1. the zero hour workweekContentsINTRODUCTION: WHAT IS THIS ALL ABOUT?PART ONE: MY STORY OF LIBERATIONPART two: my journey to getting paid to be mePART THREE: ZERO HOUR CASE STUDIESPART four: FINDING YOUR “PAID TO exist” SECRET WEAPONCLOSING: THE WORLD NEEDS YOU TO DO WHAT YOU LOVEUNCOPYRIGHT NOTICEThis ebook is Uncopyrighted. Feel free to steal it, copy it, or post it on your blog.
2. illuminatedmind.net | twitter: @jonathanmead3the zero hour workweekINTRODUCTIONWHAT IS THIS ALLABOUT?Is it possible to get paid to exist? To live in a way whereyou can’t tell the difference between when you’reworking and when you’re playing?For a long time, I searched for the answer to thisquestion. And as I searched, it didn’t seem many peoplewere on my side. Some people believed it was possibleto do what you love, but that meant you had to be brokeor a starving artist. Some believed that it was a lifereserved for the rich minority. And some believed it wasonly possible for people born with natural genius orprodigal talent.But most people just believed it was silly. You’re justsupposed to accept that work is something you have todo and that you don’t like.Well, I found out something interesting. Just becausemost people believed that work was meant to be a chore,didn’t make it a fact.It was really an agreement.So I decided to stop agreeing, and see what happened.What I found is that most of our ideas of what we thinkto be true, are really assumptions. If you test thoseassumptions, you’ll probably find out something evenmore interesting. You can choose to design your life inwhatever way you see fit. YOU make the agreement.In other words, yes, it is possible to get paid to exist. Yes,it is possible to get paid to be who you are. I know it is,
3. illuminatedmind.net | twitter: @jonathanmead4the zero hour workweekbecause I’ve done it.But what is “getting paid to exist?” What does that evenmean?Do I mean getting paid to just be alive? To sit on a couchall day and watch reruns of Seinfeld? Or to lay on abeach, drinking martinis while rubing cocoa butter allover your body?No, that’s not what Imean. And honestly,while that mightbe fun for a coupleof weeks, you’dprobably get bored with that after a while.You’d probably want something more. You’d probablywant to make a difference and give other people somekind of value. AND you would want to do it in a way thatmakes you come alive, makes you excited, and allowsyou to do the things you’re naturally good at.That is what Getting Paid to Exist is all about. It’s aboutgetting paid to be who you are by leveraging yourunique strengths, doing what you love, and finding a wayto channel that so you can provide value to others whileyou’re doing it.I found out a way to dothis for myself, only afterI tested my assumptionsabout what I thought waspossible and what was not.But it wasn’t easy.See, I knew that this is what I wanted, but I didn’t thinkit was possible. I grew up with the idea that work wassupposed to be a grim duty of paying your dues and“I knew that this is what I wanted, but I didn’tthink it was possible. I grew up with the ideathat work was supposed to be a chore.
4. illuminatedmind.net | twitter: @jonathanmead5the zero hour workweek“sucking it up.”It turns out, not only was that complete bullshit, butliving your life like that is actually a slap in the face tolife itself.If there is any purpose to life, isn’t it to enjoy it? Isn’tthat the ultimate goal of everything you do?So, wouldn’t it make much more sense to bypasssuffering now (“work”) for happiness later (“living”)?Wouldn’t it be much nicer if we could just eliminate theproblem of “work/life balance?” Wouldn’t it be nice ifyou couldn’t tell the difference between when you’re“working” and when you’re “playing?”I personally can no longer tell the difference.I don’t feel a difference between my work on the onehand and “the rest of my life” on the other. I don’t countdown the time to five o’clock. I don’t dread Mondays andI never feel that my weekend was too short.If this sounds interesting to you, I’d like to show you howI created a life where I “get paid to be me.” I’ll bring youbehind the scenes, tell you my personal story, and giveyou a blueprint for how you can do the same in your life.Your journey will obviously be a little different thanmine. That’s OK. While I think modeling others andmentorship is a way to fast-track success, I know that it’sequally important to live on your own terms. That’s thewhole point of getting paid to exist, anyway. It’s yourgame. You design it and you decide how it’s played.
5. illuminatedmind.net | twitter: @jonathanmead6the zero hour workweekWith that in mind, getting paid to exist is just as much ofan art as it is a science. I feel that it’s best described byMr. Michener:The master in the art of livingdraws no sharp distinction betweenhis labor and his leisure,his mind and his body,his work and his play,his education and his recreation.He hardly knows which.He simply pursues his vision of excellencethrough whatever he is doingand leaves others to determinewhether his is working or playing.To himself, he is always doing both.—James A. MichenerSo we’re going to take a look at what this “working whileplaying” looks like.But first, I’d like to tell you my story.
6. illuminatedmind.net | twitter: @jonathanmead7the zero hour workweekPART ONEMY STORYThroughout my life, I’ve always had an issue with doingthings based on someone else’s idea of how I should dothem. I’ve never been one to like rules, authority, andconventions that are not meant to be questioned.I grew up in a very fundamentalist home in rural Idaho,and my parents were very conservative. We went tochurch on Sundays in the family station wagon. I wentto public schools, and had a typical childhood. I tried tofollow the rules and live the way I was told.As I was growing up, I often didn’t understand a lot ofwhat the grown-ups taught. I didn’t get it, so I would askthem about it. I wanted to know why. But most of thetime they didn’t have an answer. They would say “that’sthe way it is” or “because it’s made that way.”Somewhere in me I realized that that was false. It didn’tsatisfy my curiosity. So I would ask “Why is it that way?”and I’d keep asking why when their answers didn’tsatisfy me. This eventually led to the adult becomingfrustrated and telling me that I was too quizzical. I wasleft with a guilty feeling that something was wrong withme for being so curious. I didn’t accept things the wayeveryone else did.I felt like I didn’t “get it.” Maybe when I was older I’dunderstand. Maybe I wasn’t smart enough.But I still wondered.I wondered why my parents hated their jobs. I wonderedwhy people followed rules that didn’t make sense. I
7. illuminatedmind.net | twitter: @jonathanmead8the zero hour workweekwondered why the schools wouldn’t let me learn what Iwanted to learn.I wondered lots of things. But more than anything, Iwondered why people had to become “responsible.”Domestication andResponsibilityIt seems there’s a certain point, somewhere around theage eighteen to twenty, that people need to start “beingresponsible.” It’s not about fun anymore, it’s about beingresponsible. In other words, it’s time to stop having funand start being serious. It’s time to get a job and stopscrewing around.I never understood that. Why couldn’t work be fun? Whydid the work you have to do to survive have to make youunhappy? Wouldn’t it be easier to just not participate inthat?For a long time I didn’t know it was possible to stopparticipating. I didn’t realize that I could choose that, orsomething different.That was until I started testing this convention: thecultural concensus that work must not be funI don’t care where you’re born or what kind ofupbringing you’ve had. All of us, on some level oranother, have been influenced by this mammothcollective assumption. Despite our pre-domesticatedinner conviction that work is meant to be sacred, wecan’t help but be subdued when pushed up against thissocial vortex.Not only can we not help but be sucked in, we can’t helpbut feel guilty for our desire to want to experience workthat is meaningful, fulfilling, and a joy to engage in.That feeling of guilt never sat well with me; something
8. illuminatedmind.net | twitter: @jonathanmead9the zero hour workweekabout it smelled fake. But years of domestication is hardto break.Mind-renting, here I comeSo after I was lovingly kicked out by my mother’sboyfriend at the tender age of sixteen, I beganfaithfully fulfilling my duty of “paying my dues.” I firstrented myself out to fast-food chains and data entrysweatshops.Then I moved up in the world and got a job as a fileclerk (or file hell liason, a description I found muchmore precise). After a couple of years of mind-blowingexcitement handling construction contract files, Ifinally got a job I was “supposed to like.” I found a jobin a multimedia department, managing an employeerecognition program.I have to admit, this was not a bad job. Managing aprogram where coworkers are recognizing each otherfor the great work they do is not a bad thing to wake upto. I was constantly surrounded by positive feedback, assomeone whose job was to spread the word about thegreat work people do. I imagine I had it good comparedto some other HR and PR positions that dealt withconstantly putting out fires.Even though sometimes I really enjoyed this job, Iknew I was still renting out my mind. I was still lettingsomeone else dictate how my energy was channeled.Someone else held the remote.Now, you might argue that getting a check every twoweeks warrants letting someone else control thatremote. But I always felt that there was a better choiceout there.Notice that keyword there... choice.
9. illuminatedmind.net | twitter: @jonathanmead10the zero hour workweekYou can choose to rent out your mind, or you can find away to reclaim ownership of it.So, the question is: How can we afford to buy back ourown time? How can we pay ourselves to exist so wedon’t have to accept a check from someone else?Obviously, you have to eat, and you need a roof overyour head. And you have to have a source of incometo pay for it. The problem arises when you realize thateveryone else has an idea of what you should be doingwith your time. In other words: if you don’t choose apurpose, someone else probably has one for you.I realized that it’s not that hard to pay yourself to bewho you are. As soon as I chose a purpose for myself, itbecame easy for me to see all the ways I could providevalue to others while following it.You have to choose your purpose. You have to choosethe way you contribute value that is meaningful toothers. You have to find a way to pay yourself for thevalue you share.My path is just one pathYour path will be different. My path is just one path.But you can use me and the other people I’ve featuredin this ebook as an example to work out your ownblueprint for making the transition to owning your owntime.Whatever you do, do not read this and look for excuseswhy this is not possible for you.It is possible for you.But you have to take action. Learning and reading isabsolutely necessary, but only up to a point.
10. illuminatedmind.net | twitter: @jonathanmead11the zero hour workweekI want to help you make the change you want inyour life. Please don’t read this as entertainment. Dosomething with it.Because if you don’t implement, nothing will change.No action, no results.The perfect time will not come. It never does.Paths are made by walking.
11. illuminatedmind.net | twitter: @jonathanmead12the zero hour workweekPART two:MY JOURNEYTO GETTINGPAID TO BE MEA lot of people ask me how I’ve been able to achievesuccess online in the amount of time I have. While I’mvery grateful to have aqcuired the success I’ve had, mostof it has come through the mindset and strategies I’veadopted, not the specific tactics.With these strategies I’ve managed to build a blog withover 10,000 subscribers, create a full-time incomeonline, and get a regular writing spot for a top 50 blog(ZenHabits.net).What follows are the strategies I employed to get paid tobe me, that had the greatest impact.1. Creating a clear,remarkable message.This is really where you have to start, and the corefoundation that everything else is built upon. If youskimp and build a shallow foundation, everything elsecrumbles. So it’s worth spending a good deal of timethinking about this, getting clarity about your messageand what makes it remarkable.A remarkable message that people can rally behindinvolves a few key ingredients:• You are deeply passionate about it.• It involves creating some kind of change, or anideal that people are passionate about.
12. illuminatedmind.net | twitter: @jonathanmead13the zero hour workweek• It is remarkable, unique, and easily sharable withothers.On Illuminated Mind, my message is: To create a socialmovement based on authentic action; a revolution ofpeople living on their own terms.This is my core message, and it’s something others andmyself are deeply passionate about. It’s an idea that’sremarkable so it’s easy for other people to get excitedabout it and want to share it with others.It took me a while to really get clear about this message,so don’t feel like you have to figure this out overnight. Itwill take some time, but the best thing you can do is toplant the seeds right now for thinking about what yourcore message will be.Ask yourself these questions:• What makes me come alive?• What kind of change do I want to see happen inthe world?• What type of people do I most resonate with?How can I speak to them?• What are the connecting elements between meand the people I want to reach?• How can I define what the goal of my work is interms of a revolution or a social movement?The biggest benefit about having an incredibly clearand remarkable message is that it allows the peoplethat resonate with your cause to connect with you moreeasily.
13. illuminatedmind.net | twitter: @jonathanmead14the zero hour workweekWithout that, you leave people guessing or trying tofigure it out for themselves. You don’t want people tohave to decipher or decode the purpose of your website.It should be clear within 30 seconds what you’re aboutand the core themes behind everything you do.GO FURTHER: Check out How to Start a Revolutionand Creating a Legacy Project.2. Tapping into bloggingand social media to leada tribe of passionatepeople.Targeting my message to the people that I most resonatewith has been one of the biggest keys to my success.Before I did that, I tried to speak to everyone, and guesswhat happened? No one listened. When you direct yourmessage to your tribe, on the other hand, you make themfeel special. They instantly connect with you becausethey know you are speaking to them.What is a tribe?A tribe is a group of people who are insanely interestedin a particular subject, topic, or thing. The more cult-likethe following, the more powerful the tribe is.Around every particular field, there will be a tribe that ishighly interested in its study.A few examples of tribes:• Productivity geeks that constantly tweak theirGTD systems.• Hells Angels.
14. illuminatedmind.net | twitter: @jonathanmead15the zero hour workweek• Football fans that paint their faces and go toevery game.• Sci-fi fans that practice “The Force” as a religion.• Martial arts practitioners that painstakingly honetheir skills.These are just a few examples of tribes, and chances arethere will probably be a tribe surrounding your passion,whether it’s knitting, interior design, or travel writing.Your job is to connect with the people in your field thatare insanely enthusiastic about what they do.Before we get into how to connect with your tribe, let’sanswer a couple of questions:1. Why insanely interested?The people that are insanely interested in your topic orpassion are the most likely to spread your ideas. Theyare the ones that talk most about it; they are the oneslooking for more information and better information.They want to know everything there is to know about itand be completely immersed in it. Naturally, if they likethe stuff you’re doing, they will be likely to share it withothers.2. Why do I want to connect with a tribe?The answer to this question should be slightly obvious,because there is a common interest, but so many peopledo the opposite. They try to mass blanket their messageto everyone and try to make connections with people incompletely unrelated fields.Think about it, who would you be more likely to want
15. illuminatedmind.net | twitter: @jonathanmead16the zero hour workweekto build a relationship with and help? The person thathas the same interests, values, and goals as you, or theperson that you kind of like, but has none of the sameinterests, none of the same goals or ambitions?Obviously, you would choose the first person. They’repeople that you want to have relationships withbecause like them, you respect them, and you havefun interacting with them. But not only are they fun tointeract with, they’re the people that will spread yourmessage like wildfire.So how do you find thesepeople?There are a potentially endless number of ways you cango about doing this, but the two that have been the mostpowerful for me are: Blogging and Twitter.The power of bloggingBlogging naturally helps you connect with people inyour tribe because you create a platform to continuallyshare and expand on your message. Every time youwrite, you give your fans a chance to share your writingwith other people in your tribe that they know.There are tons of other reasons for having a blog whichwe won’t get into here, but let’s just say that bloggingis one of the best ways to build relationships. You giveaway free content and free advice, and in return, buildrelationships. You can build that trust to offer a servicelike coaching or consulting, or you can use it to sell aproduct.Blogging also allows you to demonstrate your expertise.Through means such as comments, subscribers, and fans,blogging also helps you establish “social proof.” Whatthat means is that once people see a history of yourarticles, comments, links, and the places you’ve been
16. illuminatedmind.net | twitter: @jonathanmead17the zero hour workweekpublished, it establishes credibility.Not only does blogging help you form relationships, itis one of the best ways to show someone that you knowyour stuff before they buy from you.The side-benefit of blogging is that it helps you grow.Every time you write an article, you’re forced to gain agreater clarity and holistic understanding of the topicyou’re writing about. When you have to put what you’reteaching into words, you’re not only teaching others,you’re teaching yourself.Why Twitter is changingeverythingIf you’re in the “conversation,” then you know thatTwitter is completely changing the way we work andconnect. It’s easier than ever to connect with and findthe people in your tribe by using Twitter.Twitter is especially awesome because it breaks throughthe normal barriers of starting conversations. SinceTwitter is created for the purpose of conversation,it eliminates the normal barriers to entry you wouldotherwise experience. I’ve had conversations withCEOs, thought leaders, best-selling authors, and A-Listbloggers on Twitter that would have normally beennearly impossible to reach through conventionalmethods of communication.Here are a few ways you can get started connecting withpeople in your tribe.1. Follow keywordsGo to Twitter Pulse and type in the keywords you’relooking for. If you’re a martial arts teacher looking toconnect with other martial artists, an obvious keywordto track would be “martial arts.” But you can also searchfor overlapping niches like fitness, self development,
17. illuminatedmind.net | twitter: @jonathanmead18the zero hour workweekand health. Once you set this up, you’ll be notifiedhowever often you want about tweets that contain yourkeywords. Now you can start joining the conversationwith people that are passionate about your topic.2. Use a Twitter directoryDirectories like WeFollow.com and Twellow.com arebecoming increasingly popular for listing yourselfunder certain topics and finding others with the sameinterests. Check out people’s profiles you see talkingabout your topic, follow them and start conversationswith them. Especially look for people with largenumbers of followers. Try to connect with these peopleand study the way they use Twitter.Take advantage of these services for listing yourself andfinding others, but know that this is only one possibility.3. Ask people to connect youThis strategy is so simple and effective that I’m amazedmore people don’t use it. I regularly ask people onTwitter to connect me with other people they think Iwould like to follow or would find value from. I’ve founda lot of cool, helpful, and interesting people this way. It’sincredibly easy to build relationships using this simpletechnique.3. Ruthlessly prioritizingbased on highest leverageactivities.If you want to create freedom and get paid to exist, youhave to focus your energy and attention on tasks thatare going to have the highest impact.In case you were wondering... checking email, sitestats, and spending hours reading blog posts are not
18. illuminatedmind.net | twitter: @jonathanmead19the zero hour workweekhigh leverage activities.In the age of the internet and the many communicationtools we have available to us, it’s easy to get distracted.We can spend hours or days doing things that keep us“busy,” but at the end of the day, we don’t have much toshow for ourselves.Two things have helped me solve this problem morethan anything:• Creating a list of my highest leverage tasks, anddeliberately choosing what I’m going to work oneach day.• Being a part of an accountability/mastermindgroup.I believe that consciously and deliberately selectingyour focus is the most powerful tool in creating thesuccess you want.Every project that I choose, I make sure that I evaluatewhether or not it will have a high return on investmentbefore I start on it. I meet with a group of entrepreneurseach week where we help each other choose our singlehighest leverage task for the week, and keep each otheraccountable for following through.I highly recommend that you do these two things. Ifyou can’t find an existing accountability group, you caneasily create one. Ask a few highly motivated peoplethat you know to meet with you each week at a specifictime. Each of you can hold each other accountable fordoing the tasks you agree to. Do whatever it takes tomake it easy for the other people. Offer to setup themeetings, send out the invites, and reminders.Each week, take turns discussing each member’shighest leverage task and what each person did the
19. illuminatedmind.net | twitter: @jonathanmead20the zero hour workweekprevious week. Make sure that the tasks you choose aredemonstrable, or that you can offer some kind of proofthat you did what you said you would. If you do justthis one thing, I guarantee that your rate of followingthrough will skyrocket.4. Throwing away all ofthe “good ideas.”When I first started writing, I would write a blog postabout every idea that came to me. I would save all of myso-called “good ideas” and make sure that I never letany of them get away from me.Now I’ve learned in order to be remarkable (worthtalking about), I need to throw away the majority of mygood ideas, and only keep the truly exceptional ones. Imay have 30 or 40 ideas in my Google document titled“blost post ideas,” but only two or three will actually bepublished.When I decide to write about something, I ask myselfone or more of these questions:• Is this something that people would want toshare with others?• Are people desperate to know more about this?Or is everyone else already talking about it?• If everyone else is talking about it, can I offer aunique or unconventional angle?• Is anything about this contrarian, uncommon, orcounterintuitive (my core writing themes)?• Does it align with and build upon my coremessage?
20. illuminatedmind.net | twitter: @jonathanmead21the zero hour workweekIf an idea doesn’t meet this criteria, I simply do notwrite about it. I don’t have time to work on averagestuff, because I know that no one wants to read averagecontent. (I certainly don’t.)I think of this mantra whenever I write: If I’m not beingremarkable, I’m contributing to the noise.I want people to be insanely interested in my writing. If Iam not insanely interested in it, how can I expect otherpeople to be?GOFURTHER: Read: How to Create a Highly Viral Blog.5. Build meaningful, win/win relationships (andhelp other people get whatthey want).There is no way I could have achieved the success I havetoday without all the help and support I have receivedalong the way.This support has come from people that have muchmore experience and success than me (“big people”),those that are at or around my level, and those juststarting out. All of them are important in building yourbrand and creating a following.Here’s what you need to remember: No one is “too big”for you to build a relationship with, and no one is “toolittle,” either.When building relationships with others here are the
21. illuminatedmind.net | twitter: @jonathanmead22the zero hour workweekkeys:• You have some type of overlapping audience andfollower-base.• You have similar interests, goals, and directions.• You are both highly passionate about andmotivated toward long-term success.• You are able to help them get what they want.I’ve also built relationships with people that othersprobably thought were “too inexperienced.” But I sawwhat they didn’t see: they were highly motivated,passionate, and willing to work hard. I knew that theywould gain influence quickly and I could see that theywere dedicated and not going to “disappear” tomorrowwhen they didn’t achieve overnight success.I knew that while these people might not be influentialnow, it was just a matter of time before they became bigstars. It makes sense to help these people, because theywill remember it. You can try to help a lot of big names,but more often than not, you will be seen as just anotherperson vying for their attention.To avoid that, the best thing way to connect with busy,successful people is to:• Respect their time. Know what you want to sayand make sure you say it clearly and succinctly.• Bypass clogged communication channels. Emailand Facebook are probably the most cloggedchannels. Try connecting in a different way, maybeon Twitter first, then build the intimacy of theconversation to Skype, phone, or an in-personmeetup.
22. illuminatedmind.net | twitter: @jonathanmead23the zero hour workweek• If you have mutual connections, ask for anintroduction.• Try to find a backdoor or uncommon sharedinterest. I receive a lot of communications everyday through email and Twitter, and a lot of themI don’t pay much attention to because I don’tresonate with that person. But if I knew if they hadan uncommon shared interest with me, say, rawfood-ism or Jeet Kune Do, then I would be morelikely to want to connect with that person.• Offer some kind of value to that person, and havea genuine desire for connecting. Don’t just seekrelationships because you want to get somethingfrom someone.Ultimately, you should seek to connect and buildrelationships with people that are around your level orhigher, so you know you will be encouraged to grow. Butdon’t underestimate rising stars either, and those thatare just starting out on their path. They will often turnout to become your biggest fans and greatest support.GO FURTHER: Read How to Make Deals with BigShots in Less Than Ten Minutes by Laura Roeder.6. Do what I want whilegiving people what theywant.This is really what it all comes down to, and is prettymuch where everything else comes together. If you can’tdo what you want, while providing value to others, youcan’t make a profit and you can’t actually get paid to dowhat you love.So in order to get paid to exist, you have to do
23. illuminatedmind.net | twitter: @jonathanmead24the zero hour workweeksomething you absolutely love and find a way to providevalue to others while you’re doing it.That might mean delivering that value in the form of:• An ebook• Membership site or continuity program• Video training• Live workshops• Teleseminars• A physical product• Consulting• CoachingThese are just a few possibilities, but this is the way youdeliver the value, not the actual value you deliver.So you ultimately need to figure out what peopledesperately want or need.This is a combination of what you’re interested in, andwhat your fans are desperately seeking. In other words,it’s about identifying a gap. You want to find those gapsand fill them.There might be a gap in information, education, oradvice. There might be a gap in the way a product isdelivered. Or there might be a gap because there isalready a product, but it’s not being marketed in a waythat speaks to your audience. If you can do a better jobspeaking to your audience and building trust, you willconsistently win their favor.
24. illuminatedmind.net | twitter: @jonathanmead25the zero hour workweekHow do you know what yourfollowers want?Here are a few suggestions for getting to know whatyour followers want (instead of trying to read theirminds):• Create a survey with open ended questions like“What’s your biggest question about [your topic]”and “What your biggest frustration about [yourtopic]”• If you have an idea for a product, write about thetopic on your blog first and gauge the reaction.If you don’t have a big following, try borrowingsomeone else’s blog (guest posting) or poll apopular forum or community.• Ask how people feel about your idea on Twitter,Facebook, or your social media outlet of choice.Pay attention the response you get.It’s really that simple. Ask people what they want, andthen give it to them.But most people do the perfect opposite. They try to“read their customer’s mind” and decide what thecustomer wants because they’re supposed to be the“expert.”This is exactly what you don’t want to do. Even if youthink you know exactly what your customer needs (andyou may be right), ask them anyway. Then you’ll knowfor sure, and you’ll know that you’ve made the salebefore you’ve made the product.That’s what I (unknowingly) did before I started writingmy ebook Reclaim Your Dreams — An Uncommon Guideto Living on Your Own Terms. I had been wanting to writean ebook to sell on my blog for a long time. So when I
25. illuminatedmind.net | twitter: @jonathanmead26the zero hour workweekcame up with the idea about reclaiming your dreams, Ithought it would be something a lot of people would beinterested in. But before I wrote it, I wanted to make surethe interest was there, so I decided to write a series onliving your dreams first. The series was a huge success,especially the post The Number One Dream Killer: DoingWhat Works.Once I noticed that there was an interest, I decide to pollmy readers. I asked them: “What’s the biggest obstaclefor you in making your dreams a reality?” After receivingnearly a hundred responses I decided that there wasdefinitely an interest. And it also seemed like there was ahuge demand (gap) that wasn’t being met.I tested the demand before I wrote the ebook, and itpayed off. Reclaim Your Dreams continues to be a strongseller and the revenue from it still makes up over a thirdof my income.I actually did this half on accident. I didn’t know aboutcreating surveys and asking targeted open-endedquestions. I was lucky to at least have the intuition tonotice that I got a good response and that creating anebook about this was a good idea.Now imagine what you can do knowing this stuff beforeyou start.Hindsight is 20/20 — Themistakes and lessons Ilearned along the wayWhen I first started my blog, I made the mistake of tryingto speak to everyone. I hadn’t written much in the past,so I wasn’t sure of my voice. Luckily, I realized that inorder for me to set myself apart, I would have to stoptrying to be everything to everyone and hone in on thepeople that most resonated with my message.
26. illuminatedmind.net | twitter: @jonathanmead27the zero hour workweekThe more I wrote and the more encouragement I got, themore I felt empowered to be brazen in my writing and“walk the edges.”If I had to do it all over again, I would have trustedmyself to speak in my own voice in the beginning,instead of trying to copy others and write for everyone.The social media black holeThe other hard lesson I learned was to not waste mytime with social media sites like Digg and Stumbleupon.I tried to joining social networking groups where peoplewould help each other with votes, and I also spent alot of time trying to befriend and gain favor from the“power users.” All of this ended up being a huge wasteof time.Even if I hit the front page of Digg (which I did once)or went popular on StumbleUpon or some other socialvoting site, the quality of traffic was often very poor.The bounce rate was huge (how many people leave yoursite without clicking anywhere else); somewhere around80%, when I was targeting these sites.The main lesson I learned was not to pay too muchattention to traffic and stats. You can have a lot of pageviews, Twitter followers, or RSS subscribers and it couldnot mean much. If they don’t care much about the stuffyou’re doing and are just another bullet point in theirfeed reader. You have no leverage.It’s much better to have a tighter community that isdeeply passionate, than a huge community that iscompletely passive.Now I care much more about the impact that I’m making,rather than the constantly fluctuating stats.
27. illuminatedmind.net | twitter: @jonathanmead28the zero hour workweekMy big, fat, embarrassingmistake; the one 99% ofbloggers make and the reasonthey never quit their jobsWhen I first started my blog, I wanted to becomea “problogger.” I thought I could start a blog, postevery day and within a few months have thousandsof subscribers, make a million dollars a month fromadsense and happily quit my day job.Well, that failed miserably didn’t really work.When most people start blogging with the ambition ofturning it into a means of income (so they can quit theirjob) they have the wrong mindset.Here’s the typical “green blogger” strategy:“If only I can get enough subscribers, enough traffic andenough readers, then I can find a way to turn that trafficinto an income.”This strategy is so backwards to making money, it rarelyever works. With this frame of mind, the goal is to get anenormous amount of subscribers (perhaps 50,000), andtry to convert that popularity into making money.What I call this person is The Blogger Who Attempts toMonetize Traffic.This is not the person that you want to be if you everwant to quit your day job and get paid to exist.The person you want to be is The Business Owner WhoBlogs to Build Relationships, Gives Value, and QualifiesPotential Buyers.You will have other reasons for blogging of course. Ithelps you learn, clarify your thoughts, and grow as aperson. It allows you to create community and purpose.
28. illuminatedmind.net | twitter: @jonathanmead29the zero hour workweekNot to mention, blogging is a lot of fun; for me at least.Those are all wonderful things, but if you don’t seeyourself as a business owner first, and a blogger second,you will have a hard time making money online.This was the fatal mistake I made when I first startedblogging. Unfortunately for me, and most others,blogging and Google Adsense is not a business model.So get your business straight. Work on your marketing,optimizing, creating useful products, buildingrelationships and time management. Then use bloggingas a tool to help you build credibility, gain trust and getexposure.Business owner first, blogger second.Keeping perspectiveIt’s important to note here that these were the biggestkeys in my own success. While I think most of theseideas are sound principles anyone can apply, yourmileage may vary.But please, don’t look at me and think “Okay, well that’sall good and fine for him. He’s different. But that couldnever happen for me.”I am just like you. I have the same fears. I had the samedissatisfaction with the status quo, and I started at thesame place as everyone else: the beginning.The thing is, we have a tendency to overestimate whatothers are capable of, and underestimate ourselves.But it’s not just that.
29. illuminatedmind.net | twitter: @jonathanmead30the zero hour workweekWhat we see at first glance is the massive success. Wesee the people who have done what we only dream of,at the top of the mountain. What we don’t see is thejourney that they took to get there. We don’t see all thesmall steps; one foot in front of the other, every day formonths or years.Every day I wake up with a sense of gratitude andthankfulness that I am able to do what I do for a living.Sometimes I think I’m lucky, but I remember all the daysthat I often worked on my blog during dinner, on theweekends and while others were sleeping.I remember I would get frustrated looking at the peopleI admired and wanted to emulate. I saw their massivesuccess and wondered why I couldn’t be so lucky. Butwhat I forgot to see was each step they took along theway.So if you think that it will take a lot of work, you’reright. If you think you might have some ideas that fail,you’re right. But if you think you can keep putting onefoot in front of the other a thousand times and not getanywhere, you’re wrong.There’s an old Chinese saying that says “The man whocan rise before dawn 360 days a year, never fails tomake his family rich.”If you keep showing up it will be inevitable that you willsucceed.
30. illuminatedmind.net | twitter: @jonathanmead31the zero hour workweekPART THREE:ZER0 HOUR CASESTUDIESSince I began my online entrepreneurial journey, I’vehad the pleasure of meeting several renegades who arereally living the stuff that I’m talking about.These strategies can actually be done in the real world,and actually work when they’re practiced. I know theydo because I’ve seen it, over and over. Not only do theywork, but they’re massively more effective than thealternative (working at a job you hate).Imagine how much easier it would be to totally kickass at something you love doing. Imagine how muchmore effortless it would be to shake the earth with yourmessage, when you actually care about that message.That’s what these people I’m about to introduce you toare doing. They are rocking the entrepreneurial world.They’re doing stuff they are insanely passionate about.They are helping others and creating change.More than anything, they are forces to be reckoned withbecause they cannot be stopped. How can you stopsomeone that loves what they do?You can’t.Here’s what they had to say.
31. illuminatedmind.net | twitter: @jonathanmead32the zero hour workweekDanielle LaPorteWhiteHotTruth.com@WhiteHotTruthDanielle Laporte / WhiteHotTruth.comOne of the things I’ve noticed about getting paid to exist is that it’s oftenhard to answer the question “What do you do?” Danielle is a perfectexample of that.Professionally, she writes and inspires on her trailblazing blog. She jamswith entrepreneurs on how to rock their careers, and speaks to audiencesabout liberating their authentic power. She does many things, but mostimportantly, she’s about making a difference while taking passionate,authentic action.on the importance of authenticity“Authenticity is magnetic. It’s that simple. Everyone craves genuineconnection. It’s human nature. But it’s also human nature to want to fit in.So we game-play. When you can stay anchored to your original self andpackage it in a way that your key audience can hear you, then that’s clarity— and not a whole lot of people have the courage to do that. But thatdirectness creates connection and interest from others, and that usuallyleads to earning cash or prosperity in some form.”
32. illuminatedmind.net | twitter: @jonathanmead33the zero hour workweekDanielle Laporte / WhiteHotTruth.comDanielle’s tips for rocking your personal brand:1. Speak in first person. For God’s sake, everyone knows that you wroteyour own bio on your site. Just speak as you are. One on one. Go direct.Your audience wants to hear YOU, not your copywriter or your mostuptight version of you.2. Practice elegance. One of my favourite definitions of elegance is fromAntoine de Saint-Exupéry, the author of The Little Prince, who said that,“elegance is when there is nothing left to add, and nothing left to takeaway.” So you can still be punk or eccentric or warrior, and be elegant interms of your presentation. Simple and honest.3. Be truly useful. The purpose of branding is commerce, which meansyou’re exchanging your stuff for someone else’s form of stuff. Don’twank. Before you press send, or pick up the phone, or put your widgetout into the world, you need to feel in your bones that you’re doingsomething that’s going to improve things in some modest way. All good,sustainable things come from that pure intention.
33. illuminatedmind.net | twitter: @jonathanmead34the zero hour workweekChris GuillebeauArtOfNonconformity.com@ChrisGuillebeauchris guillebeau /Artofnonconformity.comChris is a writer, entrepreneur, and world traveler. Through his website hepromotes changing the world (World Domination, as he calls it) throughliving remarkably, and world travel.This quote encapsulates Chris’s message well:“Once in a while it really hits people that they don’t have to experience theworld in the way they have been told to.” -Alan KeightleyWhy he thinks the world needs peopleto do what they love for a living“If consensus is overrated, I think balance is too. I have no interest in livinga balanced life. I want a life of adventure, and I know that many of thepeople who read this will identify with similar ideas. I have little patiencefor anyone who tries to prevent someone else from doing what they arepassionate about. Get out there, do great stuff, and don’t worry too muchabout anyone who doesn’t like it.”
34. illuminatedmind.net | twitter: @jonathanmead35the zero hour workweekchris guillebeau /Artofnonconformity.comif he had to start all over“The business side of what I do developed quite organically. It’s fairlystrategic now in the sense that I know where I’m going — but I guess ifanything I would have started sooner. The best time to start anything isusually now — we can’t change the past, and the future is only partly in ourhands.”Chris’s tips for social media success:1. Oscar Wilde put it best: “Be yourself, because everyone else isalready taken.”2. That said, not every aspect of who you are or what you do isinteresting to other people. The goal is to find the convergence betweenwhat you love and what other people are interested in.3. Consensus is overrated! Stand out somehow.
35. illuminatedmind.net | twitter: @jonathanmead36the zero hour workweekGlen allsoppPluginID.com@PluginIDGlen Allsopp / pluginid.comGlenn is a personal development writer and online entrepreneur. He hasgained a surprisingly large audience on his blog PluginID in relatively littletime with his always interesting and personal articles.how being remarkable has playedinto his success“At all times I try to follow my gut instinct and while that often takes medown unknown territory, it also means everything I do is both helpingpeople due to my raw honesty and unique because I’m going by my ownintuition. I think that has helped my success because people can really relateto whatever I put out there.”how getting paid to be who he is haschanged his life“The main benefit I always preach is that my work revolves around my life,not my life around work. I like to think of my online projects as not who I amand what I do, but like an amplification of what I do offline in terms of theaudience that gets to see it.”
36. illuminatedmind.net | twitter: @jonathanmead37the zero hour workweekGlen Allsopp / pluginid.comThe importance of being authentic“Be Real. I say this all the time, but that’s because it is so important. If youcan’t follow this simple step, good luck in trying to leverage the social web.This seems obvious, but it’s hard for a lot of people. They might put on acorporate front, go by a nickname or just talk to you in some generic tone.”On giving your fans what they want“Don’t shout, listen. I regularly see small business owners, new bloggers andeven corporate companies try to push their message out onto people.You can’t just go into a platform like Twitter, Facebook or Digg and try to“force” your messages on people.You have to listen and interact with these people. Make and sustainconnections if you want to leverage any of these communities. And don’tsee it as some devious trick to get more of what you want; I mean create realconnections that stick.”
37. illuminatedmind.net | twitter: @jonathanmead38the zero hour workweekNathalie LussierRawFoodsWitch.com@HyperlinkedNathalie Lussier / rawfoodswitch.comNathalie is someone that you don’t meet and easily forget. Her style andattitude makes her someone you easily connect with.Nathalie helps people overcome their fears of “raw food magick” so they canlive a healthy and empowered life.Being an (aspiring) raw foodist myself, I was impressed by the way Nathaliefound a way to market herself as a coach and teacher. Raw living is typicallyseen as something “weird” or “extreme” and Nathalie has done a great jobof dispelling a lot of those myths.what makes her amazing“I don’t push people to go 100% raw, and I mix modern day science withtraditional systems of healing. Plus, I call myself The Raw Foods Witch. I givepeople permission to be where they are when they first start learning aboutraw food. It makes it more accessible, and also more fun, which is what hashelped me spread my message. In turn, the mix of modern and traditionalhas helped me better serve my clients.”
38. illuminatedmind.net | twitter: @jonathanmead39the zero hour workweekNathalie Lussier / rawfoodswitch.comif she had to start all over“I would have built relationships with people in my industry before startingmy business. The funniest part is that I had all of the connections, I justwasn’t nurturing them. That meant that I just showed up out of the blueas a “newbie” on the raw food scene, even though I had been around (butlurking) for over three years.”how getting paid to be who she is haschanged her life“It has done tremendous things for my confidence, my relationships, and mycreativity. I’ve always been a creative person, but now that I’m allowed andeven expected to bring my creativity to everything I do, I’m really thriving.Every day is a fun new experience, and I love the constant feedback loopfrom idea-creation-reply between me and my readers/clients.”
39. illuminatedmind.net | twitter: @jonathanmead40the zero hour workweekCody McKibbenThrillingHeroics.com@CodyMckibbCody McKibben / thrillingheroics.comDigital nomad, world traveler, web technology consultant, and activistmake up the life of Cody McKibben. His passion is helping people make adifference in the world.Through his business Cody helps to create change by devoting a portionof his time and profits to the local charity and volunteer organization inBangkok: In Search of Sanuk.Why he thinks the world needs peopleto do what they love for a living“People who love what they do simply do it better than people who are“just doing their job”! I don’t know yet if a world where everyone trulyloves their work is possible, but I know that the individuals who make thebiggest impact in the world and move society towards positive social changedefinitely tend to enjoy their work so much that they work 60-80 hourweeks. It doesn’t feel like work for them!”
40. illuminatedmind.net | twitter: @jonathanmead41the zero hour workweekCody McKibben / thrillingheroics.comif he had to start all over“I find that there are things you are good at, things that you enjoy doing, andthings that you can get paid for. There is a small area where they overlap,and that is where your business will be most successful. To be honest, I gotmy start doing things I was good at and could get paid for but that I wasn’tthat excited by. So it can be a struggle to reposition yourself and focus moreon the things you enjoy. Try to remain focused on the things that you reallyenjoy and are passionate about from the very beginning and you’ll be on thepath to getting paid to be you!”on empowering your tribe“Build your community wisely. Use tools like Twitter and Facebook toconnect with like-minded people. Answer comments and emails fromyour website. Be helpful, answer questions (LinkedIn Answers, Twittersearch, and Yahoo Answers are good for this). Address complaints andmisunderstandings amicably. Find and empower the biggest influencersin your community—let your followers shine!—and continually, graciouslythank and reward your True Fans!”
41. illuminatedmind.net | twitter: @jonathanmead42the zero hour workweekCharlie gilkeyProductiveFlourishing.com@CharlieGilkeycharlie gilkey /productiveflourishing.comCharlie does something beautiful for people that is hard to describe. Toattempt to put in words, he helps creative people do their thing instead ofjust thinking about it, but it’s actually much cooler than that.What makes Charlie especially unique is that because of his broadexperience, he’s really good at using both sides of his brain: creative andlogical. He uses this gift to help people gain creative clarity, and actuallyfigure out what to do with it.what makes him remarkable“There are plenty of people who are insanely creative or incrediblylogical, but it’s apparently hard to find people who are both who can alsohelp others. Being able to riff with ideas for a half-hour and then flip aswitch and talk about what to do with them, all in a way that makes itseem approachable and doable, is what helps me help my people get themomentum going with meaningful action.”
42. illuminatedmind.net | twitter: @jonathanmead43the zero hour workweekcharlie gilkey /productiveflourishing.comhow getting paid to be who he is haschanged his life“In some ways, most of the struggles of trying to be who others wanted meto be has subsided. The more I lean into who I am and what I do, the easierlife becomes. But perhaps the most salient thing to me, right now, is thathappiness isn’t something that comes after my work; it comes during it.”Charlie’s tips for rocking social media:1. Remember that no matter how you do it, you’re talking to people.2. Finding your voice is more important than figuring out the tricks.3. It’s easier to get people’s attention if what you’re doing does thetalking.
43. illuminatedmind.net | twitter: @jonathanmead44the zero hour workweekPART four:YOURPAID TO EXISTSECRET WEAPONBesides learning from my story about how I got paid tobe me, I wanted to see if I could help you find a way tofigure out how you can get paid to exist. There are a lotof elements toward creating this lifestyle, but I think themost important is your “secret weapon.”In order to truly get paid to be who you are, you must beexcited about the value you are contributing to others.This is the hub of the wheel that all of the other spokesstem from. Without this part, nothing really matters.So this is the most important thing you can work on. Ifyou only get one thing out of reading this, this is whatI’d like to help you with most.Getting paid to exist is about eliminating the linesbetween “work” and “life.” It’s about demolishing thedisconnect between the value you create for others onthe one hand, and the passion and natural talents youhave on the other.If you’re creating brake parts for a living (somethingother people value), but you don’t A) give a shit aboutbrake parts (no passion) and B) are not good naturallytalented at creating brake parts (no natural talent),there is a major disconnect. Not only are you not goodat it, but you could care less about it. It’s simply doingsomething to pay the bills. You’re in survival mode, notliving mode.
44. illuminatedmind.net | twitter: @jonathanmead45the zero hour workweekIt’s also important to note that if you love collectingstamps, but A) no one else cares (no value to others) andB) you really suck at it (no natural strengths), then thereis not a very good potential that you’ll get paid to do it.Getting paid to exist is about eliminating thosedisconnects.You want to do what you love, are naturally good at, andprovide others with massive value at the same time.It should be pretty obvious by now that your “paid toexist secret weapon” has three main elements:1. It has the potential to provide others with valuethey are willing to pay for.2. It leverages some type of natural talent orstrength you’ve had since birth.3. You love to do it, and your passion for it issustainable (you won’t get tired of it in three weeks).These three components are what comprises your secretweapon.To use myself as a personal example:How I get paid to exist, or “what I do,” is teach self-development that speaks to unconventional people,helps them wake up excited about their lives, liveauthentically, and on their own terms.Let’s take a look at how this breaks down:1. Does it provide value to others? Yes. Peopleare highly interested in living on their own termsand are willing to pay someone to help guidethem. I provide this value exchange in the form offree articles, paid and free ebooks, and paid life
45. illuminatedmind.net | twitter: @jonathanmead46the zero hour workweekcoaching. I build trust by building a relationship ofintimacy from free articles, to increasingly higherexchanges of value.2. Does it leverage some type of natural talentor strength I’ve had since birth? Yes. I’ve alwayshad a curious, questioning spirit. I’ve always had anatural ability to look at things holistically and getto the root of the issue. I use this unique strength tosee the limiting beliefs and patterns in others. Byeasily identifying the root cause of someone’s self-defeating patterns, I am able to find the best way tosolve the problem at a core level.3. Do I love to do it and is my passion sustainable?Yes, I absolutely love problem solving, exploringdifferent ways of looking at life, and helping others.By helping others with their own self-development,I naturally help myself as well. It’s a win/win. Thisis not something I’d get bored or tired of easily,because self-development encompasses so manyopportunities for learning and going deeper. Inshort, there is always another level I can aspire toreach.Can you see why finding an intersection like this is soimportant? This overlap is what makes your means ofsupporting yourself so natural that it doesn’t feel likework. It may take effort, but it is not a chore you dread,or a grim duty.When I’m working in my business, I never feel like I haveto force myself to be productive. I am naturally drawn toit, because teaching and learning is just something that Ilove doing. Sometimes I am so enthralled with the workthat I’m doing that I have to consciously pull myselfaway from it so I don’t burn out. That is the way workshould be.I’ve looked at countless others who are rocking their
46. illuminatedmind.net | twitter: @jonathanmead47the zero hour workweekcareers and getting paid to be who they are, and Value,Passion and Strengths are the three main elements thatshow up in all of them. There are some other importantaspects of getting paid to exist that you can leverage, aswell. But those three things make up the trunk of yourtree. The rest are branches.Now that you have a clear understanding of theelements to your “secret weapon,” let’s get into thelogistics of how you’ll actually figure this out foryourself.How to find your secretweaponThis is actually a very easy process; much easier thanmost people make it. When I talk about these threeelements and finding an intersection, it can be easy tofeel overwhelmed at the daunting task of finding this“sweet spot.” We’re going to avoid this overwhelmingfeeling by reverse engineering the process, and isolatingto one area at a time in a progressive way.Step one: Ask yourself, “What am Ipassionate about that I could do for aliving?”You would be amazed at how many people want to dowhat they love for a living, but they never take the timeto ask themselves this question. Maybe you’ve giventhis some thought, or maybe you haven’t. Either way,you need to take the time to ask yourself this question.Maybe you’re afraid that you’re not passionate aboutanything. Well, perhaps this is only true because you’venever given yourself permission to be passionate. Sogive yourself permission and ask “What am I passionateabout that I could do for a living?”Come up with at least 20 answers to this question, beridiculous if you need to. (You have my permission.)
47. illuminatedmind.net | twitter: @jonathanmead48the zero hour workweekTry to think in these terms: “How can I do something thatdeeply fulfills and excites me, while providing value andmaking a difference to others?”EXERCISE: Read the free report “7 Keys to DiscoveringYour Passion” by signing up for my newsletter TheUnstream. Answer and go through all of the exerciseswithin.Step two: Ask yourself, “Of these 20possibilities, which of them could utilizeunique personal strengths that I’ve hadsince birth?”This is about figuring out where your love and yournatural abilities collide. The key here is to focus oncore strengths; areas where you excel far beyond thecapabilities others normally possess.Some examples of these core strengths might be:• Communication• Cultivating Relationships• Problem Solving• Design• Teaching• Simplifying• Empathy• Organization• Visualizing• Systemic Thinking
48. illuminatedmind.net | twitter: @jonathanmead49the zero hour workweek• Inspiring Others• Leading OthersThese are just a few examples, and obviously many ofthese qualities and traits can be learned and developed.But there are some of these things that you are naturallygifted at doing. I am naturally gifted at thinkingholistically and philosophically. Because of that, it’seasy for me to see the root of people’s problems andhelp them solve them.Why we want strength/passionintersectionsWe could just as easily choose something we’re notnaturally gifted at and train it to a level of competency.But that is not what we want to do here. We want to finda way to leverage our natural strengths to magnify ourpassion. By doing this, two things happen:1. We lessen the gap of time between finding our secretweapon, and getting paid to use it. In other words, it’seasier for us to move swiftly from the point of groundzero and no customer base, to profitability. Since we’realready good at it, we don’t have to waste precioustime trying to hone or learn new skills. By working fromyour strengths — rather than trying to improve yourweaknesses — you’ll be a hundred times more effective.2. You utilize your competitive edge. If you’re naturallygifted at something, and other people are struggling tojust get close to your skill level, you are going to have ahuge advantage. You’ll easily excel while others are justtrying to be competent.EXERCISE: Sometimes it’s difficult for us to see whatwe’re good at because we’re so good at it, and it’s sonatural that it’s not obvious to us. It can be helpful inthis situation to ask someone else what we’re good at.
49. illuminatedmind.net | twitter: @jonathanmead50the zero hour workweekSo, pick three people to interview about your personalstrengths and natural talents: 1. A parent, sibling orclose relative, 2. A peer or someone you’ve worked with,or 3. A partner or friend.Look at the common themes in their responses.Step Three: Ask yourself “How will I do[your idea] in a way that provides valueto others?”This is arguable the most important part of the process.Once you’ve discovered your greatest passion/strengthintersections, now you need to determine if and howyou can do provide value by doing it.To determine the value of your possible endeavor, thinkabout these questions:• What benefits will me doing this provide others?• How will those benefits be delivered? (Physicalproduct, ebook, consulting, coaching, webinar,etc.)• Is there a potential desperate or urgent need forwhat I’m offering?This is where you really determine if your idea has anypotential in allowing you to get paid to exist.If you find this value part challenging, try looking atit from the angle of “how will I contribute to others,”rather than “how will I get people to give me theirmoney.” Money is simply an abstraction. Value, on theother hand, is what is really being exchanged.EXERCISE: Define the three tangible benefits yourcustomer will gain through interacting with you. Whereare they now, and where will they be once they’veworked with you, or used your product?
50. illuminatedmind.net | twitter: @jonathanmead51the zero hour workweekOkay, so those are the three steps: 1. Finding yourpassion; 2. Finding your strengths; and 3. Finding yourvalue or finding your market.I realize that this is going to be the most challengingthing for you on the path to getting paid to exist. Afteryou come up with your list of ideas and intersections,it will be hard not to over-analyze and second guesswhether or not you have a long-term potential with yourideas.Because of that, I’ve created a special test called ThePassion + Profits Test. Once you have your list of ideasthat meet the three criteria of passion, innate strength,and massive value to others, go through the test.There is a video included in the test that explains eachquestion and how it applies to you. After you watchthe video and come up with your ideas, you’ll rateeach question on a scale of 1-5. When you finish, you’llreceive an average score of how you rated each answer.Complete the test with as many ideas you need until youcome up with one that has a 4-5 average score.Avoiding the two majorpitfallsWhile I think I’ve covered all the bases here, there are,however, two major pitfalls that you should be aware ofwhen turning your passion into a source of income.1. Your beliefs.Do you believe that you don’t deserve to do what youlove for a living? Do you believe that work must be achore? If so, you will never feel comfortable gettingpaid to exist. And even if you do figure out what you’repassionate about, you will sabotage yourself before youallow it to become your main source of income. Aboveall, work on your belief that doing what you love for a
51. illuminatedmind.net | twitter: @jonathanmead52the zero hour workweekliving is your birthright.Once you start questioning your beliefs about what youthink is and is not possible, you will start getting a hugeinternal pushback. This is completely normal. You’rebasically revolting against a mental framework you’velived around for years or decades. But keep your mindopen.When you come up against a belief that you think isimpossible — say, for instance, “I could never teachskydiving for a living” — test it. Is it really true that it’snot possible? What is the market demand? How longdoes it take? What’s the barrier to entry? Could I marketmyself in a different way than others that would allowme to sneak in a back door?Ask yourself those questions, then test your belief. Is itfact, or myth? Assumption or truth?2. The desire to be monogamous.It’s also important to note that when getting paid toexist, you don’t have to be monagamous. You may notjust have “one true love” as a passion. You might havemany.In this case, you have a choice. Choosing one passion tobe your source of income doesn’t mean that you haveto martyr the others. And sometimes choosing not topursue your true love as a source of income can keep itsacred. I’ll give you a personal example.Since a young age, I have always loved playing music. Istarted playing Trombone in sixth grade, studied voice inJunior High, and picked up guitar in High School. Then Ifinally found my true love: the djembe.For a long time, I wanted to play music professionally.I considered doing this as something I loved, but every
52. illuminatedmind.net | twitter: @jonathanmead53the zero hour workweektime I thought of playing music for a living, it made mecringe. I couldn’t imagine feeling like I must create inorder to pay the bills. I decided that while it would becool to play music for a living, have fame and fortuneand all of that, it wasn’t something I wanted to pursue. Ijust didn’t think my love for music could take the stressof doing it as a means of income.That’s when I got into blogging and writing on personaldevelopment. I decided that I would rather keepmy music sacred and make my means of financialindependence teaching personal development.This is an perfect fit for me. I still enjoy playing music onthe side and jamming with my friends, but I don’t aspireto do it to pay the bills.This may or may not be the same for you. You may havemore grit than me and are more able to endure thestress that seeking an income from producing personalart can create. If so, more power to you.Whatever you decide, realize that you can choose topursue whatever passion you like.Putting it all togetherOkay, by now you should have figured out what you’regoing to do to get paid to exist.• You should know that it is something you’reintrinsically good it.• It should be something that sets your heart onfire and keeps you up at night.• And lastly, it’s something other people find
53. illuminatedmind.net | twitter: @jonathanmead54the zero hour workweekimmensely valuable. In other words, this is yourcontribution to the world.Congratulations! You are 99% further along in life thanmany people will ever be.You’re well on your way to creating a Zero HourWorkweek.
54. illuminatedmind.net | twitter: @jonathanmead55the zero hour workweekCLOSING:THE WORLD NEEDS YOUTO DO WHAT YOU LOVEThis may seem kind of crazy, but I think the worldactually needs you to get paid to do what you love.After all, don’t you think you’ll have a greater impact onthe collective happiness of the planet if you’re actuallyexcited about the work you’re doing? (If you can evencall it work anymore.)See the really cool thing about doing what you love isthat it’s easier to be amazing at what you’re doing. It’seasy to excel. It’s easy to connect. And it’s easy to leadand build a following when you’re excited about whatyou do for a living.The other awesome side effect is that you’ll be inspiringother people to do the same. The more people thatbreak away and reject the idea that work must bea chore, the more we give everyone else the silentpermission to do the same.I believe it’s our personal responsibility to help shift theparadigm of work to a new definition. One of meaning,contribution, sacredness, and enjoyment.So, I don’t think what we’re really looking for is a fourhour work week, automated income, or early retirement.Those things might be nice, but they still don’t get to thepoint.That’s because they reinforce the idea that we needto escape from work, when all work really is is theexchange of value with others. We obviously need to
55. illuminatedmind.net | twitter: @jonathanmead56the zero hour workweekcontribute and provide others with value to get paid,and to live, but that’s only part of it. Deep down, we alldesperately want to contribute. We want to participate.We want to help. We want to be heard. We want to beinvolved, immersed, and we want to share with others.But we want to do it in a way that allows us to share ourgifts, work on exciting things with people we like, andmake a difference in the world.That is the way all value should be exchanged. That iswhat it means to get paid to be who you are.We don’t really want to escape work or contribution. Wejust want to give the kind of value that we want to give.We want to decide the way we contribute. We want towork toward our own goals of contribution, instead ofsomeone else’s. But most of all, we want to contributeto something we believe in, are passionate about, andexcited about.You’ll probably have tocreate itThere may be the perfect job out there that alignswith your passions, utilizes your unique strengths, isremarkable, and pays you well to do it.And you might even be able to find that amazingcompany where you love the people you work for andyou love the people you work with. You might even finda place where they let you choose the projects you workon, and when you work on them.The truth is, that elusive job may or may not exist. Butyou can create it.After all, when you create it, you put the power back inyour hands.So go. Start now.
56. illuminatedmind.net | twitter: @jonathanmead57the zero hour workweekWe need your gifts. We need you to be excited. We needyou to love the work you do, and the people you workwith.Most of all, we need your contribution.
57. illuminatedmind.net | twitter: @jonathanmead58the zero hour workweekWHAT’S NEXT?TAKE THE PASSION + PROFITSTESTI know a lot of people never get the courage to followtheir dreams, or quit their jobs because they’re afraid offailing.They’re afraid they’ll waste a lot of time and their ideawon’t be any good. They’re afraid that no one will wantto pay them to do what they love.I got tired of seeing this, so I created a test to helppeople gain confidence in their idea before they start.The Passion + Profits Test will help you figure out whereyour passions, strengths and values intersect.I’ve worked with a lot of people that come to me forhelp on finding this unique “sweet spot.”If you want to get paid to do what you love, this test is agood a way to start.Click here now to get the test.
58. illuminatedmind.net | twitter: @jonathanmead59the zero hour workweekDID YOU APPRECIATETHIS? SHARE IT WITHSOMEONE.If you got something out of this free ebook, I wouldreally appreciate it if you could share it with a friend.I’d like to see as many people as possible be able to getpaid to do what they love for a living, and I think you’dagree that the world would be a better place if more ofus did.How you can help:• Email this to a friend. Send this to someone youthink would benefit from it.• Tweet about it. Click the “tweet this” button atthe bottom of this page.• Link to it. The absolute coolest think you coulddo would be to link to or review this ebook on yourblog.
59. illuminatedmind.net | twitter: @jonathanmead60the zero hour workweekacknowledgmentsA lot of people have helped along the way to makingIlluminated Mind a success.Thank you...Charlie Gilkey for being a great friend, coach, and anawesome person.Leo for taking the chance on me and giving me theopportunity to speak to the readers of Zen Habits, andputting up with my crazy ideas.Clay and Laura for being amazing friends and mentors.My wife, Ev’Yan, for believing in my crazy ideas andbeing my biggest fan.And most importantly, thank you to all of my readers,everyone who has linked to me, retweeted my articles,or told your friends about them.You are awesome. Thank you for allowing me to be apart of such an amazing community.I seriously can’t believe I get paid to do this stuff.