After selling my first company, it took me a while to figure out what I wanted to do next in life. I considered e-commerce, as well as a couple of other things, but nothing stuck. Those things didn’t excite me enough to hold my attention. So I started to really think about what I enjoy. Both public speaking and investing in the dreams of others came to mind. Then I had my “aha” moment: I’ll start doing motivational speaking! I decided to sit on the idea for a couple of weeks and told myself that if I still wanted to do it, I would.
See, purpose is found in that place where passion meets fulfillment. And it’s always best to give yourself time to determine if what you decide is actually something you want to do. That’s important because you won’t be able to sustain enough interest to put in the necessary work if not. If you know people who constantly start and then quit business after business, this is the issue. They’ve committed to something and didn’t discover that they didn’t want to do it until they were already doing it. Save yourself a ton of time, money and resources by figuring out what it is that ignites your fire.
If you’re at a stage where you haven’t even found anything yet that you particularly enjoy, the only way is to try a bunch of different things. Get out and collect new experiences. Take some classes, join networking groups, learn to play an instrument, read up on up-and-coming industries, join some recreational sports leagues, just take every opportunity to develop fresh skills and meet new people. In doing this, you’ll learn a lot about yourself.
Think about what you really find joy in doing, and then consider the opportunities that exist within that circle. For instance, if you love animals, opportunities would include becoming a veterinarian, starting a dog grooming business or opening a pet store. Enjoy giving advice and helping others work through situations? Look into becoming a life coach or professional mentor.
Once you discover something you love to do that offers opportunities of interest, hold on to it. Start the business in your mind; think about how you would move forward. And two weeks later, if you haven’t been able to stop thinking about it, get to work! If you’ve completely forgotten about it, repeat the steps with your next idea. Better to take the time to find “that thing” than to waste it over, and over, and over again.
You know your purpose when it comes to you. There is a profound feeling of “this is what I am meant to do,” and doing it makes you feel more alive than anything else you’ve done. Some people don’t need a sense of purpose, and that’s ok too. But if you’re searching for yours, don’t stop. It’s out there.