General BusinessLeadership & Careers

How To Find Your “Why” As a Successful Entrepreneur


“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” — Mark Twain

Not everyone feels they were born to be entrepreneurs.

In fact, the voyage to self-discovery is a tricky one. Getting to understand and clearly articulate your particular preferences, quirks and all the things that go into finding your place in the world is no easy feat. Pinpointing a passion that can be translated into a viable business just adds another level of complexity.

For some individuals, this epiphany comes to them earlier on in life at finger-snap speed. For others, it takes a little longer to arrive at their “second most important day” (as alluded to by Mark Twain).

Here are some suggestions to help an aspiring (or even a current) entrepreneur in the journey to find their “why”:

Read Wide and Listen Attentively
From tech blogs to books on pottery, having a varied appetite and an insatiable curiosity about a wide range of topics is a great starting point for figuring your interests. But where can you begin?

Start by carefully curating a number of your favourite websites, bookmark them, and arrange the icons in the order of reading preference. This way, you can seamlessly transition from one site to another without feeling overwhelmed and confused.

In the same vein, listening to an assortment of podcasts can be immensely rewarding. Podcasts can offer a window into how other people lead their lives. While listening, your inner brain kicks in, and you’re sifting through information that strengthens or dispels your general thoughts on people, places and things.

Take Advantage of Online Communities
The “interwebs” is a glorious virtual vortex of information; the opportunity for discovery is endless, and a strategic investment in time & knowledge (such as Skillshare, Slideshare or Medium for instance) can be a great source for inspiration.

Be Social – Attend Businesses or Creative Lectures
Breakfast lectures series like CreativeMornings *** link not working? *** can play a part towards your development and motivation. This monthly event features speakers (from various disciplines and walks of life) who share inspirational nuggets of wisdom from personal and professional experiences.

Meetup is another website that can be used to meet up with current and other aspiring entrepreneurs. It helps groups of people with mutual interests to connect and meet up in real life. There’s also an app – check it out!

So get out there, be social and join a community!

Look for a Personal Confidant and then a Business Mentor
Finding someone you trust and with whom you can share your dreams and aspirations – especially at the formative stage – is indeed precious. What the counsel of a firm friend offers is a non-judgmental space to talk through your internal ramblings and ideas to a point of clarity and direction.   

A mentor can be someone you already know or you might like to approach someone who you respect and admire in business – you might be surprised to find that they are keen to connect and happy to provide you with some advice.

The next step is to find a business adviser – a seasoned professional – who can either help further synthesise your idea into a viable business plan or, critique the validity of an existing proposal.

If you can find someone who you call both confidant and business mentor, that’s a perfect fit.


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Neil Parker
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