A Different Startup Saturday, Inner Before Outer, and Startup Spirituality

Last Saturday in Starbucks Masinag, I had a slightly different Startup Saturday meeting with Nico Policarpio, a promising young entrepreneur (whose team won the second Startup Weekend).

I was originally going to meet 2 other people, but they each had sudden emergencies, so I met with Nico one-on-one.

Partly as a result of the decreased number of people, the conversation went into deeper ground. Instead of the usual “let’s come up with an idea” or “let’s develop an idea” or “let’s map out current opportunities,” we instead delved into   the philosophical – what drives us as entrepreneurs, taking a hold of who we are, and startup philosophy.

I won’t go into any of the details of our conversation, but let me highlight one very important theme:

Inner Before Outer

More than any other job in the planet, being an entrepreneur requires a tremendous amount of self-introspection and awareness.

Why?

A startup is basically an individual’s unique offering and contribution to the world. He’s basically saying, “Hey world, here’s what I can do, buy me!”

To be able to offer your best to the universe, you first have to figure out what it is, right?

A mistake a lot of entrepreneurs make is just going after the money. This produces a passionless startup which inevitably makes passionless products. Slow death.

Another is going after something “sexy,” – like perhaps forcing yourself to go into “mobile” or “social” even if it just isn’t you and it bores you to death. Destination Zombieland.

Another mistake is to go after everything you feel remotely interests you, ending up with 2-3 startups at the same time WHILE having a day job in some cases. Recipe for failure as what a startup needs MOST from you is time.

These mistakes are usually the product of a lack of proper introspection as to who you really are, what your gifts are, what you really want to do, what you consider to be your calling in this world. These mistakes are the product of choosing outer (ideas, opportunity, money) before choosing inner (who you are, introspection, Faith).

This is why I find the startup exercise such a Faith-walk.

I know most people don’t associate business with Faith, or business with God.

If you believe in God though, and you believe you have a specific Calling, it’s pretty difficult NOT to consider Faith when undergoing the entrepreneurial process.

Figuring out who you are in the world? Sounds like something God can help us out with, eh?

Align your life. Nothing will make you happier.

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