You Have Arrived: Identifying and Fulfilling Your Life's Purpose
Aquila Leon-Soon, WE NYC Mentor
Aquila Leon-Soon - Advance Talent Solutions Inc.

Since lower barriers to entry have made entrepreneurship more accessible, some entrepreneurs are being bold. They are focusing less on profits and more on fulfilling their life’s purpose. Many, however, struggle to identify and fulfill that purpose.

The journey to discover one’s purpose can look and feel different to each person. Often I meet ambitious entrepreneurs who want something more than a nine-to-five job or a “cash cow” business. They want to leave a legacy of changing the world. I believe you can discover your purpose at any stage of life. There is no particular age that guarantees that you will discover and live out your purpose, but it’s never too late to start.

Work on answering the tough questions and seeking input from your supporters.

Aquila Leon-Soon

Here’s what you can do to begin.

Rediscover what you love

I discovered my true purpose through the trials and tribulations of being an entrepreneur. After my first year in business, I felt like I was on the verge of success but something was missing. The more I shared my business journey with others and provided insights into how I had achieved a level of success, the more I felt I was doing what I loved: mentoring startup and veteran business owners. It was a flashback to my childhood when I felt the most connected to who I was and wanted to be, which was someone who was passionate about helping other people. It felt good to provide my time and resources to others. I was grateful that I could help them advance and realize their potential.

Ask yourself:

  • Who inspires me?
  • What is my passion?
  • What is my life philosophy or values?
  • What do I love to do now?
  • What did I love to do even as a child?
  • What drives me?

If you are ready to be bold, ask your mentor/close supporters: What do you think I stand for?

 

Reflect and ask tough questions

Finding my purpose was not easy. Working in public service, especially as a young single mom, was tough. I felt stressed about saving money for a house, climbing the organizational ladder and paying for my daughter’s private school tuition. I liked my job but something was always missing. Entrepreneurship seemed to provide the flexibility and vision ownership I sought, but I never thought it would lead me to my purpose.

Ask yourself:

  • What is my biggest fear?
  • How do I want people to see me?
  • How can I live out my purpose and monetize it?

If you are ready to be bold, ask your mentor/close supporters: How do you see me? What do you think is my greatest skill?

Plot out your purpose in a vision board annually

Work on answering the tough questions and seeking input from your supporters. Use their feedback and your answers to list potential opportunities to fulfill your purpose. Maybe you could open a foundation arm of your business or support the development of young people in your community.

Once you’ve done this work, you’re ready to pull it together in the form of a vision board. Vision boards are a great tool that can help you to visualize and act on your purpose. Here are the six steps to realizing your purpose using a vision board:

  • Step 1: Purchase a poster board (or use cardboard) and glue or tape
  • Step 2: Collect images and cut out words from various periodicals or photographs that represent how you envision your purpose and that inspire you to achieve it. I tend to find the best images in magazines such as Oprah, Entrepreneur and Travel & Leisure.
  • Step 3: Block off some “you” time (at least one or two hours on a non-work day) and find a quiet, relaxing place that is free of distractions so you can get to work.
  • Step 4: Get as creative as you want as you arrange and paste your images and words in various ways.
  • Step 5: Write the date you finished on the back of the board and hang your new vision board in a place that is visible to you every day. Your bedroom, bathroom and kitchen are all great places, as long as you revisit it every day.
  • Step 6: Keep a journal so you can track your progress over the coming year in fulfilling your newly discovered purpose.

Fulfilling my life’s purpose took soul searching, job hopping and the launch of one successful business. The journey was tough as I suffered from heartache and disappointment but I learned that this is the journey.