Who knows what you might learn from taking a chance on conversation with a stranger? Everyone carries a piece of the puzzle. Nobody comes into your life by mere coincidence. Trust your instincts. Do the unexpected. Find the others…Timothy Leary
When I quit my job in 2017, I was shocked at how alone I felt. The unspoken support of being on a prestigious path had fallen away and no active support seemed to appear. It seemed that everything in my life had been dependent on me staying employed and now people just wanted to know, “What’s your plan?”
I realized I needed to find people with similar paths and ask similar questions. Slowly, over a number of years through conferences, meetups, writing online, and creating my own events, I was able to find the others. This changed my life and helped me find a new level of confidence in my path.
Since 2020 when I announced that I was going to write a book, dozens of people have asked: “When will you launch a community so we can find each other.” Eventually, I ran out of excuses and it felt right.
I decided to finally launch a community in 2023.
Here’s what I’m building
Find the others will be a place where people can connect with generous and curious people on similar paths to share ideas, and support each other in daring to create, share, and root each other on their paths.
You’ll get access to a circle community with a lively group of 100+ awesome people (and growing)
- Access to subscriber status in the substack & ability to post topics in the substack chat
- Access to Reinvent & My Strategic Freelancing Course: I’ve had these pretty dope courses for a while but haven’t had the energy to sell and market them. This feels like a better way for people to access them. I will have to figure out how to migrate those from Podia and will figure out how to give people access too.
- Access to the most curious humans on the internet (the “others”)
- A signed copy of Paul’s book mailed to you anywhere in the world (by request)
- Weekly accountability & co-writing sessions
- Emergent unplanned fun & excitement
Note: I will be taking paternity leave from the end of February (or when our daughter arrives) to the beginning of April. My intention is to find some volunteers or paid supporters to help out. I decided to launch despite this because I think it’s important to set an example of creators taking breaks. I may pop in here and there but I’m not promising anything.
You can join for $300 as a one-time fee for lifetime access or $20/month on substack
If you need gift options in a pay-what-feels-right format, please email me paul @ think – boundless.com
Preview Of The Community
While the community is still evolving, it’s off to a fast start. Here is a preview of some of our stats & engagement as well as some of our upcoming events
Why This Matters (An Excerpt Chapter From My Book: Find The Others)
According to Agnes Callard, people on aspirational journeys, or what I call the pathless path, are “characteristically needy people.” Because their worldviews are incomplete and evolving, they are dependent on the support of other people.
My family is filled with people who have thrived on the default path. I had many great role models who taught me the value of hard work, discipline, and commitment, but only on one kind of path. In addition, most of my friends were solidly committed to their full‑time jobs. When I was starting to think about taking a different path, I had to find inspiration from podcasts and social media where people like Seth Godin, Derek Sivers, and Tim Ferriss exposed me to a broader set of ideas of how to live and work.
The person I was most drawn to, Seth Godin, had built a life around creativity, generosity, and helping others. I didn’t know if I could be like Godin but knowing that someone like him existed made me believe that kind of path was possible. One of the ideas that Seth Godin is known for is his suggestion that people on unconventional paths seek to “find the others.” These are the people who give us inspiration that doing things differently is possible and who might even join us on our journey.
It’s no surprise then that many people who take unconventional paths often grew up surrounded by people in their families who also took unconventional paths. Chris Donohoe worked in the consulting industry for several years before launching his own coaching business. He had always been inspired by “an entrepreneurial thread” in his family along with their “work for yourself mentality, and I’ve always had that as part of who I am.” For him, quitting to start his own business was natural.
Others find the others in unexpected places. Lydia Lee, who left a sales job in education in Canada, now runs an online coaching business from Bali and Canada. On a trip she took to Malaysia while still working full‑time, she met a digital nomad who was running a marketing firm from his laptop: “being able to meet him in real life…made me realize I could work from my laptop.” Meeting that person and her small, but powerful realization planted a seed in Lydia’s mind. Even though it would be another six months before she quit her job, she knew a different way of living was possible.
While Lydia happened upon this person by chance and I found people through social media, I suggest people take a more active approach to finding what I call “path experts.” These are people ahead of you on a path you might be interested in taking. It could be someone who left a job like yours or someone exploring a way of living that fascinates you. Nine times out of ten these people will be enthusiastic about connecting with you because they are still searching for people to learn from on their own journey.
I like to joke that Seth Godin was my only friend on the path before I quit my job. I had read several of his books and devoured all of his podcasts. In today’s world, we are lucky to have an abundance of people sharing their stories with us. However, this kind of digital inspiration is often only helpful at the beginning of the journey. Ultimately, you need to find people who are open to a deeper friendship and willing to spend meaningful time together.
I was lucky to stumble upon a few people on the pathless path who would become these kinds of friends at a conference I attended only a few months after quitting my job. I met Noel Boyland, who left a promising consulting career in his early 40s after a health crisis. He’s since become the mentor and friend I reach out to when I’m struggling and need a dose of courage. I also met Nita Baum, a consultant, coach, and founder of a talent collective who led a workshop during the conference. In our first conversation, she seemed to know everything about me without needing to ask. When you meet others on a similar path, there is an instant bond and a deep sense of knowing about the challenges you are both going through. You can smile in a way that says, ”I know, I know,” skip the “what do you do?” question, and start a deeper conversation.
On the pathless path, people like this are essential. You might find them in your family like Chris, while traveling like Lydia, or at a conference like I did. These relationships offer a space where you don’t need to have good answers for what you are doing or what comes next. Two “characteristically needy people,” as Callard describes them, isn’t a recipe for disaster. In my experience, it’s usually an opportunity for a beautiful friendship.
On my previous path, there was a hidden cost to my success. The consistent financial rewards helped me live a smooth existence, needing to rely less on others the more I succeeded. In some circles, this is celebrated as the ultimate aim of life, but for me it led to a certain emptiness that I didn’t fully understand until I found myself on a path that forced me to find the others.
33k+ Sold! (Top 1% Book) The Pathless Path is Paul's book about walking away from a "perfect" job with a promising future and starting over again. Through painstaking experiments, living in different countries, and a deep dive into the history of our work beliefs, Paul pieces together a set of ideas and principles that guide him from unfulfilled and burned out to what he calls "the pathless path" - a new story for thinking about work in our lives. Learn More & Buy The Book Here