Creating a Mission Statement That Helps Drive Your SuccessChia-Li Chien, Ph.D., CFP®, PMP®, CPBC
Chia-Li Chien | Dec. 4, 2011
How one business owner turns his passion and purpose into a successful business
Do you have a mission statement? Are you thinking in terms of your business mission statement? Or do you have two statements—one personal and another for business—or only one tightly aligned mission statement?
To help people become leaders and achieve their success they desire.
Early in his career, at age 24 to be exact, Tim developed the above aligned personal and business mission statement. Today, Tim Flanagan’s company, H.F. Financial, ranks in the top three largest area financial planning firms for 2011 in Charlotte. Tim is the 4th CEO in this 3rd generation family business, which has been in operation since 1935. Tim’s passion for helping people and seeing people succeed is his internal driver for continuous success in a complex, highly regulated financial industry.
Tim’s father has been his greatest influence. He put Tim on the path of personal development early. Tim went through the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and became leadership-centric from the very start of his business. Tim’s father let him chart his own course and come to the realization on his own that the business acts as the vehicle, which will allow him to grow in his personal/business mission statement. Tim is allowing his own son, a college business major, to do the same.
The common problem of conducting business in this ever-changing landscape of complex financial regulations is creating and sticking to a business model. In a franchised business model such as Tim’s, there are ninety-one affiliated financial advisors who are independent contractors working with the company. Many financial advisors (independent contractors) in the industry don’t operate like a business.
But like any entrepreneurial endeavor, it takes more than just a business card to sustain a healthy profit margin. The compressed margin from commissions and fees of financial products and services allow Tim to provide valued services to his financial advisors (independent contractors). These services are relevant in support of their clients.
Tim pointed out three common issues financial advisors (as entrepreneurs) face:
1) They suffer from an insufficient number of people to prospect in their own network.
2) They are not given enough time to build the business and knowledge it takes to sustain the business.
3) They do not have a serious commitment, perseverance and self-belief in a better future via the business vehicle.
(I would say that in my experience, no matter what type of business an entrepreneur creates, these three issues are a common thread.)
To address these continuous challenges in the business model, today Tim has three solutions to organically grow his business at 10 to 12% annually:
1) Be more rigorous and selective in whom they bring in as an independent financial advisor (aka entrepreneur).
2) Test the commitment of vision of the entrepreneur’s future. Continuously remind him or her of that vision with on-going guidance, encouragement and support.
3) Be truthful regarding the ability to consistently bring in revenue.
With 22 years in this ever-changing, regulated landscape, Tim and his team of financial planners can spot a qualified candidate at first sight. The right candidate will typically possess leadership qualities such as:
• Professional experience instead of series of jobs.
• A mission in life.
• A destination goal that is compatible to where the business can take them.
• Energized to use this business vehicle.
• An engaged human being.
In addition to these tactics, Tim constantly reflects on what’s going on in the world and is very much focused on servicing the local vibrant affinity or ethnic communities such as Asian Americans, African Americans and Latino Americans, etc. As an early adopter of this diversity trend in financial planning, Tim is building brand recognition and paying attention to each of the unique needs in the local communities. It’s obvious how Tim grows his business organically.
Here are three valuable pieces of advice Tim offers every entrepreneur:
- Invest in the right path and stay on that path.
- Expect and live in the six core values: Integrity, Conviction, Accountability, Service to Others, Professionalism and Growth.
- Focus on only what’s important in values, goals and aspirations.
Keep your eye on the prize!
So, what’s your mission statement? How aligned is your mission statement to your personal life and business? The passion, or your internal drive, will become obvious in any successful business. Yet it might take years for one to see that. No matter what business you’re in, take a moment to reflect on your mission statement. Is it still driving you toward your goals? Stay focused on the path to your prize/passion/purpose and arrive at your destination in your desired timeframe.