For many, finding purpose points to finding the deep spiritual meaning of life which may not seem relevant when used in the context of entrepreneurship.  That is why I would like to look at it more carefully.


Years of employment have given your life structure and meaning

Most of us have spent years climbing out of bed with the help of an alarm clock, Monday through Friday, without question.  We have had varying degrees of enjoyment around the work that has enabled us to earn.  These years have been income-driven, as we climb the corporate ladder to increase our income to educate our children and create wealth through investment and the purchase of assets.

If you have the opportunity to start again, as in retrenchment or retirement, you get the opportunity to choose to do something that really ignites your passion.  If you are retiring you have the added flexibility of working simply to supplement your retirement income, which opens even more options.  You can choose to continue working in the field you have known all your life or you can choose to step out of that comfort zone and work at something that you have been dreaming about for years.  Something that you are really passionate about.


Finding your reason for getting up in the morning


This brings me to what the Japanese refer to as Ikigai, loosely translated as your reason for living.  I look at it as the reason for getting up in the morning.  It refers to the source of value in your life or the things that make your life worthwhile. Ikigai is essentially the spot in the middle where the following come together:
·      What you love doing,
·      What you are good at,
·      What the world needs,

·      What you can be paid for.

The overlap between what you are good at and are paid for is your profession.  But what you are paid for and the world needs is your vocation or calling.  Where what you love overlaps with what the world needs, is your mission.  Then lastly the combination of what you are good at and what you love, is your passion.

 Finding your purpose
Your Ikigai is the sweet spot in the middle

Where these four overlap is the sweet spot we call Ikigai, your purpose or reason to get out of bed.   This is an activity that calls you, falls within your skills area, rewards you and ignites your passion.  Those who reach this spot in their working careers will tell you that they never feel like they are going to “work”.   Many entrepreneurs fall into this category, though the stress of growing and maintaining a business in this economic climate, which leads them to forget that this is where they started.  It is important in coaching to look back occasionally at why you started your business in the first place. Many of us never reach this sweet spot because of financial pressures.

If you are starting out, hopefully, you have the opportunity to take into consideration your passion, as well as your calling and skills before you get mired in the stress of running a profitable business.

Do you know what would fire your Ikigai?


You can now connect with Hilary via our Valueneurs™ platform.  Link through to read more on Hilary in her bio page.