Spotlight on Clark Varin
Meet Clark Varin - After realizing the only way to pursue an idea with grit was to create a business around his passions, he embarked on a mission to help entrepreneurs discover their own passions and pursue their destiny.
Tell us about "Ignite My Destiny."
The purpose of Ignite My Destiny is to help aspiring entrepreneurs start businesses pursuing their passions. Today, 87% of employees aren't engaged at work and I find that to be a shame because we live in the time of history with the most opportunity in the world. It's been in just the last few decades that people have been able to do virtually anything they want by starting an online business and if you know the strategy to setting up and growing a successful Lifestyle Business, you can be spending your time doing whatever it is that you love rather than sitting in a cubicle working for the man.
What is the best piece of personal advice you've ever received? How about advice you've given?
When I first wanted to start a business, I started by coming up with a million different ideas to make money--some of them I still think are really good ideas. The problem was that my ideas weren't focused in on anything specific, and I had no follow through on my ideas. It wasn't until I fully embraced the advice to start something around my passions that I started to come up with business ideas that I would actually have the grit and perseverance in order to succeed. If I would have started my travel business just for the money, I would have quit after the first year where I actually lost money. I would have never even made it to the point in my business where I was profitable. Nowadays the way that I help aspiring entrepreneurs come up with their first business idea is by asking them "What would you do if money didn't matter?" because if you can answer that question, we can certainly come up with a way to turn that activity into an income.
Who is your entrepreneurial idol?
My biggest idol is Tony Robbins. He really understands that money and business are not the end goal, they are simply a tool to get what we want in life. Furthermore, he's taught me that what makes us truly happy in this world is not what we gather, but what we scatter. Tony has a quote that I love, "Giving is living", because what makes us feel a deep sense of fulfillment is spreading compassion to others, not receiving it for ourselves. This has helped me develop my own philosophy that starting a business should be about helping others before helping yourself. There was a point in my life where accumulating any more money didn't motivate me and so my business plateaued. It wasn't until I set massive goals to help entrepreneurs in Africa that I rekindled my tenacity to push for even more success.
Breakfast of Champions: A smoothie with a cup of mixed berries, dash of milk, three spoonfuls of yogurt, one banana, and two handfuls of almonds. I live by this mix. It gives me a massive amount of mental energy in the morning. The fat in the almonds keeps me fueled until 1 or 2pm.
Best book I've ever read: Sapiens, A brief history of humankind -- it teaches you so much about the world. It contains a story of history that they don't teach you in school, yet it's full of knowledge that everyone should know. This is the book that got me to start reading. Two years ago I wouldn't touch a book, but this year I'm on track to read 45 books. That habit started with Sapiens.
Idol: I truly look up to the CEO of my company, Muvule Bank, in Uganda. He grew up as an orphan with nothing and was able to work his way out of poverty through sheer grit. He went to the Harvard of Africa, then started a safari business to fund a school for 1,000 impoverished and orphan children in his village. Now we work together to give microloans to the poorest of the poor. Our goal for the next 10 years is to bring 1 million people out of extreme poverty in Uganda--a mission that would have been a mere fantasy for an orphan that was once suffering from starvation.