In the course of revitalising, or more accurately, resuscitating, my career, I have recently visited many companies’ websites, large and small for inspiration. One aspect that has been of particular interest to me is their mission statements, not least that they are ‘On A Mission’ but also that they have to make a ‘Statement’ about it. I struggle with this. I feel less that I have a ‘Mission’ and more that I’m ‘Running An Errand’. Mum will give me sixpence for going.
I’ve noticed that one essential requirement in Mission Statements is Passion. “We are passionate about our widgets, we have a passion for good customer service and most important, we are passionate about our business.” After all that passion it’s surprising they’ve got any energy left to sell anything. I realise the aim is to inspire but just how much passion does a widget warrant?
Frankly, as a potential customer myself I find the intensity of this well-intentioned endeavour all a bit sickly. Reliable sources tell me that typically we buy from people we like. Not rocket science but news to me. So if I’m having to choose between a company that just gets the job done well without any fuss or ‘Passionate To Its Core Corp.’, give me understated efficiency every time.
Surprisingly, I should state that I just don’t have that burning desire. The claim, that I make from the bottom of my heart, that “I will make the best pictures I can and sell them as often and for as much money as I can” is honest but, I accept, unlikely to whip my customers into a buying frenzy.
Unfortunately the sad truth may be that it’s me that’s missing the point. I’ve always felt that doing a good job for a good price in a friendly manner was enough. Maybe not. To win new hearts perhaps I have to be loved not liked. “I will strive through raging seas and foul tempests to ensure that none of my photographs shall be even 1/3rd stop either over or under exposed.” You see to me that sounds slightly overblown, but what do I know?
Maybe my mission from now on, should I choose to accept it, is to be a passionate man.