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Episode 91: From Wall Street to Purpose: How Paul Hawkinson Found His Calling

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On this episode of The Corelink Solution, I had the pleasure of hosting Paul Hawkinson, a former Wall Street career person who transitioned to a life of impact and purpose. As the co-founder of Transform Capital, Paul shared his insights on financial planning, finding purpose, and the work he is currently doing.

A Shift in Mindset: From Accumulating Wealth to Pursuing Purpose

Paul’s journey is a testament to the power of a shift in mindset. He used to believe that he needed a certain amount of money in the bank to be able to do nothing. However, he soon realized that being idle made him miserable. He believes that humans are created to work and be engaged in something meaningful.

Instead of focusing on accumulating wealth to retire, Paul now surrounds himself with a portfolio of projects that he feels called to do. He believes that creativity is a mindset and that business people, like himself, can also be creative.

Breaking Stereotypes and Embracing Challenges

Paul doesn’t fit the stereotypical quantitative Wall Street type. When asked about the percentage of people who enter financial services and make it to investment banking, Paul explained that it can be challenging, especially for those who come from non-ivy league backgrounds. However, he found a pathway through grad school.

His journey of transitioning from investment banking to purpose-driven work was a self-forced calling and the best decision he has made in his life. He emphasizes the importance of seeking a higher purpose and finding meaning in one’s vocation.

Transform Capital: A Journey of Impact and Transformation

Paul’s current work at Transform Capital is a testament to his commitment to making a difference. The organization raises tax-deductible capital to provide loans with zero cost and little regulation. The focus is not just on the transaction but on walking alongside families and opening up networks for those who are often targeted and denied access.

Paul emphasizes the importance of journeying with clients and the personal transformation that comes with it. He shared a story of a client who taught him about prioritizing and reminded him of the value of his own life.

Redeeming Wall Street’s Creativity for Good

Paul believes that the creativity of Wall Street can be redeemed for good and for the benefits of others. Despite Wall Street’s negative impact on the economy, he sees potential for positive change. He highlights the creativity of people on Wall Street in structuring products to meet clients’ needs and sees an opportunity for them to use their talents in media, music, entrepreneurship, and law to benefit communities.

Aligning Giftedness with Service to Others

Paul emphasizes the importance of aligning one’s giftedness with service to others. He finds joy in leveraging his network on Wall Street for a different purpose and using tools that were previously harmful to the economy in a more replicable business model.

He shared a quote from Pablo Picasso, who said, “The purpose of life is to find your gift and the meaning of life is to give it away.” He encourages listeners to surround themselves with people who can help identify their giftedness and hold them accountable to giving it away.

Engage in the Conversation

I invite you to share your takeaways from this episode and engage in a discussion. Leave your comments below, and let’s talk about the challenges you face in the areas covered in the episode, as well as any questions you may have. I also welcome suggestions for future guests you would like to hear from.

You can also reach out to me through social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. I express my gratitude for your continued support and look forward to connecting with you in the next episode.

Do you or someone you know work with youth? Sign up for our Success on Your Own Terms Youth program and let’s work together to empower the next generation. Want to support the work? Make a one-time donation or shop our online store today! God Bless.


From Wall Street to Purpose: How Paul Hawkinson Found His Calling


Financial Planning and Finding Purpose [00:00:00] Paul discusses his shift in focus from working for financial security to finding purpose and being engaged in meaningful work.

Transitioning from Wall Street to Impactful Work [00:05:12] Hawkinson shares his journey of transitioning from a successful career in investment banking to purpose-driven and impactful work.

The Work of Transform Capital [00:09:53] Paul talks about the work of Transform Capital and how it focuses on creating a portfolio of projects that are meaningful and directed towards helping others.

The journey is hard [00:13:40] Discussion on the challenges faced by Transform Capital in its first 3 or 4 years, including legal trouble and health challenges for clients.

Personal transformation in serving others [00:15:10] James and Paul discuss the personal transformation that happens when serving others, and how the act of giving can also be a gift.

Listening and learning from the community [00:19:12] Paul emphasizes the importance of listening to the community and letting families define their own vision of human flourishing, rather than imposing external ideas.

The creativity of Wall Street can be redeemed for good [00:20:56] Discussion on the demonization of Wall Street, the creativity of people in the industry, and using their skills for the benefit of others.

Finding the intersection of giftedness and purpose [00:23:02] Exploring the balance between finding purpose in work and the younger generation’s desire for purpose from the onset.

The importance of excelling at future focus, people skills, and driving results [00:28:08] Neuroscience research on the core skills needed for successful leadership and the challenges of finding individuals who excel in all three areas.

Financial planning and finding purpose [00:31:21] Paul Hawkinson shares insights on financial planning and finding purpose in life.

Comment section and audience engagement [00:31:21] James encourages listeners to share their takeaways, ask questions, and mention challenges in the comment section or through social media channels.

Thanking the audience and previewing the next episode [00:31:21] James expresses gratitude to the audience for their engagement and mentions looking forward to the next episode.

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