There has never been a better time for entrepreneurs to start a business than today. However, many potential owners are still afraid because entrepreneurs want to have a business that lasts. The anxiety is justified though. Startup Genome reported that only one in 12 entrepreneurs succeed.
But don't let this stop you from achieving your goal. As we now have access to decades worth of information at our fingertips, we know that to have long-lasting business success, we have to build a purposeful organization.This is where Ikigai comes in.
So what is Ikigai?
Ikigai is a Japanese word derived from iki,which means to live or exist, and gai, which means reason. The phrasetranslates to having a life of purpose or path to life fulfillment. However, it's not about how you can attain happiness.
Ikigai shows you how to incorporate a practice of your choice that will help you reach fulfilment. It talks about focus, strength, resilience and joy.
This practice has four fundamentals have to meet:
In essence, Ikigai is the point where what you love meets what you're good at, meets what others can pay you for, meets that which the world needs as well.
The book Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life highlighted that Japan is known for practices that lead its people to live a long life. This shows there's something about their practice and way of thinking that gives their citizens an average life expectancy of 84 years.
This also translates to business as Japan also has some of the world's longest operating companies, like Kongo Gumi(est. 578), Nishiyama Onsen (est. 705) and Tkahan Ryokan (est. 1075), among others.
Starting a business isn't just about following your passion. You can develop a passion for new activities that could inspire you to do business. But passion only paints a quarter of the whole picture. Ikigai's philosophy is partly about longevity. Longevity will only be attained once you've managed to sync all four fundamentals.
It's not just about what you're passionate about, your company has to answer what the world needs and what people want. This way, you can be sure that your company's growth is sustainable and long-lasting.
Here are questions that you have to ask yourself before starting your company.
In the book 'Ikigai', the authors mentioned the state of "flow." Flow is the zone you enter when doing something you're passionate about. When you experience flow, your time flies. You can do an activity for hours and you'll still be fully engaged that nothing else enters your mind.
Your competitive advantage will mostly come from your expertise in the field.
Most businesses are operating online, so many rely on SEO web services to stand out on the web. But you won't stand out online (or anywhere) if nobody needs what you're selling.
You have to make sure that you have products and services that people will be searching for.
You have to align all three with what people are willing to pay for.
These four questions will help bring to light what it is you should focus on to make sure that your company enjoys long-term success. Your company will experience a constant test for survival.But if you get your company to exist from a point where the four fundamental components of life meet, you will find it easy to adapt through changing times, recalibrate as you see fit. Though running a company is hard, the journey to success and longevity is not impossible.
Written by Iconic Chica Partner