What’s Your Biggest Roadblock to Following Your Passion?

I’m off to go spend the weekend in Long Beach with my wife, where we had our first date seeing Death Cab For Cutie. Working on this launch has been awesome, but it’s time for a much needed break!

If you’ve been watching what’s happening here, you’ve noticed that a lot of people are dissatisfied with the current paradigm of working and want something more meaningful.

The amount of comments and outreach has been really heart warming to me.

Now, I would like to reciprocate that and answer any questions you have about getting paid to exist, and creating a business from your passion.

In the next video I’ll be releasing I’ll be answering as many questions and concerns as possible that you might have. So, I want to know…

What are your biggest roadblocks or concerns when it comes to creating an income doing something you love? What questions would you like me to answer?

Leave a comment down below and I’ll answer them in my next video.

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Comment & Add Your Voice

Michaela September 11, 2010 at 12:26 pm

How do you overcome a fear of failure? And what about getting past the obstacle of doubt in my abilities to “sell”? These things are definitely still holding me back. Thanks!


Jonathan September 13, 2010 at 9:45 am

These are great questions Michaela, and I know they’re ones that a lot of people struggle with. I’ll be covering them in the video, stay tuned!

Yuri September 11, 2010 at 12:30 pm

First of all, Jonathan, thanks for your awesome work in helping others achieve their dreams!

To me the biggest problem yet is actually to determine what exactly I am going to do to make a difference.

I’ve applied the ‘Secret weapon’ technique from your second video and came up with several activities I would like to pursue to make a living. It turned out rather difficult to think up ones that would match both criterions of me being excited about them and providing value to other people. Either I was excited about them but they would not be of any value or they would but the topic is too narrow to be sustainable. I haven’t yet found an activity general enough to be sustainable and at the same time focused enough in order not to be exceedingly general.

I’ve also written out a list of my strengths but haven’t yet found an efficient way to combine them with the passions.

Still I hope for the best — you say this is most crucial and may not be evident in a day, and I’m inclined to believe it. So I’m trying to find new combinations, someday it will click :)

Apart from this very personal part everything else is pretty clear, I’ve even made a mindmap based on the video to put everything in order.

Thanks for sharing all of that information, it’s really like a goldmine!


Jonathan September 13, 2010 at 9:44 am

Thanks for sharing Yuri, it looks like you don’t have a questions so much as you’re just incubating and nourishing the seed, waiting for it to take root. If you keep tending the soil, it will come, it’s just a matter of time.

Jonathan Ziemba September 11, 2010 at 12:30 pm

How does one go from thinking to knowing success is possible? With so much proof all around us making failure the norm, how can we leave this mindset behind.


Jonathan September 13, 2010 at 9:43 am

That’s a great question Jonathan, I’ll definitely cover this in the video.

Stefan September 11, 2010 at 12:53 pm

Hi Jonathan!

My biggest obstacle is that my passion does not offer any possibilities in order to create an “offer”. I’ve seen your roadmap but it will not work for my special situation :-(.

I will never become rich with my passion – and that is ok. But in my passion it’s possible to work in something like a “job” but it requires LOTS of work and time before you will get paid there (I am speaking of years unpaid).

And lots of work & time requirement doesn’t go so well with needing to earn a living somewhere else :-(.


Stefan September 11, 2010 at 12:54 pm

PS: To make it short… how do you earn money with your passion if it does neither allow teaching something nor being a service?


Jonathan September 13, 2010 at 9:43 am

I’m not sure exactly what you mean Stefan. If you could clarify or give an example, I think I could better answer your question.

Justin Beckett September 11, 2010 at 1:23 pm

My biggest obstacle/roadblock/doubt in my mind is that my job and commuting 4 hrs a day to work, equaling 13 hr days of work…with 3 tiring hrs at night to focus on my dreams. And the fear of quitting my job and not making enough money, being stuck at my parents house…in a area I am not happy with.


Jonathan September 13, 2010 at 9:49 am

Those are really serious fears Justin. I think it’s definitely possible to change your situation to create more time for the things you love. It’s just a matter of you taking control.

Cle Buckley September 11, 2010 at 1:28 pm

My biggest roadblock is myself and my fears. I have lived with this 8a-5p for so long that I have become quite comfortable with the steady income. BUT I feel totally unfulfilled and quite unhappy with what I am doing and where I am working. So, getting past my own fear of failure and not being able to take care of myself is the biggest obstacle.


Jonathan September 13, 2010 at 9:49 am

That’s a big obstacle Cle, and it’s one you share with a lot of others. I’ll be talking about this in the video.

fdjaudinesjr September 11, 2010 at 1:54 pm

Right now i have this dilemma, i have passion for open source softwares (i.e. Linux, BSDs, Ruby/Rails). I like to advocate, teach, deploy, share my knowledge, and do research on them. But then i have this hunger for personal development/growth. I like reading books/online resources and try to learn lessons which i can use in my own personal improvement. I’d love to share them as well, but i’m not confident enough that i can make a living out of it. Because i’m still on my own rut even though i’ve learned a lot of lessons.

I’m passionate on both, but concerned that i’m spreading my focus on them and might give me average results.

What should i do?


Jonathan September 13, 2010 at 9:50 am

Maybe you don’t have to choose either? Maybe there’s a way where your passions intersect and you can set yourself apart by blending the two?

Jeanie September 11, 2010 at 2:09 pm

Roadblocks to my location independent business so far:

1) Learning curve on internet marketing, domain names, monetizing, copywriting, wordpress/plugins, aweber newsletters, etc. AND I don’t have the $$ to outsource it.

2) Fear of sounding stupid–I want my content to be valuable and COMPELLING! Maybe I should just DO it, like so many people I love say. (Corbett Barr, Karol Gajda, Chris Guillebeau, Ashley Ambirge, David Damron, you)

3) Sifting through mounds of crap on the internet to get to the gems.

I need to make your pickles. Sweet, dill, or bread n’ butter? I can use beet sugar in the apple butter to make it vegan if you want.

I hope you and your lovely wife have a fabulous time!


Jonathan September 13, 2010 at 9:52 am

LOL, I’ll take the bread n’ butter Jeanie. My mouth is watering already.

These are some serious concerns. I’m sure that Paid to Exist will address many of them for you.

Matt Willard September 11, 2010 at 2:41 pm

I’d personally like to know more ways to make sure what I offer is interesting, potentially beyond fulfilling needs or wants. I don’t really “teach”, per se – I’m an entertainer and that’s what I prefer doing. I’m always looking for ways to make my work stand out as a result.


Jonathan September 13, 2010 at 9:53 am

I think it’s typical for people to classify “entertainment” as not having a specific offer that satisfies needs or wants. But I don’t think that is really the case at all. There are many emotional benefits to be gained through entertainment, and there’s a lot of deep-seated motivations for buying entertainment. It’s just a matter of getting into the minds and hearts of your audience to figure out what those things are, and then tailoring your stuff around it.

Jarrod September 11, 2010 at 4:03 pm

Getting out there and getting noticed in the sea of other people doing the same. I’m currently writing an ebook, then I’ll be focusing on guest posts. What else can I do to get noticed?

Then the next step on from that is how to build trust with people who may have only just arrived on your website?

Thanks Jonathan,


Jonathan September 13, 2010 at 9:59 am

That’s a great question Jarrod, and there are a lot of ways to build trust with your readers. Testimonials, sharing your story (what you’ve accomplished), and social proof (where you’ve been published / featured) are great ways to start building trust.

Cindy September 11, 2010 at 4:36 pm

My biggest roadblocks are paying for rent and health insurance. There’s also that issue about not knowing what my passion is. I like programming, but I don’t know what I want to do with it yet.

I’m working on these by saving, but it’d be nice to a good figure on how much insuring myself is. I guess I also need to figure out a solid plan to find out what my passion is.


Jonathan September 13, 2010 at 10:00 am

Hey Cindy,

Those are certainly things you’re going to need to sort out. A good place to start would be by signing up for my free PDF “Seven Keys to Discovering Your Passion.”

As for the insurance, I recommend checking out Charlie Gilkey’s Freelance Guide:


Claire September 11, 2010 at 5:32 pm

My biggest roadblock?



Jonathan September 13, 2010 at 10:01 am

That’s a big one Claire. Let’s figure out how we can turn doubt on its head to use it to our benefit.

CJ September 11, 2010 at 7:15 pm

My biggest roadblocks are finding the time to devote to pursuing my passions, whether the demand signal for what I have to offer is large enough, and my own self-consciousness and insecurity in my talents. I’ve been an employee my entire adult life, so to take a leap of faith toward my calling, with no safety net, scares the hell out of me sometimes.


Jonathan September 13, 2010 at 10:03 am

CJ, you’ve put it very eloquently. There is no safety net when you live deliberately, on your own terms, and it’s precisely because you’re the one that calls the shots. If there is a safety net, it’s in your ownership of your life.

Mj September 11, 2010 at 7:35 pm

I have no idea what my passion is. I have yet to find that thing that I would be willing to do no matter what.


Jonathan September 13, 2010 at 10:17 am

Hey Mj, I recommend you signup for my newsletter to get the Seven Keys to Discovering Your Passion PDF. Or if you’d like to just email me at jonathan@paidtoexist2.loc I can send it to you.

Mindfulmimi September 11, 2010 at 11:54 pm

I think there are many roadblocks, the mots important ones being fear, procrastination, worrying about what others may think, perfection etc…
I tend to follow Seth Godin’s advice and SHIP.
Havé a look at my latest ‘shipment’, a global art project collecting people’s passions.
I’d love for yours to be part of it.


Jonathan September 13, 2010 at 10:17 am

This looks awesome Mimi. I’d love to check it out.

Steph September 12, 2010 at 1:35 am

Me! Rather my ego. Fear of taking risks, wanting the outcome I think I want rather than the outcome I need.

Wanting the quick result and giving up or feeling disappointed when I don’t get it.

Reading inspirational quotes or trainings, feeling fired up and then the passion diminishes. Where did it go?


Jonathan September 13, 2010 at 10:18 am

Aww, this is a big one Steph. It’s about getting sustainable inspiration, not just fleeting feelings of “pumped up” motivation. I’ll talk about this in the video.

Lindsey September 12, 2010 at 5:53 am

Not knowing anyone IRL who can help and feeling like a complete fool for trying to explain why I’m choosing to be unemployed. And not having money to safely invest.


Jonathan September 13, 2010 at 10:18 am

That can be really tough Lindsey, I’ll talk about creating a support group in the video.

Evelyn September 12, 2010 at 6:55 am

For me, it’s all about fear. Leaving a life that is secure but not fulfilling and thinking that I am crazy to think there could be another way. My lovely mother’s voice is in my head”Evelyn youare NEVER satisfied”. Why is that?


Jonathan September 13, 2010 at 10:19 am

You’ve let someone else dictate your happiness by looking to them for approval. But there is no way to ever be happy that way. In order to change it you have to stop caring about what other people think.

nicole September 12, 2010 at 8:27 am


fear of failing.
fear of not being good enough.
fear it won’t pay the bills.


Dave Ursillo, DaveUrsillo.com September 12, 2010 at 8:41 am

My biggest roadblock is exposure. I blog quality content twice a week, promote on social networks, personally forge a network of readers, engage in conversation on my blog and similar blogs, and as a result have a strong and growing readership, but I’m questioning how to help grow it at a faster pace.


sylvia September 12, 2010 at 2:49 pm

I’d love to say that my roadbloack was one that I could be “inspired” out of. Sure I have doubts and fears, and all that, but what I really need is something more concrete.


I can’t see beyond this. I am a broke and unemployed 20-something living with my parents. EVERY STEP I feel I need to take to set my dreams in motion, to get behind my passions and chase them requires a buck.

(Alternatively, if ‘money’ seems too cliche, I’d say what I’m lacking is resources, particularly a place to work and the tools to do it.)

Fajr September 12, 2010 at 1:41 pm

My biggest roadblock would be money or feeling like I need a safety net (emergency fund) before I can begin. How do you start without having that safety net to fall back on?


Jonathan September 13, 2010 at 10:21 am

Great question Fajr, I’ll talk about this in the video.

Farouk September 13, 2010 at 2:09 am

for me its time restrictions, however i managed to free sometime to do that but i still don’t follow the many passions i have


Paul Sidwell September 13, 2010 at 6:02 am

My biggest roadblock is the transition from knowing to doing. That is an incredible act of faith, and without sufficient resources to preserve my household if I don’t reach immediate success, I am really tepid about making this jump. I’m also in school, so I want to continue that effort so that I learn what I am looking for there.


Zachary September 13, 2010 at 8:17 am

My biggest obstical holding me back is that I have medical benefits at my job now (that I hate). It wouldn’t be such a problems but a few years back I was diagnosed with MS. It’s very mild so I don’t have any problems but in order to ge medicine continually I must be insured. What do you suggest?


Celeste September 13, 2010 at 9:54 am

My biggest concern is time. I have a full time job and a 2 hour round trip commute. For various reasons I can not take public transportation to work, I have to actually drive. This results in 11 hours of 5 days of my week being consumed by work and then I still need to do everything else to take care of myself and my home in my remaining time. How do I find more time?


Preeti @ Heart and Mind September 13, 2010 at 10:12 pm

My biggest roadblock is not having enough time to follow everything I want to do, having 2 little kids does not make it easy to do other things that other people can easily.


wilson usman January 4, 2011 at 7:37 pm

I think for me the biggest problem was actually figuring out what I was good at, then later the problem with in-action or procrastination, basically not shipping you know what I mean right?


RickLavoie October 24, 2011 at 10:36 am

Fear of failure. Fear of the work not being good. Fear of rejection. And Fear


kathleenchamp January 3, 2012 at 5:26 pm

My roadblock is not knowing what path to pick and feeling inadequate to follow any of them. It feels like there are so many options out there and that there is always an expert or two already for each one, backed up by the traditional feeling of ‘Why would anyone want to listen to/buy things from me? What good can I bring to others?” Then there’s always the comfort of your current situation and the fear of change/risk… though I think I use them as excuses to stay comfortable.


tbykava January 17, 2012 at 6:16 am

fear of not knowing enough about the field to start “flying solo” (and how do I known the moment is right) – or even worse – fear of becoming yet another “guru” with huge ego and not much to say


Jonathan September 13, 2010 at 10:20 am

This is really important. I’ll talk about tapping into your resources in the video.


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