The Purpose-Driven Entreprenuer

Every day entrepreneurs have to navigate in a notion of ambiguity as their day jobs but the best experts in the world are Wayfinders because they had the ability to venture beyond their shorelines, sailing to every habitable island in the far corners of the Pacific to find the exact island they wanted to go to without any modern instrumentation – no compass, no map, no radar. They looked at pattern recognition – through the positioning of clouds and stars, where the sun set and rose and within their inner selves.

What differentiates entrepreneurs to founders or CEOs are Heart, Smarts, Guts and Luck.



You cannot plan to have heart, it lies in authentic purpose. The drive, movement and contagiousness of a business derive from purpose and passion, which are typically a reflection of the heart. It is our heart, and its quality of agape, that we devote ourselves indefinitely to our dream. It is about wanting nothing more than to bust open whatever ceiling that stands in our way. It is only with heart that one can realize the full potential and power of nuance.



Book IQ matters to some degree but it doesn’t really matter that much. Those that can look into the everyday ordinary elements like a snail and see the Fibonacci. Those that can see a seemingly disarray of dots but instead find a constellation of meaning. This is pattern recognition – it is at the essence and nucleus of great smart entrepreneurship.



It manifests itself in two ways; one in a sprint, the other in a marathon. In 127 hours, the first level of guts is to initiate, second level of guts is to endure and be resilient, and the last level of guts is to evolve.



It turns out luck is a word most misused; it is often described as chance, probability and 50/50. It’s not about chance, but it is about an attitude. A lucky attitude starts with great humility – the capacity to believe that there are forces greater than you, helping you to get to your destiny. Second is intellectual curiosity, the ferocious appetite to seek new experiences, to always test what’s new. Finally, optimism – the willingness to remove disbelief and gives energy to realise humility and intellectual curiosity.

All this encompasses “Wayfinding”. It is about having that deep self-awareness and understanding who you are and why you’re doing what you’re doing.

The key elements to harness Self-Awareness:

  1. Peers and Mentors – honesty
  2. Accountability – action, not just talk
  3. Power of pause – self reflect / meditate
  4.  Core values– standards that you set for yourself to define excellence

The next wave of entrepreneurship movement is the “Purpose Driven Entreprenuer”. An existing concept if you dig deep because all the greatest companies in the world have been purposed-driven. It is not about how crazy the idea is but it’s about how pure the WHY is. It’s the purpose before product, product before profit.

It is in the state where you do what you say,

what you say is actually what you think,

what you think is actually what you feel, and

understand what you feel is actually who you are.

– Tony Tjan

[Excerpts and based on original presentation by Tony Tjan, CEO & Managing Partner of Cue Ball at LeWeb Paris 2013]

Great resources:

It looks at the pattern of your decision making and what traits dominate your personality, critical for long-term business success.

An assessment designed to measure preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions.

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