Ikigai represents a pretty basic segmentation. So of course I love it.

I love it so much I want to share.

And you might love it too!

The word comes from Japan. It means a reason for being.

The segmentation recognizes four attributes of activities and jobs you could do –

What You Love,
What The World Needs,
What You Be Paid For,
and What You Are Good At.

Combinations of two represent Mission, Vocation, Profession and Passion.

Combinations of three segments represents Delight/Poorness, Excitement/Imposter, Comfortable/Empty, and Satisfaction/Uselessness.

Doing something at the intersection of all four is called Ikigai.

It’s a very elegant segmentation.

It can also represents a surface.

Assume a 2 dimensional plane representing all the activities and things you could do. X represents an attribute specific to your interests and Y represents some other attribute specific to you. And these may not be known to you at all.

And assume that you’re building up skills over time and you’re learning through this space. One course of learning may involve the skill of building a crosstab, then interpreting summary statistics about a crosstab, and then learning how to explain a crosstab with respect to segment performance against campaign. If you can imagine the skill or the job, it exists on the surface somewhere.

Which vector would you want to come at it? How would you prefer to learn?

One set of advice is around do what you can be paid for, get good enough to make it a profession/vocation, and try to discover the love. You can read quite a bit of this advice on the Internet.

Another set of advice is to come at it from the opposite direction, with what you love, get good at it, then swing into Ikigai.

I subscribe to the latter.

I’ve also noticed that in the marketing science literature that there’s a link between passion, performance, and capital gains. People who are passionate perform. Those who perform find gains. The authenticity of the action powers one through, and that the discovery of wealth is an emergent property of excellence and need.

Something to think about.