find your passion

Find Your Passion? How About Find Your Personal Mission?

One of the subjects we’ve talked about in detail in the podcast is this topic of finding your passion. Some say that once you find and follow your passion, you’ll have it made in the shade.

Well, according to Mike Rowe and Jordan Harbinger, that’s simply not the case. In their experience, they’ve come to realize that those who find passion in their work are just as happy as those who follow their passion – if not more so.

So, if the answer is not following your passion (which author Mark Nathan discusses in detail in his book The Delusion of Passion), what’s the secret? How can someone follow the advice “If you love what you do for work, you’ll never work a day in your life.”?

This is a question that I’ve been thinking about for quite some time… and here’s what I’ve found out.

Finding Your Sweet Spot

In entrepreneurial education, many educators/experts say that to be known for our work, we need to know how to find our sweet spot. What can we do that others don’t do nearly as well?

Honestly, to me, this seems kind of vague.

So here’s what I think they mean. I figure it means we need to do a proper inventory work on ourselves.  Once we have that info, then it’s much easier to figure out what separates us from our competition and/or possible partners. In fact, if we don’t do this inventory, we’ll never know if we’re trying to be someone we’re not.

In recent years, I know I’ve made that mistake. That’s why I’ve bounced from idea to idea. And, I now realize that this is because I’ve been basing my success off of the ideas of others! Meaning, if a guest on Pat Flynn’s show talked about doing having success doing a certain thing, then I’d go try that. If it sounded like something in my wheelhouse, I’d try it. And then, as I’m learning and experimenting with a certain type of business, I’d be comparing myself to people who were already making a killing doing it.

Funny enough, comparing ourselves to others on social media (which our brains like to do) makes it even harder to be ourselves!

It was a drag.

However, once I did find my sweet spot, it was easy for me to realize what I should be doing… and life just became that much easier. That’s when I came up with my free resource, Uncover Your Personal Mission. I wanted to make sure that others wouldn’t spin their wheels trying to find something that would make their entrepreneurial career.

The Ikigai

After I published my resource, I ran across the the Ikigai. It is a Japanese concept that means “a reason for being.” The word “ikigai” is usually used to indicate the source of value in one’s life or the things that make one’s life worthwhile. The word translated to English roughly means “thing that you live for” or “the reason for which you wake up in the morning.”

At first I thought it was a different model altogether. But as I thought about it, I realized my guide corresponds directly with what the Ikigai illustrates.

3 P’s of a Personal Mission vs the Ikigai Model

While they might use some of the same words for different sections, what I found out about developing a personal mission lines up pretty close to this model. 

  • Your Passion (Why?) lines up with the Ikigai’s “What do you Love?” section.
  • Your Purpose (What?) lines up with the Ikigai’s “What does the World Need?” section.
  • Your Process (How?) lines up with the Ikigai’s “What you’re good at.” section.

The only thing I didn’t include as being part of a personal mission is the “What can you be paid for?” section. Why didn’t I include it in the personal mission guide? For one, I feel that culture already puts attention on this part anyway. Also, you have to know the other 3 sections before you can pick something to do and get compensated for. Sure, I understand why it’s in the Ikigai model, but I believe it makes more sense if someone’s personal mission is what someone would do even if they didn’t get paid for it. Remember, there’s a lot of unhappy people who built a career on doing work they can get paid for. Chances are, the world told them they were good at it and that’s why they chose that path… which is better than just choosing a path simply because it pays well.

Action Steps

So this idea of finding your personal mission is a bit of a conceptual exercise. I realize that. However, I truly believe that the more of the 3 P’s you’re aware of, then the easier the Profit part will be. In fact, Andy and I talked about this in great detail with Tommy Breedlove.

So be sure to check out that interview.

Also, if you haven’t yet, check out the Uncover Your Personal Mission guide. Do the exercises in there and then we can figure out what your income avenue should be.

finding your passion & purpose in life

Tommy Breedlove – Legendary By Choice: Why Finding Your Passion & Purpose in Life is the Secret to Long Term Significance (AoL 166)

I can’t tell you how many times in college I heard fellow students use the phrase “I’m going to take a nap and wait patiently for death” as a joke. And in reality, for many, life is simply something that has to be endured. However, I fully believe that finding your passion & purpose in life is a huge part of getting out of that life of quiet mediocrity.

Since college, and especially after starting this podcast, I’ve come to the realization that individuals who have this figured out have overall a lot less stress in their life. Not only that, but they usually have a higher chance of being fulfilled by the work they’re doing.

This session’s guest, Tommy Breedlove, has gone through it all. From being incarcerated early in life, to working at the C-suite level, to realizing that the more he wrote his own story, the less others controlled it. Today he helps others not only realize that fact for themselves, but helps them find their next level.

In this chat, Andy and I get the chance to learn how he made that realization for himself, how he helps other men find their own way, and some pointers we can all use to start moving the dial a little bit more today.



  • What kind of legacy does Tommy want to leave? 7:47
  • What was the defining moment which lead Tommy to his current path? 8:39
  • Can something be said to someone who has fallen into a contentment coma to help them get out? 17:35
  • What’s the current state of men in America, and why did he focus to work them specifically? 20:49
  • Is there a difference between boys, dudes, and men? 24:52
  • According to Tommy, how do you start finding your passion & purpose in life and build a life of legacy? 28:17
  • Does he have any recommendations for someone do to build a financial fortress and build a legacy? 32:12
  • What are 3 favorite books he likes to give or tell others about? 42:36
  • Is there anything he recently says no to? How did he come to that realization? 42:59
  • Who’s the most awe inspiring person he’s met and why? 43:56
  • What’s something he’d like to do in his lifetime that no one knows about? 45:09
  • What’s it mean to live a life of abundance? 45:50


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12 Minute Conversation with Engel Jones

Tommy on the Brandon Smith Show

Brandon Labella Interviews Tommy

Tommy via Purpose on Tap

Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the top of the post.

Also, please leave an honest review for The AoL Podcast on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and we read each and every one of them.

If you have any questions feel free to email them over via the email mentioned in the show or by our contact form.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on CastboxiTunesStitcherPodBean, and/or Google Play Music. It’s absolutely free to do so.

A huge thank-you to you guys for joining us!


business culture

Connecting the What with the Why: How to Create Business Culture and Strategy the Right Way

“Everything rises and falls on leadership” is a phrase often heard in the startup and corporate arenas. As we’ve talked about in the past, leadership can be described by our influence on others. And with that influence automatically comes our business culture.

As creatives, we need to be aware of this culture that we’re building from the very beginning of launching our business.

Why is that?

Well, culture can be defined as a pattern of beliefs, behaviors, and values, encouraged or discouraged by people or processes over time.

So that means, whether we’re actively promoting a certain culture or not, one is being formed around the work we’re already doing.

So let’s talk a little bit about how we can get ahead of that culture as we’re scaling and growing our business.

It Starts with a Mission

Last week I had the opportunity to be part of a workshop called the Mission Roundtable. In this workshop, we focused on helping people in business find out what their personal and corporate missions were and then use that info to determine their values and vision. Once those were clear, we then set out to learn how we can create a unique strategy and culture for our business.

As you probably guessed, I was all about the part where we focused on determining our missions. This is something that I’ve thought about in quite a bit in the last year or so. In fact we recently had a guest on the podcast to discuss it.

Being part of this roundtable was not only clarifying for me, but also validated what I’ve been finding out.

For me, the reason I went into this research was fairly straight forward. As I’ve met more and more people in the entrepreneurial space, I’ve learned that many new entrepreneurs fail to learn how to connect who and what they’re about with the work that they’re doing.

The problem with this is that they’ll start doing one thing, realize they’re not being fulfilled, and then go on to try something else that might fulfill them.

Basically, they’re recreating a job for themselves.

Not only that, but many go hard core into this new role, go crazy with the grind, and come out the other end thinking “I’m more unhappy now than I was when I started!”.

Finding your own mission and being part of a company that reflects those qualities is an important foundation in doing meaningful work.

Vision and Values

Once we have our mission and have aligned it with our business (or the organization we’re a part of), then we can move onto the next step.

Determining what your vision and values are.

Now, I’m sure if you’re reading this post you know what both are. Your vision is simply where you want to be. And your values are the characteristics of yourself and your team as you get there.

If you’re like me, you’ve probably even written them down for yourself sometime in the past.

It’s possible what you haven’t done yet is to think of those values and your vision from the perspective of your personal and company mission. Even more, many of us might not even be fully using the vision or values we currently have in place.

If you’re not utilizing your current vision and values, why is that? Where’s the disconnect? If you’re not sure, it might be time to draw up a new vision and values to get you there. It might be as simple as the fact you might have a mission now, but the vision and values don’t fit that mission.

All of this should be aligned.

Strategy and Culture

Ok, now that we have those fundamental building blocks in place, it’s time to come back to our business culture and strategy.

Without vision, we can’t really develop a strategy. And without values, we’re going to have a heck of time developing a culture.

Now that we have those in place, though, we can now develop both.


So first thing is strategy. Of course, when we’re developing a strategy for anything, we need to know what the rules of engagement are. We want to make sure the moves we’re making aren’t leaving anything on the table. We also want to make sure we’re being as efficient as possible. 

To do that, we need guidelines. 

Now that we have thought of our vision, we have these guidelines. 

We should also know 3 things:

  • What our company does.
  • Who the customer is.
  • What our customer values.

Once you know what those are, you can much more easily build your strategy.

  • Of course you want to begin with the end in mind, so what do you want to achieve in 3-5 years?
  • What options do you have to get there?
  • After choosing an option, what are your next steps? Reverse engineer from where you want to be from where you’re at.

Many make the mistake of not being clear with the answers to these questions, so while you might be taking action, you’re not actually getting anywhere because you haven’t clearly planned out what you want.


When it comes to building culture, for many creatives it’s seen as something that they can put on the back burner. What’s the point of building a culture when it’s perhaps just you and a few VA’s?

While this perspective might seem ok when you’re first starting up, it can cause big issues in the long run.

However, because we’ve already developed our list of values, then getting an idea for what our culture is isn’t really too difficult.

Organizational Clarity

First thing? Let’s look at the big picture and get organizational clarity. Here’s a few things to consider:

  • What’s our brand and story say about us? When people think of what we’re doing, what comes to mind? How are we described?
  • What’s the structure of the team? If it isn’t formed yet, what will it be? Will there be a hierarchy? Will it be centralized with you in the center? Or will you be part of a decentralized team?
  • What roles are there and what is each person in charge of? The more defined this is from the get go, the less problems there will be down the line.
  • What’s our communication process?

Leadership Clarity

When it comes to leadership in our organization we need to lead by example. Do that and I think you’re at least halfway to being a great leader.

That said it also helps to make sure that our team can work autonomously. While we might want certain things done a specific way, it’s important that we don’t feel the need to constantly micromanage.

However, many times we aren’t always at the top. And in those instances, we have to be aware of where we fit and interact with those around us. 

John Maxwell addresses this in the 360 Degree Leader. In the book, he shows middle managers how to leverage their unique positions and become 360 degree leaders by exercising influence in all directions–up (to the boss), across (among their peers), and down (to those they lead). 

While he goes into much more detail, the gist is that we need to do a few things as a middle manager:

  • Follow our leaders humbly. (Without being a yes man.)
  • Inspire those around us (by example).
  • Manage our subordinates individually. (Never criticize in public.)
  • Influence Lovingly (Don’t have an ulterior motive.)

Relational Clarity

Finally, when it comes to where the rubber really meets the road, it’s all about relationships. Another book of John Maxwell’s (and a favorite of mine) is called Everyone Communicates, Few Connect. And really, the better our relationships with those around us are, the better the system works.

To make sure that we’re connecting with those around us in our work, it’s important to focus on a handful of principles here as well:

  • Define and pursue the same goals (teams with goals win, those that don’t lose)
  • Believe in something bigger than ourselves (believe you’re in it for the greater good!)
  • Collaborate rather than compromise
  • Develop strong relationships (care about others, they’ll care about you)
  • When necessary, engage in constructive conflict resolution.

Action Steps

So as you can see, it’s imperative that we do the work to zero in on what our personal and business missions are. Only when we have them can we build on those to develop our culture. When we have the culture we want, it’s so much easier to build and scale our businesses simply because those folks who don’t fit, normally filter themselves out before they start working with you. 

If they do fit the culture, then it’s so much easier to move forward and actually accomplish goals.

So, again, if you haven’t done so yet, start from the beginning and determine your own personal mission by checking out Uncover Your Personal Mission. From there, work out the other sections until you have an idea for how things are going to be handled differently by your current or future team.

career transition

Dr. Grace Lee – Going Against the Grain: Why Formal Education Might Not Be the Best Option for Your Next Career Transition (AoL 161)

Making a career transition is not a topic to be taking lightly. In fact, for many people, the idea is simply a pipe dream. They feel stuck where they’re at due to having to support their family or that they simply don’t have time to go to college to move ahead.

However, college isn’t always the answer. In fact, there’s some questions that college isn’t designed for at all!

In this session, Veronica and I speak with Dr. Grace Lee about the pros and cons of formal education and how we can actually harness our own gifts in our work.



  • What response did Grace have to the trauma of being alone and homeless by the age of 10? 9:10
  • What started helping her realize that she could be and have more in life? 14:12
  • When did she determine that she wanted pursue her formal education? 21:02
  • After realizing what she did about the formal education system, how does Grace help those in career transition? 34:05
  • Why isn’t she a fan about following your passion? 36:26
  • What does Grace recommend to those who feel they’re stuck in a rut and need to get out of their comfort zone? 41:42
  • Besides having mentors, what are some secrets to success? 44:38
  • Are there any secrets to success that young go-getters often use that older folk can implement in their own lives and self-mastery? 46:05
  • What is the vision for Career Revisionist? 49:17
  • What is Grace excited about for the year 2020? 52:08
  • Top 3 influencers or teachers who have launched Grace to where she’s at today? 53:50
  • What’s something that costs under $100 that has changed her life? 54:11
  • What happens regularly today that would horrify someone from a hundred years ago? 55:16
  • If she woke up tomorrow as her 10 year old self with all her memories, what would she do? 55:38
  • What’s the secret to achieving personal freedom? 56:28


Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.


Is College Right for Me?

How to Increase Confidence

Successful but not Fulfilled?

Overcoming Imposter Syndrome

Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the top of the post.

Also, please leave an honest review for The AoL Podcast on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and we read each and every one of them.

If you have any questions feel free to email them over via the email mentioned in the show or by our contact form.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on CastboxiTunesStitcherPodBean, and/or Google Play Music. It’s absolutely free to do so.

A huge thank-you to you guys for joining us!