How to Be the One Who Proves Everyone Wrong

My boss laughed when I told her.

“Just watch me,” I thought.

A year later I would prove her wrong. But it wasn’t long before this that I had completely given up.

Maybe it was because I had just let myself down so much that I couldn’t trust myself anymore.

I said I wanted to be a musician, but I never practiced. I said I wanted to be in great physical shape, but I never picked up the weights.

So many of my ambitions were like this. Mostly relegated to the cloudy realm of thought.

Now it was different. Now it was time to get my hands dirty.

I was going to prove to everyone that they were wrong. Mostly though, I was going to prove to myself that I could actually follow through.

You see, I always believed that I could defy the odds. When I would hear others making excuses about famous, successful people, labeling them as special or gifted, I secretly thought “I could do that too.”

I wasn’t going to get anywhere thinking about it anymore though.

Nope. It was time to really see what would happen if I gave it everything I’ve got.

A year later I quit my job and was doing what I loved full time.

Everyone around me thought I couldn’t follow my passion. That was for “special people.”

I proved them wrong. How? I decided to give myself one solid year of giving everything I had to make it work. And in this post I want to show you how so you can defy the odds too.

Maybe the people around you think you’re unreasonable, or crazy too. If you follow this through, a year from now they’ll just be jealous.

“The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.” —Unknown

I challenge you to ONE year, going ALL OUT

Your passion, your waking up excited deserves at least ONE stinking year of devoted action.

Now, I’m not talking about lukewarm energy, or half-assing it.

No, I’m talking about being freaking obsessed, making your only mission in life for one year to get paid to be you.

I’m talking about dropping everything and getting hungrier than you’ve ever been.

I’m talking about selling your TV, banning Facebook from your life and detoxing hardcore from any distractions that dare to steal your progress away from you.

If you do this and make sacrifices you’ve never made before, and you make working on your own terms a reality, it will be worth it.

This will be a permanent change that deeply affects the rest of your life forever.

The one question for you to defy the odds:

What are you willing to do to make quitting dead-end work forever a reality?

In other words, what are you willing to sacrifice, and are you willing to give this one stinking year of your life?

Share your answer the comments below.

The person with the most compelling answer, I’m going to give a free membership to the 365 Days to Freedom program, which opens tomorrow at 10am Pacific.

 

P.S. Jennifer was willing to give one year.

This is what happened for her.

 

Follow a proven framework to earning a living from your passion

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Comment & Add Your Voice

Ant Carter November 17, 2015 at 3:41 am

Inspiring read Jonathan .. As usual. I like receiving your emails.

I decided once my daughter was born 14 months ago that I didn’t want to be the daddy who is always at work.

I have spent the last 14 months making numerous mistakes, smiling, and learning from them. I managed to negotiate a day off work a week to progress my business in return for extended hours the other 4 days a week – and have poured my heart and soul into creating technical training products for people who want to begin to earn their own freedom and start a digital business.

I work early mornings before I start my job, when travelling on the bus to and from work, and into the evening after my family have gone to bed. I believe I can do this, and am pushing on – through occasional days of self doubt and tiredness – because it is truly worth it … The prize of being daddy at home to see my daughter grow up is just too great to ignore.

I am nearing launch of my first product, and have a plan for the development of more … It feels so good to be challenging what others say I should/can do .. I am aware very few people believe I can do this. I believe it – that is enough.

When my daughter Josie Jo is old enough to remember her childhood, she will remember her daddy walking her to school and back, sharing the creative things that inspire him and helping her love being alive.

All power to those on a similar journey – may we all break the mound and earn our freedom.

Ant xxx

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Jaspreet November 17, 2015 at 3:56 am

I am ready to give up 2 hours every evening and what actually I mean is 2 hours after coming from my Day Job, I will NOT
1. I will NOT make myself available to my family. I will say hello, meet for 10 minutes and then disappear into my work room all alone.
2. I will NOT allow any distractions like relatives or family artificial emergencies.
3. I will NOT waste time TRYING

INSTEAD I WILL…
1. I will seriously read or listen recommended instructions
2. I will design my plan with paper and pen of what I will do and how I will approach people to talk with them how I will be of value to them first so that I qualify to get paid from them again and again and again.
3. I WILL write atleast 5 new ideas every day to take me closer to my dream life in 6 months only so that I have remaining 6 months to rectify why I did not achieve what I wanted in first 6 months and surely hit my goal GUARANTEED.

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Johnny November 17, 2015 at 3:58 am

Hey Jonathan!

Nice reminder this one. Thanks for sharing your story also. I’m already into this. I know many people have thought I’m weird or crazy, or just being a dreamer! Hell yeah! I’m a dreamer, and not a sleeper-walker sobbing around in societies lower norms.

I gave up my last regular job many years ago. I’m never going back. I’ll rather die trying while building my own reality and dreams than fall back to fake safetyness and “normal”.

Amen to that.

Namaste,
Johnny.

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Jane November 17, 2015 at 3:59 am

My email is so backed up, but for some reason I clicked on this email and read it. This is me. For most of a decade I’ve started and let go of many business projects. I set out with great intentions and then get in my own way. Even when I would find success in a business, I would discover it wasn’t for me. Sometimes it was me trying to do what others expected me to do. I’m talented with photography, so everyone said to start a photography business. I had high paying clients but hated every second of photography as a business. Why can’t I just love photography without it being a business?!

By now, friends & family just ignore me when I talk about what I’ve finally found as my calling. One friend even scoffed at me and my dreams. I suppose I sound like an idiot now. I’m terrified. Maybe of success, maybe of failure, but it really is that I’m terrified of letting myself down AGAIN and looking like a fool.

I’m not exactly sure where to go from here. I don’t know the next steps. But I’m tired & broke. I’m tired of us struggling to feed our kids, living barely paycheck to paycheck. Nothing is worse than seeing your kids hungry and not be able to do anything about it. I’m tired of living in this awful town. I’m tired of giving up and I’m tired of starting over. I just want to get there. Help.

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Christian November 17, 2015 at 4:00 am

Hi Jonathan!

You know what? I’ll do it in six month! (And don’t tell me that I can’t do that. ;) )

I’m about to start to travel a lot from now on; I’ll work on builing a new online service while I’m on the go (that’s the challenge); I want to change my habits, and what better way could there be to do this while not being at home?

Thanks for your site,
thanks for your support

Bye
Christian

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Bettina November 17, 2015 at 4:49 am

It is the greatest self-betrayal of all of us to keep being a sheep in order to feel “safe”. It leaks all the energy and all that remains is the black veil of depression. If I used only half of the energy I need to keep this outdated life from falling apart, and funneled it into building my own dreams, I would crash the gate that are the thoughts telling me my dreams are impossible, and the love beyond it would fuel my power infinitely. What I am ready to sacrifice is the comfort of depression, my terrors and fears of being sucked back into slavery, and my indifference that keeps me putting things off for the comfort of habits and depriving other people of the precious gift of love that is so desperately needed in today’s reality. If I knew this was my last year on earth, I would be desperate enough to make sure I will not carry this gift to my grave. Who knows if it ain’t?

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Tommie Slade November 17, 2015 at 4:52 am

Jonathan, I am one who as recently as of Oct decided where I was, isn’t where I suppose to be. I was practicing as a home health physical therapist assistant growing dissatisfied over all the insurance beauracracy and inability to treat those that need it due to insurance restrictions. So after a year of being practically disabled, unable to work due to a car accident, took what settlement money I was given, left NC and arrived in NJ ready to begin anew with more opportunities. I had everything straight before I left NC. Housing, a job,,a lined up, except I soon discovered because the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand was doing, the apartment I had arranged had been given away with no availability for any more. The job that had been so open, was now suddenly closed due to reasons given such as no stable living location and things like that. Right then, I still decided to make it work, staying in and out of hotels and recently even in my car, applying for jobs, trying temp agencies,,still determined to make it. My saving grace, was and is my girlfriend who although not much money, still helping with the food, and job hunting and such. I know how far I am willing to go… I could have stayed in NC and slowly die inside or strike out for what I consider better even though it’s uncertain, but life is uncertain isn’t it? Where am I at now? well day by day, I have found an apartment but that is an uncertainity, and I have started a job with a temp agency but now I am hurt unsure if surgery is required or not and it isn’t exactly the job I had envisioned. yet I am determined to make it. Now, I don’t know if I am deserving to be chosen to win the 365 days to Freedom program, but I do know that if I fail at something, I much rather be because I tried, not that someone decided for me. I do know I that if I set my mind to something to acquire better like I did by pulling up roots, and even if it is just a chance, I will attempt it looking for better to finally find the “niche” I have been searching for, doing something I would love to be doing, to not think of it as a job, but for once, and enjoyment.

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Dubem November 17, 2015 at 5:49 am

Hey Jonathan

What am I willing to sacrifice? To let go off that which blocks the vision

Tv, drugs,gambling, parties when I’m flowing and doing what I love none of that stuff even matters. So why can I not stay consistent. Why do I snatch defeat from the jaws of victory?

That’s what I’m giving up. The control of the fear. The shame and the guilt. Giving up the box. So everyday I’m out of it is a success. And to see what happens from there.

Peace
Dubem

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Sunita November 17, 2015 at 6:07 am

These days I keep going around asking myself and everyone else: Is it possible? Is it really possible?

I was recently told at my job, by our CEO, that I won’t be making any progress in that company, ever. I already spend almost 15 years there and my brain is exploding with boredom at the duties I had – and now they tell me I have nothing to look forward to? I am ambitious, yes, and I need change.

So I could look up for another job, that would be a safe option for me. But there aren’t many jobs available in my country and I don’t want to go down that path anyway.

I want my own business, I already started it (I read Jennifer Blanchard’s article a few years back and it is burnt in my memory :D -funny, I just rediscovered it this morning) but going all in??? SCARY!!!
Can I do it? Can I really do it on my own???

I just had a talk with my former boss who told me to play it safe, I’m already 38, I have 2 kids, my husband’s income is floaty, I need to be responsible. Hell, I don’t want to sacrifice my life to play it safe! I have dreams, I’m smart, educated, experienced, resourceful, I’ve got what it takes!

{Gosh I have goosebumps just thinking about my future life}

I can work hard. I can hustle. I’m not afraid, I failed before and I got up again. But still, I am afraid, I am terrified. So is it really possible? Is it possible for me?

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Paul November 17, 2015 at 7:35 am

Jonathan,
Just about 9 years ago I was treated to a conference to learn about making a living online, marketing and promotion and all that. Along the way I learned how to build an email list as well as ideas on product creation, etc. However, I never truly found my “calling” or passion to serve others uniquely with a business model that I would love and want to continue doing. By 2009, I was laid off due to the work I had been doing over 23 years when the economy bottomed out. I gave up on that line of work and was still busy “trying to find myself”online when an old friend introduced me to a company that hired me earlier this year. So welcome back to the job life, and a better income than I’d had 9 years ago.
However, the desire is still in me to create the lifestyle I want for me and my family, to be able to have residual income streams online so I can do the things I want with me family WHEN I want, instead of having to beg for time off when it gets accrued at the job.
I know your program is the ideal platform to help me achieve my dreams.
Cheers!
Paul

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Brendan Schmidt November 17, 2015 at 8:57 am

Funny this came up today because just last night I was having a deep and intimate convo with a close friend about really going for it for 1 full year. I was talking about how I want to structure my life to best support that endeavor and what gives me the best shot to win. I’m in the process of selling my stuff and am moving to a new place, I’m cutting my expenses down as low as humanly possible and am going without a vehicle and possibly phone for the foreseeable future.

I realized that I want to base my life around what feels the truest and most important to me, regardless of the results. The time is now, so I’m going for it.

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Chelly November 17, 2015 at 9:10 am

Hey Jonathan –
This couldn’t be more timely for me.

After spending 5 years living life on my own terms, starting and running my own business and being the master of my own destiny, I had a brain bleed one morning that wiped all of that out. A year and a half on, I’m ready to start again. It feels more difficult this time around and the learning curve seems huge but totally worth it. Living an ordinary life simple isn’t an option.
Thanks –
Chelly

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Dhaval Gajera November 17, 2015 at 10:35 am

Hey Jonathan, I am going to give away my laziness and procrastination and work hard for 1 year and after that till I quit my job.also, I’ll be saying goodbye to my habitual spending and weekend s.

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Monique November 17, 2015 at 11:27 am

I wanna be free. Free to work for myself. Free to do what I love. Free to be who I am and wherever I want to be. The past years I only worked in environments of poisoning work ethics telling me I couldn’t do these and that blabla…you know what? FUCK IT. FUCK’EM. I can. I just need a chance. I already quit my job I already left my country to travel but still need to rely on ‘typical’ jobs to make money. I am willing to sacrifice EVERYTHING for the result of being Paid to exist. I just need one real chance and someone who can lead me in the right direction! Are you the one who will give me this chance?!

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Tara November 17, 2015 at 2:54 pm

When I was younger I knew my mark on the world would be through writing stories that would inspire and create change. I loved reading and I loved writing. I still do.

Recently, I’ve been working on being more authentic and transparent. Most my life I’ve worked really hard at getting people to like me. It’s exhausting. I’m tired. It’s time to quit. I want to get to a point where I’m perfectly okay with being myself and not caring if people agree with me or not. I want to stop talking about being a writer and become a writer even if it isn’t perfect. Even if I don’t ever feel ready enough. I want to achieve a life I’m proud of living. Not one full of should’ve, would’ve, could’ves.

I hear people say every single day that people who want to express their art can’t make it on their own. It’s unrealistic. It’s not a career. Why bother?

I’ve learned that haters will always hate. So try anyway. And, I am ready.

I am ready to sacrifice my comfort zone in order to continuously push myself to the next level.

I am ready to sacrifice preconceived ideas of myself to get to a place where I can take risks, live on my own terms, and be happy with who I am.

I am ready to sacrifice my daily time-sucking activities like social media and t.v. to make space for the dream I so often talk about.

I am ready to sacrifice mediocrity for the unknown.

I am ready to sacrifice the “it’ll never happen to me attitude” for the “I’m ready to make it happen attitude.”

I am ready to fight. To work hard. To do whatever it takes.

There is so much more waiting for me. I am ready to be the heroine of my own story.

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Jess November 17, 2015 at 6:15 pm

“What are you willing to do to make quitting dead-end work forever a reality? In other words, what are you willing to sacrifice, and are you willing to give this one stinking year of your life?”

In short? Anything.

This year I “woke up”. All of the self-education in previous years culminated in big realisations. We humans are moving through our lives completely unconscious. Without awareness, we are subject to the forces of others – our environment, marketers, social media, trends, etc. to direct our live. We react to the things that happen to us – we don’t create the things that we want in our lives.

I was hit with the fact that my life was slipping away in monotony. Get up. Go to work. Study. Eat. Sleep. Repeat. I am a hard worker – In the past three years I’ve held two part time jobs lecturing and teaching at a university, doing my PhD full-time and doing a Masters full-time. I keep pursuing more and more activities and education in an attempt to feel like I was making something of my life. Instead, I was scattering myself more and more thinly, and getting caught in the 9-5, get a job, get a house, settle down trap.

So. I made a decision to wake up and start living with intention. I’ve started planning, and I want to take the big leap into 2016 and give it everything I’ve got. I want to put my work ethic and drive towards creating the life and job that is in line with my passion – not commit myself to working for someone else. I don’t care about what others think I “should” do anymore. I want to be free. I want to reach my potential. I know I’m meant for more, and I love the thought of 365 of hard core focus and determination to make my dreams a reality. I’m ready to do the work. Everything I’ve done previously has made me ready to take this next step. I’ll sacrifice all other distractions and commitments. I’m hungry. I want it more than anything!

Thank you so much for your posts. I feel incredibly inspired and motivated!!

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Pav November 17, 2015 at 8:35 pm

It’s pretty crazy to think what can happen if you do go all out for a whole year.

Honestly, that’s similar to obtaining 10 000 hours to master anything.
Epic post.

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Bryon November 18, 2015 at 2:08 pm

I quit the “9-5” just over 4 years ago and have been living full time on the road since. I have been working on building my own brand, Exploring Elements, and trying to make ends meet through freelance journalism jobs. I’m just now starting to make ends meet with the side jobs, but haven’t found a way to not be at the mercy of random magazine editors and the like when it comes to my income. I strive to find a work/life balance that will allow me to do the adventure sports and get the travel experiences that fuel my spirit. I’m all in. I need a change where I’m not spinning my wheels and I’m actually finding traction in the direction of a real location independent business that has quality earning potential. I’d love to find professional direction that helps me focus my efforts towards this goal.

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J.D. Meier November 25, 2015 at 12:44 am

About a decade back, I was ready to quit.

I told my accountant I was going to quit. He said, well, aside from the fact that you don’t have enough money to retire, what will you do with your time?

It caught me off guard. I had imagined chillaxing on a hammock being fed grapes. But he knew me better than that. He said I’m a go-getter and would get bored.

He asked me if any of my friends were retired.
I said, “No.”

He asked me if I liked golf.
He said because if I did, at least I coud play with some doctors and dentists.

He could tell that I hadn’t though through what to do with my life, beyond quit my job.

He said to me, “Well, I’ll tell you what. Go back to work and do whatever you want. You were going to quit anyway, so just do whatever makes you come alive and see how that works out.”

Well, I did.

I went back to work.
I stopped going to meetings that sucked.
I stopped spending time with drains and started spending more time with catalysts.
I started solving problems I cared about.
I dove in hard and I gave it my all.
I didn’t spend time in dead-end arguments with people that feel they have to prove a point, or have nothing better than to debate all day.
I executed. I enjoyed it.
I whiteboard with some of the best brains I could find to explore new solutions to unsolvable problems.

I was alive.

I got my best review. Again and again.

And I kept finding better and better ways to live my value and grow my best job right under my feet.

And the strange thing was, I didn’t have to leave.
I just had to stop doing the things I didn’t want to.
And I had to spend more time giving my best where I have my best to give.

It was kind of like that movie American Beauty, where he just starts living life on his terms.

It’s funny how life answers you back, when you are clear about what you want.

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Mercury December 9, 2015 at 1:31 pm

I WANT to do this, but my problem is with actually following through. I’ll start off strong but eventually end up falling back into my comfort zone. Like, I have a moment of clarity, and decide “yeah, let’s do this” but slowly the fog rolls back in and I’m on comfort zone autopilot again.

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Vivian December 13, 2015 at 3:58 pm

Nice inspiring article about commitment to the cause. The game face, the desire, the primal thirst. Success in making the break is a different contest, but I’m a quick study. Some days it feels like it’s taken way too many years to have gotten here. It’s like a mirage I can almost see. Somedays, I feel I have wings of Mercury upon my feet and I’m unstoppable.
Thanks, first time post, will definitely be back !

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Ann December 27, 2015 at 6:18 am

I have realized after reading the article that telling somebody about your goal (especially your former boss) gives you no choice but to succeed! :P

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Julie @ HappinessSavouredHot December 29, 2015 at 10:49 am

You are so right. With commitment and accountability, I have achieved things I never thought I would (such as running a half-marathon despite asthma, and earning money writing freelance). What stops us is a fear of the unknown, bad habits, and not wanting to get out of our comfort zone. I believe that mindfulness is the way to overcome all those, which is why I will make 2016 my mindfulness year!

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Lynne January 14, 2016 at 3:44 pm

A real big challenge for anyone who takes it up…no guts, no glory…I promised myself many changes for this year and your model has clinched it! Will write the details out ASAP. Two thumbs up!!!

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Kandace February 7, 2016 at 8:14 pm

Fall in love, stay in love, build a lasting friendship, learn everything about each other, get married, maintain a spotless rental history (tarnish your credit just a tad), and dodge all those suggestions to “have a baby” or “buy a house” and feel so great that we DID. We stuck to our guns – we stuck TOGETHER. And we did it all on our own terms.
>> Fast forward: Union job (with FULL benefits), big house, pretty yellow dog, healthy, happy, smart, beautiful children… I guess the only piece of the American Dream we missed was the Lexus/BMW/Mercedes… And then we threw in the towel. If this is all there is, then you take it – take all of the things that mentally and emotionally weigh me down and keep me scared.
It’s taken years of thoughtful contemplation, making friends, suffering disappointments, losing friends, and establishing a very firm belief in our abilities but we’re done pretending this game is still fun. We are going to focus on satisfying, flexible, fulfilling, and maybe even fun ways to earn money. It will probably change and then change again and will probably never stop changing but this is the committment to happiness we’ve made… Thank goodness I didn’t finish college! I don’t have to worry about being limited by my “degree”. I can do (or not do) whatever I want! Forever!
3 young children, no money, no time, no fun at all… that’s where all of this hard work has brought us. I’ve been told you must get in the water to learn how to swim… He quit 1 week ago…here goes

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Emily February 9, 2016 at 5:16 am

I LOVE this post! When DH and I announced to everyone we knew that he was going to quit his computer programmer job and we were going to move to the country and live off our investments, you can imagine the negative reaction we received, mostly from family members.

But here we are, two yrs. later, going strong.

You’re right, Jonathon – it’s all about taking “massive and immediate action.”

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