Set a Definite Mission

You have probably set Definite Missions at different times in your life. I have. They were all major steps for me and helped me accomplish a high priority at that point in my life. Completing one Definite Mission usually opens the door to another. You would achieve a Bachelor’s Degree before you pursue and achieve a Master’s Degree. A list of my Definite Missions includes:

  • Earn a Bachelor’s Degree from Michigan State University.
  • Pay off my student loans 38 months early.
  • Become a certified scuba diver.
  • Own my residence.
  • Earn the Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MSCE) designation.
  • Become successfully self-employed.
  • Publish my first book How to Make Computer Systems Work for You.
  • Publish this book.
  • Make a living off this book and the speaking/consulting opportunities it creates.

Definite Missions are provable, concise and ambitious

I can prove I earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Michigan State University. I have records indicating when I took classes there and I have the Bachelor’s Degree hanging on my wall. I have a copy in the vault at a local bank. I can also have you call the Michigan State University Registrar’s office and verify that I really did earn a Bachelor’s degree in 1989. I am 100% positive I can prove that I earned the Bachelor’s Degree.

This Definite Mission was concise. It truly is a Bachelor’s Degree, not an Associate’s Degree, Master’s Degree or Ph.D. It truly is from Michigan State University and not from DePaul University or Loyola University, where my mom and dad graduated. I can show you my transcript (also in the vault) that lists all the classes I took and the grades I earned. I am 100% positive…

It was very ambitious. I heard that most college freshmen do not graduate in four years. I decided to work hard and beat the odds. I did not know how I could pay for it, since I was not a resident of Michigan when I chose MSU and I would therefore pay out-of-state tuition. I found enough funding to get me through school. I also chose a curriculum which entailed countless hours of research and paper writing. MSU’s library did not use the familiar Dewey Decimal System. Instead, they use the Library of Congress’ numbering scheme. I learned to understand it quickly. I learned that writing good papers meant presenting my argument, presenting the opposing argument and then summarizing why my argument carries more weight. It was a lot for a kid who woke up one day in East Lansing and knew nobody.

You need a Definite Mission that is provable, concise and ambitious.  You’re reading a book about self-employment. Let me propose this one: Become successfully self-employed.

You can prove this by leaving your current job and steady paycheck. You can prove you’re self-employed by looking at all your revenue for a month, quarter or year and showing none of it came from an employer.

This is concise. I used the word “successfully,” which in this example means you generate revenue, pay the bills and have money left over. If you generate $100,000 in revenue, pay all your bills[i] and have at least $1 left, you are successful.

It is ambitious. Quitting a job and launching a small business is not easy. Most small businesses in our country fail, for a variety of reasons. I will get into those later. You have to identify what you want to do, whether or not you can make a living doing it and whether or not you can run a business efficiently. Most of this is on-the-job training. It’s not easy and you will make mistakes every so often.

Most people do not have a Definite Mission. 95% of people “are drifting aimlessly through life, without the slightest conception of the work for which they are best fitted.”[ii] People accept jobs they don’t like because either the money is good or the job was available. They haven’t thought of their Definite Mission. Since they haven’t identified their Definite Mission, they haven’t pursued it.

You should write your Definite Mission with deliberate care. Put it someplace where you will see it at least once a day. This helps cement your Definite Mission in your subconscious mind and increases the likelihood it will manifest.

Suppose you stare at a computer all day but really want to run a dance studio. Your work brings in cash and pays the bills but it really isn’t your Definite Mission. Dancing is something you enjoy. Running a dance studio may be your Definite Mission.

Now that you’ve identified your Definite Mission of running a dance studio, write it on a 4×6 index card. Put it someplace where you will see at least once a day. I created three identical cards. One is on my nightstand, one is on my desk and one is in my car. I see my Definite Mission more than 10 times a day. The verbiage is the same.

How is a Definite Mission Better than a Mission?

I’m sure you noticed that I’m promoting a Definite Mission and not just a mission. I feel society uses the word mission too often and the power is therefore weakened. You need something stronger than just another mission. Write and embrace your Definite Mission. Here is a chart showing missions and Definite Missions.

Mission Definite Mission
Get smart Earn a Bachelor’s Degree from Michigan State University
Get smart Earn the Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MSCE) designation
Make a good living Become successfully self-employed
Write something Publish this book
Do something else for a living Make a living off this book and the speaking/consulting opportunities it creates

These Definite Missions were forward-looking. I wrote a Definite Mission and then found a way to accomplish it.

[i] When I say “bills,” this includes all your obligations, insurance, taxes, training, investment, salary and draw. $1 left over is all you need to qualify as being successful. I am asking “are you successful” and not “how successful are you”?

[ii] The Law of Success by Napoleon Hill, pages 75 and 76

From Escape the Cubicle


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