For the last two years, I've been on a journey trying to build a sustainable business. After raising seed funding, and two solid tries, I discovered that the way to build a long standing business that matters is to discover my calling. A "career" or "job" isn't enough. The deepest question an entrepreneur can ask themselves is:
1. It began with the question, "Who am I?" And if I don't know who I am, how do I figure it out?
It began with asking "why?" After "pivoting" (failing) twice, I felt it — a burning realization — a calling so obviously right in front of me. I'd been obsessed with productivity and mental fitness, from meditation to email hacks, and it was my greatest strength. It's not just a cliche: Do what you absolutely love and what you've naturally had a deep inclination to explore.
I realized becoming deeply curious and seeking answers to no end is the motivation and energy required for meaningful work and life. So I asked myself what that is.
I realized passion comes from an insatiable love of learning, gratitude and a motivation to perform well, for it's own sake, not by a particular activity.
I learned how habits work:
I studied my triggers (cues) for particular routines, and realized I craved rewards. I applied the habit loop to everything I did.
I realized how important mastering presence is for both work and life. A quote from Josh Waitzkin, both a world chess and martial arts champion, and great expert on the idea of presence in competition (the film Searching for Bobby Fischer was based, in part, on his life).
I realized I was addicted to my "Flow State" and focused on harnessing It
Flow is why "starving artists" exist, for their work's sake. It's being deeply focused, in the zone. Time flies by. Did I care enough to starve for what I was doing?
I reversed Maslow's Hierarchy of needs and added consciousness, gratitude and a love of learning as the first necessity. What do you love that you'd starve to work on?
I harnessed uncertainty for excitement was the growth mindset I needed to become resilient enough to survive and succeed.
Excitement is why I believe Evan Spiegal, founder of Snapchat, refused a $3 billion offer from Mark Zuckerberg to sell his app. I suspect it's more exciting to command your own ship, even at the risk of billions of dollars.
Evan Spiegal, Founder of Snapchat
My "work" became a labor of love, regardless of achievement.
I got so excited at the prospect of working on productivity and mental fitness that I felt I'd won the game of entrepreneurship — finally. I didn't know what I was going to do, or how I'd do it, but I knew it would come from the right place.
I realized my calling: make presence as intuitive as breathing, for all of us.
I believe if being present, in the moment, was as intuitive as breathing for all of us, a lot of our problems would go away. The higher level of purpose makes me overcome the day to day challenges.
I realized my mission.
Arriving at my mission became simple: teach the art of presence. How I did it came to me naturally: use writing and technology.
I learned a full time commitment to entrepreneurship, or any art, brings out who you're born to be if you stick with it.
Plan to commit to it for the rest of your life! Here's what I underestimated before taking the plunge.
-The Mental/Emotional Fitness Required
-How Long it Takes
-How Personal My Idea Was
-How Scary It Is
-How Hard it Is to Stay Motivated Day in Day Out (why we need higher Calling and Mission)
How I Live Now
Lying on my deathbed knowing I could have affected the planet or it's people in my own way is the only FOMO I have today. Below are the five biggest regrets of dying people, as reported by Bonnie Ware
-I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, and not the life others expected of me
-I wish I didn't work so hard
-I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings
-I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends
-I wish that I had let myself be happier
Eight months ago, I conceived what is now www.FlowApps.org. I've blissfully read, written and geeked out on mental fitness, and what I call "mindful productivity." Will it "work"? I don't know. I've come to believe the universe to be a perfectly efficient place, and know I'll "pivot" to the next step correctly if I need to.