Review Paid To Exist – and a (Life-Changing) Give-Away!

Paid to Exist ReviewMonday mornings can suck. Oh hell, they can. And I’m not just bitching because I currently experiment with a lifestyle of nightowlism (more on that in my next post!) – Monday mornings can suck big time, and we’ve all have experienced it. Really bad Monday mornings start with an alarm clock. They are nearly always doomed, and there’s only one thing that makes them worse: A boring job being the reason you have to get up early in the first place.

The good news is, we’re living in internet wonderland and we might as well liberate ourselves from that boring job. (Plus, that alarm clock.) And while most minds around the planet still are strongholds of the corporate forces, there’s a growing virtual village whose inhabitants fight the status quo and won’t rent out their brains anymore. It’s exactly this village that’s inviting you to spend an eight-week bootcamp on their soil and prepare yourself for getting paid to exist.

What’s Paid to Exist all about?

In a nutshell, Paid to Exist is an online course by Jonathan Mead, teaching you to build a business based on your passion. As such, it has two inherent limitations: First of all, it’s not for people wanting to create passive income and building anonymous niche sites for a living. Rather, it’s for people who have a “thing” they like to do (or are willing to find one, probably based on their hobbies or interests) and want to learn how to make a living with it. Secondly, Paid to Exist is directed to people who would like to use internet tools of some sort in the creation of their business (though it’s by no means limited to aspiring pro bloggers).

Paid to Exist basically outlines the whole process of business creation and further business development – and that’s why it’s so useful. Instead of handing bits and pieces, Jonathan gives you the whole enchilada: He begins with the creation of the right mindset and explains how to discover your passion, before showing you how to connect this with ways of making a living. Once you’re on the right track, you can begin to create value on a blog or other kind of web presence, connect with an audience, and start to design an offer based on their necessities. From then on, you are free to grow, and specialize in the areas that stick with both you and your people.

The technical aspects of Paid to Exist

The core of the program is an audio/slides lesson for each week, ranging in length from 40 to 60 minutes, accompanied by a sheet of practical tasks that you should work on during that week. Apart from that, you are granted access to a private forum where you can exchange your results and any related issues with the other people taking the course. Depending on the package you buy, there will also be an accompanying part of weekly group coaching calls.

For a very disciplined person, the weekly lessons provided by Jonathan really contain all the information you need to pull that thing through. What was especially valuable for me, though, was the ability to connect with my peers on similar voyages in the forum, and also the personal feedback and inspiration I got from the calls.

Long-term Perspective and Working at Your Own Pace

In the forum of the first installment, a couple of members liked the atmosphere of the course so much that we decided to take it beyond Paid to Exist and create our own brainstorming and mastermind group – it still exists today and I’m always glad to meet up with my peers. As for further long-term impact, I am still coming back to several of the lessons nowadays, as they provide timeless content that keeps getting me back on track whenever I lose myself in the minutiae of building my online presence.

One of the best things about Paid to Exist is that it allows you to work at your own pace: You are free to listen to the new lessons whenever you like, and to download them for later reference. At the same time, the weekly installments keep you coming back at the material instead of just “buying and forgetting about it”, as it sometimes might happen with ebooks.

One big thing to consider is that you have to commit the time to make this real! Eight weeks are by no means enough to really process all the material provided in Paid to Exist. To make things a bit easier, Jonathan created a six-month road map, guiding the participants of this third installment through the course. I have seen the road map myself during a coaching call, and I find it to be incredibly useful. Check out this free video where Jonathan himself presents the road map to you.


Name: Paid to Exist Unschool – Get Paid to Be Who You Are
Content: Online Course/Phone Coaching: Eight lessons based on Audio and Slides; Work Sheets; Discussion Forum; Coaching Calls
Price: $249-$449
Where to get it: It’s not open for sale yet. Feel free to get some awesome (and free) videos on the course here or through any of the affiliate links on this page.
Where to get it for free: Right here, at the end of this post! Scroll down!

Whom it’s not for:

  • People who already have a thriving (online) business
  • People who hate the internet and social media
  • People who wouldn’t want to create a business connected to their personality and passion
  • People who are not willing to put in some time and effort beyond purchasing the course

Whom it’s for:

  • All kinds of creative people who dream about building a business based on their passion
  • People who want to go self-employed, no matter if you want to take the plunge as fast as possible or start with a side-business
  • Both people who prefer to work alone (forum-only option) and people who want coaching, accountability and closer guidance (all-inclusive option)
  • People who are able to find at least five to ten hours per week to really follow the course and participate in the forum – the more you put in, the more you’ll get out of it!


If you ever dreamt about building your own business, but didn’t know how to connect your passion with an audience and clients, Paid to Exist will help you to make that dream real. The course provides a lot of food for thought, as well as directly actionable steps to creating your own business, and it’s up to you if you prefer doing it slow or fast, staying small or growing big. The only thing that’s indispensable to get it done, is putting the effort in. With Jonathan, you have a great mentor to accompany you in the process and clear your path to success. The horror of Monday mornings might vanish sooner than you think…

Go check out Paid to Exist here.

The Life-Changing Give-Away (Woot!)

As Jonathan loves you guys (and The Friendly Anarchist!), he decided to not only dedicate his time for an interview (that I will publish here in a couple of days), but also give away a free spot in the next installment of Paid to Exist! This is a great opportunity for you to grab your copy.

To enter the contest, just leave a comment below explaining why YOU are the person who needs to get paid to exist. The best comment I receive until September 13th, 6pm CST, wins!

Be sure to subscribe to the friendly anarchistic RSS feed to be updated once the winner is chosen, and to get the exclusive interview I did with Jonathan about this third installment of Paid to Exist.

Secret hint: Unfortunately, I probably won’t be able to give a spot to every great commentor out there. But here you can find a give-away of two more spots! I’m just sayin’…

Disclaimer: The winner will be selected by the totally biased me. I will choose a person who can really show me why she or he needs to get paid to exist. If there is more than one comment I like, I will choose the winner randomly between them.

Even more Disclaimer: Paid to Exist was the start of my personal journey to self-employment, and it helped me a lot during the creation of this site. I believe that Jonathan is a totally awesome person and that he offers value in pretty much everything he does. Thus, from time to time, I offer his products here on TFA, making a commission if someone buys anything through my links.


  1. Who does not deserve to be paid to exist? Here in Spain we have a set from 16-30 years known as the Ni-Ni (for Ni estudian, ni trabajan: nor they work, neither study). Living off their parents, from party to party (or just chained to TV or computer). But except some cases like this, everyone deserves it. In fact, I am already being paid to exist, in some sense, by our Science department in the government, but sadly, it will only last until July: grants don’t last forever.

    If I don’t manage to finish my thesis by then (and even if I do), my future is completely undetermined from then on: I don’t know what I will be able to do. Of course, I have savings to last a few months, hoping to finish it, but still after that it would be a blank wall. Which means I may have to give up blogging for lack of time, maybe, or maybe I have to give up guitar (which I will be starting in a week together with my girlfriend), cutting in enjoyment just to cope with society’s expectations.


    1. Ruben, the situation in Spain is tough indeed. I’m glad to read that you’ve got a grant for your thesis, and also – as far as I can see – that you are really studying something that is very tied to your passion.
      That said, looking beyond the time of that grant is certainly a good idea, so thanks for joining the contest and checking out Paid to Exist! :)

  2. Hey All –

    I’ll echo Fabian’s comments and endorsement here. The Paid to Exist program is great. What of the greatest benefits is meeting a like minded group of people who share the same interests and goals and want to be paid to exist. If it sounds selfish, it’s not. The whole goal is to tune into what you really want in your life? What are your strengths and how can you use those strengths to create a thriving and successful business full of passion.

    The only comment I’d make Fabian is this….you can truly work at your own pace. You do make a comment above about being willing to commit to 5-10 hours per week, but I think it’s good to point out that it’s not a must to do that. Everyone can take this at their own pace. Any step…no matter how small is a success. I really want to re-iterate that. I think it’s so easy to get overwhelmed when joining these programs and feeling like you have to ‘keep up’ with everyone else. It’s not about everyone else…it’s about you. So, have fun, take baby steps and work at your own pace!

    Awesome review Fabian!

    1. Thanks for chiming in, Nate, and also for your thoughts on the pace of the program. (For anybody else reading this, Nate took the course with me in 2009 and he’s an awesome guy! Be sure to check out his blog!)

      I indeed think that it’s quite helpful to spend a couple of hours on the program as it runs, in order to benefit more from the group discussions. That said, you are right that it’s totally possible to do things as fast or slow as you like.

  3. Thanks Fabian, a nice comprehensive review there. I may check the course out myself, being at something of a crossroads currently and loving social media so much it’s quiet scary! Probably obvious ref points, but just going on what you’ve said above, it calls to mind What Colour is your Parachute and Tim Ferriss’ 4 Hour Week. I’m still not sure about the latter’s methodology in practice, but the first half of the book did inspire me a fair bit at the time.

    1. Yeah, 4hww is a long story… my take on some aspects of it can be found here. (If you’ve got the time, be sure to check out the comments and links, too!)
      As for the parachute book, I’ve never read it, but it sounds like it was more about “discovering who you are”. As I mentioned, this is definitely a part of Paid to Exist, but it goes way beyond that by really showing you how to build your online presence and business.

  4. With Ferriss the inspiring part for me was his encouragement to see through the negative reasons you give yourself for not doing something different and taking risks to break out of cubicle life. But of course he is an uber-capitalist if ever there was one. I didn’t find his stance on outsourcing your life/business to third world economies too ethical, nor his general approach to using people to selfishly maximise his own free time. What Colour is your Parachute does look at knowing yourself in a work context. Really it’s about how to create the perfect job/business opportunity for you based on your connections, what you can do and what you love. It was written long before the social media age too, but gets updated periodically. It’s worth a look, though possibly a bit overlong.
    Interesting discussion on that other post you mention!

    1. Thanks for the info on What Colour is your Parachute, Jools!
      And I agree with you generally when it comes to the ethics in Ferriss’ approach… what’s more, I strongly doubt he’s ever lived a 4hww in the sense he describes it, as he is a total workaholic! ;)

  5. Hey I’m Dylan and I need to be paid to exist.

    I’m a 17 year old high-school student living in Toronto, Canada. I’m in my last year of high-school and pressure is mounting to make big decisions and ‘make something of my self’.

    I’m good at programming and enjoy coding, so that’s the course I’m probably going to take if nothing changes, but its really not something I want to do with the rest of my life. I’m just not passionate about it. To be honest, coding for a few years then being promoted to a management position scares the hell out of me (and yet it seems to be where I’m going).

    I’ve looked at many internet business type programs and have recently tried some article marketing stuff. If I work incredibly hard at that, and push out literally thousands of articles (… literally) I could probably build up a reasonable income. The problem is, I feel horrible writing these relatively worthless articles, that don’t provide value.

    I want to make money by helping people and provide REAL value to them by living a passionate life.

    P.S. that all sounded like a bit of a hard sale didn’t it. I just thought I would give it a go.

  6. You say this is for creative people who want to be self employed, work alone, take guidance, have a lot of time…..

    THAT’S ME !!!!!!!!!

    I’ve been looking for a job for MONTHS. Even worse, I’m applying for jobs i would hate- office, restaurant, retail, child care, etc etc etc. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how I can be paid to do something I love, rather than work one of the above mentioned hated jobs. Jonathan’s program sounds like the perfect thing to push me forward. Im 24. I had to take a lot of time off from school because I can’t afford it. I don’t really know what to do with myself now. But I know I need to find a new way of earning a living, i.e. being paid to exist. Help!

  7. Hi Fabian –
    I deserve to be paid to exist. Wow, that’s hard to type, let alone say aloud. The truth is, I don’t feel like I deserve it. A decade’s worth of depression has stunted me a bit in that department. However, intellectually I understand that I’m destined for so much more than my ultra-secure government job. It pays well and the benefits are good – I’m afraid I’ll become a “lifer” if I don’t do something soon. I’m in a good position to make a change. I don’t have a lot of bills, I don’t have kids to worry about or even a cat, and at 24 I probably have more energy than I ever will. I just don’t know what to do with it!

    This is the first time I have ever commented on a blog. I had one bad experience in a forum, and it silenced my online voice for quite a long time. The Universe gave me a nudge, and in the interest of showing it that I’m grateful, I’ll go a step further. I’m leaving a link to my blog. It’s not terribly exciting, but this is the first time I have made it “public” beyond… telling my live-in boyfriend (and that was tough)!

    Now to post before I lose the nerve (again). Even if I don’t win, I’m totally proud of myself. So… thanks!

    1. Hey Tracy and Anne (nice pen name! :)), thank you both very much for entering the contest! Looks like I’ve got to do some serious soul searching now to choose a winner. I’ll publish the results of it tomorrow…

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