Goins, Writer

On Writing, Ideas, and Making a Difference

077: Intentionally Choosing Your Path Instead of Dying a Slow Death: Interview with Paul Angone [Podcast]

The average 2015 graduate walked off the commencement stage with over $30,000 of student loan debt. You don’t need a degree in mathematics to realize something isn’t adding up.

077: Discover Your Signature Sauce and Redefine Success: Interview with Paul Angone

The 20th Century was in part an era of false belief. The influence of the industrial age allowed companies to treat people like cogs in a machine. Institutions of higher learning churned out qualified workers and graduates were promised a bright future.

In the last decade, those promises are increasingly empty.

Paul Angone, a former college recruiter turned author and entrepreneur, knows the fear of post graduate life first hand.

This week on The Portfolio Life, Paul and I talk about how to find success and wake up from the nightmare of normalcy. Listen in as we share how you can stick out, find the work you’re meant to do, and accomplish your goals the context of today’s economy.

Listen to the podcast

To listen to the show, click the player below (If you are reading this via email, please click here).


You can also listen via iTunes or on Stitcher.

Detonating the American dream

Growing up my dad drilled three words of advice into our heads more than anything else:

Go to college.

A Bachelor’s degree used to be a golden ticket. Graduating seniors were faced with multiple offers as companies fought for educated talent.

Sounds like a fantasy now, doesn’t it?

The college years are formative for young people because it provides a transitional escape from reality. It’s a season of self-discovery and finding your place in the world.

Unfortunately, the price tag is rising each year and students aren’t leaving college any better prepared to face life than their first day freshman year.

When I attended college, there were no viable options to forego the experience. I graduated on the cusp of new learning mediums. We live in the most connected time in history with a vast wealth of knowledge available at our fingertips.

Education is important. Learning how to learn is vital. But you don’t need to spend 4 years and your life savings to obtain it.

Not anymore.

Show highlights

In this episode, Paul and I discuss:

  • Navigating the tension of passion and practicality
  • Viewing your 20s as a season of investment
  • Getting uncomfortable with the comfort zone
  • The wisdom of settling for a season to avoid settling forever
  • Having the courage to get lost
  • The difference between a slow death and an intentional one
  • Brutal transitions and the failure of institutional learning
  • The proprietary nature of information products
  • The power of verbally affirming your life’s work
  • Setting the table vs enjoying the feast

Quotes and Takeaways

  • Drowning in options is a terrible way to die.” —Paul Angone
  • Help people discover their own way while you discover your own way.
  • The first step to exploring is getting lost.” —Paul Angone
  • Your 20s are a series of internships. Pick something and master it.
  • Failure is the best qualifier.” —Paul Angone
  • Access to everything may lead to choosing nothing.
  • We may all be saying the same thing, but we’re not saying it the same way.


BONUS: Download the full interview transcript here.

Are you stuck in the slow death of normalcy? Or have you found a way to break through and live a more fulfilling life? Share in the comments

About Jeff Goins

I am the best-selling author of five books, including the national bestsellers The Art of Work and Real Artists Don't Starve. Each week, I send out a free newsletter with my best tips on writing, publishing, and helping your creative work succeed.