The evidence is clear. Companies with a well-defined mission outperform those without.
B Lab has found that companies that are purpose-driven are 63% more likely to survive a financial downturn. And a huge study by Accenture showed that companies with clear, well-defined missions outcompete their peers in terms of sales, marketing, and brand loyalty.
But what is it about a clear mission that is so important? And what concrete benefits will early-stage startups get from thinking deeply about the ultimate purpose of their venture?
To learn more about the benefits of being a mission-first startup, we sat down with Ignas Kamantauskas, CEO of Hello100.
Hello100 is a longevity platform with a mission that is as clear and concrete as you can get (more on that in a minute). And Ignas talked us through 4 huge advantages early-stage startups can gain from having a crystal clear mission. He also shared his advice on how to get your mission right.
The Hello100 mission
Hello100 is a longevity platform oriented towards extending healthy life spans, offering Liposomal NMN supplements to boost longevity genes and slow down aging through science. And its fundamental mission is incredibly clear and concrete:
To extend 10 million healthy lives.
“Imagine yourself at 95 being able to do your favorite hobbies or sports, just like you can in your 50s,” Ignas elaborates. “Our mission to extend 10 million healthy lives was born from an initial focus on slowing down aging. This transformed into extending healthy life. To achieve this mission, Hello100’s vision is to help everyone track and slow their aging process.”
A simple, tangible, and measurable mission; check. A concrete human experience to show what that mission truly means for your customers; check. A clear idea of how your startup will deliver on that mission, check.
Clearly, Hello100 has thought long and hard about its purpose. And that’s because Ignas believes having a strong sense of mission brings 4 major benefits for early-stage startups.
Benefit 1: Aligned workflow and activities
According to Ignas, having a well-defined and meaningful mission improves decision-making, making it easier for leaders to prioritize and align their team’s activities.
“There is much more uncertainty in a startup,” Ignas points out. “This is also accompanied by a less clear structure and more chaos.”
“So understanding and naming your mission creates a basis for aligning everyone’s direction. Your mission helps speed up decision-making because everyone knows where we are heading.”
Benefit 2: Enhanced recruitment possibilities
Putting together an all-star team is one of the most important tasks an early-stage startup has on its plate. And, as Ignas explains, it is far from straightforward.
“Attracting employees to an early-stage startup is not easy,” he says. “Startups at an early stage may have limited financial resources. And naturally, this inhibits their ability to attract top-drawer specialists.”
A mission that truly resonates with people, combined with a team of passionate advocates, can be a secret recruitment weapon for fledgling startup teams.
“A company’s mission and the founders’ vision play a key role in persuading people to join,” Ignas argues.
Recruitment-wise, there is a bonus on offer too. “Missions make it easier to select like-minded people because they are inspired by your vision.”
Benefit 3: A well-defined culture
“At this point in your journey, your company’s culture and values are also at an early stage of development.” And according to Ignas, this is a crucial moment for establishing a lasting culture that is larger than any one individual at the company. For him, having a clear mission has been huge in facilitating this process.
“The people joining the Hello100 team have different backgrounds. They bring different experiences to our pool of knowledge. And even though our values are somewhat similar, there are still differences in how we perceive things.”
“Our mission plays a very important role in uniting the team through our common goal of extending healthy life. For us, this also leads to certain implied values developing, such as ownership, growth mindset, and curiosity.”
Benefit 4: Inspiration and motivation
A final benefit, which is slightly less tangible but still super important, is increased motivation and the inspiration to keep going when times get tough.
“At this early stage of a startup, many things do not work as expected,” Ignas points out. “So it is very important to find the motivation and inspiration to continue looking for new solutions that help us grow.”
“A clear and compelling mission can provide this inspiration. It will also fuel your motivation to achieve your goals.”
Tip for success: let your mission evolve
Ignas has made a compelling case for the importance of finding a mission and purpose for your startup.
But he also has some interesting advice on how to proceed from there.
“Continue learning more about the market, and don’t be afraid to change your mission along the way,” Ignas argues. “You should look at the creation of the mission as an ongoing process. What works today will not necessarily work tomorrow. Companies change and adapt under the influence of various factors, so you should not be afraid to adjust the mission.”
Ultimately, the perfect balance is to treat your mission as something valuable and significant, but not something sacred. “Your mission is important, but it is also evolving,” Ignas concludes. “So don’t get stuck in finding the perfect mission and vision.”