WHAT IS A MANIFESTO?
I recently had a session with my Intuitive Business Coach, Monique Evans of Intuitive Freedom where she asked if my business purpose/ mission statement or ‘manifesto’ was still relevant? She has her finger on the pulse that woman and has insights that always surprise me.
It’s been 3 years since we set our ‘why’ and purpose and wrote the mission for Confetti Design so it was a timely question. And having not thought of our mission statement or conscious business purpose as a ‘manifesto’ I took the invitation to delve into this new world. How did I want to step forward into this world with 3 years of business under my belt. What did we want to stand for now? What do we want be know for? How do we want to be remembered in the work we produce or the experiences we provide for our clients.
After getting my ‘google-on’ and reading a few dozen articles on Google to get my head around: What is a manifesto? I now have a fair idea what this ‘manifesto’ biz is about. This article will look at what is a manifesto; how it can be a powerful tool for your business and personal life and some tips on how to write one.
What is a manifesto?
Traditionally, a manifesto is a written statement where you publicly declare your…
- Intentions (what you intend to do)
- Beliefs (what your opinions are; your view of a particular topic)
- Vision (the type of business / life or world that you dream about and wish to create)
From my findings, manifestos of all varieties are cool and there are no real rules except your main goal is for someone to get a better feeling of you or greater understanding of you, your business or project after reading it. Of course a personal manifesto can be very very private and personal and shared with no-one, choice is yours.
In terms of a business manifesto, a good one makes us think ‘this is a business with meaning; these people get it.’ The best business manifestos really need to be written with your customers in mind. They consider what the primary purpose of your business is and tell people what change you wish to bring.
“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” ~ Simon Sinek
When we work with our clients on their branding and websites they undergo a thorough briefing process where we encourage them to watch the Ted talk of Simon’s called Start With Why. This actually allows our clients to identify their purpose for business. It allows us to get into their hearts and minds and gives us the magic insights to design a brand and online presence that truly represents their higher purpose.
Benefits of a manifesto?
The great by-product of a manifesto is that like values, once set you have a framework in which to make decisions more easily, evaluation opportunities and stick to your priorities when conflicts arise.
Therefore we can see a manifesto is a great way to:
- Clarify your beliefs
- Name your guiding purpose for being in business
- Examine your motivations
- Create “policies”
- Describe what kind of business you’d like to own or work in
- The type of values your customers would have
- Write down your goals
Your manifesto doesn’t have to be extreme or only written once. It doesn’t need to be long. It can be bullet points; or you could write it like a letter. You could even review each year to see how your goals have changed or values evolved.
A manifesto could encompass goals for the whole life of your business, or a goal for one product or service, a goal for a shorter period or for a project. See a few below for inspiration including how Apple use their manifesto as a guiding light for business culture and product development. And Seth Goden’s could be adopted by any sales or marketing business.
Here is Apple’s Manifesto written by Tim Cook
- We believe that we’re on the face of the earth to make great products.
- We’re constantly focusing on innovating.
- We believe in the simple, not the complex.
- We believe we need to own and control the primary technologies behind the products that we make and participate only in markets where we can make a significant contribution.
- We believe in saying no to thousands of projects so that we can focus on the few that are meaningful to us.
- 6.We believe in deep collaboration and cross pollination in order to innovate in a way others cannot.
- We don’t settle for anything other than excellence in any group in the company.
- We have the self-honesty to admit when we’re wrong and the courage to change.
Seth Goden’s – my favourite marketing guru
- The greatest innovations appear to come from those that are self-reliant. Individuals who go right to the edge and do something worth talking about. Not solo, of course, but as instigators of a team. In two words: don’t settle.
- The greatest marketers do two things: they treat customers with respect and they measure.
- The greatest salespeople understand that people resist change and that ‘no’ is the single easiest way to do that.
- The greatest bloggers blog for their readers, not for themselves.
- There really isn’t much a of ‘short run’. It quickly becomes yesterday. The long run, on the other hand, sticks around for quite a while.
- The internet doesn’t forget. And sooner or later, the internet finds out.
- Everyone is a marketer, even people and organizations that don’t market. They’re just marketers who are doing it poorly.
- Amazing organizations and people receive rewards that more than make up for the effort required to be that good.
- There is no number 9.
- Mass taste is rarely good taste.
Define : Define your ideal lifestyle.
Eliminate : Eliminate everything extraneous.
Automate : Build an automatic, sustainable source of income.
Liberate : Be mobile and free yourself from your location.
• Do one thing a day that scares you.
• Life is full of setbacks. Success is determined by how you handle setbacks.
• Your outlook on life is a direct reflection of how much you like yourself.
• Stress is related to 99% of all illness.
• Jealousy works the opposite way you want it to.
• Friends are more important than money.
• Living in the moment could be the meaning of life.
• Visualize your eventual demise. It can have an amazing effect on how you live for the moment.
• Practice yoga so you can remain active in physical sports as you age.
• Dance, sing, floss and travel.
• Children are the orgasm of life.
• Sweat once a day to regenerate your skin.
• What we do to the earth we do to ourselves.
• The pursuit of happiness is the source of all unhappiness.
How do you write your manifesto for your business?
Here are some great questions to ask to get you started that I found in another article, the full text is visible HERE
- I believe that everyone _______ (has these qualities and rights).
- I believe it is important to _______ (do certain things when servicing clients, replying, sending an on-boarding gift or document).
- In my business, clients and I treat each other _______ (in these ways).
- In my world, _______ (describe your desired working environment).
- My personal policy is _______ (what are your values to work and live by).
- I believe that I am uniquely equipped to _______ (do something meaningful to help others achieve_____).
- My overarching personal goal is _______ (add sub-goals if desired).
- My overall business/career goal is _______ (add sub-goals if desired).
I really like these questions as the spark thinking around values, the type of experience I hope to provide clients and also to guide the type of clients I really like working with. This ensures it’s super easy to say yes or no to a project. These questions also allow you to highlight your strengths as an integral part of your manifesto and goals.
If these questions haven’t resonated or you have trouble identifying your ‘why’ through the Simon Sinek approach, Valuable Content have a couple of great exercises to use, summarized below.
Start with a rant to see what really riles you and gets up passionate
- When it comes to your industry what really winds you up?
- What do you rile against?
- What does everyone else get wrong?
- What could be so much better if people only DID SOMETHING about it?
- If you were King or Queen of your industry what would STOP happening RIGHT NOW!!!
Then flip it
Then turn the negatives into positives. When you do this ensure it keeps the perspective on the customer not you.
As an example your rant maybe:
“I hate the way small businesses are treated like second class citizens in the business world. There’s just not enough of the right support out there, and their contribution to the UK economy is seriously underplayed.”
Flip it to:
“Small business is the lifeblood of the UK economy, and it deserves the very best support.”
Make sure your statement doesn’t become:
“I service small business better than anyone”
Do some customer research to get your tone of voice right for your manifesto.
- What matters to your customers?
- How does your approach make things better for them?
You can then find the intersection of your principles or values and those of your clients. Making these a manifesto feature or a ‘sticky’ service goal.
After all my reading and exploring of the range of manifesto’s I am going to lock myself away for a few hours and refine our purpose led mission statement into a manifesto. I am liking this approach to help guide us in the next phase of our business existence.
Best of luck with your manifesto or purpose driven mission statement for your business.
For further inspiration try here There are over 1000 HERE .