mission statement is the "bone-deep reason your organization exists," says Dick Barnett, a Beaverton, Oregon, business consultant with Barnett & Kutz Inc. and author of Reignite Your Business (Confident Leader Press). A strong mission statement shouldn't be a lengthy tome; ideally, the founder should be able to summarize his mission in a few words. One restaurateur's mission, for instance, is "to serve people with love."

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