What Do You Believe

What Do You Believe

You read everywhere about creating a mission statement. Why not turn up the volume and develop something with more energy and enthusiasm, truly take a stand? I’m talking about creating a manifesto for your business. Something that starts with “This I Believe.”

Connect your passion to your business goals and you’ll have a stirring manifesto for yourself and your work.

A manifesto is defined by Merriam-Webster as:

“A written statement declaring publicly the intentions,

motives, or views of its issuer.”

Your philosophy, your manifesto, when well thought out, becomes the basis for your, “why I’m different” conversation with your prospects and clients. You use it in your marketing materials, a welcome video on your website, in social media, and even on the walls in your office as artwork.

I recently created my coaching manifesto, which you can see below. Originally, my sole goal was to uniquely communicate my values and intentions to clients and prospects. What I didn’t anticipate was the added benefits of clarifying my business difference with my associates.

Devising your Manifesto

What steps do you use to create your business manifesto? Answering these questions will help get you going.

Who is your ideal client? This is who I love working with. I bring value to them in a unique way. Write about this client as if they were a living person. Create an image of this person. What’s their name, or even both of their names if it’s a couple? How old are they? Where do they work? What’s important to them? Why do you love working with them? What are their concerns? Make a list of the things they care about? They are an ideal client because…. (Please skip the answer: “I make a lot of money from them.”) Why do they love working with you?

  • When you are doing your best work, how are you of service? What are you doing for your clients and how are you improving their lives? What kind of work makes time zoom by unnoticed? How are your clients’ lives changed for the better as a result of their choice to work with you?
  • Look for inspiration in other businesses. Look to other, more experienced peers for ideas and inspiration. Most have been where you are and will be happy to discuss this with you. Also be sure and have some contributions that may be light and humorous; after all, what is life without a bit of humor?
  • What do you believe is true about being an extraordinary advisor? This is one of the biggest questions and it opens up the conversation regarding what should be on your manifesto. What do you think people should be looking for in an advisor? That belongs in your manifesto. What should they be looking for in a firm, in a financial plan? Take some time and write down everything that comes to mind. Get past the answers, good that they might be, like integrity, honesty, and trust. You can swing back around to them later, but for now, drill down deeper and deal with some of the following questions:

·      What do you believe is true about investing?

·      What do you believe is true about insurance?

·      What do you believe is true about estate planning?

·      What do you believe is true about business?

·      What do you believe is true about money?

Now that you have those questions (and if there are more for you then add them, too), you have the core of your personal and professional “This I Believe” list. Do your best to write them all down without a filter. Remember, keep going with your list because sometimes the best answers come in the last few seconds.

And for God’s sake, don’t bitch; these are things to aspire to, not complaints. This is no place to be ugly about how other professionals work, but only to list the positive things that you intend to deliver to your clients.

If you start to write negatives such as, “I believe there are advisors who don’t care about their clients’ but only about themselves,” mindfully turn it around to something positive. Maybe “I believe you, my client, should be the most important part of our relationship…your interests always come first.”

Honing in On Your Manifesto

Yea! Your list is complete! Now it is time to take a chance and show it to some people you trust. Consider showing it to your peers, your business coach, other advisor, or even some of your clients. Ask them what they think might be missing, what might be made clearer by changing a description, and even more importantly, what should be removed.

Now for the fun part… editing it. Consider how you will use your manifesto before starting the editing process. If it’s for your website, short and clear is important; if it’s for internal use, then you can make it a little longer. In my case, I wanted to use it for social media on my website, and in promotional material. Based on those goals, it had to be succinct and with only a limited number of ideas.

When you start this process, be sure you have time to do it and don’t rush! Get everyone involved that you think could contribute, especially those you work with.

What’s in Your Business Manifesto?

 I would be thrilled to read your business manifesto. Send it to me in an email… [email protected] and let’s see what you came up with.


Frank Hopkins is a life coach in Baton Rouge who is certified as a Professional Coach (CPC) by the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC). Frank has helped numerous people to go through emotional change in a way that is positively transformative.