The Chicken or The Egg?

The Chicken or The Egg? 
Keeping Your Business Focused On YOUR “WHY”


Chicken or the EggWhich came first…? The Chicken or the egg?  A humorous debate, but what in the world does this have to do with entrepreneurialism and your business?


The chicken is full grown, running around clucking and scraping for food.  The egg however, is the beginning of growth.  It needs nurturing, warmth, and a soft place to crack and break open to become a chick.  Business is similar especially for entrepreneurs.


Most entrepreneurs start quickly and jump in with both feet.  Looking for the next opportunity.  They have so many ideas that many have a tendency to run around “like a chicken with their head cut off”… please excuse the expression.  Entrepreneurs move quickly.  Then all of a sudden they find themselves over their head when it comes to structure in the businesses.  Typically this occurs because the business of their business is not in their “unique ability”.


If you can relate to this, it’s time to slow down just a bit and become the “egg”.  Formalize the direction of your business by creating your Mission, Vision and Unique Selling Proposition (USP).  Really think about it.  After all there is a reason you are doing what you are doing, right? Your reason is your “why”. 


Here are three tips to help you determine your “why” and bring focus and clarity to your business.


3 S.M.A.R.T. Tips to Add Clarity to Your Business


1.      What is the mission or purpose of your business? Why are you doing what you’re doing?  What difference will it make in the world?  How will your business change lives?  Are you committed? Do you know your life purpose and is your mission aligned with your life purpose?


Write a clear mission statement about what you do and why you do it.  Make your statement specific and quantifiable.  Print the mission statement and post it on the walls in your office, on goal cards, and communicate your mission statement with your staff or team so that everyone knows the mission of your business.  Everyone must understand your purpose and mission so that everyone is working on the same page.  A team united and “pulling in the same direction” with understanding is very powerful.  Your mission statement should answer the following questions:


          • What you do?
          • How do you do it?
          • Who do you do it for?


Here is a great example from Zappos:     Zappos is an online shoe store that sells all kinds of men and women’s shoes, from dress shoes to casual shoes, to athletic shoes, and the like. They also sell other items such as accessories, bags, etc.


Mission Statement
Our goal is to position Zappos as the online service leader. If we can get customers to associate the Zappos brand with the absolute best service, then we can expand into other product categories beyond shoes.


 2.      What is your vision for your business?  Your vision creates the climate upon which your staff or team will operate to accomplish your mission.  Your mission and vision must be in alignment.  In other words your vision supports your mission.  How do you “see” your mission being accomplished?  How will you feel?  How will your customer and clients feel?  How will your staff or team feel? 


When creating your vision, think big and stretch yourself, and be realistic.  Your vision should clearly state what you ultimately envision for your business in terms of growth, values, what kinds of customers and contribution to the world.


Here is a simple formula for writing your own vision statements.


When or how Long, [your company name] will have [what] _______________ by ___________.


 Example:     Five years from now, Computer Services Ltd. will have annual revenues of over one million by consistently providing timely, reasonably priced repair and instructional services.


 3.      Unique Selling Proposition is a summary of what makes your business unique and valuable to your customer and clients. Your USP should be in line with your mission and vision as well.  It answers the question: How do your business products and services benefit your clients better than anyone else can?


Here are a few examples:

  • Domino’s Pizza: “You get fresh, hot pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes or less — or it’s free.”
  • FedEx: “When your package absolutely, positively has to get there overnight”
  • M&M’s: “Melts in your mouth, not in your hand”


In conclusion, ask yourself the question:  Are you in chicken mode?  Slow down and incubate the mission, vision and USP for your business.  Clarity is so important to moving forward and being highly successful.  S.M.A.R.T. Support can help you put it all together.




11 Responses to “The Chicken or The Egg?”

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  1. Kiyla Fenell says:

    Great analogy Gail! So much to do as an entrepreneur…you do often times fly by the seat of your pants. Wonderful reminder to visit the basics and lay a solid foundation by confirming your why. Thanks!

    Kiyla Fenell

  2. I love that you use examples like Zappos! I think it’s important to emulate those who have gone before us, and “done it” well …

  3. Mitch Tublin says:


    More people should spend their time and efforts answering these items first.

    Way before spending thousands of dollars on programs and groups that will never

    do one thing for them until these areas are clear.


  4. Gail – Great tips and example :) I wholeheartedly agree that sometimes business owners need to “be the egg.” (Okay, that sounds silly saying it out of context!) We see it over and over when speaking with new prospects about our branding and custom WordPress website services – too often they’re jumping in before they have any clarity about what they actually to, what they will be selling, and who they are serving, etc. With our that brand clarity, how can you expect to create a website that will attract your ideal clients?

    Jennifer Bourn, Bourn Creative

  5. Lisa Manyon says:


    Solid tips. I see many entrepreneurs struggle with this especially when trying to craft their marketing message. I teach that we must be clear on values, create mission statements that support our values (personally and professionally) and choose clients who align with our values and mission. From here people are usually ready to craft a marketing message with integrity.

    Write on!~

    Lisa Manyon

  6. Good solid foundational tips we can all benefit from – thanks Gail!

  7. Gail Saseen says:

    Thanks Sue, so many entrepreneurs start so quickly that they don’t take the time to build a firm foundation.

  8. Sue Painter says:

    Love the sample mission statements you shared. And yes, often I get clients who need to back up before they go forward. Great points, Gail.

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