The Japanese term ‘ikigai’ is the intersection of our key pursuits in our careers. Essentially meaning your purpose in life, could developing your ideas into a tangible business be the best way to find greater meaning? A survey of HEC Paris’ executive education alumni network revealed that a huge number of alumni (over 20%) intended to launch their own ventures within three years of completing their studies. Nevertheless, according to our experience of entrepreneurial teaching, the average age for founding an innovative company is 38. This age is very close to the famous “midlife crisis”, when you might decide to make a change, and undertake new initiatives if your life does not match your aspirations, or if you feel you are yet to make your mark on the world. At this age, and after spending near-on fifteen years carving out one career path, it can become increasingly unbearable to work within organisations where initiatives that offer a reprieve from the daily grind can be stopped – often for “very good reasons” – and ultimately lead to individuals feeling they’re back to square one, achieving absolutely nothing. Even worse is when this lack of progression is blamed on them. Moreover, numerous surveys have shown that for those who choose to take the leap into entrepreneurship, money is not the main driver for doing so. Instead, their key motivations are more often related to gaining freedom or pursuing personal development. This leads us to finding the famous intersection, popularised by the Japanese, between what you love, what you are good at, what the world needs and what you can be paid for. Entrepreneurship may therefore be a wise way to find your “ikigai”, or, in English, one’s purpose. Finding where you are really happy if you align passion, mission, profession and vocation… Read more