One Year of Getting Paid to Exist

On this day last year, I celebrated my first day of being 100% self employed. It’s been one year since I quit my job to try out this whole “doing what I want” thing and surprisingly, I haven’t ended up in a van down by the river yet.

When you decide that you’re going to deliberately determine the terms of your own life, you’ll probably be surprised at how hollow the supposed roadblocks really are.

Sometimes the remnants of the old reality creep in and I end up thinking that I need to meet certain requirements, quotas, or fulfill social expectations. Then I remember, “Oh yeah, I can decide to not do that.”

It’s really simple if you let it be.

But while you’re working toward creating personal freedom, it can be difficult to “break through the veil” without a road map. Yes, doing what you’re passionate about is possible. It’s just a matter of choice. And at the same time, it can be hard to navigate the way toward that new self-created reality without a guide.

Last week, I asked you what guide you wanted me to create, and I wasn’t surprised that what most people wanted was a month-by-month road map for getting paid to exist.

So, that’s what I’m going to start working on at the Illuminated Mind base camp. I didn’t intend to start creating this on my one year anniversary of self employment, but it’s interesting how it worked out that way.

Anyway, I better get to work. I hope you like what I’m about to create for you. I’ve never created a tool quite like this, and I think you’re really going to find it useful.

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Comment & Add Your Voice

Daniel June 13, 2010 at 9:18 pm

Continue with the awesome Jon!


Jonathan June 15, 2010 at 10:58 am

Thanks Daniel!

Jens P. Berget June 13, 2010 at 9:35 pm

That’s awesome, I’ve been looking for this road map, and now you’re creating it.

I’m also looking for a way to be self employed, but it’s hard… no wonder why I need a road map :)


Jonathan June 15, 2010 at 10:58 am

Well I hope I can live up to the expectation. I will certainly do my best. :)

Uzma June 14, 2010 at 3:13 am

It is to true that whilst we can just follow our passions we also need a guide along the way. This is such a fantastic endeavour on your part.Looking forward to reading it. Thank u and god bless.


Andy Fossett June 14, 2010 at 4:06 am

That’s sweet man. Big congrats. It’s so true that it can be fun and easy if we let it.


Jonathan June 15, 2010 at 11:00 am

Yeah, it’s funny how that works. Kind of comical when you realize how much you were really trying to impress yourself with all the strain and sweat.

S. Ali Myers - Soulful Body & Mind June 14, 2010 at 5:55 am

Dear Illuminated One,

Sounds great!

I subscribed by RSS & look forward to the “map”.

I really like what you’re doing here and I’m sure you inspire people everyday.

Nothing but the best of “luck” to you, Sir!

– Ali


Jonathan June 15, 2010 at 11:00 am

Thanks Ali.

Percival J. Meris June 14, 2010 at 6:33 am

It has also been a year since I left employment as a retiree, and now I am a blogger. I must admit that I have not come up with a written road map for myself yet, although such exists only in my mind.

Thanks for your article. It reminds me that I have to work on putting into writing a definite plan of action to achieve the goals I have set for myself as a blogger.

I shall wait for your guide, and see if I will find it useful for my purpose.


Jonathan June 15, 2010 at 11:01 am

Maps are definitely important, as long as we remember that they are not the territory. Whether the map is in your mind or on paper, it’s only a concept. The real test is where the rubber meets the road.

Tina June 14, 2010 at 7:13 am

Jonathan, I started following you on Twitter around this time last year, and I remember an article you wrote in which you advised to calendar in the date on which one plans to embark on a challenge. Mine was June 1st. I quit my job and despite the occasional moments of anguish, I’m learning so much!

I just want to thank you for doing what you do, and for sharing your adventures. It’s been a wild honor to witness you!


Jonathan June 15, 2010 at 11:02 am

Congratulations Tina! That’s an awesome accomplishment. I’m sure that you are going to do well. I hope that I can help you in whatever way possible to make sure your quitting is a success.

Amy June 14, 2010 at 8:04 am


Your comments are great.

My partner and I recently took a risk… and came up with this, which sings with your comments.

“Take a risk and the path of least resistance comes to you.”


Brandon June 14, 2010 at 8:12 am

I like how you mention this:
[Then I remember, “Oh yeah, I can decide to not do that.”]

The rewiring of your conditioned mind takes time, but the beautiful thing is in being able to remind yourself that you can make that decision. It’s growth all over again as long as you strive for better next time.

Can’t wait to see what you come up with for the road map.


Jonathan June 15, 2010 at 11:03 am

It’s weird, but it’s true. You can actually have things be easy, you just have to stop trying so hard.

I really think you’re going to like the road map.

Anilia June 14, 2010 at 11:16 am

Happy Anniversary! Congrats and thanks for Illuminating the way for the rest of us. I’m interested in seeing what you create.


Jonathan June 15, 2010 at 11:03 am

Thanks Anilia, I hope it doesn’t disappoint. :)

Natalie Sisson June 14, 2010 at 1:10 pm

So glad I found your site via Chris Guillebeau. You people are inspiring us to lead better, bigger and bolder lives by offering awesome value and insight every day.

Keep rocking this world Jon and feel free to come leave some inspiration on my blog for women entrepreneurs who inspire me every day.


Jonathan June 15, 2010 at 11:04 am

The pie is ever expanding. Thanks for coming over to hang out with us Natalie. You’re welcome here any time.

Mike Jara June 14, 2010 at 3:48 pm

Congratulations Jonathan. You really have made an impact on many peoples lives. I look forward to using that road map to assist me on my journey towards self employment.


Jonathan June 15, 2010 at 11:05 am

Thanks Mike. I like to follow this Israeli proverb that says “whatever knowledge you have, spill it out onto the ground.” I think the more we do that, the more we pour it on instead of trying to hold back, the more we find there’s a lot to give.

I hope the road map helps you brother.

G Angela June 15, 2010 at 2:30 am

Thanks Jonathan, you are really inspiring, and congrats for this one year – i look forward to what u are creating, thanks again,


Jonathan June 15, 2010 at 11:05 am

Thanks Angela, I hope that you’ll like it.

Scott Dinsmore June 15, 2010 at 10:34 pm

Fantastic work and even better inspiration Jonathan! Thank you for sharing and for all that you’re creating for us to learn and go after what really matters. The road not taken has been he best one yet and I think it will only bet better. It really has made all the difference as Robert Frost says. Between writing for ReadingForYourSuccess and other business, it has been the most amazing ride. It sounds like we share similar experiences!

It is pretty incredible how the things we fear most and that try to keep us from doing what we love, end up being such little things in retrospect. Knowing that makes charging forward all the more exciting.

Please keep it coming,


Jonathan June 16, 2010 at 11:05 am

It really makes sense when you think about why the road not taken is the best one yet, because any other road would not be your own. If you are truly on the right road, it’s not been traveled, because you are the only one that can take it.

Thanks for your comment Scott.

konhachi June 15, 2010 at 10:35 pm

Wish I got paid to exist. Then I could sit at home and play video games and watch anime all day. If your guide lets me accomplish this then.. I can live the greatest hikikimori life ever!


Joshua Black | Underdog Millionaire June 16, 2010 at 12:44 pm


That is a very generous offer to your readers… can’t wait to see what you come up with.

I too, have found that this is the number one thing that people want. They want step-by-step. People want their hands held. They will pay really good money in order to be able to get the recipe, but they will not pay money for theory alone.

Good advice for anyone trying to make a living online.

-Joshua Black
The Underdog Millionaire


Jonathan June 17, 2010 at 1:33 pm

You’re right Joshua. All the information is out there, and it’s all free. What people really want is someone to offer a service, or to organize it in a way that resonates with them and makes sense. Even more, if you can make it about not just a service, help or handholding, and you can make it about an *experience*, then you’ve done something incredible.

Martin June 16, 2010 at 9:43 pm

This, I can say is very inspiring. Thank you so much for sharing this. Keep it up!


Jonathan June 17, 2010 at 1:33 pm

Thanks Martin!

Mars Dorian June 17, 2010 at 7:26 am

congrats Man, what a way.

It’s soo awesome that do what you luv, and that you inspire others along the way.

Double-respect, and get busy working on that project. I felt the energy dropping a bit with your social media presence.

Full Fire attack force ready to go now.


Jonathan June 17, 2010 at 1:34 pm

Yeah, I need to be infused with some endless fire! Hook a bro up. :)

Mark Lawrence June 20, 2010 at 10:02 am

Friday was my last day of work and I have now entered the new realm! It’s always great to see continued real success like this. Congrats man!


asurbankitchen November 14, 2011 at 1:06 pm

You are wise. It takes a lot of courage to follow your dreams and stick to your plan. You have a great philosophy. As a person who has always paved her own road. It is bumpy and can be very lonely when you separate from the pack but it also is invigorating especially when you have success. Good luck I will continue to follow your tweets.


Syndee_Stein November 26, 2011 at 9:45 am

I’ve been reading your blog for a while now and I have an observation. You say you’re “doing what you want” but I want to re-frame that. I actually see you doing something more powerful. I see you doing what you see is needed. That’s a bit different. It seems like you work through your resistance and keep going for your goals. You don’t get derailed by every voice inside that says, “I don’t want to do this.” You keep following your knowing. In my opinion there is more to that than just doing what you feel like doing. I get that at a fundamental level, on an intentional level, doing what you see is needed IS what you want, and that’s why you keep going for it. You’re lined up with your deeper intentions, you know what you want, and that my friend, is a skill that a lot of people on the planet do not have. I want you to own that, because you’ve got it!


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