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In this episode Joel and Antonia tell their stories of how they navigated their career life.

In this podcast you’ll find:

We live in a different world now. Our parents/grandparents typically worked in the same career all their lives and retired from that same career in their 60s.

Many Gen Xers and Millennials are finding themselves shifting between careers.

The Internet has enabled us to expand our entrepreneurial options.

The unstable economy keeps us shifting careers as jobs change or cease to exist.

The traditional way of earning money is shifting.

Antonia’s Story:

  • Raised in an extremely religious environment that discouraged college. She was encouraged to volunteer her time toward a ministry that had zero financial reciprocation.
  • She had to subsidize her full-time ministry job with a part time job.
  • Her goal was to make the most money in the least amount of time.
  • Went to a trade school to learn radiology. It was a means to an end.
  • She dropped college in preference for what she believed was a higher priority – ministry.
  • She did a bunch of random part-time jobs to support herself. Temp work.
  • Learned a lot in the ministry: the art of persuasion, public speaking, sharing unpopular messages, living counter-culture, etc.
  • Her family never encouraged her to think in terms of a career.
  • When she left the religion, it occurred to her that she could finally have a career. She could focus on generating money.
  • So she started attending seminars and events for self-education.
  • Moved from Alaska to Las Vegas to live in an internet marketing incubator.
  • She made a lot of mistakes along the way by getting involved in dead end projects.
  • After meeting Joel, as they were growing Personality Hacker, they were starving artists.
  • She just keeps going until circumstances force her to stop, and nothing has forced her to stop yet.

Do something outrageous. Don’t force yourself to fit into the templatized world.

Don’t feel like you have to fit into the mold. Careers and the business industry are just as broken as the school system. Square pegs into the round holes. Most companies hire on the stupidest criteria.

Bypass the entire system and do something outrageous.

Remove the limiting beliefs that things should be done a certain way.

We shouldn’t be looking at the older generation’s concept of career as a model for modern behavior.

Joel’s Story:

  • He grew up in a very religious paradigm. He didn’t get the message it was wrong to have a career.
  • As long as he weaved God into his career, it was okay.
  • His parents decided to start a non-profit youth ministry camp.
  • Lots of creative outlets.
  • He was encouraged to follow creative pursuits. His father was on the radio in Pittsburgh doing a religious based program.
  • Joel was taught to produce and script radio programs at 12-13 years old.
  • He wanted to go into that creative field. He was encouraged to do so.
  • He went to college and got his masters in leadership to work as a leader in ministry. He has a Masters in theology. Bachelor’s in communication.
  • He worked in his parent’s ministry for three years and got married.
  • She wanted to move to her hometown Baltimore, so Joel ripped himself away from his career path and went to work at the Baltimore Zoo.
  • He had been homeschooled and employed in his parent’s ministry. He never had a day job where he had to report to a boss and clock in and clock out.
  • He worked at the zoo for five years. Every time he brought up creative ideas, he was usually shot down in preference for the status quo.
  • His marriage ended. After having two children.
  • He never lost the desire to be creative. He felt trapped.
  • Joel would leverage his experience in his job by going to pod camps or take on any public speaking opportunities to harness new opportunities.
  • He started doing video work for other companies in Baltimore in an attempt to broaden his options.
  • He would reframe his experience at the zoo, so he didn’t focus on the misery of the job. He would view it as CEO training. He would listen to personal growth podcasts when he could. He would spend weekends and evenings working on other opportunities.
  • He met Antonia at an NLP event in LA. Moves to Las Vegas to start connecting with what he felt he was meant to do.
  • Five years later they are running PH, focused on personal growth and helping others to create a better world.
  • Joel worked a job that was depressing to him, but he kept telling himself it would be okay and he never gave up. He never stopped hustling.

Try new things. If they fail, try again. A lot of entrepreneurs have a ton of false starts before they hit the thing that works.

At some point, they both decided the status quo was not for them.

If you are not going to go the traditional route, you are going to have to hustle and try new things and be willing to struggle.

Most people go down the traditional road because it is a well-worn path. Tried and true.

If a traditional career feels good to you, go for it.

Give yourself permission to do other things if the traditional path is not what you want.

Don’t let what you think you have to do get in the way of what you want to do.

It isn’t the only path. There are always other options.

We live in an ever-changing world, and more possibilities are coming. There are no rules about what you have to do.

If your inner wisdom tells you to do something different than what you are doing, listen to that voice.

Anytime the stakes are high we create a lot of narratives to make sure everyone stays on track. Otherwise, things may get destabilized.

There are a lot of narratives around safety and security.

If a voice inside says you want to do something else, turn up the volume. Give it a try. Your one regret at the end of your life may be that you didn’t listen to that voice.

Ask yourself:

If you could duplicate your exact income right now, but you didn’t have to do your current job, what would you do?

If your answer isn’t “I would be doing what I’m doing now,” you may need to reevaluate.

Where are you at right now? Are you passionate about what you are doing? How did you get there?

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We want to hear from you. Leave your comments below…


  • Leslie Condon
    • Leslie Condon
    • December 3, 2018 at 11:57 pm

    I love your story, incredibly candid and complex. Thanks for sharing!

  • Steve
    • Steve
    • March 21, 2018 at 12:32 am

    Oh man, so I just listened to this podcast and it rings so true for me.

    I’m a 30 year old INFP working as an analyst in a large company at the moment. It’s a fairly new job for me, full time but not too stressful which is a welcome relief. I just came out of an 11 year banking career that just beat me down hard. Sales pressure and pushing others just was never going to be my strength and I was gradually falling behind. The money kept me going, but i was depressed and burnt out and having a lot of trouble finding any decent job.

    In the mean time, I did life the way I thought I should be. I bought and payed off a car, paid my own way through school (yay Canada!) without any debt (Also yay parents for letting me live at home XD). A buddy and I bought a place half way through school, I got a couple promotions, saved up some money and generally wasn’t doing too bad, except that I was really starting to fall apart inside.

    When i did start looking for new work, I went years with very few interviews. I have a bachelors degree in business, which unfortunately doesn’t seem to suit me at all :/ though I do feel I learned a lot of life skills through it.

    Eventually, I got married about a year and a half ago, (which dried up my savings pretty good :/), bought a house together and about a year later I finally found a new job! With this new job, I had to take a significant cut in pay, but I’m definitely much happier. About the same time, my wife and I found out that we’re going to have a child! Super exciting! (she’s about 19 weeks preggo now :D), but now I’m starting to realize that I’m faced with a lower income, my wife is going to go on mat leave, and i have even more expenses and less savings than I’ve ever had before.

    So here I am, thinking about what I want to do with my life, and I know I cant afford to take any steps back from the income I have coming in now. One thing I’ve always wanted to do is to create and my favorite way is writing. I’ve taken a couple classes in the past, still love it, but i really just need to find that hustle that you guys were talking about. My INFJ wife is supportive though i do find we spend a lot of time cleaning and cooking >> lol

    Its hard to find that drive sometimes. Work may be better now, but life is tiring and by the time i get free time it seems like its 8 at night and im just exhausted. I need some down time here and there… Really want to make it happen though. I’ve started writing a visual novel. Who knows if it will go anywhere, but im really hoping having a foundation of personality types is going to help make interesting stories :D

  • Mike Maitlen
    • Mike Maitlen
    • May 3, 2017 at 3:53 pm

    Thanks so much for the podcast!

    I would help people promote themselves and their companies – marketing and sales? And I’d also coach volleyball for high school boys.

    Like most here, I’ve gone through a season of growing through the religion of my youth, and just like Antonia I find myself actually surprised at the thought of a career that I’m passionate about. This has been super interesting.. Also like you both, the first thing that’s come to mind is digital (internet) marketing.. It’s creative and it helps people and companies. I’m considering more schooling in that and while I’m also accepted into a Counseling program in the fall.. Not sure if I can follow through with it though… Trying to make the right decision, and all I can think is how unconventional my road feels, and to not think about failing as an option… Thanks so much for your work!


  • Ethan Chew
    • Ethan Chew
    • January 2, 2017 at 4:36 pm

    INTJ here. To answer your question, I would help people make their dreams come true. Right now, business and career-wise, I’m doing this by my teaching and consulting to people and businesses on network and business development. I would also go gardening with permaculture and build a sustainable living community. I’ve gardened for fun and experimented with permaculture and visited a sustainable community with a farmstead and solar homes.

  • Adrienne
    • Adrienne
    • November 14, 2016 at 5:10 am

    Great episode! I especially loved your question Joel about doing whatever you want on the same salary and actually surprised myself to think, actually I’m where I want to be right now. Its been a struggle to get here, and its not a smooth life path I’ve chosen, so sometimes its hard to recognise.

    My story is that as a teenager I was pretty depressed, not terribly well supported by my parents (some emotional neglect), and I started realising I was gay when I was around 14. I put hardly any effort into school and would drink a lot on weekends and some drugs, and got really low grades, just scraping through.

    In my last year of high school I went to a career counsellor just so I could get a day off of school, and at the end of the day I decided I wanted to get a PhD in psychology and become a psychologist. All I really knew was that I was the person people would always come to for help, advice and support, and the psychologist idea really resonated.

    It was a major about face, but from then on I was driven to get a PhD (which I got two years ago, fourteen years later). I battled my inner demons the whole way down that path. I had to do extra years of community college to qualify for university. I struggled with classes I didn’t really connect with but I put a huge amount of pressure on myself to do well so I could get into a PhD program. I experienced my first serious burnout at the end of my honours year (I’ve experienced several more major burnouts since).

    I decided in my undergrad that I didn’t want to do clinical psychology and become a psychologist when I volunteered for a suicide helpline. I was good at the job, but it took a major toll on me emotionally—i couldn’t separate myself, and was given no support to try. I continued to be the rock for everyone in my life and didn’t really want to give that up either (who would I be otherwise??) and didn’t think I’d be able to cope with supporting others and taking on that emotion both personally and professionally.

    Instead I decided to pursue research and understand prejudice and intergroup relations, and figure out how we can eradicate or lessen racism and discrimination as a society. Eventually that led me to New Zealand (from Canada) where I did a PhD in cross cultural psychology focusing on Canadian multicultarism, Canadian identity and inclusion/exclusion.

    The PhD was tough. The process was gruelling. I suffered from imposter syndrome, like everyone else, but for me I couldn’t shake the feeling that I wasn’t smart enough, especially since I barely passed high school (whereas almost everyone else was an A student their whole life). I had a terrible supervisor who just served to intensify my anxiety and doubt, and I experienceed crippling self doubt and burnt out regularly. I also went to counselling and developed a strong understanding of myself, my reactions, my patterns, and I started silently building up my self confidence.

    The other thing that got me through was my love and passion for my topic of study. I wanted to understand (my) society and intergroup relations deeply, historically, at a high level, and I wanted to do something with the findings. Not just publish it in an academic journal but do something meaningful for people experiencing exclusion.

    When I finished two years ago I thought screw this, I’m done with academia. I didn’t really know what i wanted but I knew it wasn’t that. But my north star had always been the PhD, what now?? I got out and I organised a parade. I wanted to do something fun and completely different. My new city of Wellington NZ hadn’t had a gay/LGBTIQ pride parade in almost twenty years and I jumped at the chance to get involved. Before long (8 months) I was heading the whole pride event (multi day festival, fair and parade) and it turned out running a festival like that was hugely related to what I’d spent the last decade or so studying.

    The festival celebrates and showcases the lgbtiq community and raises visibility of the community and issues we’re still facing..aiming for recognition and acceptance and inclusion in wider society. But more than that, the community is a sub society characterised by a huge amount of diversity. There is sexual, gender, cultural and age diversity among others. Daily I am faced with the challenge of how to make sure everyone feels included, but genuinely included, and it turns out in practice that is no easy feat!

    All the work i do for the festival is volunteer. My paid work is as a researcher and evaluator in a government department, evaluating social programmes and whether they are helping people the way they are supposed to. I find the combination of trying to create change from within a mainstream organisation coupled with doing working as a minority for a large minority sub society full of tensions but also deeply satisfying.

    I surprised myself when I answered Joel’s question with a “yes, I am doing what I want to be doing” because the work itself (especially the community work) is so stressful. Someone the other day told me that she sees our pride committee as the civic politicians for the lgbtiq community, and it feels that way. We are held to account, and every move we make is scrutinised. There’s a lot of in fitting in the community and on the committee. People always wonder why I do something for free that is so stressful, and its sometimes hard to answer. But bringing communities together is something I’m passionate about, and building bridges or helping facilitate open and genuine communication, especially listening and hearing each other.

    Im realising im good at all this too, but it does sometimes have a detrimental effect on me. The PH site, blogs and podcasts have helped me build a lot of confidence in my strengths as an ENFJ, and its also taught me which areas to focus on and develop. I am deliberating choosing this path for myself but am learning to be clear about my boundaries, ask for help, get support, prioritise my needs and not feel such a great weight of responsibility for others. I am currently on the hunt for a coach to develop my leadership skills further and my paid work is giving me a lot of opportunities for leadership and leadership training as well. Thank you for your help in getting me here, and especially for allowing me to recognise that I’m right where I want to be right now.

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