I just recently got back from a trip to Santa Barbara at an event that changed my life, and caused me to rethink the way I view everything about Paid to Exist.

There were some great speakers, including Eben Pagan, Marie Forleo and Les McKeown (who was by far my favorite — it’s hard not to love a funny Irish guy).

The talks were good, fantastic even. But there’s one thing I completely didn’t expect to get out of this experience. I guess it was mostly because I was completely thrown off guard.

I was expecting to have some great times connecting with fellow world changers, and especially getting some great time to bond with Dustin, our lead “think bigger” officer here at Paid to Exist. All of that happened, of course. And the people blew me away. It made me realize just how valuable connecting with people in person is.

I was filled with a warm, loving energy that I can only really describe as unconditional love. It was incredible, and I’m still feeling the effects of that love emanating throughout my days, even though it’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve been back.

But one thing completely blindsided me.

I didn’t think my purpose with Paid to Exist and my work could possibly get any deeper. I didn’t think my dedication to that purpose could grow any greater. I especially didn’t think I could think any bigger about it than I already have.

But that’s all changed.

On the last night of the conference, as I was staring up at a breathtaking starry California sky, I was overcome with emotion and what I can only refer to as a Divine Download of Insight.

I didn’t even realize that I had already described this newfound mission to one of the attendees at the event earlier that evening.

And then it hit me:

Our mission is to completely and radically change the landscape of work in the world. Prefabricated careers and factory-like jobs are a 20th century invention. It’s our deepest goal to make a world where work and contribution is the greatest expression of joy and service. And it’s our mission to make this the default paradigm, rather than a world where work is synonymous with toil, struggle and a means to an end.

My great-grandfather would disown me for even thinking this way, because it’s been passed down from generation to generation to work hard, keep your head down and work to live.

So, I’ll be brutally honest with you right now…

This new mission absolutely scares the shit out of me.

It’s so big that I don’t know if I’ll accomplish this in my lifetime. I may die before this vision is realized.

But nonetheless, this is my absolute purpose, and the deepest purpose behind Paid to Exist. And in order to see this vision through, we have to do something radical. We have to create a transformational agent to ensure that this end is inevitable.

An undertaking of this kind has been sorely missing.

For a long time I’ve seen a major gap in this “do what you love” space. And it’s keeping a lot of people trapped in work they they either wake up completely dreading, or find absolutely zero meaning it.

It keeps people seeking freedom “someday” (a day that never arrives), rather than Right Now.

So, I’m considering finally creating this, and doing what is being demanded of me, by my community and by the Universe.

I’ve hesitated doing something like this, because it will mean that we may get a lot of flack.

But that’s okay by me.

I’d rather do something that matters, then do nothing and remain in the approval of the society’s consensus.

I firmly believe the birth of this project could completely transform the paradigm of work in the world…

…And I’ll tell you exactly what that is in the next post.


PS: Have you ever been called or felt a deep pull to do something you were afraid of?

I’d be honored if you shared your story with me in the comments below, it will certainly make me feel less alone.

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Comment & Add Your Voice

Karl Sylvan November 6, 2012 at 11:56 am

I can definitely relate to this. I’ve been scared to do something really big with my life for a few too many years now. It’s time I did something about it.


Jonathan November 6, 2012 at 3:49 pm

Good for you man. Getting caught up in the confines of fear and uncertainty never helped anyone change the world, or themselves.

Lovelyn November 6, 2012 at 12:01 pm

It’s exhilarating and terrifying to make a shift in your life that closer aligns you with your vision. Congratulations on your new realizations.

I have a vision for what I want to do in the future too that I’ve held at a distance for years because I was afraid of exposing who I truly am. I’ve always wanted to inspire people to live their best lives through my writing–both fiction and nonfiction. I’ve only just started. I’ve been doing this blogging thing for a long time, but in that past I’ve been less than authentic. This new way of doing things fills my heart and drives me forward like nothing else has before. I’m terrified, but I’m also ready to jump–ready to jump and fly.


Jonathan November 6, 2012 at 5:57 pm

That’s so awesome Lovelyn. Thank you for opening up here and sharing your story. I think the more we band together the easier we can make it for others.

Ev`Yan November 7, 2012 at 11:31 am

Yes, Lovelyn! The only way to write is unabashedly with a full, open, vulnerable heart. And as soon as you feel yourself stepping from that path, stop, take a listen to what your inner self (your intuition) is trying to tell you, & proceed with caution.

I say all of this because I am in the midst of my own pause to re-enter a more authentic path. I wish you nothing but the best. xx

Tim November 6, 2012 at 12:19 pm

Go big or go home.

If it didn’t scare you, it probably wouldn’t be worth doing.

Keep it up!


Dustin November 6, 2012 at 8:18 pm

I think you’re totally right, Tim. There’s something really empowering and thrilling about working on a project that scares you a little.

Kyle Richey November 26, 2012 at 2:09 pm

I couldn’t agree more. I read somewhere to “do at least one thing you’re scared of every day”, and it’s helped me take the plunge with quite a few difficult decisions, most of which have led to great things (the others just taught me important lessons I wouldn’t have learned otherwise).

Margaret Jacobsen November 6, 2012 at 12:19 pm

Wow. This is amazing and I’m thrilled for you! I have to read this again because it was so uplifting and such a breath of fresh air. You are changing the world and I stand behind that.


Jonathan November 6, 2012 at 6:44 pm

Thank you Margaret. I’m really glad that I know you.

Leo November 6, 2012 at 12:22 pm

Great article. Genuine. Keep at it.


Jonathan November 6, 2012 at 6:44 pm

Thanks my man.

Kate November 6, 2012 at 12:28 pm

Jonathan I have goosebumps right now– reading your post filled me with energy.

One thing I’ve learned during my journey of practicing and teaching yoga is that there is always a next level. You’ve never mastered a pose, be it child’s pose or a crazy arm balance. Every time you think you’ve arrived, some new insight reveals itself and you realize you are right at the beginning once more.

Enjoy it. It’s scary, it’s beautiful, sometimes it is too much to even comprehend for more than a moment. But people like you are the ones who change the world, who make this happen.

I look forward to the moment in time where people look back on work in the 20th century as a strange and terrifying time in the history of Earth– because they will be so far beyond it it will seem like a bad dream.

Cheers to you and all you are discovering. I’m with you every step of the way.


Jonathan November 6, 2012 at 6:43 pm

Yes, thank you Kate. I’ve learned that goosebumps are always a good sign. :)

Ev`Yan November 7, 2012 at 11:10 am

Very, very well said, Kate. Thank you for the words of encouragement. xx

Zebastian Malm November 6, 2012 at 12:35 pm

Awesome to find a soulmate and even more awesome post!

I can relate on every word on this post, Jonathan. It doesn’t matter whether your goal is big or not – you gotta start working towards it NOW.

Work-world is something so big that it affects hundreds of millions. When we all start working on things we love and are meaningful,with fiery passion, it will have reflection to work results.

Working passionately increases productivity and we get more stuff done, right?


Jonathan November 6, 2012 at 6:43 pm

It’s all about the NOW, baby.

Patrick November 6, 2012 at 12:41 pm

This really struck a chord with me. As a self confessed (British) introvert, the path of a designer, creator and business owner was something I only dreamed about. I moved from job to job, never satisfied or fulfilled.

In 2009 I met a girl from America and things changed. I went with my gut. I flew out to stay with her for a week after only a few months of emails and video calls. After a year and a half we got married and I made the decision to leave England and start a new life in the USA. I felt that being in the land of opportunities would give me the boost to “do what I love” and succeed at it. To some point that came true. I interviewed and secured a design job immediately and have been in my 2nd job here for a year. To many of my friends and family I’m successful and living the dream. To some extent I am and feel really lucky for what I have. I still have that nagging feeling I should be doing more. My gut is telling me I should be working for myself, collaborating with other creative people and that I should ditch the day job.

Reading this just made me even more sure of myself. Just because you’re in the land of opportunity doesn’t mean things will get handed to you on a silver platter. I have been running (and working hard at) a side business for 6 months now. I’m now going to hit it even harder, and persevere even more to make this my full-time passion. Thanks for the boost!


Jonathan November 6, 2012 at 6:42 pm

You’re welcome Patrick. I read a quote today that I think you might like:

Success isn’t a result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire. —Arnold H. Glasow

Anne November 6, 2012 at 12:41 pm

Hi Jonathan — absolutely can relate…and congratulations! How exciting and inspiring. It will change your life and the world!!!!


Jonathan November 6, 2012 at 6:39 pm

Thank you Anne.

Lisa Berkovitz November 6, 2012 at 12:53 pm

Magnificent, Jonathan! You are a kindred spirit for sure. I see and feel your vision, and your unwavering commitment. AND…you’re already doing it! Can’t wait to see what else you create in the coming years in alignment with your vision!!


Jonathan November 6, 2012 at 6:39 pm

Thank you Lisa, it’s good to have you on board with this vision.

Jason Spencer November 6, 2012 at 1:31 pm

The place you have found is the one you were born for. Every experience. Every failure. Every wound. Every relationship. Everything in the universe has conspired to bring you to this moment. I believe in you, my friend, and so does your tribe.

Now you must walk through fear and cross into this unknown place that’s bigger than you, than any of us. You are not alone. We are beside you.


Jonathan November 6, 2012 at 6:39 pm

Thank you brother, it’s good to have your support.

Tea Chase November 6, 2012 at 2:04 pm

As a child, people would tease me allot. I would do things that made no sense to no one, but me. As I grew older, they continued to sigh at me and roll their eyes. For I would always do what my heart said to do .. regardless of anything else. I’ve just always thought that as long as I follow my heart, the rest will fall into place. I’m 42 years old now and my life has been one bumpy ride lol. However, there isn’t a single regret in any of it. And I always landed on my feet. I love the scene in Pocahontas where she has to decide which river to take. It’s so sad that most people take the calm, boring, lifeless one. If you have the heart and courage to follow it … trust it and follow it.


Jonathan November 6, 2012 at 6:38 pm

That’s a beautiful metaphor, thank you for sharing that.

Ev`Yan November 7, 2012 at 11:09 am

Thank you for sharing your story, Tea.

Julie Ann Turner November 6, 2012 at 3:13 pm


Yes, that is a huge, consciousness-shifting vision – and, the good news (as you know) is that you are not the only one helping bring this vision into reality … there are many, many other awe-mazing visionaries across the globe (many I work with – and, no doubt, many you already know, as well) who have a piece of this vision – whose mission is one small but significant “slice of the spectrum” of this global mindshift.

Rather than a new World of Work – I prefer envisioning it as our World of Work(s) (http://ht.ly/f4Tas) – as each of us contributes our Work(s) of Art/Artistry – the creative expressions of our unique gifts and genius.

Here’s to all of us aligning to bring this new World into being …
Julie Ann


Jonathan November 6, 2012 at 6:37 pm

You’re absolutely right Julie. There are so many awesome (or awe-mazing as you put it) people moving this vision forward. I believe with all my heart that this vision for the world is possible.

Leah Jay November 6, 2012 at 4:27 pm

I believe with you that we are meant to contribute to the world in our own, unique ways, and this rarely syncs up with what is considered “normal” in today’s workplace. Humans were not made for cubicles. Your blog is so inspiring, and I needed to read this today, when I felt so down on myself, and out of hope. I have to believe that someday, I can make a financial living being myself, without the intense stress of trying to be what someone else wants me to be. Thank you.


Jonathan November 6, 2012 at 6:36 pm

I completely feel you Leah. I was exactly where you were a few short years ago. I know that if a pot smoking, trailer park raised, high school dropout like me can do it that you can too.

José Pablo November 6, 2012 at 4:31 pm

Hey, don’t fear anymore! I think its time someone did this, and I think you’ve got enough experience dealing with “jobs” that go with your core desires, you’re fit for the task! I’m sure a lot of learning and hard work is coming your way, but… if that’s what your heart is calling, then that’s exactly what you should do, despite the size of the task. You’ll do a good job. Whatever part of the world you could change will thank you for it. I believe there’s a different way of living, and I’m supporting you from México. Do it!


Jonathan November 6, 2012 at 6:35 pm

Thanks for the support Jose. I know that we can do this.

Stephanie Rogers November 6, 2012 at 4:39 pm

Great post! I’m so excited to hear about your epiphany and can’t wait to read more about it. When I was 16, I knew in my gut that I wanted to learn Russian and live in Russia (I’m American by birth). I decided my college based on them having an exchange program with Russia. I lived in Moscow for a year (which scared the crap out of me to think about, but was a wonderful experience). Then in my early 20’s, I had the chance to go back to Russia. To the shock of almost everyone I knew, I bought a one way plane ticket! Yes, this was a scary prospect; however, I knew with utmost confidence that the universe would take care of me and my path would present itself. I had an amazing adventure! I lived with several different families and made great friends, many of whom I still close to 15 years later. I’m ready to take more risks like this in my life again. Thanks for sharing your journey with all of us!


Jonathan November 6, 2012 at 6:35 pm

Thank you for sharing that Stephanie. Wow, that must have been a crazy experience! Yes, here’s to taking more risks and living completely.

Kelly November 6, 2012 at 4:39 pm


I very much agree with your ideas as an ideal, but I always fall short when thinking about practical implementation. There are certain jobs that exist in the world that no one wants to do, that people do to make ends meet and not because they care about them at all. There are also people who are quite satisfied with doing shit work as long as they can pay their bills. How do these two situations fit into your vision?

Best of luck!


Jonathan November 6, 2012 at 6:32 pm

It depends on the way the world transforms. Businesses might have to change, their might be more communication to help show everyone the vision and what they’re all working toward. I think more meaning and connection with the work you’re doing and how it impacts the world can make a world of difference. So just having that sense of connection is a big piece if bigger organizations will continue to exist.

Daniel Campanelli November 6, 2012 at 5:00 pm

Hey Jonathan, you really got my attention here!
I think the momentum for this paradigm is just growing continuously and I must say I’m rooting for you on this one!

Can’t wait to hear about this concept you downloaded.


Jonathan November 6, 2012 at 6:31 pm

Thanks brother, I’m excited and nervous but this is exactly the work we need to be doing. Onward.

Ron Tester November 6, 2012 at 5:01 pm


That is both exciting and terrifying at the same time! I I think I know right where you’re coming from, and I want you to know that I’m excited to be part of this journey with you and all the PTE folks!


Jonathan November 6, 2012 at 6:30 pm

Thanks brother, it’s good to have you on this journey with us.

Ev`Yan November 7, 2012 at 11:07 am

We’re excited to have you with us, Ron! Thanks for your support. xx

John Corcoran November 6, 2012 at 5:40 pm

What a cool experience. I went to UC Santa Barbara and love SB…. it’s heaven on earth. I totally understand why such a mind-blowing experience would happen there, of all places. (Portland ain’t bad either.)


Jonathan November 6, 2012 at 6:30 pm

Yeah, Portland ain’t bad, but I have to say it was so incredible and refreshing to see a star-filled sky like that. It reminded me of growing up in Post Falls, Idaho.

Ev`Yan November 7, 2012 at 11:07 am

I agree! There’s just something about being a stone’s throw away from the ocean that really opens & relaxes your entire body.

Sarah Marshall November 6, 2012 at 5:52 pm

YES!!! DO IT! GO BIG! I love this post, Jonathan.

It was a year ago I jumped off the cliff of following my hearts desire and making a living doing it. I am a naturopathic doctor and had run a brick and mortar clinic for two years. I felt trapped, overwhelmed, overworked, and wasn’t making a living doing it. On the outside our clinic looked very “successful” but on the inside I wasn’t being provided for financially, emotionally or spiritually.

In January I risked it all and closed the clinic embarking on creating an international web-based health consulting business. In the first 12 weeks I was making 6x my average income the year before. As of October I have made 10x my gross last year AND the best part my business and healing style is 100% reflection of my divine calling.

Then just this weekend I completed leading my first live group retreat teaching intuitive energy healing – a subject I have been terrified to tell people I am an expert in. It was an incredible success in every domain – logistical, emotional, spiritual, and financial. And now no mater how scary it is I know I must follow my divine guidance to teach this source of healing globally.

My mission: to transform the healthcare industry world wide where health is the focus (not disease) and it is considered normal and expected that you heal when you see your doctor, all diseases are curable, and drugs and surgery are used as life saving last resorts only after natural medicine and lifestyle have been thoroughly explored.

PLEASE follow your calling to empower others to follow there’s. We MUST transform this paradigm and I am so grateful you are taking this on.


Jonathan November 6, 2012 at 6:29 pm

YES!! Thank you Sarah for sharing your story and following your calling. You are an inspiration. Thank you for doing what you do.

Dustin November 6, 2012 at 8:21 pm

Awesome, Sarah! Doing something this big is a huge responsibility but I really believe it’s impossible to do great things unless it’s big enough to totally captivate you. Thanks for sharing your story.

Mark November 6, 2012 at 6:06 pm

Congrats Jonathan! Great to have someone like you showing the way. I have been warming the bleachers while itching to step onto the field. Here’s to leaning into the bitter cold because we all believe there is a better way!


Jonathan November 6, 2012 at 6:29 pm

We don’t need any more bleacher warmers Mark. It’s time to get out on the field and leave it all there.

Kerri Lowe November 6, 2012 at 6:12 pm

I am totally on board with this. Have you read Reinventing Work: A New Vision of Livelihood for Our Time by Matthew Fox? It is completely blowing my mind. Written over a decade ago and sorely needed now. It is all about moving from the industrial machine-based world to a green paradigm.


Jonathan November 6, 2012 at 6:45 pm

I have not… yet. It’s going on my reading list now. Thank you Kerri!

Joe November 6, 2012 at 6:28 pm

This certainly is a badass vision and one worth pursuing – go for it! I am even more impressed with your writing – both in the email and in the post. After skimming your email, there’s no way I couldn’t click through to see what this was all about, and reading the post had me on the edge of my seat. You’re an inspiration for me to write more so I can improve my quality and delivery.



Jonathan November 6, 2012 at 6:49 pm

Thanks Joe, I appreciate that. I owe all of it to my wife, she’s an incredible writer and without her I’d probably sound like a fourth grader writing essays on what I want to do this summer. :)

Dustin November 6, 2012 at 8:24 pm

Ev’Yan definitely has the midas touch when it comes to words. I agree, Joe, this post (and the email) are exciting and hint at some huge things to come.

Ev`Yan November 7, 2012 at 10:58 am

Aww, shucks, fellas. :)

Gwendydd November 6, 2012 at 6:37 pm

Hi Jonathan, I have a daring story to share with you.
I was running in our Federal election for the Green Party, a few years back. The media was completely keeping us out of the news and I was frustrated. I came home after a long day of poster hanging and started up the wood stove and started crying. I was running against our very strong french separatist party and I had an upcoming public debate.I sought a way to transcend the language issue, because my french is not very strong and make an important score for the Earth Mother. I stoked that fire hard through my tears and thought of my children and suddenly my breasts came into the picture. NO!!!! I said. I can’t do that! I was terrified of myself. I had thought of expressing my passion for Gaia, the need to consider Her in our decisions, and bring in the concept of mothering the planet, by exposing my breasts at the debate.
Let me explain that I am an old woman. This was no seduction. I knew that if one discovers a fear that you must pass through the alchemical fire of it. Shit!!!!!! I don’t want to do this but I had thought it and was afraid, so I knew I had to go through with it.
I prepared by walking each day, in -10 degree weather or lower, in the forest alone and semi- nude. I prayed a lot to Isis. I did this for about 2 weeks.Finally the day came. I steeled myself and at a precise moment, I did it. Everyone was shocked. I passionately spoke. The women shielded their husband”s eyes but I guaranteed that no one remembered what the guy for the other party said.
At the end, the other candidate came over, kissed me on the cheek and said, ” I concede. You are Good!” I won the hand on that day. I lost the election but my teenage children were flabbergasted and very very proud of me. I hope I taught hem something important. I sure surprised even me.


Jonathan November 6, 2012 at 6:48 pm

This is such a beautiful story Gwendydd, that must have taken so much courage! Wow. Thank you for sharing your story with us.

Ev`Yan November 7, 2012 at 11:02 am

Gwen, your story gave me goosebumps. I love that in the face of adversity (which was really just priming you for your victory) you stepped fully into your feminine essence to carry you through & remind you of the strong, bold, courageous goddess you really are. This story resonates very deeply with me at the moment, & I thank you wholeheartedly for sharing. xx

Jennifer Bronstein November 6, 2012 at 6:48 pm

If your dreams don’t scare you. They’re not big enough.


Jonathan November 6, 2012 at 6:49 pm

Well said.

Ev`Yan November 7, 2012 at 11:03 am

Amen, sister.

Ben November 6, 2012 at 7:29 pm

Wow Jonathan,
Awesome post! I love that new mission. The thing i’m doing that is scary at the moment is I have cut off on purpose any other money coming in other than what I earn myself (e.g without a job) so I have to work on my business. It is bringing up alot of fears and worries as though i’m earning a little, it’s not enough yet, but I refuse to go back to a normal, boring job unless it really is the last resort.


Dustin November 6, 2012 at 8:26 pm

Ben, I know exactly how that feels. I left my job almost three years ago now, and at first, it was terrifying. It took every ounce of courage I had to not give up and it totally paid off. Congratulations on a huge step, Ben.

Jonathan November 7, 2012 at 11:47 am

Congratulations Ben, that’s a huge first step. It’s scary, but most things that are worth is are terrifying.

Cat Wagman November 6, 2012 at 7:49 pm

Jonathan … it is amazing when you feel the Universe shift inside your being, which in and of itself is infinite. Rather that feeling powerless, you become empowered; rather than feeling fearful, you become fearless; and at the root of it all … the unconditional Divine love that flows to you, through you, and onto others becomes the wellspring of potential, possibilities, and creative manifestations. What you do with this gift will shape your legacy, and how you make others feel will carry your legacy forward.

I’m still incubating my Trailblazing Workflows system to help business document their procedures … to essentially change the paradigm of the workplace by rebuilding it on a foundation of trust and respect. So yes, I understand what you are feeling and have realized my own heart-centered desire to make this world a better place is the most natural thing I can do.

Rock on, Jonathan! Rock on!!


Jonathan November 7, 2012 at 11:46 am

All I know how to do is Rock. :)

Amelia November 6, 2012 at 8:48 pm

I’m not entirely sure a complete shift to a world where everyone does what they love will ever really eventuate, and I don’t think its necessarily ideal either. Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea, but there is always going to be a need for people doing crappy jobs (e.g cleaning toilets). I do what I love & work for myself, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I think, instead, the shift should be of the mindset of the majority towards people being allowed to step away from the status quo, and being supported by family/peers to experiment with what they like to do. I faced a lot of opposition against entrepreneurship and was told to go and get a “normal job” after I quit my other “normal job”; society just doesn’t get it in a lot of ways. Once that headspace changes in the majority, it will be easier for all people to follow their hearts and make a contribution that is meaningful to them & others. You are doing some great work Jonathan :)


Ev`Yan November 7, 2012 at 10:53 am

“I’m not entirely sure a complete shift to a world where everyone does what they love will ever really eventuate, and I don’t think its necessarily ideal either.”

I really hope you’re wrong, Amelia. There are far too many people out there who are holding onto hope that it will get better, that they’ll be given permission (or a kick in the ass) to say ‘Enough is enough’ & go for whatever it is that tickles their fancy. I think that this is absolutely doable, & is just as necessary. Imagine how much more harmonious this world would be if instead of waking up with drudgery, we woke up with excitement, passion, & bliss to work that gave us pleasure? I imagine there would be less road rage, less mid-life crises.

I do think that you’re right in that a shift of the mind needs to happen as well as a shift of scenery. That will be tedious & challenging, but again, totally doable when we have people like Jonathan putting a stake in the ground & saying ‘Enough is enough.’

Oh, & perhaps those who clean toilets really actually enjoy their jobs. We never know, do we?

Janet November 6, 2012 at 9:32 pm

you’re so good at cliffhangers! is this the conference/mastermind meetup you were talking about? i don’t think that this is a new mission, persay. it’s been part of your work all along, but now you’re stepping into it. now THAT’S a legacy!


Ev`Yan November 7, 2012 at 11:03 am

Ehhh, not quite; not even close! But. . . it’s something marvelous. :)

Adrianne November 6, 2012 at 9:56 pm

You know I’m behind this 110,00% I want this as a reality for my daughter so that she doesnt have to grow up and wonder who she is, why she is unhappy and why she hates her job. I dont want her to grow up and have her identity tied to a career that is meaningless and the things she is passionate about only being important after 5 and on the weekends.

But its not just my daughter or for future generations that this is important for. Everywhere people are getting so fed up with a working system that just isnt right anymore. We all know that something needs to happen but are just too scared sometimes to make it happen. This is the kind of push everyone needs.


Jotam November 6, 2012 at 11:40 pm

Ahoy brother,

Much respect and gratitude for your devotion to transform society as we know it.You are the modern day Columbus. I believe in your vision, so please keep at it!

I have a dream that is now being molded into a business. I want to go out and draw the world around me. Make sketches of scenes on the street, draw portraits of people on the train. Selling drawings at local markets so as to associate a good drawing with a well baked, fresh bread.

Ive been a bit scared though. Must admit.

But its inspiring to hear of other people’s visions and ideas outside of the norm.

From Jotam,
CapeTown SouthAfrica


Jonathan November 7, 2012 at 11:45 am

Thanks for doing what you do Jotam, I appreciate having you in this community.

Kirsty November 7, 2012 at 12:28 am

Go for it. SO worthwhile. I wish I had any such vision or purpose [not worked that out yet] – but all I can do is support you with my best wishes.


Jonathan November 7, 2012 at 11:45 am

All you have to do is start thinking crazy ;)

Inge November 7, 2012 at 12:53 am

Wonderful post, Jonathan, I’d say you would do the world a favour by going BIG!

I must say I am drawn to a non-cubicle world and think it could make the lives of many people a lot better, but on the other hand I am in building engineering and I firmly believe that the best work is done in an environment where engineers cooperate and inspire each other and can use the best tools available – hard to afford for a one-(wo)man business. Furthermore, many engineers (including me) cannot be bothered by the administrative and/or commercial part of running your own business, but that is quite a generalisation. There are degrees of cubicle-ness in engineering firms and I think I found one where you can be quite free to do things the way that works best for you and follow your main interests, while still being in a corporate environment that takes care of the non-tech stuff for you.

However, there is still a nagging thing in the back of my mind that I would like to try a completely other line of work on the side, in a paid-to-exist like fashion. Maybe writing about the things I care about, maybe making knitting patterns or making complicated information available to people. If only to have something to fall back on if the engineering world really crashes at some point, or if my interests change. So I’m keeping track of your progress and implement what is right for me now, accumulating all the inspiration I need to make baby steps into getting paid to exist – on the side for now.

Keep up the good work!


Jonathan November 7, 2012 at 11:44 am

Thanks Inge, glad to have your support and happy that we can help inspire you.

Angela November 7, 2012 at 12:56 am

I just got butterflies in my stomach and goose bumps, I’m so excited can’t wait to find out what it is! I know it will be awesome.


Jonathan November 7, 2012 at 11:08 am

I’ve lived long enough to know that goosebumps are always a good sign. Looking forward to sharing this with everyone. :)

Ashlyn Zynnia November 7, 2012 at 4:35 am

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!!!

You got me, again Mr. Mead.

I will be happily looking forward to your next post.


Jonathan November 7, 2012 at 11:08 am

Uh oh… now I guess I have to deliver. At least it’s not like Lost where I’m making up the episodes as I go along…

Lori Stalter November 7, 2012 at 6:19 am

Does Great Grandpa arise from his grave to beat Jonathan senseless?

Will Jonathan break through the fabric of today’s established existence and change the world as we know it?

Does Jonathan get eaten by the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal before realizing his dream?

Tune in tomorrow — same Bat-time, same Bat-channel to find out!


I’m hoping for a happy ending…


Ev`Yan November 7, 2012 at 10:39 am

LOL! ;p

Jen November 7, 2012 at 6:26 am

Dude. I’m right there with you. After a bout of pneumonia and years of emotional abuse from my boss, I quit my job on Friday with nothing to fall back on except knowing there has to be a better way. There just has to be.


Jonathan November 7, 2012 at 11:41 am

Absolutely, wherever there is a will, there’s a way.

Haatch November 7, 2012 at 7:46 am


Only recently after disovering PTE, I came across the
book “The Freedom Manifesto” by Tom Hodgkinson. The combination of the two has caused me to truly take a look at my life and how I want to live it. I have tried to convey these thoughts to those around me, bit mostly receive the “you goin’ crazy on us?” look. Keep at it, you are making the changes you envision, while it may not be carried out in your lifetime, future generations of self-thinkers and non-conformists will surely fulfill it and thank you for it.


Jonathan November 7, 2012 at 11:40 am

Thanks dude, I appreciate the encouragement.

Maurice Lindsay November 7, 2012 at 7:58 am

Great Post John…Fear is their for you to conquer it. If it doesn’t scare you, the dream ain’t big enough. We gotta continue to dream big, work even harder to make it come true, and believe it will come to pass.

Love what you are doing here at Paid To Exist, keep it up my man!


Jonathan November 7, 2012 at 11:41 am

Thanks brother!

Sandra November 7, 2012 at 8:30 am

Be brave. An Ayn Rand quote comes to mind:

“Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps down new roads armed with nothing but their own vision.”

You will do this in your time here. Start smiling, you’ve made the first step.


Ev`Yan November 7, 2012 at 10:38 am

I love this quote, Sandra. Thank you for sharing.

Paige | simple mindfulness November 7, 2012 at 9:10 am

Wow! I’ve got chills. I received a very similar “download from the Universe” a couple years ago and mine definitely had that “go huge” about it. It’s like somehow I know that I need to make an impact on the Oprah/Richard Branson level although I have no idea how I’ll do it. My blog is a baby step.

Knowing the stories behind the uber success of people like Eban Pagan, Brendan Burchard and many others like them where going to college and getting a job were nowhere in sight, it’s painfully obvious how much the rules of “the system” hold people back. To me it’s unfathomably amazing what the world would be like if suddenly everyone lived on their own terms and didn’t allow those rules to hold them back.

As a CFO, I’m usually in charge of HR and I’ve been working to make changes toward our vision in every company I work. Daniel Pink has been a huge influence for me. I usually run into resistance because these ideas are so radical. I continue to polish my powers of persuasion with the CEO’s in an effort to create a better community and place to live for everyone else there.

The last few months as I’ve been looking for my next job, I’ve gotten involved in the local start-up community. It’s so blatantly obvious how much people think that they need to run their companies like “the norm.” I’ve been meeting with entrepreneurs in this community and having conversations to challenge their ways of thinking and challenging them to create a company from their heart. I love seeing them light up when they start to see this as a possibility.

We’re unschooling our kids to ensure they have the most opportunities in life and aren’t held back by beliefs of “the way things should be.” Most homeschooled kids retain that excitement and zest for life and learning that never goes away. They realize that their success doesn’t have to look like the commercial version that’s dished out to us. They know that they can do whatever they love and be very happy.

I’m always looking for ways to spread this message and I know that there’s a growing number of us doing the same thing. There’s a reason I’m here as a member of the Paid to Exist tribe. It’s one more place to connect with amazing people who get it, who know that there’s a much better way.

Like you, Jonathan, I’m trying to figure out how to do this BIG BIG BIG!! Please let me know how I can support you further in your mission.


Jonathan November 7, 2012 at 11:10 am

This is awesome, thank you so much for sharing your energy and enthusiasm with us Paige. You’re a wonderful person.

Teresa November 7, 2012 at 9:10 am

Gosh Jonathan,

Sometimes I read your posts and I think there is such an energetic connection and I am so grateful to how clearly, concisely and thoughtfully you and Ev’Yan put it out there, validating how many of us feel!

I was actually in NYC a few weeks back for a conference with Marie Forleo, immediately ending with people frantically trying to get out of NYC! But, my Monday flight was cancelled Sunday morning, so I went with it, returning home to California, 3 days later.

I absolutely love New York and have been a few times, but this time was very different, and much like what you experienced. I realized after the conference and the events that followed I needed to step back and RE-think my plan, my purpose and my vision.
I realized that my work won’t be fulfilling unless there is a cause to go with it, beyond that of coaching creative people. And I realized that while we are all attempting to and doing good work to help others, there is something much greater happening, and we cannot take our lives for granted. As we witnessed with Hurricane Sandy, life is precious, temporary and not entirely in our control. We have NOW, period, so let’s make the most of it!

I look forward to seeing what unfolds for you and PTE.
Thanks to you and your Team, for making a difference in my life!


Jonathan November 7, 2012 at 11:11 am

The feeling is mutual Teresa, I hope that we get a chance to connect in person some day. It would be a pleasure.

Teresa November 8, 2012 at 8:40 am

I’ll see you at WDS next summer for sure. Ticket and hotel already in place. :)

jennifer blanchard November 7, 2012 at 9:27 am

Totally. In my heart I feel I am a fiction writer. I know I am. It’s something that has always brought me joy and made me feel fulfilled in ways that nothing else can. But because of beliefs I have surrounding, “you can’t write fiction for a living” or “fiction writers are poor” I’ve done pretty much everything I can to be successful in every way except writing fiction. I barely even write it most years. But recently I fell back in love with fiction. So deeply that I am now writing the first draft of a novel I’ve been dreaming on for a long time and also planning the next novel I’m going to write, which I’ve been thinking about for almost three years now. This is different than what you’re talking about in this post, but I just wanted to share something that I’ve felt deeply pulled to lately.

Congrats Jonathan! Can’t wait to see what you’ve cooked up now!


Jonathan November 7, 2012 at 11:12 am

YES! This is awesome Jennifer. I know that you have a GIFT. And I’m excited to know that you’re starting to do the work to share it with the world.

Chris November 7, 2012 at 9:31 am

awesome post Jono, so glad that I found your profile on Twitter, this was definitely what I needed to start considering other options out there based on exactly what “I” want to do, as opposed to having a fear of taking that first step. This really sounds like the first step to enjoying the work one does!!! Sounds great.


Jonathan November 7, 2012 at 11:12 am

Can I call you Chriso? ;)

Thanks brother, truly appreciate the support.

Luana November 7, 2012 at 12:58 pm

Hi Jonathan,

Back in 2010 I started my first job ever. I was blessed with an incredible team, we had each other’s backs, and an amazing boss who I could talk to about anything. The job itself seemed exciting: I was dealing with people most of the day doing minimal paperwork. Then the honeymoon period was over and reality started to set in: rude customers, unnecessary snappy remarks from my boss, doing the same thing every day. Every day. Every day. I was turning bitter, impatient, sometimes even downright rude. This was not me and it was definitely not who I wanted to be. This job was wearing me out.

Luckily that’s when I stumbled upon Illuminated Mind. I got myself a copy of Reclaim Your Dreams. I read it on my way to work one day, and promised myself that I would never work for anyone else, much less if that meant undertaking a job that not only did not inspire me, but made me feel like I was just wasting away always looking forward to the next long weekend or vacation.

My circumstances did not allow me to quit on the spot, but every night I worked a little bit towards my goal. I read up on the subjects I was most passionate about, including the idea to set up my own business, and kept up with my Psychology degree.

Two years later, amidst the worst economic recession in years, in one of the worst hit countries, Spain, I have quit my job and plan to finally set up my business within the next few months. It scares the shit out of me. There are no jobs in this country, let alone “back-up” options. No safety net. But I knew that if I was going to go for this, I had to dive in 100%. People have told me I am crazy, my idea will never work, shouldn’t I move to a different country. Now, I’m not an idiot. I’ve done my research, studied the market, found a need that I believe I can cover especially in these hard times. I am going to give it my all.

I’d rather work 24/7 towards something I believe in, that inspires me and makes me truly happy than at a 9-5 that makes me feel trapped and useless.

I can’t wait to hear about your new project!


Bruno Coelho November 7, 2012 at 2:53 pm


You know that I’m with you 100%! Since I first saw your first Trailblazer videos that your message, passion and leadership style resonated with me.

We’re living the end of work as we know it. I’ve built a online network for entrepreneurs to create their site + build their team (share profit) + crowd fund their projects for the Portuguese market but the people weren’t ready yet… But I believe that together we can get this working at a World-Wide-Level!

A time that I was afraid? I remember when I was on your Trailblazer webinar at 4AM (Portugal time) and made the decision alone (my wife was sleeping) to use literally ALL our money to enter the course. I decided to take MASSIVE ACTION because I was MORE AFRAID of what my Life would look like if I didn’t follow my purpose than ALL MY OTHER FEARS combined.

Today, I’m on Month 4 of your course and I’m stronger than ever and looking forward to what’s to come!

Let’s do this TOGETHER!


Mika Kumpulainen November 8, 2012 at 6:56 pm

I’ve got to hang around this site more.. for the sake of my damned self. I’ve been craving ever so badly like minds, just something that doesn’t mind stepping out and exploring whats outside of the box..


Mika Kumpulainen November 8, 2012 at 6:59 pm

ah, but as far as something i’m afraid of that life calls me? i did, but it scared the shit out of me so bad i ran and ran, i don’t know if it would want me back :\ lmao.. jeez i’m sore.


Iris November 9, 2012 at 2:04 am

Maybe you could partner with Scott Dinsmore for this. I think he has a similar purpose :)


Jonathan November 9, 2012 at 11:43 am

Thanks for your input Iris.

Jo November 9, 2012 at 12:23 pm

Dear Jonathan,
the trail you’ve started blazing is about to become a super highway. I aim to drive it at 200 mph when I’m ready to stop hitting brake and throttle at the same time. Will meet you where the sun is going up…
All the best,
trailblazer Johannes


Caren November 9, 2012 at 2:59 pm

Just yesterday I was driving home from work, listening to the audio book Infinite Possibilities (by Mike Dooley of TUT fame), when I felt a similar rush of understanding and calling. “Thoughts become things”is my new mantra.

No doubt in my mind, Jonathan, that your thoughts have already helped my thoughts to become things that have shifted my purpose in a big way this year. (Phew!)

It’s energizing to be part of a community that can help me face my own fears, even if you have your own. Especially if you have your own. Fear on!


Les McKeown November 11, 2012 at 8:08 am

Hey Jonathan – that sounds exciting! Looking forward to hear more, and appreciate being part of the catalyst for you. Thanks for the kind words, too.

– Les


Patrice Berlinski November 12, 2012 at 10:38 am

Jonathan, I LOVE hearing what you have to say about this new mission. It WILL happen in your lifetime and sooner than you think. Last August, 2011, I started off on my dream and I cannot believe how much it has grown since then. I cannot spend enough time fostering it due to my day job but I have found subtle ways to bring it TO my day job and get more out of my day job because of it. I simply want to bring peace on earth and started doing that by teaching mindfulness meditation to children. It’s been a wonderful journey and it continues. No matter what kind of a mood I find myself in when I go into the school to teach to the kids I feel great joy, as it should be! Carry on my friend and keep sending these inspiring emails. I cannot wait to see what is next. By the way, I’m having trouble with my website so I don’t know if you will see anything if you went to it. Take care.


Patrice Berlinski November 12, 2012 at 10:58 am

One more insight that may help – in my day job I am a Safety representative for employees. It occurred to me a few months ago that if I could teach the employees to meditate that I could really reduce injuries as they would be more aware of what they were doing it in the moment they were doing it. I thought at the time that the Universe just isn’t ready for that yet. Then I went to a conference where one of the presenters practically said the exact same thing I was thinking – he fell just short of talking about meditation. I talked with him and plan to follow up. He seemed intrigued by the possibilities and I was blown away by how close this reality is!


Ann December 9, 2012 at 4:30 pm

I just signed up for the blog. I am really looking forward to learning more. My question is how can one drop out and quit one’s corporate job when dealing with a chronic illness? I need my health insurance. That is my single biggest fear about moving down the path to “dropping out”.


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