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Farhad Niyoz - How To Attract The Best Talent By Knowing Your Purpose │ sTARTUp Day 2021

Updated: Dec 19, 2023

Story 1

I will share two stories with you. 33 years ago I got the beating of my life for refusing to do some farm work. I ran away and hid for quite a long time. While there, I made a promise to myself that I will work so hard and become so successful that one day I will deserve to hear the words “You are okay, you may come home now”.

I hid this promise in a box and I put that box in the deepest corner of my conscious self and I forgot about the box. But it was controlling my life for the next 30 years as I was chasing profit, success and above all approval.

But then something happened 3 years ago.

I was eating and a piece of food got stuck in my throat so that I could not breathe. There were people around me who tried to help me but during this very long minute or so I already gave up internally. When I gave up I connected with one very strong feeling, that feeling was sadness.

What was the sadness about? It was about leaving most of my relationships in a bad shape and also not having done anything meaningful in my life. But then this guy was hitting my back, I think he decided that it's better to break my spine rather than let me choke to death, and I started to breathe again.

This experience changed something deep inside of me. I started to gradually let go of everything I was doing. I felt I wanted to focus on one thing that I feel is my heart's path - self-discovery and psychology.

That is to help myself to uncover and gain freedom from such hidden boxes and this is what I've been doing for the past three years. It has led me to leading founders mentoring program Cocoon.

Story 2

The second story was with Kyle Dine. He is an entrepreneur from Australia and he allowed me to share his story here. Kyle is allergic to nuts. Some years ago in a restaurant he was served a cake that wasn't supposed to have any nuts in it but as you can guess, it had. As a result, he was lying on the floor as the family was running around looking for the emergency medicine which they ultimately found outside in the car frozen and it had passed the expiration date. Luckily he got the needed help.

After this experience he now helps restaurants to protect and save their customers lives from allergic reactions.


Now imagine that you are an allergic software developer and you are offered a job for a lower salary at Kyle’s company or higher one in some other place. Where will you choose to invest and put in your soul? Where will you stay for more years and will you quit at all?

Power of purpose

My point is simple - to know and to communicate your heart's purpose is the most important differentiator and motivator.

Do you know what is your heart's purpose? What is your heart’s path? I will start with what doesn’t feel like knowing. For example when you say:

1. “I will scale this company for 4 more years, then I will exit and then I will do something important”. If you knew what this “something important” is you would not waste your years. Who knows if you have them.

2. It is not when you say that you are going to be doing something good for humanity or Earth or both.

3. Also it is not when you share to someone this is my purpose and you feel or hear a voice in your head saying: “blah blah blah blah blah”.

So then how to know what is your purpose? And is there such a thing at all? Simple answer - seek it and it will find you.

3 Techniques

I will share with you three techniques that you can use for seeking.

1. Time pressure

Put yourself in the mindset that you have three years left to live. During those three years you can fundraise for any idea that you'll come up with or do any pivot or improvement you can dream of. You will succeed with it. Also after those 3 years your family will be provided for all their financial needs.

With that mindset what are you going to do for the remaining three years? What will you put your focus on?

2. You are OK inside

Second, put yourself in a mindset that you acknowledge to yourself that in your childhood someone did not approve, appreciate, accept or love you. Maybe it was one parent, maybe those were both parents, maybe there were no parents.

The lack of love created a void in your soul. And today in adult years you are chasing external means to fill this void. But let yourself be immersed in the feeling that you don't need to do this. Feel that you are a whole being, you are awake, free and a whole being who is okay as you are. You do not need anything external to feel better. It is a very good feeling.

With this feeling ask yourself what are you going to create and together with whom?

3. Follow Ariadne's thread

I will tell you a myth. This is a Greek myth about Ariadne and Theseus. He was a hero who had to go into a maze to find a monster Minotaur and kill it. Before going into the maze he met a girl and the girl fell in love with him. The girl's name was Ariadne. She was a daughter of a god.

Ariana wanted to help and save Theseus. She gave Theseus a thread. He tied it at the entrance of the maze, went in the maze unfolding this thread, found the monster, killed it and then he returned by following the thread.

Today and everyday God's daughter, a female, a feeling, Ariadne gives us such threads.They come in various forms - it can be a hunch, a feeling, someone says something, an unexpected dinner invitation from a friend whom you haven't spoken to for many years. If you say “yes”, maybe in this dinner someone will tell you something that will unlock something for you and then one thing will start to lead to the next one.

But you can also say “No I'm too busy... serving my box”.

So the next time life gives you an opportunity, what if you say “yes”?

Free and awake

There is a video I want to share with you. I filmed it a few months ago in Uzbekistan specially for this talk.

So there are two things in it - first the turkeys are in a cage and second they're reacting to every whistle that I make. They definitely are not free and not awake. But in order to feel your purpose, to work with feelings and to follow such threads that life gives, we need to be free and awake.

Free from what and awake how?

Free from the cage in which we are. It is built from such hidden boxes, old forgotten promises to ourselves and beliefs that are no longer necessary, thoughts which are not ours but which we have heard since our childhood and still hear today from the media, from the bubble in which we are.

Awake so that we’d be able to perceive everything that is happening and to choose our actions and words instead of reacting like those birds in the video.

Time is limited indeed

Today we are all entrepreneurial adults but was it long ago when we were small children? Another moment will pass and we all will be old men and women.

Don’t waste your time, make it meaningful for yourself and for people around you. Especially for those who rely on you.

I want to challenge you for one week - try to be awake and free. Try to monitor every time when you want to react to something and instead choose your action or words. Make a mental note every time when you succeed at doing this.

If you decide to take this challenge and manage to do it for a week, contact me - let’s talk how it went and how Cocoon can support you to uncover and live your purpose as a founder.


📍 26.08.2021 sTARTUp Day Starlight Stage by Farhad Niyoz

When scaling, founders compete for the best talent and investors. Higher salary, interesting work and professional growth opportunities don't stand out anymore. One thing impossible to copy is your sense of purpose.

Farhard is the CEO of Cocoon that supports founders' self-discovery for personal and business growth through mentoring and investing.

When there is a challenge at the business level Cocoon Program supports founders:

➝ To find the link between the business challenge and their personalities and personal challenges;

➝ To bring forth personal changes that, as a result, create changes in the business.

sTARTUp Day is Baltic's biggest business festival.




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