Let me tell you something: putting into words your life’s mission and your passion is not easy! We see it all the time with clients when we challenge them to explain their vision to us. Having work that feels more like a calling than a career incites passion in a lot of people, and that passion—as inspiring as it might be—can also make it difficult to succinctly and clearly explain what the project at hand is. There’s just so much wrapped up in the possibilities!
When our clients need help putting their vision into a real concept, with objectives and deliverables and design and detail, we see the wheels turning, and it feels amazing. Like most experiences in life, it was much (much!) harder for Sarah and me to do the same thing when it was our turn. How do we describe our mission and our vision? How do we want to use our business to make a difference—and how do we communicate that to people?
Under the guidance of our fearless branding expert Patrick McGilvray of The Brand Sketch, Sarah and I were put to task to write down the things we believed in: what values do we have? What purpose do we want to serve—both daily and on a much higher level? What do we so strongly believe in that we are willing to put it down on paper and share it with our clients, our friends, and the world (thanks, Internet!)?
Developing our business manifesto was an incredibly formative experience for us as friends and business partners. We identified the projects and work that inspire us, like OneSight, and the concepts that we were willing to work hard for, like fair housing and peace. We explored the words and phrases that reflected the company we aspire to build; a company that cultivates a culture of honesty, respect, trust, love, celebration of our own inner joys, and positivity. The process of developing a manifesto also challenged us to think about our business in a way that enables us—and our clients—to do better, feel better, and be better: to innovate, to think about the big picture, to disrupt the status quo, to change the world by challenging the world.
When we literally stepped back to look at our work (it was posted all over the window!), our manifesto was there: a reflection of the values we’re willing to stand strong for, the people we aspire to be, the way we want to make our clients feel, and how we plan to do it.
Putting it all together was a beautiful albeit challenging exercise, but the end result continues to inspire us today. When we get stuck on a project or have days that feel very hard as business owners or mothers or wives or friends…the manifesto reminds us of why we’re doing what we’re doing and the reasons we started in the first place.
If you’ve never stopped to consider your own professional or personal manifesto, accept this as your challenge! Start with these three words and then let your passion fill in the rest:
This I believe: