Venn Diagram for Authentic Business

In trying to understand your purposeful work, you may have encountered various kinds of complex venn diagrams to express the idea of Ikigai.

Well, here's my version of it... a venn diagram for Authentic Business:

Authentic Business Venn Diagram

I created that in 2014, and I think it can still help many people to understand where to place their energies in their work.

The circle on the right represents your passions, which can be...

  • Topics you love to talk about
  • Problems you enjoy working on
  • People you love to help ("ideal client audience")

The circle on the left represents high-demand markets, and these tend to be… 

  • Hot in the current culture
  • Solves a painful problem
  • Gives instant gratification
  • Easy to consume

Most of us who are heart-based, idealistic people tend to start a business with the right-hand circle. This means that the solutions we offer:

  • Tend to take more time or deeper work before worthwhile results can be seen
  • Tend to be esoteric rather than popular
  • Tend to be "deeper" or more spiritual

Here’s the main issue for us – we expect the kind of timeline that usually only happens when we focus on the left-hand circle. 

Yet, we feel motivated only to work on that right-side circle.

To bring some moderation – and some faster income! – let’s take a closer look at the diagram.

Notice the green dot and gold dot.

The gold dot (which is at the edge of the green circle) represents business opportunities that are in higher demand, yet still within your circle of passion. It's not your biggest passion, but you can bring yourself to enjoy those activities.

The green dot (at the edge of the gold circle) stands for opportunities that are closer to your Passions but has less market demand.

If you currently have financial reserves or a stable income, you can start at the green dot, and with each new project, keep moving right -- toward your truest Passions.

Does your business need to make money sooner? You’ll have to start at the gold dot. This allows quicker income and building of confidence. With each success, move gradually in the direction of the green dot. Along the way, you are building an audience who will be more willing to move with you towards the center of your passion.

Even if you pursue the gold dot first, delivering what's in demand, you can still flavor your work with your passion. For example, even though I teach online marketing, I am always bringing my passion for spiritual/personal development into my teaching. As a result, my brand carries more authenticity.

I hope this diagram will help you consider your current offerings, and how they relate to your passion versus the market’s wants. As you progress in your work experimentations, may you experience the increase of both success and fulfillment!