Ikigai: Finding Your Purpose in Life

It's been a while since I've been here. I had to rethink the whole purpose of the blog because writing about finance can be a hard task. It's challenging to engage readers and ensure they are reading every time a new post goes up. Finance is a passion of mine and being a regular girl from an ordinary background; I'm not here to come up with a get rich scheme or start coming up with equations on how you can cheat the market. First off, that would be deceptive, and secondly, I don't think I'm smart enough for all that. As I've been recently taking a break from my entrepreneur journey, I've had enough time to reflect on my purpose in life. I know what I'm good at and what I like, I know how to make money, and I have some pretty credible skill sets. After much thinking, I've decided that writing about personal finance is ultimately a passion of mine. It's what the Japanese call my ikigai, my purpose and value in life.

The word "ikigai" is usually used to indicate the source of value in one's life or the things that make one's life worthwhile.

It's a combination of what you love, what the world needs, and what you are good at. I think it's essential for everyone to follow their ikigai because it stops us from chasing things all for love of money. Lately, I've seen a lot of folks online with pop up boutiques and fitness services, etc. Trust me there is enough money to be made in all these industries. Heck, I got into graphic design four years ago, and I'm not the first nor the last person who will be doing it. My only thought to these people is to make sure you're doing it for the right reasons. Not because you think it will make you a ton of money fast. After all, like most things, it takes work, effort and most of all, time to run a business. Last year in 2018, I spent an average of four extra hours a day, which equated to an additional 28 hours a week to my already 45-hour work-week. I made quite a bit of money averaging $900-$950 in passive income a month in my freelance business. It took hard work, dedication, and most of all, passion. If I didn't enjoy graphic design, there is no way I would have done it. People always think entrepreneurship is easy, or anyone can do it, but it's about working hours that people don't know about or doing work that people can't see. Your time becomes the most valuable asset because, without time, you can't accomplish the impossible. I've never been a person who was scared of hard work, especially when it came with an abundance of time. I remember before I become a parent, I use to feel like there was an unlimited amount of time. Now with my little guy, it's pretty much mandatory for me to stay disciplined in my time and divide it up. That's why it's so crucial for me to not waste my time on things I don't enjoy doing. With my ikigai, I'm able to share my gift as a freelance graphic designer to the world and make myself happy at the same time.


Why doing what you love is important?

I use to be this person who thought that making money was the most important thing. I would have big dreams of working up the corporate ladder and being ultra wealthy. Then

I got a taste of reality sitting in a cube after college. The work I was doing in audit and accounting was sub-par, and the office politics had me emotionally drained. It was like someone had pulled the rug under me, and now I was laying face down in the corporate B.S that I had wanted so bad. After bouncing around for a few years, I finally realized the inevitable; I would have to work hard, save money, and be patient. In the meantime, I knew I also had to have an outlet to stop myself from going crazy with all the tedious work that I was doing. Audit can be an extremely detail-oriented profession, and unless you like looking under a microscope all day in finances, you need something to look forward to. In college, I had been a marketing major for three years, and it wasn't until the end of my junior year with the economy tanking right before my eyes, I decided to change to finance. One because accounting would have required another semester that I couldn't afford to take and two because finance would give me more job options. After graduating, I left my three years of marketing and plunged into the world of audit. I was suppressing that creativity in me for a while, leaving behind those three summers of marketing internships I loved so dearly. After five years out of college, I decided I couldn't do it anymore and got my certificate in Graphic Design. I did an online program for one year and $5000. I told myself if I could generate at least $5000 in freelance income, I could break even and it would be worth it, otherwise what was the point. Last year, I made $11K in passive income through freelance alone. I say all this to point out that it's vital for everyone to do what you love and stop worrying about making money. When you love what you do, and you're good at it, the money will come. Always find something that you are passionate about, and it will pay for itself.


Finding out what the world needs

I remember back in 2013 when "Jobs" the movie about Steve Jobs, came out starring Ashton Kutcher. It was a story about a crazed-tyrant who was obsessed with innovation and creating a brand that people will always remember. With the introduction of the iPhone in 2007, Jobs did just that, immediately standing out from Blackberry, Samsung, Motorola, and any other phone in the market. In the movie what I remember most was something Steve Jobs said that always resonates with me. He said, "I like creating things people don't know they need." Those few words were so powerful because it was the blueprint of why Apple has maintained quite a considerable market share. Jobs to me was indeed avant-garde, he was a man before his time who had discovered his ikigai. When you think of the needs of the world, what better way to stay ahead of the game by doing something the world has never seen and doesn't know they need. With Ikagai, can't you see yourself doing something great for the world that you enjoy doing? I like to think that if we were all avant-garde, the world would probably be a better place. The concept of doing something you love while fulfilling a need helps create and maintain something timeless such as the iPhone. I also decided to write this blog because I felt it was important for people of color to learn how to create generational wealth and own things.


Overall...

I would say money is an essential factor in how we live. I've never been the person to pretend that it's not, however, your happiness is just as important if not more important than the need to make millions. You owe it to yourself to find out what you are good at and bring that gift to the world. I attended a Literary Luncheon this weekend with my sorority, and our featured guest was Jenifer Lewis from the hit show Blackish. As a comedian, she had had her share of sorrows, addictions, and highlights in her career. She most of all spoke about her ikigai of making people laugh and how she loved sharing it with the world. I think it's essential for everyone to find out what they are good at and share it with the world. Even if you find yourself in a career path that doesn't make you light up, find a hobby, or an outlet that does and do that on the side. It's imperative as individuals that we stay fulfilled in our lives because life is already hard and like I said why waste it on things we don't like.


The Lioness is a financial blogger based in the Twin Cities. After spending most of her career in accounting, she decided to leap into the world of small business, investing and savings. As she is on this journey of juggling both her career and small business, she wants to share what she is learning along the way, as she builds her passive income with her husband and family.

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