what is your mission
Tom Clairmont

Tom Clairmont

Helping you pivot through your small business journey.

Starting a Business From the Inside Out


Some people may be struggling with not only developing their mission, but not even knowing what the mission is supposed to be. But where does the ‘mission’ fit into the bigger picture here of our lives? 

I like to look at it this way…

We all have a purpose in life; even though many struggle to figure this out. But if you separate the perspective into layers, it may help. For example: I like to look at our purpose in life this way. 

• A Vision

• A Mission

• Goals

• And Tasks to accomplish the goals. 

Our ‘vision’ is the greater purpose.. why we think we’re here on this planet. What are we ‘called’ to do? 

The Mission is defined as how we’re supposed to focus on fulfilling the vision. 

For example, I’ve been helping a non-profit org for a few years now called Fresh Water Friends and the Executive Director has a ‘vision’ to serve humanity. The ‘mission’ is to install water wells for impoverished villages in India or Uganda. The goal, is one well per week. The tasks are all related to the goal.. raising money, communicating with the field manager in India or Uganda, supporting them with their problems and installation issues.. etc.

Everyone is Good at Something

If you’re unsure at to what your mission in life would be, knowing what your strengths are, and weaknesses, will help you decide. Everyone is good at something, whether you’re born with a certain talent or skill, or if you have some other talent that gets developed over time and turns out to be something that you love to do, or maybe it’s some sort of hidden talent that you never even thought you had. 

You can take these talents, whether they’re natural or developed, and capitalize on your specific business niche. Learn your strengths and build on them. Too many people focus on their weaknesses and try to make them better, instead of taking what they do well and capitalizing on those skills. I recommend taking the Kolbe self evaluation test for $55. They have a great personal evaluation test that will highlight your strengths and give you a better understanding of yourself. Here is the link to the Kolbe self evaluation test. 

Knowing yourself better will help you get from where you are, to where you want to be. 

Not happy with the current situation you’re in? You are the only one who is going to get you out of your situation. Only you can turn your dream into a reality. If you’re serious, you’ll stop making excuses and open your mind to the possibilities. Take advantage of living in the United States of America and all that it had to offer. 

Are you a little unsure of starting your own small business? Well that’s normal. 

Will you make Mistakes? Yes  Will it be Easy? No Could you Fail?  Possibly.  But then just reboot and start over. Learn from the experience and do things differently…better the next time around. 

OK.. let’s ask some questions. Where do you want to go in life?

It’s time to start imagining the possibilities and start envisioning your future

Q2 Where are you now? 

What situation are you currently in? Do you like it? Is it working out for you? 

How do you get from where you are now, to where you want to go? 

If you’re thinking that you need this ONE BIG IDEA for starting a business, think again. You don’t need to figure out what ONE BID IDEA would be. That will probably never happen, but even if it did happen, chances are you wouldn’t be able to execute it. You don’t need ONE BIG IDEA, you just need a good idea that you execute well. That’s what most entrepreneurs do, just look around.  

If you need help coming up with that good small business idea, there’s a diagram I like to use of 3 conjoining circles where each circle overlaps the other two and each circle represents something about you. The 1st circle would be :

o What are you Good at?

o The 2nd circle would be what do you Love to do

o The 3rd circle would be What is meaningful

Where these three circles meet, is the sweet spot for your business idea

Mike Kim has a different version of using the 3 conjoining circles

o What ticks you off?

o What breaks your heart?

o What big problem are you trying to solve?

Again.. Where these three circles meet, is the sweet spot for your business idea

So once you determine where you want to go in life, and where you are now.. and then through the usage of the 3 conjoining circles determine what your business idea should be.

So, you thought about where you want to go in life, and also thought about where you are now, but…What will you need to change to get there?

Maybe it would help to build a roadmap? Some people are more visual in their learning and this would be a good tool to use. 

Ok.. if a roadmap doesn’t work for you, then try creating a timeline.  

Where do you want to be in 5 years? In 10 years?  

What’s the end goal?

What does success look like for you?  Something that I like to do when I think of the end goal and envisioning success is to think about the end goal.. what success looks like for me, and then Increment that back to the  present day, a few years at a time.   

• What’s My end goal in 10 years?  for

o Finances

o And Lifestyle

o And Business model

So what’s your story?

Everybody has a story. It doesn’t matter how old you are. Your story (experiences), journey through life, your perspective can help someone else. What problem can you help someone else solve? Because that’s what business is right? Business is just solving a problem for a profit.

So let’s start connecting the dots a little better. How do you taking your knowledge and turning it into a business?

What is your ‘Knowledge Niche’? 

A niche is a very specific category of interest. The more specific the niche, the better. Once you find your niche, you can create a more powerful business. You’ll have a certain ‘identity’. 

According to the book ‘You Inc.’ they help you find your niche by using 4 P’s.

1. Profession

2. Passion

3. Pain 

4. Problems


Profession is more than your job. It includes any skill or special traits you may have that are related to your job. Another way to look at it is ‘What are you innately good at? What comes naturally? 

• Accounting

• Project management

• Organizational skills

• Speaking

• Writing

• People skills (not everyone has that) 

• Technical skills

Even if you hate your job, you can use the skills you have developed for your new business by tweaking them or using some portion of them in one way or another… or at least when you either hire someone else to do those things you’ll be more in tune as to what you’re looking for as a result. 

Is there something in your job that you’re seen as an ‘expert’ at? 


The second P is for Passion. This is all about what you love to do, or do for fun. The stuff that energizes you and what you hurry to do once you get out of work. 

Is it:

• Writing?

• Playing an instrument?

• Singing

• Acting

• Dancing

• Blogging

• Doing a podcast

• Buying stocks? 

It’s very possible that you could be making money at the very think you love to do in your free time. 

Another way of looking at it is: what do you love to do on your days off? OK, some things may not fit in this example. I’m not going to be making money riding my bike. But if you were going to say ‘art, or pottery, or building a shed, something like that, then you see where this is going? Hobbies can absolutely be monetized, and you’ll have fun doing it. 


The next P is Pain.

This refers to either the physical or emotional. I was talking to someone recently about his interest in starting a podcast to talk about what it’s like to live with a life threatening disease and how he can turn what he’s learned and experienced into content for a podcast so he can help others going through similar situations… why? So they can get through life easier than it was for him.  

Does this scenario sound familiar? I’m doing this podcast so that others can start a business easier than it was for me. And this young man wants to do the exact same thing;  take what he’s learned and make someone else’s life easier. Instead of going through a painful experience and being bitter, he’s taking what he’s learned and wants to make life better.  So I’m encouraging him to do that. I’m walking him through the process of how to start a podcast. I have a technical background so those types of things come a lot easier for me. Which links back to ‘profession’ and ‘passion’ and my ‘pain point’ of how hard it was for me to get my business profitable. 

All of us have gone through something hard or painful in our lives. What if you could take that experience that at the time was just terrible, and turn that into something good by helping others? 


The final P is problems. This one overlaps a bit with pain, but they are different. 

Think of a problem as something that was a struggle or a mistake. It didn’t necessarily involve physical pain and it wasn’t necessarily emotionally devastating, but it wasn’t pleasant either. The major difference here is that you overcome pain, but you fix a problem. 

I was recently connecting with someone locally here in Richmond that was a corporate executive, but found herself drinking too much. She quit that job and left that environment and is now a personal coach helping others to recognize their drinking problems and working with them to help them stop.

You see how this works? It’s more than just ‘turn your frown upside down’. I’m not saying that you should be glad about your pain or problems. But I am saying that when you go through those things, the story isn’t over yet. You can write the final chapter. You can not only write the final chapter, but you can, if you choose to, write the whole entire book, sell the book, make money from the book and help people in the process.  

Mike Kim has a very popular podcast (episode 244 https://mikekim.com/show) who recently had a guest on his show with the topic of ‘How to Turn Your Mess Into a Mission’. What did she do? She was diagnosed with a disease so she started a blog and a podcast and a business to help people eat healthier, gluten free and live better. 

So, getting back to YOUR MISSION. Can you turn a mess into a mission? Can you take what someone else meant for bad and turn it into something good? Can you take those skills that come easy to you and build a business around it? Can you turn your passion into profits? 

I’m here to tell you.. YES. YES. YES AND YES

If you have any questions or if you want to continue the conversation, you can email me at tom@tomclairmont.com. I’d be glad to help you on your journey through the small business startup process. 


If you’d like to hear more on this topic, you can listen to the Podcast episode as well. Episode 4. 


For more tips, tools and motivation to help you on your online, small business journey, sign up for the weekly emails HERELearn from my successes as well as my mistakes that will hopefully give you clarity and a strategy as you plan your new small business launch. 

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