A Mill Street Insight: Finding Ikigai as an Entrepreneur

Ikigai is a Japanese term that can be loosely translated as ‘reason for living’. In other words, it is your purpose for being, your motivation to wake up in the morning, your joie de vivre as it were. But it is also more than that. Ikigai involves finding a balance between:

  • What you love
  • What you are skilled at 
  • What you can be paid for
  • What the world needs

And without too much thought, one can immediately see how this way of living can lead you to becoming an entrepreneur that balances smart capital with life satisfaction and contribution to society.   

For the Mill Street Core Values: loyalty, persistence, pursuit of knowledge, family, generosity, and honesty, Ikigai fits in perfectly. After all, the main concept of Ikigai is finding something worth living for; that also nets you an income and contributes to society. This is exactly what good entrepreneurs do – but with a twist to ensure they are satisfied in life. A good entrepreneur will look for ways to build smart capital based on their own skills and what society needs. With Ikigai and / or the Mill Street core values, the entrepreneur is able to find the exact balance that leads them to success in building smart capital, being satisfied in life, and bettering the lives of others. 

In fact, the Mill Street Core Values are perfect for helping an entrepreneur find their Ikigai – or their reason for living. It starts from the pursuit of knowledge, since it drives us to discover that which is important to us and that which society needs. From there, one only needs honesty to determine what one is skilled at and persistence to find out how it can be turned into something that makes money. Through generosity, the entrepreneur can continuously and selflessly give back to society – either through their smart capital gains via donations or through their entrepreneurship itself. And finally, the core value of family ensures that the entrepreneur is able to live a well-rounded life surrounded by those who care about them. 

All in all, the Mill Street Core Values and Ikigai go hand in hand. They both lead us toward a happier and more satisfied life, and as an entrepreneur, they can be used as a playbook for success. For at the very centre of balance of Ikigai is a successful and happy individual that lives according to their own desires and skills; who also has found a way to provide society with something they have been lacking. 

If you were to ask a successful entrepreneur what contributed the most to them finding success, many are likely to say something along the lines of, “it was what the market needed at that time”. Determining what the market lacks is a crucial and important part of becoming a successful entrepreneur and building smart capital, but success and smart capital alone do not determine one’s ability to live a well rounded and balanced life. Instead, the truly successful entrepreneur could be called one who finds the intersection of their reason for living, with their payable skill set and that which society needs. Only then is the entrepreneur ensured of building smart capital in a way that ensures a balanced and happy life that contributes to those around them.

If you would like to read more Insights from Mill Street, such as how you can find your risk tolerance through honesty and integrity, or what risk vs reward means in terms investing, stop by the Mill Street Knowledge Base. From here you have access to the latest insights for building smart capital, success tips for entrepreneurs, and a wealth of other information to help you with your daily finances and investment options.

Mill Street & Co. Core Values

  • Loyalty to Relationships
  • Integrity & Honesty
  • Generosity