The Journey of a First-Time Entrepreneur: Ep. 2 — “Why?”

In the last episode I covered my backstory, in order to give perspective to future topics covered here on Medium. Next up, I want to focus more on explaining one of the things I am currently spending my time on — my main project. It is also a good time for me to share my thoughts on core values, and the importance of reflecting on why you do what you do.

My main project

I already covered this briefly in my last post, but I want to take the time to explain what I expect to spend the most time on these coming months. Don’t worry, I won’t cover them all in this post — I understand that your time is valuable, and that reading about me is not the task most prioritized for you at this moment. For today, I want to focus on a project that will not be income generating for a long time, but that is still equally important to anything else I choose to spend my time on. The project I am referring to is what you are reading right now: the documentation of my journey.

Why do you do what you do?

At the end of the day, any person interested in living the life they dream of — really, any life, not just within entrepreneurship— should try to figure out why they want to achieve that dream. The reason for this is tied to motivation, let me explain:

Knowing what your “whyis, means you have clarity of purpose. When I say you should know your “why”, I’m referring to having a reason for every action in your life. It can be seen as your core values, and is a way to guide your actions every time you question if what you are doing makes sense. If you know that whatever you are spending time doing right now is in line with these core values, it means you are most likely on the right path.

  • Personally, I have 2 “why’s”: The first is giving value to the world, and the second is doing what I enjoy over all other things.
  • Giving value to the world basically means I want to take my own knowledge, experiences, failures, successes, and share it with others. I have discovered that I, In most cases, am genuinely happy when I can provide value to others — it gets me going.
  • Doing what I enjoy over all other things means I will always try to prioritize the things I enjoy over all other activities. Note that this does not mean I will never do boring things. There will always be boring, mandatory activities that need to be done. I am talking in a long-term sense here. I will for example never take a job for the sake of having a good job; if I do not absolutely love going to work, it’s just not going to happen.

So really, this whole blogging thing is tied to both my “why’s”: it gives value back to others (I hope it does, I’m not the judge of this), and it is something I can honestly say I enjoy doing.

At the end of the day, the core concept here is not harder than “do more of what makes you happy”. It took me a while to understand this, though, so I really do feel the need to elaborate on the topic.

“Ok Markus, I understand what you are saying, but how do I know what my core values are?” I think this is where the concept of doing what makes you happy gets tricky. In my opinion, it all comes down to experimenting and reflecting. Start by making a list of things you enjoy, and not just the actual activities. Do you enjoy talking to people? Being praised for your successes? Proving others wrong? Giving back to people struggling? — What gets you going? Try to see patterns.

Maybe you will find that every single activity that makes you happy in some way leads to you being praised for your hard work. If this is the case, have you considered if perhaps being praised is a core value, and something you should aim for?

As a final note, be open to change and realise that your values can — and most likely will — change over time.

If you’ve read this far, take some time to think about your core values. What is it, at the end of the day, that really makes you happy?

As always, I’d love to hear your feedback on these posts.

Did you enjoy the read? Did you get bored and skim through it? Please let me know.

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