Challenging Conventional Notions: How to Align Purpose, Profit, and Mission In Your Career With Arun Gupta

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Table Of Contents

Our guest, Arun Gupta, brings a unique perspective to the table, one that challenges conventional notions of purpose and profit in one's career.

We're about to dive into a topic that could reshape how you think about your own professional journey. But before we get into that, I want to share a thought-provoking student testimonial from Arun's website, which perfectly sets the stage for our conversation. It goes like this: "Rather than thinking about your career decisions as a series of trade-offs between profit and purpose, look for mission opportunities where you can have the most catalytic impact."

This approach challenges the traditional binary thinking that many of us have been taught, where you're either doing good in the not-for-profit sector or making money in the private sector. Arun believes there's a middle ground, a space where you can align purpose, profit, and mission in a for-profit way.

Arun Gupta is a venture capitalist, Lecturer at Stanford University, and Adjunct Entrepreneurship Professor at Georgetown University. He is CEO of NobleReach Foundation, which is focused on catalyzing and inspiring a renewed spirit of national service through innovation. 

So, without further ado, let's jump into this fascinating conversation with Arun Gupta and explore how a mission-driven career can redefine success.

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  • (2:44) How Arun defines a mission-driven career and the key principles that make mission-driven careers distinct from traditional careers
  • (5:26) Purpose vs profit
  • (7:55) Bias, storytelling and humanization
  • (9:17) What's unique about this time period that allows mission and profit to come together
  • (14:10) Large institutions have failed us
  • (16:30) How to employ entrepreneurial energies around bigger problems
  • (18:15) What helps to create more trust with institutions
  • (20:50) Why aren't there more young people in government tech
  • (21:50) NobelReach Foundation - who they are and what they do
  • (24:52) Common challenges that young professionals face when trying to align their careers with their personal missions or values
  • (27:01) Arun's background and how his career path shaped his views
  • (36:00) Non-linear careers and intersections
  • (40:22) How to build a resilient skillset
  • (44:29) Practical advice on how young professionals can develop and maintain a clear intent for their careers
  • (51:05) Design thinking
  • (54:02) What key lessons can young professionals draw from examples of diverse career paths
  • (56:54) Why you should read Arun's book Venture Meets Misison
  • (58:57) How can we use empathy to gain a different perspective within the mission-driven ecosystem


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  • "Trust is built by people and it requires interaction." - quote from Arun
  • Less than 7% of government tech workers are under the age of 30
  • 4x as many tech workers in the government over the age of 60 than we do under the age of 30
  • "If I was going to make a multi-decade bet on my career, I'd bet in this world. There's a lot of good to be done." - quote from Arun
  • "We have the ability to be the last generation or the best generation." -quote Arun mentions
  • Partnership For Public Service - an organization that Arun mentioned
  • Second Mountain - a book Arun recommends
  • Design Your Future - another book Arun mentions
  • Read Arun's book Venture Meets Mission
  • Connect with Arun on his NobelReach Foundation website