When Careem—a mobile-based ride-hailing service co-founded by Magnus Olsson and Mudassir Sheikha in the Middle East in 2012—was acquired by Uber for $3.1 billion in 2019, it made headlines around the globe. While most focus on their financial success, the successful exit fulfilled Olsson’s underlying purpose: “to do something big.” Olsson, who describes himself as a tech geek and entrepreneur, believes that one of the most crucial aspects of the Founder’s Journey—and life—is finding your purpose. Olsson was always driven. He started his first business—an IT consultancy focused on helping SMEs—as a teenager before earning undergraduate degrees in computer science and business and then joining McKinsey in Stockholm as a management consultant. But when a brain hemorrhage nearly ended his life, he realized that discovering and fulfilling your life’s purpose mattered far more important than acquiring financial success.
How Do You Find Your Purpose?
He shares, “For me, it was about doing something meaningful. Building something meaningful. And it had to be huge.” Whatever you’re going to do, Olsson advises, “know why you’re doing it. Don’t waste a life.”
If you’re just sitting still, sitting comfortable—either because of fear or because of carelessness—then it’s a waste of time.
How did he find his purpose? He confesses, “it’s tricky.” The more you connect to the question, “why am I here?” the better your chances for uncovering your purpose. For Olsson, mediation helps. After he realized that he wanted to “build something meaningful and big” he saw a compelling opportunity in the Middle East. While some people will know their life’s purpose at a young age, for others, it may take time and purposeful seeking. Olsson notes, “I think it is a journey. But you have to commit to more than the journey. You have to keep moving.”
Olsson’s 3 Guiding Principles
- Life is short.
- You are going to be fine, so stop messing around. It is your responsibility to figure out what you want to do with your life.
- Let go of fear—it can be your worst enemy.