To help 1 million founders have a happier, more balanced life and a more rewarding venture
The ikiFounder Network manifestoNick Shewring is a Founder, keynote speaker, advisor, advocate for mental health and coworking strategist. Nick Marsh is an International Facilitator in Strategic Foresight, Strategic Planning, Entrepreneurship and Organisation Innovation not to mention just a super nice guy.
We met by serendipity - both interested in how to create successful ventures and self mastery. In conversation we found a buzz between us and within a few short weeks realised that we were not the only people on the quest for some answers. So we created the ikifounder Manifesto, which is both a challenge to us, and to all those thousands of venture founders out there, who simply want to be happier.
We started with each other and asked the hard questions about how happy we were with life, with ourselves, and with the ventures we had each been members of. We discovered that ‘frontstage’ we all talk a good game (it’s all going great, a new investor is going to beat our door down, the rewards are just around the corner) but ‘backstage’ is another story. So we started to interview other founders and got them talking honestly about their ‘backstage’.The general view was, like us, life is not as good or as happy as they thought it would be: They talked about many issues including:
TOO MUCH STRESS - Many find themselves stressed, burnt out, working too many hours and neglecting family.
NOT ENOUGH MONEY - Despite working so hard -still not managing to make enough income for all their effort - The loneliness of many venture leaders is showing up in rates of depression.
LACK OF MEANING - Many founders feel that something is wrong in the alignment between them and their venture, but how to fix it?
What is Ikigai?
We also did a lot of research about what support is out there to support founders - including mentor services, accelerators and incubators, but why is this not working?
One day we hit gold by discovering on the internet the ikigai model. iki means ‘life’, and gai’ means value or worth. So ikigai is essentially about finding your purpose in life , "thing that you live for", "the reason for which you wake up in the morning." So we interviewed each other about what our respective ikigais were. We realised that for a founder tour ikigai needs to be aligned with our venture- where the two are in conflict then that is where to focus on fixing things. We saw that balance and happiness lies in our (honest) ikigai being strongly aligned with all the parts of our venture.
We need your help!
Why not co-create, co-design, the answer with us?
So we have a pretty good first cut of the ‘pain points’ of founders, including ourselves, so we started to design the solution ourselves, as you do. Then a rock dropped on our heads and a voice in the sky yelled, “idiots, why don’t you invite all the people who want the solution to co-design it with you - then it will be really useful and you can fulfil your manifesto”
So that‘s what we are inviting you to join us - to co-build something useful, that if we get it right can be a force for good, for maybe many more than the first million we had in mind.