Finding Purpose in Procurement and in Life with Paul Nilsen

By Kelly Barner | February 21, 2024

Meeting a new friend
To ponder the color of
Unripe bananas

- Paul Nilsen

Talking to heroes
Who earn their hidden capes while
Loving procurement

- Kelly Barner

Ikigai is a Japanese philosophy focused on finding purpose and meaning. The parts of the word are “iki” which means “alive” and “gai” which means “worth.” Given how much time procurement spends thinking about value and worth, their personal and professional choices should absolutely make them feel alive.

In this episode of The Sourcing Hero podcast, Host Kelly Barner welcomes Paul Nilsen. Paul is the Director Of Procurement at Douglas Elliman Real Estate – and an avid reader. Paul recently shared a book he was reading on LinkedIn and sparked both an interesting online discussion and this podcast interview.


In this interview, Paul talks about Ikigai and how it comes into the decisions he makes as a procurement professional:

  • How the concept of Ikigai resonates with him at this point in his career
  • Ways we can each exert greater influence on our own professional journey
  • Whether it possible to connect what we like to do with what is really needed in each situation


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