The spring of 2020 marked the 5 year anniversary of Map & Fire.
It felt like a big accomplishment given that only about 50% of small businesses reach that milestone. At the time I planned to write about the alignment between our brand’s core purpose and mission and our accomplishments as a business.
Then my plans, and the plans of the world, started to go off the rails.
COVID-19 began to spread, intense pains of social injustice ignited, the US political climate was boiling over, and on a very personal level my Mom was diagnosed out of the blue with late stage pancreatic cancer.
In a blink, these much more urgent and important needs dwarfed that company milestone.
Map & Fire was among thousands of small businesses that felt, and continue to feel, the impact of the pandemic.
When it started, many of the new opportunities in our pipeline paused or disappeared. We were very lucky to have some loyal, legacy clients who continued on or came back to us through that period to keep things going.
Those strong relationships with our clients didn’t only provide work, but also incredible amounts of empathy and support as I dealt with my Mom’s illness. Our family rallied around her and together we spent the entire summer caring for her in Michigan.
During that stretch, I needed flexibility because working hours were erratic.
Sadly, in August just three months after her diagnosis she passed away. It was a devastating time but I’m so thankful I was able to be there with her soaking up every last minute together, right up until her final days.
Throughout that period the core principles I built around Map & Fire served as a much needed source of stability and consistency.
We continued to nurture relationships. We launched our first online course. We provided free mentorship to companies and entrepreneurs struggling with the impacts of COVID-19 all over the world. We published new articles and resources.
As we headed into the fall of 2020, while political, social, and environmental issues continued to rage, our steady investments paid off with some exciting new engagements.
That momentum has continued now into the winter and the new year opening up more opportunities for growth.
With all those events, it’s no surprise that this is the first time in 9 months that I felt the mental clarity and space to revisit and reflect on Map & Fire’s overall direction.
It’s a check-in I thought would be timely last spring but only really became clear today.
How Our Purpose And Mission Kept Us On Track
This is our Core Purpose as it stands today:
“Empower and elevate business leaders to achieve their goals.”
That’s the broad, “Forever” north star we work toward.
This idea extends out into our Mission:
“Provide data, creative, and strategy resources that empower business leaders to build high-growth brands fueled by aligned teams and loyal customers.”
We’ve refined and tweaked these statements many times over the years, but the essence has always stayed true.
We want to make the tools and services to build a brand accessible and easy to use for anyone who has the determination to pursue an idea.
The word that joins the two statements is “empower”. We don’t just want to do great work for companies. We want to provide new outlooks and insights to help businesses and the people within them succeed on their own.
And the circumstances and experiences of a person’s life should not determine or limit their opportunity to build a successful business.
We want to democratize access to these ideas so that anyone with the grit to build a brand can do it. The more that people are able to contribute their unique value to the world in that way the more we all benefit from it collectively.
We express this goal in how we operate and where we invest our energy:
- Our free Field Guide of brand marketing exercises, resources, and definitions
- Nearly a hundred in-depth blog articles featured in places like Foundr Magazine
- Downloadable brand and marketing workbooks
- An online course on Positioning and Messaging (launched last year as a result of the pandemic)
- A digital product to help craft messaging
- Mentorship for entrepreneurs in the Los Angeles area as well as online for companies and individuals around the world
- Guest lectures and mentorship for business students at UCLA and USC
- And of course, for businesses that need in-depth, hands-on work, we provide paid consulting services.
I believe we’re fulfilling our Core Purpose and Mission in real ways every day. Through all the challenges of 2020, it was the ability to stick to that path that allowed us to build new relationships and plant new seeds for growth.
On a personal level, it’s incredibly satisfying to see the impact we’ve had with individuals and organizations.
We get to help smart, talented, driven business leaders get clear on their ideas, align their teams, build strong foundations, and provide value to larger audiences.
I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what makes us happy and content as human beings. How can we live more productive and satisfied lives?
A big part of it from my own experience is a deep connection to your work. The ability to see a clear connection between the effort you put into something and the value it generates.
To have the autonomy to make decisions that affect outcomes. To embrace both the risk and reward of your efforts.
Working to found or help lead a business is, in my experience, the most direct path to that type of satisfaction.
That’s why I believe our Core Purpose and Mission are important.
It’s what motivates me to work on them every day, even through times as challenging as 2020.
It’s that investment that has fueled the amazing relationships we have with our clients and the community we’ve been able to reach.
I’m proud of the fact that Map & Fire made it to that 5 year mark. And looking back, I’m even more proud that what we built was strong enough to survive and grow through such a difficult year.
2020 turned out to be a test and a testament of our commitment to a strong core purpose and mission.
I hope you’ll be a part of our ongoing work in 2021 and beyond.
Reach out any time. We’re always excited to help.
Get Help Crafting Your Brand’s Purpose And Mission
If you’re ready to build stronger connections with your customers, reach out for a free consultation. We’ll help you transform your best business thinking into an actionable, shareable, growth-oriented guide. Click below to learn more about the Brand Guidebook process.