By Karly-Anna O'Brien
“What’s your purpose, Karly”, asked my teacher. We all contemplate our purpose at different points in life. For me, I was sitting in class.
I was speechless. At the time, I wasn’t ready for soul-searching, but my professor’s thought-provoking question struck a chord with me. A seemingly simple question evoked a flurry of thoughts.
Finding My Block
After plenty of late-night thinking at Tim Hortons, I realized my purpose. I began to understand how crucial it was for me to recognize it. My purpose is that I exist to help others achieve their entrepreneurial goals.
By identifying my motivation, I know what I stand for and now I find opportunities that allow me to achieve my purpose every day.
That’s how I came across the amazing work that Sheridan’s Creative Humanities is doing with Toronto Fringe’s Theatre Entrepreneurs’ Networking & Training (TENT) program.
Toronto Fringe is an organization that facilitates the production of independent theatre shows while TENT is an introductory program that teaches novices how to do this.
Recent graduates entering the field are struggling because they lack the necessary entrepreneurial skills to start their own company. It doesn’t help that the theatre industry is highly competitive.
Lining Up My Blocks
Our goal is to impart critical entrepreneurial knowledge to the 25 TENT students each spring.
We work with the Toronto-based organization to bridge the gap between careers in the creative arts, and skills needed to start your own business. By empowering TENT, we help them empower the students.
I think that’s the most interesting aspect of being an entrepreneur – anyone can be one. It’s not just reserved for business graduates. Yes, I am a Pilon School of Business student (and soon to be graduate in April), but a photographer or a glassmaker can also excel in managing themselves professionally. Business is for everyone.
This is the reason I love my job. I help people in the arts and entertainment field by developing a business curriculum in the critical areas needed to launch a successful venture.
The work we do is meaningful and helpful, and It’s also aligned with my purpose, so it means that much more to me to be part of this initiative.
Reflecting on My Blocks
My learning as a Research Assistant is a two-pronged response,
First, it served as a reminder that even as an individual who is still learning about business and entrepreneurship that I can still be of service to others. It’s an important reminder that we can have an impact early in our career by helping those who are just starting out.
Second, it’s also taught me the importance of making information available and accessible on how to start your own business. It never quite crossed my mind how people in non-business specialties might struggle when opening a business. I think as a society, we should encourage entrepreneurship by empowering people to tackle the nuances of the business world.
Tipping the Next Block
It’s been an incredibly rewarding experience to be part of a team helping emerging theatre producers overcome barriers and obstacles to find success. By following my purpose, I not only helped others but I also feel like I am assisting a meaningful cause.
So, like me, find your purpose and make a meaningful difference in the lives of those around you.
Like Buddha said, “Your purpose in life is to find your purpose and give your whole heart and soul to it.”