I lead a small young adult group at the church I attend. At one of our recent meetings we talked about our identity—what it is, how we perceive it (correctly or incorrectly), and where it comes from. Understanding our identity revolves around the answers to two simple, yet very important questions.

1) Who am I? (What makes me special?)

2) Why? (Where does my identity come from?)

The same two questions need to be asked in business.

“Who are we?”

What are out business’ function and purpose? What does our company do best? What sets us apart from the competition? Every business should have a well-thought out “Mission Statement” that explains exactly what it is trying to accomplish.

“Why are we in business in the first place?”

Besides the obvious answer ,”To make a profit”, ask yourself: “What motivates us to do what we do?” What makes our company special or unique? If you don’t have a satisfactory answer, then I would encourage you to spend some time with your key employees and resolve the “Why?” before making any more strategic decisions. From these discussions, you should be able to form a well-crafted “Vision Statement.”

Begin to filter ALL of your business decisions with this question: “Does this task or action line up with my ‘who’ and ‘why’ (mission and vision)?” If not, it’s probably not worth considering. Everything you do in business is a direct result of how you view yourself and your organization. Without a clearly defined vision and plan to accomplish it, you are headed for mediocrity or worse possibly shutting your doors for good.

Just like in our personal lives, as we grow in wisdom and maturity, our identity should become clearer and more well-defined. We need to be deliberate in eliminating wrong beliefs so we can discover who we are destined to become.

Clearly defined mission and vision statements do not guarantee success, but they are a solid foundation on which to build. They are key to being able to properly direct your business. If you aren’t sure of who you are and why you exist, your business could collapse under intense pressure. When the rains come and the winds blow, you want to avoid making simple mistakes that will quickly get you off track. If you have the right lens and are laser focused, your business will not only survive, but should thrive in the years to come.

I wish you the utmost success.