Do you know what your calling is? Does it sound appealing to you? As Oprah Winfrey once said, "We're all called. If you're here breathing, you have a contribution to make to our human community. The real work of your life is to figure out your function--your part in the whole--as soon as possible, and then get about the business of fulfilling it as only you can."
And that's especially true for entrepreneurs. As lofty as having a "calling" may sound, it's something that you are either motivated to uncover or not. It's a question I have asked myself hundreds of times. Those of you who can relate know it's a feeling that begins when you are very young. It's something that comes from within. Nobody in my family asked me what my calling was or suggested that I find one. It just felt like I had to find work that was meaningful.
While identifying a calling is a personal, unique endeavor, there are recognizable signs that you have managed to find it. The following personal qualities and life experiences are common among those driven to do work they believe they're meant to do. Do any of these traits sound familiar?
1. You are inherently motivated to find purpose in your life. Specifically, you are driven by helping others more than just making accomplishments for accomplishments' sake.
2. You are ambitious. You don't feel comfortable when things stay the same for long.
3. You have discovered and know deeply that money does not bring happiness. Instead, you feel confident that you can earn what you need to live.
4. You love who you are, and you have overcome self-doubt--most of the time. You have reached the stage that you are confident enough to believe in your own abilities more than you indulge in your worst fears.
5. You no longer have a nagging feeling that "there is something more out there for me." You are clear that you are not wasting precious time on unfulfilling pursuits.
6. You are not afraid of taking a risk. You realize that even if your endeavor fails, not trying at all is a greater risk--to your happiness, your sense of purpose, and sense of self.
7. You know that getting aligned with your purpose is a path toward happiness and never-ending joy. You have experienced the joy that comes with doing work that is fulfilling, and you know going back to unfulfilling work is not an option.
8. You have always been drawn to experience and impact, rather than material items or power. You aren't expecting external things like money or objects to define your success. You are clear that how you impact the world and others is the driving force.
9. The people you admire most are making a positive impact in the world with the work they are doing. Your role models and inspiration come from others that are a step ahead of where you are, and it energizes you to see them succeed.
10. You surround yourself with others that are aligned with their calling. When you stop and think about it, you realize some of your closest friends or mentors are also connected to their truth and are succeeding from that.
If you read these statements and realize that you have not found your calling, then it's time to take action. I couldn't imagine anything worse than not fulfilling your purpose.