In 2014, Steve Case launched Revolution’s Rise of the Rest, an initiative to accelerate the growth of tech startups across the country. Rise of the Rest is based on a simple idea: cities can be renewed and rise again if they develop a vibrant startup culture. A visionary entrepreneur himself, Case believes that great entrepreneurs can be found anywhere, and can thrive with the proper support and investment. In fact, they’re key to the American DNA. After all, America itself was a startup. It struggled to get going and almost didn’t make it. Today it’s the leader of the free world, in part because it has the world’s largest economy—a testament to several generations of pioneering entrepreneurs. But America needs help keeping its promises, as it is harder today for innovators who live outside the major tech hubs. For most of the past decade, seventy-five percent of venture capital has gone to just three states—California, New York, and Massachusetts—while the forty-seven states making up the rest of the country have been forced to share the remaining twenty-five percent. And it’s even harder for some people no matter where they live. Less than ten percent of venture capital currently goes to female founders, and less than one percent to Black founders. Since new companies—startups—are responsible for net new job creation, it is essential that entrepreneurs everywhere have the opportunity to start and scale companies. Rise of the Rest is about leveling the playing field for everybody, and in the process creating opportunity and jobs for the people and places that have been left behind. This book tells that story and provides a hopeful perspective on the future of America.
In TheRise of the Rest: How Entrepreneurs in Surprising Places are Building the New American Dream, Case takes readers on an exhilarating journey into the startup communities that are transforming cities nationwide. Rise of the Rest’s signature road trips, on a big red tour bus, have created significant local and national buzz and spotlighted communities large and small that have committed to a new tech-enabled future. Along the way, Case introduces readers to dozens of entrepreneurs whose inspirational stories of struggle and achievement match the most iconic examples of American invention.
To date, Case has traveled to forty-three cities on his Rise of the Rest bus tour and has been featured on 60 Minutes, and in The New York Times, USA TODAY, Fast Company, and The Wall Street Journal. With dedicated venture funds, backed by an iconic group of investors, executives, and entrepreneurs including Jeff Bezos, Eric Schmidt, Meg Whitman, John Doerr, Sara Blakely, and Ray Dalio, Rise of the Rest also invests in the most promising high-growth startups located anywhere in the US outside of Silicon Valley, New York City, and Boston. The fund has invested in more than 175 companies across more than eighty cities, including: Phoenix, Chattanooga, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Louisville, Baltimore, Columbus, St. Louis, Green Bay, Madison, Buffalo, Kansas City, Minneapolis, Cincinnati, Miami, Dallas, Salt Lake City, Omaha, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Nashville, Indianapolis, New Orleans, and dozens of others.
From Ken Burns (filmmaker), “I’ve spent my life telling stories about America, and the role of pioneers cannot be overestimated. A new chapter in America’s story is now being written in cities all across the nation, as a new generation of innovators builds new companies and helps rebuild communities. Steve’s book tells those reverting stories and give us hope for America’s future.”
From David Rubensterin (cofounder of Carlyle Group), “Steve Case, one of America’s most successful entrepreneurs, has spent much of the past decade supporting the next generation of entrepreneurs, in dozens of cities all across the country. The rise of the Rest is a must-read, as it provides a hopeful and optimistic view of America’s future.”
Tom, is a past USASBE.org (largest entrepreneurship organization in the U. S.) President, and teaches business at the University of Tampa. Below is his letter than reaffirms (through research) that teaching majors other than business yield better prepared graduates for today’s world. Entrepreneurship awakens students to a passion, empowers them in creativity, develops self-efficacy, and changes their destiny. At its core is learning an entrepreneurial mindset -a set of skills that enable people to identify and make the most of opportunities, overcome and learn from setbacks, and succeed in a variety of settings.
Entrepreneurship education is boundary spanning. The tools of an entrepreneurship education (e.g., prototyping, business modeling, ideation, effectuation, etc.) are interdisciplinary and designed to engage learners from across the college campus and beyond. The lessons of entrepreneurship education are acquired in a problem-centric environment where learners from diverse disciplines combine resources to tackle specific problems and derive unique solutions that alone they may struggle to accomplish.
One of our goals at USASBE is to provide opportunities for educators outside of business schools to sharpen their skills and practice techniques for bringing the interdisciplinary lessons of entrepreneurship to their classrooms. In doing so, we follow the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), which promotes the idea of interdisciplinary education by sharing that “business schools in 2022 are no longer gilded outposts on the edge of the university campus” (AACSB Insights, 2022). As such, it is incumbent upon us as educators to continue to push to open new avenues for entrepreneurship that integrates themes and ideas which cut across disciplines and make connection with real world challenges.
A recently published article in USASBE’s flagship journal, Entrepreneurship Education and Pedagogy demonstrates the importance of this interdisciplinary work in a review of National Science Foundation (NSF) data gathered from science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics (STEAM) classrooms. The results of this research shed light on how graduates of STEAM programs utilize skills from entrepreneurship coursework (Stenard, 2021). They also show how the skills acquired through an entrepreneurship education by learners outside of the business school effectively position graduates for 21 st century workforce challenges. It is evident that Interdisciplinary appeal remains one of the hallmarks of an entrepreneurship education and that the outcomes of our work are wide ranging.
References AACSB Insights (2022). 5 Business Education Trends to Watch in 2022. Found online at: https://www.aacsb.edu/insights/articles/2022/01/5-business-education-trends-to-watch-in- 2022 Stenard,B. (2021). Interdisciplinary skills for STEAM entrepreneurship education. Entrepreneurship Education and Pedagogy, 25151274211029204.
Being a leader and an entrepreneur, I’ve found that the entrepreneurial landscape is changing rapidly — and so should we. Now it’s not just about reacting to the changes, but we need to shape ourselves to fit in, especially when you’re the one in the front line.
According to The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) Global Report, there has been a significant upsurge in entrepreneurship around the world. There are nearly 400 million entrepreneurs starting and running businesses in 54 countries with millions of new hires expected in the coming years.
Clearly, these numbers are not making things easier for young entrepreneurs. Today, the competition is higher than ever and the only way you can make it as a successful entrepreneur is to go out of your way and make your ideas stand out.
But how do you get started? What’s the first thing that you need to work on? The answer is pretty simple — start with yourself. That’s what I did.
Standing out in the market and starting a business from square one is difficult. But doing so without the right skill sets is damn near impossible. That’s why, in this particular post, I am going to discuss the key qualities that an entrepreneur needs to start, build, and run a successful business in today’s overly competitive market.
Below, I’ve outlined five qualities that I believe every entrepreneur should master before he/she steps into the market.
Ready to discover what makes an entrepreneur successful? Here, have a look.
1. Passion and ambition
Kiefer Micallef: “A life without a passion has no solid foundation, always remember why you started.”
Ask Yourself: Why Are You Becoming An Entrepreneur? Be sure that your answer isn’t entirely based on financial aspects. There are many great reasons for being in this industry. For me, it’s never just about career, it’s about a calling.
Sure, it’s challenging — like 24/7 challenging — but at the end, the feeling of achievement and success makes it all worth it. So make sure that you find your passion and ambition behind becoming an entrepreneur. And follow the path you’ve chosen, no matter what.
2. Good communication skills
James Thurber: “Precision of communication is important, more important than ever, in our era of hair-trigger balances, when a false or misunderstood word may create as much disaster as a sudden thoughtless act.”
You can do things alone, but don’t. Make the most of your communication skills. And if you think there is room for improvement, fill that room as soon as possible. You have definitely selected exceptional people for your team, but do you think that can make the best of their ability if you don’t communicate your vision with them. Obviously, they can’t.
This is the reason why it is important that you communicate and collaboratewith people more often in the workplace. Consider using advance team messaging tools and apps. They will surely help you share insights and brainstorm ideas within the workplace clearly quickly.
3. Curiosity and creativity
Bernard Baruch:“Millions saw the apple fall, but Newton asked why.”
If you’re planning on launching your business soon, you need to be aware of the big picture. Think about the competition you will be dealing with. It’s not going to be easy, right?
Now, the only way you can make a difference is by being curious and creative. Seek knowledge that can help you understand your market and your competition better. After that, find creative ways to make your business idea stand out and succeed.
4. Courage and risk taking
Walt Disney: “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.”
Sometimes, the decisions you’ll make for your team or your business would seem risky. At worse, it would seem like you’ve made a mistake. But don’t panic, it’s all part of the journey. If you seriously want your business idea to succeed, you should be willing to take risks because that’s how you’ll learn what works best for your business and what doesn’t. That’s how you’ll take your business forward.
5. Patience and perseverance
Thomas Edison: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
The “best” is never achieved at once. You’ve got to struggle, you’ve got to fail, and you’ve got to try again and again until you achieve what was desired. This is how things work, business or personal.
Have patience and keep your eye on your vision. If things aren’t working or failing, don’t lose hope. Instead, see it as an opportunity to improve your efforts. Show perseverance and you will thrive.
Last few words …
Becoming an entrepreneur is no challenge these days. Anyone who understands the basics of building and running a business can be an entrepreneur. The only thing that differentiates an extraordinary entrepreneur from an ordinary one is his/her skill set.
So what are you waiting for? Keep the above qualities and characteristics in mind and put your skills to test for the best. And don’t forget to share your entrepreneurial success story. Also, if you have some suggestions for your fellow entrepreneurs? Feel free to share them in the comments below!
Sandeep Kashyap is the Founder and CEO of ProofHub — a leading project management and collaboration software.
Maven is a platform that hosts cohort-based courses from some of the world’s greatest business experts.
Learn from the founder of Maven
Welcome to the Entrepreneur’s Handbook Podcast, where we share inspiring startup stories and practical takeaways for you, the listener.
Today’s guest is Wes Kao, the Co-Founder of Maven. It’s a platform that hosts cohort-based courses from some of the world’s greatest business experts including Anthony Pompliano, Shaan Puri, and Li Jin. Wes co-founded Maven with Gagan Biyani who also founded Udemy and they’ve already raised $25m in just a year.
Wes previously co-founded the AltMBA with Seth Godin and helped other huge creators such as Tiago Forte, David Perrell, and Scott Galloway. She’s one of the world’s foremost experts on how to build a compelling cohort-based course and why it’s the future of the knowledge economy.
Courtesy of E-Handbook’s newsletter, September 15, 2022
During my academic years, I struggled to learn anything I had zero interest in, but I excelled once obsession got a hold of me. Caring deeply about anything hyperdrives my learning & understanding. That said, I firmly believe that we are all meant to do something we are naturally inclined to outperform 90% of the population with. But it’s often difficult to find that signal in an overstimulated world of noise.
Put validation, profit, and traction first. Forget about raising any funds.
It took me years to discover that my “thing” was early-stage product development. Throughout my self-education, I found a ton of business starter guides that claimed to have the silver bullet with all the answers. In hopes of unearthing the ultimate guide, I bought a couple, only to burn out once I realized that I wasn’t connected to any given niche in the long run.
I noticed a huge problem: I didn’t know why I did what I did. I was chasing status rather than fulfilling an intrinsic purpose.
Building a business from scratch would require me to become the most resilient and directed version of myself. I quickly realized it was senseless to launch anything before I didn’t find out what truly made me tick. To uncover this, I needed to shift my point of departure:
This reframing helped me disregard chasing titles like Founder or CEO. Instead, it made me chase tangible outcomes by shipping tons.
Finding your best path forward will require a lot of trial and error. There aren’t any proven methods to entrepreneurship. Only approaches.
Bootstrapping helped me avoid finding myself in an unfulfilled rut shaped by misdirected energy and false promises.
When it comes to business building, there are roughly 4 different types of entrepreneurs. Each has its merits and place in this world but is highly tailored to the way your mind & core motivations are shaped. I am a Remixer and sometimes an Innovator:
Innovators → create the first thing.
Remixers → package and create a brand around the first thing.
Scalers → mainstream the thing for mass adoption with hundreds of access points.
Optimizers → assure the whole thing doesn’t blow up by maximizing every last percentile.
Are you in the first half? Build something from scratch & continue learning at bootstrap.supply. Are you in the second half? Consider acquiring a company at microacquire.com (if you’re stacked with cash) or learn at a VC or as a Founders Associate at first (if you are just starting out).
You will add value in every way. Just pick your type.
The 4 paths forward
With any business building endeavor, there are roughly 2 styles: build with or build without funding. Both have their merits. Either will say more about you as an entrepreneur than what you end up building. This is because it comes down to what you prioritize:
Controlled Scale → building at your own pace & retain ownership
Hypergrowth → expand at all costs & dilute your ownership.
Zooming in even closer, there are 4 different styles of Founding ↓
Bootstrapping → continuous profit-first building without the need for capital injections (also: Indiehacking). No stakeholder management.
Acceleration & Incubation → pre-idea/pre-team/pre-product capital, program & network support in exchange for equity. Medium stakeholder management.
Angel funding → any-stage capital injection & network access from high-net-worth individuals in exchange for equity. Medium stakeholder management.
VC funding → stage-specific capital injection into high-growth companies expecting a +10x in 5 years or less. High stakeholder management.
I am most impressed with Bootstrappers, as they accomplished the most difficult way of building a business: without outside help.
Here are a couple of products you might not have heard of ↓
Hypergrowth vs. Controlled Scale
The Bootstrapper vs. Funding narrative is as old as the internet. But at its core, it’s more of a stylistic choice that comes down to hypergrowth vs. controlled scale. To understand this nuance, we need to revisit some basics like the top two reasons most startups fail nowadays:
A lack in product-market-fit [38%].
Run out of cash / failed to raise capital [35%].
These two facts amount to around 80% of all new businesses. And this doesn’t even include the classic 9/10 startups fail statistic, which can be even grimmer.
Since the dot com boom, we have seen VCs and Funds fuel a hypergrowth culture we now call big tech. Largely, consumers and companies have reaped the rewards regarding affordability and scalability, respectively.
Is that what you want? I definitely do not. If you’re like me, this makes Angel and VC fundraising almost unfeasible. And sadly, accelerators or incubators end up in the same reality once you complete the program.
Bootstrapping, Indiehacking, or Sidehustling is operating at Controlled Scale. It means moving at your business’s own speed. This equates to experimenting, pivoting, and doubling down on what works — which takes time… Capital just makes you adopt a speed of growth that your investors want to see. But it doesn’t allow you to move at your own pace.
The bootstrappers way
The biggest problem with fundraising is forever losing a piece of your company. When you run out of money and need to raise, you might dilute yourself out of a majority stakeholder position. But I digress. Contrary to a fundraising-first approach, bootstrapping opens the doors for a pragmatic profit-first culture. The way of the bootstrapper is simple:
Build your dream business for as long and far as you can without raising any funds.
Then, once you reach $100K ARR or you employ your team of 10+ full-time team members, you will not only be prouder of yourself, but you will be in a much better position to raise funds. You will have a successful track record giving you the leverage to retain most of your company and grow at the pace you’re ready for because you reached product-market fit first.
If you choose this path, you will enter the realm of the purpose-driven entrepreneur. You won’t just slap the title Founder on your LinkedIn because you raised a $3m round. No. You’ll earn it the hard way. Because you put validation, profit and traction first. Status is a byproduct.C
Courtesy of Medium’s Entrepreneurs Handbook by Julian Paul Sept. 15, 2022
The path to success is not always easy – just ask aspiring entrepreneurs, and they will tell you the tiresome, persistent process that has kept them awake on many nights. As you continue to pursue your career dreams, reading up on some successful entrepreneurship stories can help boost morale, especially if you already have a business plan, have taken out a loan, and have found a space, and all you need is a boost of encouragement.
After all, starting a business from scratch is one of the scariest things in the world. Instead of thinking about all the things that could go wrong, think about the things that could go right and how one day, your name could fall in the list of best entrepreneur stories. Of course, if you read up on any entrepreneurship success story, you will find that most successful businessmen have gone through their fair share of struggles. Many of them failed but continued to pursue their goals relentlessly. Remember, perseverance is the key to success.
MaryBeth Hyland- Founder of Spark Vision
One of the most inspiring entrepreneur’s stories is of MaryBeth Hyland. She faced loads of abuse during her early life, which led her to question her self-worth. However, she delved into creating her own company, despite all her struggles. Spark Vision is a company that collaborates with other businesses and encourages them to maintain a collaborative office workplace, moving away from the toxic office culture.
Hyland has excelled in millennial engagement as she aims for her business to help businesses build close bonds with their employees. Her survival is an inspiration for all of us, especially because she uses her past experiences to connect with people. Hyland believes that all the ugly things she went through in life have helped her succeed, creating a name for her in the list of top entrepreneurship success stories. The lesson we learn through Hyland’s story is that even the most successful entrepreneurs have a past. They are not as unbreakable as they seem. However, using your past and your experiences to help you excel is one of the biggest strengths that many people acquire to have. Hyland had a troubled childhood. However, instead of letting her life being taken away from her and being a victim of her experiences, she used the pain and hurt to motivate her and create a wonderful business that promotes a healthy office culture.
Eric Yuan – Founder of Zoom
Without Zoom, can you imagine what quarantine would have been like, especially since businesses and schools have turned to the platform to carry out their day-to-day tasks and activities? However, once you find out how Zoom came into existence, you will be shocked.
During the era of the internet boom – mid-’90s- Eric Yuan entered the US from China. However, it took eight tries as each time he applied for a visa, it was denied. He kept at it because he believed that he could do great things. Patience and perseverance kept him going. Finally, when he applied for a US visa the ninth time, he was approved! However, the entire process took two years.
Yuan worked for a Silicon Valley communication startup initially, and by 2012, he introduced Zoom to the world. Yuan did not want distance to be a significant factor in communication. He did not want lives to be based around a 12-hour train journey. Instead, he aimed for virtual communication techniques so that long-distance was no longer an issue.
Today, 750,000 companies use Zoom. It is used to connect businesses via video and audio conferencing, shared workplaces, chats, and more. The face-to-face video conferencing allows people to see each other in real-time, making communication more realistic and humanistic. It has also allowed millions of employees to work from home and communicate with their workplaces, giving many people a chance to apply to businesses offshore.
Yuan, like millions of other immigrants, had a hard time entering the country of his dreams. However, this did not discourage him. In fact, one of the reasons why Yuan’s entrepreneurship story is inspiring is because of his sheer determination and persistent nature. Having a success story of entrepreneurs is not easy. However, don’t give up, even if you have to wait a few years for your dreams to come true.
A Latinx founder, Pierson built The Newsette from nothing to $40 million in revenues and profits of at least $10 million last year, she says. Two weeks ago she sold a small stake in The Newsette to an investor in a transaction that values the company at $200 million. It’s the first outside money she’s taken (besides a $15,000 loan from her parents, which she repaid), and she remains the company’s majority shareholder.
She is also a cofounder and co-CEO of less-than-year-old mental health startup Wondermind with singer and actress Selena Gomez and Mandy Teefey (CEO of Kicked to the Curb Productions and Gomez’s mother). Her stake in that company, combined with cash and other investments she’s made, puts Pierson’s net worth at $220 million, Forbes estimates. (Update: on August 11, Wondermind announced on Instagram that it raised $5 million at a $100 million valuation led by investor Serena Williams’ Serena Ventures.)
Pierson, who turned 27 last week, is ten months younger than Lucy Guo, the richest under 30 BIPOC woman on Forbes’ 2022 list of America’s Richest Self-Made Women. Guo, who will turn 28 in October, cofounded tech firm Scale AI and appeared on Forbes’ list worth $440 million. The only other self-made woman on the Forbes list younger than Pierson is Kylie Jenner, who just turned 25 on Wednesday, August 10. (For context, the cutoff to make the 2022 Self-Made Women list, published in June, was $215 million.)
When Pierson was a sophomore at Boston University in 2015, she couldn’t find time to visit her favorite websites, so decided to create a newsletter that would curate the culture, business, beauty and wellness content she and her friends wanted to read. She first told people she was working as an intern for a cool newsletter company. “I didn’t want to say I was the founder,” she explains, partly because she lacked confidence. But she hustled, printing out copies and putting them in the common areas and lobbies of buildings around the university.
It wasn’t until after she graduated that Pierson started soliciting advertising. She says revenues went from $1 million in 2019 to $7 million in 2020 to $40 million in 2021, with partnerships and advertisers that have included Bumble, Fidelity, Old Navy, Twitter and Walmart. She made the Forbes Under 30 list in the Media category in 2020, when she was 24.
Now her free newsletter–which blends news and links to articles about things like natural beauty products–has more than 500,000 subscribers, mostly women ages 18 to 35. It’s mostly smarter than the Daily Skimm with an irreverent attitude similar to that of Morning Brew’s daily email. Subscribers get points for referring new readers via a personalized referral code; the points can be used to redeem anything from an “exclusive Sunday newsletter” (3 points) to a variety of swag: a coffee mug (15 points), a “cool” sweatshirt (55 points) or free coffee for a year (350 points).
Inside Newsette, she also started creative agency Newland, which creates TikTok channels for clients and helps them find influencers to market their brands, in 2020. Its first campaign was for Amazon on International Women’s Day 2020, highlighting 20 small businesses started by women. Business has mostly grown through word of mouth, says Pierson; the agency hasn’t had an official launch yet and only recently launched its own website, but accounted for a higher percentage of revenue than the newsletter business did last year and also for 60% of her 40 employees, she says. (She’s just hired 10 more employees who will start next month.)
The newsletter maven relishes her good fortune but is up front about the fact that she isn’t the typical ideal of a successful businesswoman. “I have OCD and depression. I was a horrible student,” she confesses.
Her mother grew up poor in Colombia and eventually became an oral surgeon and her father, who grew up in Niagara Falls, New York, owns car dealerships in Jacksonville, Florida–where Pierson was raised. As a young child Pierson had trouble sleeping; she was bothered by the fact that there was black tape on one side of her bed but not the other–it wasn’t even. She developed rituals including looking under the bed until it “felt right.” In her high school health class, she realized while studying mental health disorders that she had OCD. “I was considered the dumb twin to the valedictorian in my class,” she says. Her twin sister, who writes under the name Alex Aster, went to the University of Pennsylvania, graduated summa cum laude, has 1 million followers on TikTok (making her one of the most followed authors on the social media platform) and has published two popular young adult fantasy/thriller books–one of which is being made into a movie by Universal and the producers of the movie Twilight.
Pierson didn’t seek treatment for OCD until she was a senior in college. Her GPA had dropped to below 2.0 in the second semester of junior year and she was worried she’d be kicked out of school if she didn’t get her grades up. In addition to looking under her bed, “I would slam my hands on the ground–that was part of the ritual–so hard that my hands started bleeding one day,” she recalls. “I was crying every single day for three months.” She knew she needed help, but also knew her parents didn’t believe in therapists. With some of the affiliate money that had been coming in from The Newsette, she paid to see a therapist who prescribed Prozac; that, with some cognitive behavioral therapy, turned things around. She made the dean’s list senior year and got nearly all A’s.
“Something that Danny and I have in common: we don’t like to gloss over hard things,” says her sister Aster. “She has this amazing life and she’s so successful,” but not everything came easy. Aster was initially rejected by multiple publishers and parted ways with her agent before pitching her book on TikTok, which led to an auction among publishers and a six-figure advance. The sisters are close and have helped each other – Aster would copy edit The Newsette for Pierson every morning in the early days, and Pierson reads Aster’s chapters first. “I trust her opinion over anyone,” says Aster.
Driven nearly to a point of excess, Pierson says she took her first one week vacation in four years last month. “I couldn’t relax,” she says. “Nothing brings me as much happiness as building companies.” Still, she says that her OCD has evolved but not disappeared; she’s learned to not only cope but hopefully also be an inspiration to others. “I don’t want anyone with mental health issues to count themselves out from being successful,” says Pierson. “I want to show the world that success can look different.”
Daytona Beach CareerSource Training Discovers the Value of Mindset Training – ELI (the Entrepreneurship Learning Initiative, founder of the Ice House Program in Mentor, OH) features the successful Daytona Beach community in this one hour interview to illustrates the impact of adding entrepreneurial mindset training. They found through experimentation that introducing the empowerment of entrepreneurial thinking in both the local Mary Karl College of Workforce & Continuing Education curriculum and the CareerSource Flager/Volusia training has brought big changes. They count a wide group of personas among the lives impacted adding entrepreneurial mindset teaching -the formerly incarcerated, re-skilled employees, all sized employers seeking soft-skilled labor, and college courses across-the-board.
You’ll hear an interview hosted by ELI President Rob Herndon and featuring Dr. Sherryl Weems, Associate Vice President of the Mary Karl College of Workforce & Continuing Education and Robin King and Charlie Howell of CareerSource Flager/Volusia as they describe the incredible impact of mindset training on student engagement and employer value in Daytona Beach. Not only are graduates more employable to local businesses through new solf-skills, but college faculty realized by adding an entrepreneurial mindset way of thinking every education major, discipline was easier to learn. Students became more valuable to the employers or those interested in self-employment were better prepared for their entrepreneurial journey.
From recent post on Purpose in Life, we felt this ERI (Entrepreneurial Learning Initiative) would be appropriate as a follow-up. Dr. Barbara Kurshan has spent more than 30 years working in, and researching, the education marketplace. Kurshan is a Senior Fellow and Innovation Advisor who launched the nation’s first master’s program in education entrepreneurship; introduced the VOLT program for online teaching; and has overseen the Milken-Penn GSE Education Business Plan Competition, the largest education business plan competition in the country. The interviewer is Gary Schoeniger, CEO & Founder of ERI/Ice House.
Guest interview with “Bobbi” Krushan, an entrepreneur and innovation expert.
Having a purpose in life is an important factor for happiness. Without it, you’ll live your life less focused and restless. Furthermore, you’ll often feel stressed because you won’t feel aligned with the things you do.
But why is it so important to have a purpose in life? The importance of having a purpose in life has been proven by numerous studies. They all show that people with a clear sense of purpose are more likely to grow old in a healthy way. Additionally, people with a clear purpose in life find it easier to be inspired by the things they do. This article will cover the most important details of these studies in addition to examples of how you can find your own purpose in life.
The benefits of having a purpose in life
You probably agree that it is important to have a purpose in life if you want to be happy. But does science agree here? Here are some interesting results that will show you just how important it is to have a purpose in life.
Living purposefully is correlated to living longer
The most prominent and well-referenced study that I stumbled upon is very interesting. This study was conducted by Randy Cohen, Chirag Bavishi, and Alan Rozanski and was published at the end of 2015. As part of the study, over 136,000 people were evaluated and followed for about 7 years. The average age at the start of the study was 67 years old, and as the people in this subject passed away or faced health issues, the researchers found out an interesting piece of data.
The analysis showed a lower risk of death for participants with a high sense of purpose in life. After adjusting for other factors, mortality was about one-fifth lower for participants reporting a strong sense of purpose.
How did the researchers decide which person lived with purpose and which person didn’t? This is covered in more detail in the fully published report. This is where it gets a little technical, so I’ll just copy and paste the methodology here:
Purpose in life was assessed in 2006 using the 7-item Purpose in Life subscale of the Ryff Psychological Well-being Scales, previously validated in a nationally representative sample of adults. On a 6-point Likert scale, respondents rated the degree to which they agreed with each item. The mean of all items was taken to create a scale. Scores ranged from 1 to 6, where higher scores reflected higher purpose.
The participants were asked to rate their own sense of purpose on a scale from 1 to 6. This study clearly shows that you are more likely to grow old (healthily) when you live a purposeful life.
An example of how a purpose in life can make your life happier
In my article about different examples of life purposes, I’ve asked people the following question: What is your purpose in life? Out of the responses that I got, I want to highlight one that I think provides some anecdotal proof:
I got cancer at age 30 and am currently grappling with this question. My focus has completely shifted and I feel like my the whole point of life now is just 2 simple things:
Making positive connections with others and enjoying those around you. It is a lot easier to sit on the couch and watch a feel-good show then it is to go have dinner with your in-laws when you are tired – but what is the point in sitting there watching TV? We all waste way too much time doing crap like that. Better to build meaningful connections while you can. There are millions of super isolated people in the world as well who would kill to have someone to have dinner with.
Squeezing every bit of enjoyment out of life. I need to walk home – I can either take the subway for 5 minutes underground or I can walk 30 minutes through a park and tree-lined streets and truly enjoy it.. maybe get an ice cream on the way. I’d pick the fast way every time before, now I’m constantly looking for the most enjoyable route instead.
This shows to me that having a purpose can enable you to:
Live a life that aligns with your values.
Be more motivated, disciplined, and efficient in being the best version of yourself.
Find long-term happiness in the things that you do (no matter what they are).
Does this explanation of a sense of purpose surprise you?
If I’m honest, I have to say that this explanation surprised me at first. This answer says that her purpose in life is pretty much to be as happy as possible while enjoying as much time with close connections as possible.
But don’t be fooled! A purpose in life doesn’t necessarily have to be unique or jaw-dropping. It’s not a game of showboating. You have to find your own purpose in life, that’s what matters most. Don’t let your purpose be influenced by someone else’s.
Don’t feel intimidated by someone else’s purposeful life
So Elon Musk has a unique purpose in life, don’t you think? A lot of people admire him for that, and that’s great. But don’t be intimidated by his purpose, and definitely don’t feel like your own purpose has to somehow match this high standard.
Elon Musk said it himself: “The idea of lying on a beach as my main thing just sounds like the worst. It sounds horrible to me. I would go bonkers. I would have to be on serious drugs. I’d be super-duper bored. I like high intensity.”
I’m going to assume here that you are not like Elon and you don’t like high intensity as much as he does. Therefore, why do you think your purpose has to be similar to his?
People generally don’t wake up one day and have a “eureka” moment and suddenly know what their purpose in life is. No, we usually have to discover our purpose by trial and error.
So how do you discover your purpose? Here are 3 ways to find your purpose in life more quickly.
1. Actively try new things
You definitely won’t find your purpose in life by simply waiting for it to fall on your lap. You find it by actively trying new things and taking action.
If you haven’t yet discovered your purpose in life, then you will not find it by trying the same things repeatedly. It helps to always keep an open mind here. If you’re looking for inspiration, here’s an article with some inspiring new things to try.
2. Know that your job is not necessarily your purpose
It’s important to know that your purpose in life and your job are not the same things. Too many people look for a job that pays the bills and that simultaneously makes their lives have a purpose.
When we stop growing, we plateau. And we all know a plateau is a meh place to be. Fireworks and magic don’t happen on a plateau. The thing is, many people don’t realize they have the internal power to expand their knowledge, develop their emotional intelligence, and become better versions of themselves.
That’s why you need to develop a growth mindset. People with a growth mindset believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work – brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.
This helps you realize that who you are now isn’t who you have to be for the rest of your life. So if you find yourself lacking a sense of purpose, then a growth mindset will help you to develop yourself until you find one. If you’re looking for ways to develop your growth mindset, here’s our article on the topic! It is no coincidence that the mastery of entrepreneurship begins with development of an entrepreneurial mindset. This article is offered because purpose and entrepreneurship are so closely connected.