Bill Hewgley: What's Your Mission Statement?

Wednesday, July 30, 2014 - by Bill Hewgley
Bill Hewgley
Bill Hewgley

What’s your mission statement?  Where did it come from? How are you going to make it a reality? In the end, was it worth it?

Sam Walton built the wealthiest family in the world from a cluttered, little raised desk in the back corner of a small Ben Franklin store in the sleepy town of Bentonville, Ar. He achieved it all with the simplest of mission statements: “I want working folks to have nice stuff like rich folks do…”.  That’s all he needed to believe in, then work day and night for decades to build Walmart. He overcame fear, lack of money, larger competitors who tried to put him out of business and every other thing or person who stood in his way. He did not cheat, lie, steal or con people…he simply built a better mousetrap and then made it more efficient and effective with each day. He is the modern day Horatio Alger (homework for those of you under 40 is to Google ole’ Horatio); his success story is as old as civilization and very relevant in today’s business environment.

So you say, “What does that have to do with me?”  It has everything to do with you and determines whether the journey you started with your first breath will lead you to the place your heart desires, or that of your worst nightmares, or just out in the middle of nowhere. How can we start walking without knowing where we want to go, what we need to get there and how to know when we found it? I have observed most people, even those high up in corporations, have never really addressed these most important, basic questions; they just react to today’s events…they are busy.

Busywork or looking busy is no substitute for focused, effective effort.  I’m not impressed by the overly ambitious who make a big scene of being “so overloaded that I must stay and work after hours…”  My first question is: “Why can’t you get your work done in eight hours?” Business people are after results, not hours worked.   Show me the money! No great salesperson who closed the deal ever came in to deliver a speech on all the hard work and hours they put in…they just waved the purchase order in the air and had a 60 second celebration before heading out to shoot the next one. Sucking up to the boss is a hobby, not your job; if you need a hobby, go to Pinterest while you kill that meaningless extra hour on the Internet.

*Note to Millennial’s: There’s a time that you may not know about called “early morning”…a time when Starbucks has a standing customer for only about 60 seconds, not the mid-morning and afternoon loungers.  A large percentage of effective work happens in the mornings when you are fresh…the pros may have a Starbucks mocha latte’… but on their desk at work. You too will make your real money at the same time they do – early…just as in the “early bird that got the worm.”

What is your mission – just to look successful or actually be successful?

About the Author: Bill Hewgley is president, Metalworking Solutions, LLC, a company he founded after retiring as president of American Manufacturing Company. One of his chief priorities is to mentor this upcoming millennial generation, while honoring those who helped him find his own way in life, by passing it on.

You can contact Bill at and visit Metalworking Solutions at

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