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Aaron Hurst is a globally recognized entrepreneur who works to create communities that are empowered to realize their potential. He is the CEO of Imperative, a B Corp advocating for[…]

Imperative CEO Aaron Hurst offers some advice to recent graduates. Hurst is the author of The Purpose Economy: How Your Desire for Impact, Personal Growth, and Community Is Changing the World

Aaron Hurst: So as the economy evolves out of an information economy into a purpose economy which is really the future of work and it’s the future of our economy and society, it’s an incredible opportunity.  I’m so jealous of people graduating from college right now.  It’s an opportunity to be in an economy and to be an innovator in this new economy where you’re able to both do good and do well and to really do that in a really authentic way.  So my advice to folks graduating now – I mean first and foremost is to spend your twenties getting to know yourself.  I think too often we look to outside influences.  We look at what people expect of us instead of just trying to really figure out who we are, what drives purpose for us, what matters to us.  And to spend our twenties just rubbing up against the world and getting to know ourselves so that we can figure out once we have that strong core, that strong sense of purpose how we can then go out and create value in the world. And I think unfortunately universities do a pretty poor job of doing that.  So in some sense you’re twenties is about getting your real college degree by going out there and learning in the real world and learning about yourself.

In my experience the most important thing is to get to know yourself and you get to know yourself most often by putting yourself in different circumstances and trying different things.  And I think in education we tend to go through the same experience over and over again for four years instead of having a diversity of experiences.  Taking English and then math is not really that different an experience.  When I was in college the things that were different were studying abroad.  I did a lot of work in a local prison as a teacher.  These are the things that actually teach you who you are.  And those are the things that we really need to invest in in our twenties.

Directed/Produced by Jonathan Fowler and Dillon Fitton