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I ask because all business should have one. I promise it’s what will propel your biz forwards big time. Don’t confuse a mantra with a business plan; mantras are a concise sentence that sum up your business in a nutshell. Think of your mantra as a formula, which should tie everything together reminding you of who you are. Let me give you some examples:

STARBUCKS Rewarding everyday moments.

RITZ CARLTON Ladies and gentleman serving ladies and gentlemen.

NIKE Authentic athletic performance.

Ours is “dare to be different”. So we go out of our way designing products that are unusual, beautifully crafted, glam and eclectic. We offer up an eclectic, quirky, multi-layered selection of products. That is our mantra. That is echoed through our website, our social feeds and everything and anything we do.

Since pinning down this mantra, (I didn’t have one in the early days btw) my business has become so much more focused and so much more successful. Our mantra acts as a filter for every business decision we make. When faced with tough decisions or opportunities I always ask myself is this in line with our mantra. If yes we proceed to go, if it’s a no we bail!

It’s funny because in the beginning all you think about and worry about is are people going to buy into what you are selling. That consumes every waking moment, I remember it well. The reality in fact is very different – people are not necessarily buying into what you do they’re buying into how you do it. They are to a degree but it’s the way that you do it and execute it that sets you apart and that excites consumers. Market leadership is probably one of the most fundamental reasons that some companies do exceeding well and others just potter along and then eventually fail.  It’s also the hardest one to maintain. We are known in the biz for doing things differently and that has stood has apart. There isn’t a day when we rest on our laurels, or take our foot of the pedal. The awful fact is only about 50% of businesses survive from launch even worse only about one third survive 10 years on or more. Business is unforgiving it’s a constant challenge, and if you’re not focused you’re screwed.

In the last few weeks I have been seriously stressed, a lot is happening to our businesses right now (all of them good things) but all of them requiring a lot of attention as there are now a lot of moving parts. Having a retail store oddly enough is the easiest part, (who would ever have thought I would say that) but having a mantra makes so many decisions so much easier.

It takes a lot to be successful – enthusiasm and belief is not enough to get you there, sorry! Writing down goals and deliverables in line with your mantra will. I know that sounds boring but honestly it’s one of the most existing things. You know why? You’re writing your future.

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