When Carmen Champion took ownership of Main Street Yoga in Bloomington, Illinois, she realized none of the studio’s teachers knew the business’ mission statement.

About nine months after stepping into the role of the owner, Champion gathered her staff together. She hung a large white sheet of paper on the wall, and they proceeded to brainstorm words, eventually creating the studio’s mission.

“Our mission statement at Main Street Yoga is, ‘Committed to creating a safe and sacred community, moving together through the journey of self,’” said Champion.

She explained having the staff involved in the statement’s creation was an idea she had from the book “7 Habits for Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey. “I felt it was important for all of us to work on it together, because then what happens is when everybody is working on the mission statement together, then everybody has a really clear picture of what it’s suppose to do, what it’s suppose to look like,” said Champion. “There’s more personal investment when you participate in the creating of the mission statement.”

During the process, Champion explained there were stipulations to creating the statement. First, it had to be clear and concise. Champion said some even recommend sticking to seven words.

mission statement

She also said it’s key to not create too many parameters or restrictions. “It was something that was going to give us direction without being too narrow, so that we couldn’t develop the studio forward without going against our mission statement,” she explained. “It needed to be something general and flexible.”

Ego is something Champion was focused on keeping out of the statement. She said students and teachers alike are constantly working through the ego. The studio needs to be a place where teachers are adding value to their students each class. So, she insists on using the keywords found in the mission statement daily, hoping to remind the staff it is about the community.

Ultimately, the mission statement needs to be believed and enacted by not only the owner, but the studio’s teachers as well. The top tip Champion gave in the process of creating a statement was to get your teachers involved. “Don’t just come up with a mission statement and put it on somebody. Make them own it. Make them participate in it,” said Champion. “Don’t ever think you’re going to be able to build community all by yourself and that your teachers just have to get on board.”