What Finally Caused Me to Become a Man

[Note: This is a follow up to this post in which we received over 100 comments. Thank you so much for sharing your enthusiasm, openness and energy. It truly humbles and means the world to me. Thank you.]

Okay, so I’m sorry about leaving you hanging like that in the last post.

I needed to give some space to the message of the bigger vision we’re stepping into, and not muddle it by talking about this specific project I’m thinking about undertaking.

I got a lot of pretty heated responses, like this one from Ashlyn:

This is a mean, mean post. It’s 5:30 and I’m on the train to work reading this and getting so pumped up, “what’s his great idea?! I wanna know what the hl it is!!!” And then, BAM!!! Cliffhanger.

I’m sorry if you felt a bit abandoned there for a second!

In case you’re just joining us, in the last post I talked about stepping into a bigger mission and vision for Paid to Exist than I ever dreamed of. It involves committing ourselves to completely changing the definition and paradigm of work from toiling to joy. From doing something to live, to an act of our deepest service.

And I’m not just talking about a closed-circuit community of non-conformists and one in a million renegades.

I’m talking about transforming the fabric of the world.

Pretty insane. I think, at least.

And in order to do that… I’m considering creating something that our community here has been demanding and pleading of me to create for some time now.

It’s a toolkit, a guide, and a transformational project that currently does not exist.

And the implications of it not existing has become too much.

There’s a void that is not being filled keeping far too many people trapped on a treadmill of meaningless, soul-crushing work. This specific guide not existing is causing more pain, and more suffering than I can put into words, and I believe that it’s time for it to stop.

It’s causing people to…

  • Stay stuck for years and years doing routinized, mechanized and spirit-starving work
  • Feel like they need to sacrifice their personal joy in order to feed their families
  • Remain feeling like powerless victims, pawns and servants, rather than the powerful beings they truly are

The reality is that too many people are afraid to give people concrete advice and practical application on how to quit your job. It’s a risky business. And people would rather fixate on how to build an income, without talking about the messy, internal transformations that need to take place at a personal level.

So, before I tell you about what this is, I want to give you some back story if you haven’t been on this journey with me since it all started.

Years ago I quit my job to be a writer and coach helping people live on their own terms. Back then, my main offering was a product called Reclaim Your Dreams. I also did life coaching for a limited number of clients each month.

Doing this kind of work allowed me to quit my job and work for myself fulltime.

It’s been a wild ride since then. I firmly believe that this journey to self-government and providing for myself has been one of the most important transformations I’ve ever made.

Making that transition was like a rite of passage for me, and it pushed me into fully becoming a man.

There’s something about being responsible for going out and hustling every single month to make sure your family eats that changes you in a deep way. While I didn’t know working for myself would have such a profound impact on me at the time, I just knew that I desperately needed to do something different.

I feared that if I didn’t finally work on my own terms, I would never reclaim ownership of my time, and I would wake up one day at 75 feeling that I had never truly lived.

Over these past years you have asked, pleaded and urged me to share with you exactly how I did it, exactly how I made the transition to quit my job and work for myself.

And to a certain degree, I’ve done that in our flagship program, Trailblazer.

But there’s a lot that isn’t covered there, like:

  • How to negotiate a work-from-home arrangement with your boss, or part-time work in order to work more on your side business.
  • How to have tough conversations with your spouse to ensure that you don’t end up divorced while trying to quit your job to work for yourself.
  • How to create a rock solid savings plan to create a freedom fund that will ease your mind when you quit.
  • How to live minimalist-like to make quitting much more accessible (we went from spending about $3,000 a month to about $1,800 a month before I quit my job).
  • How to master the art of hustling so you can meet your income goals each month and create a “job replacement income.”
  • How to maximize the small amount of time each week you have to work on your business so you’re only doing the highest leverage stuff and gives you the most possible return on your investment.
  • The list goes on and on…

None of these things seem to be covered in the many programs out there in the Do What You Love space.

But the truth stands: They are incredibly important and absolutely VITAL to making this transition. Ignore them and you risk being forever trapped on a treadmill of work that doesn’t matter, an infant staying endlessly dependent to the irresistible corporate tit.

Of course money is important.

You absolutely must create an income to replace your job if you want to make a sustainable transition to working on your own terms.

However, creating that income in the first place is a result of all of the things listed above.

Along the way, I’ve shared bits and pieces of this story and small how-to’s with segmented pieces about how I’ve done it in isolated instances. But until now I’ve never shared or created a comprehensive guide on how to make quitting your job inevitable. A kind of “Master Plan” for making the Grand Escape to freedom.

Over and over though, I see people making the same mistakes, mistakes that I made and corrected through years of trial and error.

And now, I’m thinking about finally doing what you’ve demanded of me and creating a comprehensive product around this topic.

This product doesn’t have a name yet. This product hasn’t even been created yet.

And this product may never, ever exist unless… you absolutely want it.

I don’t create anything you and the rest of this community don’t absolutely desire.

So I want to know… is this something you’d be interested in?

Would something like this be useful to you?

Should I do this?

Leave a comment below and make your voice heard.

Thank you for all of your support and encouragement. Your words of support mean the world to me. As always, I could not do this without you.

 

Hand on my heart.
PS: Please let me know what you think, and please be honest. I’ll do my absolute best to respond to each and every comment.

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125 Comments on "What Finally Caused Me to Become a Man"

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Sandy Raidy
Guest

Yes. And yes.

Cedric
Admin

Thanks for your vote!

ciara anderson
Guest

I definitely think you should do it. :)

Cedric
Admin

Thanks for the encouragement Ciara!

Lori Stalter
Guest
I would love more ideas on becoming minimalist. My focus for this next year is to wipe out as much debt as possible. Anywhere I can cut back to funnel money into that purpose, the better. I’m a pretty creative cookie and have already done much, so I’m looking for way outside the norm of the typical advice found on the web for this strategy. As long as I’m a debt slave, I know I’ll have a hard time convincing myself to make the leap. So it has to go. Even ideas on how to maximize selling possessions to make… Read more »
Cedric
Admin

Thanks for your input Lori, I think that’s a great idea.

Jen
Guest

Yes Please! I just wish it came sooner.

Cedric
Admin

Thanks for your input Jen!

Eurobubba
Guest

I’m in — provided that it’s affordable, and that you’re willing to provide samples that demonstrate real value and/or a money-back guarantee. Despite what you say, there actually *are* a fair number of products out there that purport to offer the sort of thing you describe, and I’m a cynical bastard when somebody’s trying to sell me something.

Cedric
Admin

Yep, and yep. We will have all that. Thank you for your input!

Melissa Jane Ferrell
Guest

What glorious timing! My husband and I BOTH quit our jobs THIS WEEK. I’m so happy fate has brought me to this blog and please please please make the survival guide! We are going to pack up and move to Portland and make it happen, and I’m guessing this blog will probably be a life saver :)

Adrianne
Guest

Wow – congrats! Melissa thats awesome! Welcome to PtE hope to see you around here often :)

Cedric
Admin

Congratulations Melissa!

Kate
Guest

Creating a true savings plan and income, along with leveraged actions… definitely things I’ve been missing. Trailblazer is great– this would be a whole new level of awesome. I am intrigued to hear the systems and case studies that I know you will deliver on. Thank you for sharing the beginnings of your vision!

Cedric
Admin

Awesome. Thanks for the vote of encouragement Kate.

Kyle Roberts
Guest

This sounds awesome. I’m absolutely in. Couldn’t have come at a better time either!

Cedric
Admin

Badass. Thanks Kyle.

Sasha Greenhorn
Guest

YES! We need more of this in the world. Go for it!

Cedric
Admin

Wicked. Looks like there’s a lot of people that need this.

James Etny
Guest

This sounds like exactly what I’ve been looking for. I can’t wait. Please, do it!

Cedric
Admin

All right, you’ve twisted my arm James. :)

Andy
Guest
Jonathan, I think this is where the disconnect is between digesting the “live your dream” content/message, and actually implementing it or making it a reality. Riding the hype of living my dream dies out when the real questions arise, like, “okay, so what’s step one?”… Not, is it possible? Two years ago I would have jumped ship, but my level of responsibility is much higher now with a 1yr old son and a stay-at-home wife. All that to say, a realistic, step-by-step road map as to how YOU made your life subject to your own terms is much needed and… Read more »
Cedric
Admin

Awesome. This is exactly the type of feedback I’m looking for. thank you Andy.

lawrence
Guest

This must be done

Cedric
Admin

Yes, and it shall. :)

Jana Gerovska
Guest
Hi Jonathan! I think it sounds great. I’m only one month into Trailblazer but already starting to think about ways I can create more time to work on my own path. I am about to try and negotiate a work-from-home / freelance arrangment so tips on that are useful. The art of hustling is certainly something that I will need to master soon, so this is the other thing that is important to me. I already have savings to lean on and a partner that is 150% on board, but I know lots of people that would find tips on… Read more »
Cedric
Admin

Thanks Jana, sounds like we’re going to plunge ahead!

Loran
Guest

How can you possibly not do it now?

Andy
Guest

hear, hear!

Cedric
Admin

Good point. :)

Teresa
Guest

Follow your heart Jonathan, and your people will be there. :)

I have personally worked with a multitude of different thought leaders and online marketing programs and ultimately, each of us has to just show up and do the work. There is no quick fix. I actually learned that crucial lesson from you!
Your personal experience and knowledge, blazing your own successful path from scratch, is of great need and value! A lot of stuff out there, is not useful.

I say Go For It! You have an amazing team and track record, why not!

Cedric
Admin

Doing the work. That should be a chapter in this guide. Thanks for the encouragement Teresa, as always.

Mike J
Guest
Good idea to address these important issues and provide some techniques to handle them, I am sure this stalls a significant amount of people – You are definitely going to be challenged since a lot of the issues change depending on where people are in life.For example, the ability to be frugal is significantly different between a newly graduated student, a family with two young children, and people well into their careers, but there are definitely some core techniques that will ring true through all of it. Other core skills, like “hustling” (or “sales” as us old people call it)… Read more »
Cedric
Admin

That’s definitely important to address. We’ll try to be as specific as possible, but you’re right, you can’t address every single situation.

Tracy Chapman
Guest
I think this sounds great! I’ve always thought that some lists of good resources for actually showing up to do the work and get it done would be awesome – things like web site builders, email services, to do list tools, time tracking tools, invoicing & billing, creative stuff, apps, etc, etc but then actually having examples of how to use them and why. I think it’s the starting that’s so dang hard. Even some “easy” tools like Headway are really not that easy, or knowing where in the hell to start with setting up an email program can take… Read more »
Cedric
Admin

This is a great idea Tracy. You actually just gave me some new ideas for the product, I appreciate that.

Alejandro Reyes
Guest

Yes! This sounds amazing. I may have already left my job a long time ago, but I’m always open to learn more and understand what I could be doing better. :)

Cedric
Admin

Badass, thanks for your vote Alejandro.

Ron Tester
Guest

Please do this! We need this and you’re the perfect person to do it! And we’re the perfect audience to spread the good word!

Cedric
Admin

Thanks for always having my back Ron. :)

Joshua Lance
Guest

Yes, please do this! I’m an artist and want to master some techniques and live a life I could be proud of, especially one that encourages independence. I realize I can’t do this on my own and need some assistance. So please keep me posted!

Cedric
Admin

Awesome, I will definitely keep you posted Joshua.

Lehua
Guest
YES! This could not have come at a better time for me. I’m on the Trailblazer path and while it’s really fun and exhilarating, there’s some deep-seated fears that haven’t been fully addressed yet. I’ve been trying to push them out of my mind, but having no income or health insurance has been pretty scary for me. I love your ideas about the minimalist approach when trying to fund a business… and I love the idea of balancing a part-time job- I’m currently trying to find one JUST so I have income (and if benefits, even better.) I just fear… Read more »
Cedric
Admin

Thank you Lehua, this is excellent feedback.

Mo
Guest

Yes, yes and yes!

Cedric
Admin

Okay, okay, and okay. :)

Joshua Lance
Guest

Yes, go for it! I want to exist and make my art count in this world!

Cedric
Admin

Yes to art that counts.

Carol Saulsbury
Guest

Not a tough question…the world always needs more people encouraging others to be who they really are and make their unique contribution to the world.

Cedric
Admin

Hear hear.

Evan
Guest

Those topics may not be covered in the ‘do what you love’ space but there is a truckload of stuff on them in other places.

So: how would you offer something different? What would make your offer worth someone’s time instead of them just going to the usual generic productivity stuff (prioritising, timetabling and so on. In my view poor productivity is usually a symptom or all the generic advice would work and there wouldn’t be so much stuff on productivity around).

Cedric
Admin

These are great concerns Evan. You’ve made me think about this in a deeper way (as usual). Thank you.

Mark
Guest

Absolutely Jonathan! Coincidentally I had a chat with my supervisor today, and found out he is volunteering for a friend in a social responsibility charity – because he started to look for something that is more meaningful in his work. Seems like a perfect time to start discussing my own plans too with the learnings from your list of topics!

Cedric
Admin

That sounds like an amazing synchronicity Mark. Go for it!

Dominic Altier
Guest

Jonathan you MUST do this. I think a practical guide is something that is lacking in this area of working your dream. I’d love to hear how you did it and find ways to apply that to my situation.

Cedric
Admin

Awesome, thanks Dominic.

Kiki
Guest

I don’t have any debt or many bills to pay, but I don’t know what it is that I have to offer. :/

Cedric
Admin

We have something that helps with that….

Wonder if anyone can guess what it is. :)

Angela
Guest

Kiki,
Seems like a perfect time to do Trailblazer!
I wish you all the best

Sigrid
Guest
Fear of falling behind in paying the monthly bills (and throw in some student loans) is the catalyst that we often face when considering a new paradigm like making money on our own. We feel like being a hamster on a treadmill who has to keep running. There seems to be no time to make better plans–even if we understand the peril of staying on that treadmill. If Jonathan can clearly state just what has to be done in a workable timeframe–that is a platform to begin the process of change. What needs to go with it is a focus… Read more »
Dustin Lee
Guest

I’m with you there, Sigrid. Monthly expenses such as a mortgage or rent make it extremely difficult to leave a job you hate. Add some consumer debt and student loans to the mix and it can feel near impossible. Failing can mean long term financial crippling.

Providing some practical solutions to these problems would make a product like this really effective.

Amber J.
Guest

Go for it. Actual, comprehensive info is missing. Do it, do it!

Cedric
Admin

Thanks Amber!

Kim
Guest

As Nike said, “Just do it!” :)

Cedric
Admin

Boom!

Evan
Guest

Absolutely!!!

Cedric
Admin

Thanks for the encouragement Evan.

Shawn
Guest

Please let this idea be free, act as the conduit for the universe.

Tactics are not as useful as strategy, heavy on the strategy if you would be so kind.

Cedric
Admin

Roger that. Heavy on strategy. Check. :)

Donovan Owens
Guest

Absolutely Jonathan. I’m deep into the Trailblazer course right now and you have an amazing gift of helping others see the greatest potential of themselves.

I agree that the topics you desire to cover in your new program are very relevant and would even be a great transition or add-on to Trailblazer.

Dig deep baby – make it happen!

DO

Cedric
Admin

Awesome, thanks for the feedback Donovan!

Brett Henley
Guest
Dude … Go for it. We have enough experts, gurus and canned sages. The world needs more real. I think the context you can provide via your own journey is invaluable. People vastly underestimate how much work, suffering, etc. goes into building a life of freedom. We’re in the middle of our journey and it’s still just as difficult at times as it was in the beginning. How you respond to challenges scales as you move forward – all relative. Too many of the “follow your passion” programs miss out on the real struggle: Figuring out how the fuck you’re… Read more »
Cedric
Admin

You’re right Brett. Thanks for the encouragement. And thank you for being a part of what we’re doing around here.

Caren
Guest
I completely agree with Brett. I’m technically “done” with the 6 months of Trailblazer, but I feel like I didn’t even start to accomplish everything I need to in order to get paid to exist. Admittedly, my own responsibility that I let other things take precedence over my dreams. I find that it’s a constant struggle to continue to show up (get to the starting line) even though I very much want to run the race! I would love for this product to address/motivate me to weekly or even daily show up for my business. I love the idea of… Read more »
Deborah Watson-Novacek
Guest

Yes, Yes, Yes – PLEASE!

This is the subject matter my husband and myself are needing NOW as we work on creating our dream life. Money’s tight, but we’re doing our best to invest in ourselves to build a life we love. HURRY! :)

Cedric
Admin

Okay! Hurrying.

Dustin
Guest

Deborah, good for you for taking the steps to create a life you love. I think this guide could offer you a lot of answers and inspiration.

Dolly Garland
Guest

Absolutely!!

Kaizen Journaling would never have been born if it wasn’t for that crazy dream!!

Cedric
Admin

Thanks Dolly, you’re awesome.

Tommy
Guest
Just before reading your prior post, I stumbled across this slide show via the coworking community. http://nwc.co/projects/letsfixthestupidjobcrisis/ In short, it’s calling for the underemployed to step up and “hire themselves” to start creating value over the internet instead of waiting around to get a (better) job. It was pretty inspiring, but paired with your recent posts and the overall PTE mission, I’m on the edge of my seat to learn more about what you plan to develop. For many, the barrier to entry of a Paid To Exist life is personal and requires some heavy work to discover purpose and… Read more »
Cedric
Admin

This is fantastic Tommy. Thank you for sharing that.

Nathan
Guest
I could see a product like this giving people more confidence to do what they truly want. I can’t picture myself buying this kind of product, but I imagine there is a market of people who would. One other thing. When you say, “How to have tough conversations with your spouse to ensure that you don’t end up divorced while trying to quit your job to work for yourself.” … I want to point out that when I quit my job to pursue the Trailblazer thing, I did so KNOWING that my 4+ year relationship would END. I understand you… Read more »
Cedric
Admin

You’re right it’s definitely different for everyone. Thanks for your input Nathan.

Kate Bacon
Guest

Hi Jonathan

It was so good to meet you at WDS this summer in Portland after following your blog for a couple of years.

This is a fantastic idea – what people really need is not just help to keep motivated to achieve their dreams, but concrete ideas on HOW to transition as well. You have a wealth of experience and really “walk your talk”- you will potentially bring benefit to millions in sharing your experience.

You already have a brilliant community – why NOT expand it? “:-)

Kate

Cedric
Admin

It was fantastic to see you as well Kate. Thank you for your encouragement.

Iris
Guest
I don’t need that kind of a product. But my dad does, and my mom and their friends and basically everyone I know who’s older than 25. I’d love to see a product that is realistic, no woo-woo, that takes responsibility for the advice and action plans it gives out and that makes sure that families don’t end up homeless and on the street when they follow the advice. It has to work 100%. Quitting your job is a far too important step to play with people or to unconsciously make mistakes. Because this is not just about doing work… Read more »
Cedric
Admin

Yeah, we definitely don’t want any of that. If it’s not sustainable it’s not worth doing.

Pieter Minnaar
Guest
Definitely yes from my side too. I wish and look for such a guide. It is such an amazing idea of yours Jonathan. We live in a world where there are not many Fathers (I do not mean in the sense of blood only but in the sense of true leaders who are committed to helping people and showing them the way.) From what you are writing it is clear to me that you are such a Father/leader person who has lived it and are able to convey that information to others. I should think that you are compelled to… Read more »
Cedric
Admin

Thanks for your input Pieter. You’ve definitely inspired me to move forward with this.

Ashlyn Zynnia
Guest

Do it!!!! This is what I was waiting for! You’re an innovator and bold creator. You do things for the people, which is enough inspiration to us all alone. Absolutely do it! You have my vote.

Cedric
Admin

Awesome. I’m on it!

Jeremy
Guest
Yes. I’m no longer in a traditional job, so I’m not sure whether I would be able to use it, but it is definitely necessary for the vast majority of people who are. There is a huge block of fear around quitting a job, especially with folks depending on you. *But* . . . it sounds like you are getting into an area where many people might need situation-specific advice. “But I work in a _____ and there is no way to telecommute.” “But I’m a ______ and the dynamic with my boss is different, so I can’t _______ like… Read more »
Cedric
Admin

Thanks for sharing your thoughts Jeremy. We’re definitely going to try to be as specific as possible without getting too crazy.

Carol
Guest

Yes please!

Cedric
Admin

Okay :)

Lori Stalter
Guest
I think some customization may be needed to address where a person is in his or her life. But really, the excuse of “I have a baby on the way / new infant” is not really much different from the “I have children” excuse no matter what age they are. And with the number of people who lost their traditional jobs over the last six years…Traditional jobs does not equal security or safe or the responsible way to live! Either you’re the type of person that is comfortable with taking the risk, or you’re not, or you’re somewhere between the… Read more »
Cedric
Admin

This is excellent feedback. Thank you Lori, this is very helpful.

Bev Webb
Guest
Great idea! So many of the resources out there on the internet are about the ‘fun’ stuff, how to dream big and the like. But very, very few deal with the ‘dirty’ nitty gritty of how to actually make the leap to your passion business. I think you could really have found a gap in the market here. But I do have a concern, and it’s echoed by many of the earlier comments. In the same way that much of the other content on the web deals with the fun side of things, they also make the assumption that we’re… Read more »
Cedric
Admin

You’re absolutely right Bev, and that needs to be addressed. For people in those types of situations it’s going to be even more crucial to first create a job replacement income that’s consistent, and then quit.

Alejandra
Guest

Yes, it sounds interesting! I’ll tell you what I want: a step-by-step plan to make the transition AND a lot of support.(If both were in Spanish, the better! I know, I know, this last it’s impossible, I’m just dreaming.)

Cedric
Admin

Great feedback, thank you Alejandra.

Lori Stalter
Guest
I want to add my voice to a potential community aspect of this offer. We have the forum in trailblazer and I love having it, but it would be awesome to have a platform that enables people to get together real-time and communicate “face-to-face” even if it’s by web-cam. Some blazers have taken it upon themselve to make these connections, but they have to do it outside the forum. I’m thinking a platform that allows the community to share their talents, knowledge and strengths with the community as a whole by being able to lead workshops or be able to… Read more »
Cedric
Admin

Hmm that would definitely be awesome. I could see something like Google Hangouts being really cool.

Paige | simple mindfulness
Guest
Sounds like a great idea! One area you didn’t mention that’s so critical is the change in mindset required to make this jump. A couple years ago I bought a couple “live off you passion” type programs and both spent the first half talking about how to make that mind shift, how to get past the fears of making such a big move and knowing that they’re good enough and have what it takes to make everything else work. Without that, all the other techniques you listed will fall flat leaving the person wondering what they did wrong and reinforcing… Read more »
Cedric
Admin

You’re right, that’s huge Paige. Noted.

Tom
Guest
Sounds like there are a lot of people who need this. Make it Jonathan! I don’t need this product personally. I’ve been saving and INVESTING for the last few years (and when I mean investing, I’m not talking mutual funds) so that I can quit my job quite easily. Right now, I make enough passive income (really, truly passive – it’s very possible, trust me) to live (especially if I live minimalist, which I’m doing and refining). Here’s what people don’t get: INVESTING is what makes us free. Not saving. Not creating a home business. Savings will inflate away, or… Read more »
Cedric
Admin

This is really great feedback Tom. I think most of us are pretty naive and uneducated when it comes to money and how to handle it properly. More content and practical implementation tactics on this topic could be hugely transformative.

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