Thought Leadership Essays

Meaningful Work Starts With Love

January 25, 2014

Vikas Narula

I have given a lot of talks in the last few years – mostly about Keyhubs and the business applications of social network analysis.

About a year ago, I was invited to address the Entrepreneurship Club at the University of Minnesota.

If you have been following my blog, you know that I like to write about the subject of entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurship is the engine of our economy. It is the essence of innovation in companies big and small. It is the channel through which our creative aspirations become real-world solutions and products. Entrepreneurship pushes the human race forward. It has and continues to transform me. Like parenthood, it is one of the most exhilarating things I have undertaken in my life.

So, when a group of young kids invited me to speak on the topic to share my own story and lessons, you can imagine how excited and honored I was. I have, by no means, reached the pinnacle of entrepreneurial success (I am not sure if one ever does), yet these students were willing to invite me and hear what I had to say.

I searched my soul for what I wanted to tell these budding entrepreneurs and decided to use the following questions to guide my efforts:

Given what I know now, what would I tell my 18 year old self about life and entrepreneurship? What do I wish someone would have told me in those formidable years of deciding what career path to take?

With that in mind, I went to the University of Minnesota and delivered one of the most enjoyable and passionate talks I’ve ever done. It felt so rewarding to share the lessons I learned in my life, career and entrepreneurship. The feedback I received was positive and a few of the kids seemed especially moved by what I had to say. That was the moment I decided I was going to spend more time, not just writing about entrepreneurship, but speaking about it as well – especially to college students who are at the beginning of their career journey.

I refined my talk and gave a couple of more presentations, including a few at Minneapolis Technical and Community College (MCTC). MCTC has since decided to offer this presentation in the form of a short two-session, continuing education course (“Meaningful Work Starts With Love“), which I will be leading on February 12 and 19. All are welcome to join. If you or anyone you know is interested in adding more meaning to their life and career, they can learn more about the course here.

With a desire to share the message more broadly, I had a recent presentation recorded and edited down to about 15 minutes (below). The full talk usually runs about an hour, but I feel the video does a decent job of capturing its essence. It integrates and brings to life many of my earlier blog posts about the journey.

I’d love to know what you think.

Vikas Narula (@NarulaTweets) is Creator and Co-Founder of Keyhubs (@Keyhubs) – a software and services company specializing in workplace social analytics. He is also Founder of Neighborhood Forest – a social venture dedicated to giving free trees to kids every Earth Day.

Other Recent Blog Posts:

Oh, the Places We’ve Been!

Active Disengagement – Is the Spirit of Commerce at Odds With the Human Spirit?

Hobbies Are Underrated – The Case for Heart-Centered Entrepreneurship


  1. Meredith Conder |
    10 Years Ago

    You and your path are an inspiration. I appreciate the reminder that we need to remember WHY we are doing what we are doing. We don’t have to struggle through our careers, when it sucks the life out of us. Financially supporting family is a worthy cause, but when it changes who we are because we are miserable, then there are probably different ways to do this.
    I enjoy your blog! Keep writing!

  2. Vikas Narula |
    10 Years Ago

    Hi Meredith,

    Thank you for the comment! I completely agree. We need to focus on the WHY just as much (if not more) than the WHAT, in our life and careers.

    Appreciate your feedback and support.

    Warmest Regards,

  3. Mara |
    10 Years Ago

    What a fantastic presentation!

    I would love to to attend your workshop. It looks as though I can no longer register on MCTC’s site. Please let me know if you will be teaching this workshop again.

    It’s sounds like a soul warming class to combat this harsh Minnesota winter.


    • Vikas Narula |
      10 Years Ago

      Thank you so much Mara! Glad you enjoyed it.

      I will keep you posted on future courses / workshops.

      Stay warm!


  4. frank florin |
    5 Years Ago

    Wow! great presentation on work and career choice, which is such a significant part of life…yet so little explored or discussed. i think students and young people will greatly benefit from what you are sharing.

    keep up the good work

    • Vikas Narula |
      5 Years Ago


      Thanks so much for checking it out and thank you for your kind words – you’re getting to see the “other” side of me! 🙂

      Hope to see you soon!


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