130 | Better than Average Podcast with Jonathan Mendonsa from Choose FI

Better than Average Podcasting with Jonathan Mendonsa from Choose FI
You don't have to be world-class; just being better than average can make a significant impact on your life. Jonathon Mendonsa from Choose FI discusses the pivotal role podcasting had in his lifestyle design.

Podcasting is a medium that has allowed me to 10x my network, have meaningful conversations with people I wouldn’t otherwise have access to, elevate the stories rarely shared in the industry, and establish my voice in the market.  It wasn’t until working with a few podcast coaching clients that I realized that while there is more happening behind the scenes, it doesn’t mean everything has to be official there for me to share this episode. 

If you do have a podcast or are interested in starting one the link to schedule a podcast coaching call or podcasting resources to help you take advance your podcast are available at my podcasting and business building resource page

Prior to discovering the financial independence/ early retirement movement, Jonathan Mendonsa followed the “normal path,” which ultimately led him to graduate pharmacy school at the age of 28 with $168,000 in student loans. He has since clawed his way out of debt and is aggressively pursuing financial independence.  He is passionate about the pursuit of financial independence and its power to change lives. He was the co-founder of Choose FI podcast, and the Founder of Talent Stacker, a dad of two young kids, techie, podcast guru, and inspiration behind Ordinary Sherpa taking action and bringing this podcast to life.  

Key Takeaways

1. I was hearing about people not just claiming their golden years, but their best years with financial independence.  The tribe of people who were relatable was what kept me going. The disheartening reality that to create any net worth I first needed to “get to broke.” I’d get the paycheck and make the decision to put 70% towards my debt.  “I had a whiteboard with 168 boxes to check over 4 years.” I kept hearing people who achieved Financial Independence, but was looking for those who are doing it now.  I realized there was space in the market for someone on the path. 

2. Connecting with people in the human sense is important for growing your tribe. The motivation from meeting with Brad lasted about 48 hours, but essentially he went back to work.  It wasn’t until a follow up message from Brad created an accountability spark that he googled how to start a podcast in a discreet window of time ultimately manifested into Choose FI.  While we will never know why, Brad agreed to cohost.

3. The key to progress was search followed by action.  College was not interest-led learning, it was focused primarily on the outcome of getting a degree.  You can learn anything you want.  Like many, Jonathon was given the playbook of what normal life looks like.  

4. The old me was terrified of failure.  When you give yourself a creative sandbox to test, fail and pivot, getting started is less overwhelming.  In school there weren’t pros and cons to failing the test.  He began to realize building a stack of skills and talents was going to add greater value to his life trajectory.  

5. If you need to manufacture what you can to be the underdog and keep the expectations within reach, go for it.  Many well-known athletes and celebrities work actively to create an underdog experience.  As Jonathon stated the learning from Scott Adams book How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big  The goal was not to be world class.  He simply needed to be better than average.  

6. It is critical to build out a network  of people who have a similar mindset.  You can simmer in ideas and continue to figure out your version, but you don’t know what you don’t know.  

7. Following the tenants of FI he paid off his debt, maintained a 70% savings rate and could fund their life for 2 years.  That was when we realized he reached the FU benchmark: Freedom Unlimited.  With the culmination of 3 things converging over a short period of time he approached his employer with a reasonable request.  When he heard “I don’t think it’s in the company’s best interest to grant that.” Jonathan was confident in his response “I don’t think it’s in my best interest to stay.”  

8. Having enough of a runway in place allows you the freedom and peace of mind to empower you to design the life you crave.

9. Jonathan’s first affiliate income was 35 Cents for a book someone found valuable on Amazon and he made it while he was sleeping.  While he had frontloaded that revenue with over 200 hours of work and the model was currently working to his disadvantage, it demonstrated that he could separate his time from his income. 

10. We are building an audience first business.  Listeners tell me what they are looking for.  If you build the content of value to serve others, they will continue to seek out the value you provide over a period of time.  Most content is evergreen and therefore they still see listeners finding them years after the content was originally released. Podcasts are not a business model, however it is a helpful tool in amplifying the ecosystem of the brand.  

11. It can’t be overstated how long it takes to build trust and how quick it can be destroyed.  

Much like Jonathon reached out to Brad (in episode 127 | Adventures in Entrepreneurship) it was a simple email, for whatever reason Brad said yes to meeting up and then sent an email a month later inquiring about Jonathon’s progress that was the beginning of Choose FI a podcast that garners millions of downloads each month and cultivated a community around the world. 

What is the simple step you can take today toward your next adventure? 

If you are curious about podcasting perhaps that next step is booking a coaching call with me!

To connect with Jonathan

PodcastChoose FI 
Website: https://www.choosefi.com/
Subscribe to the Email List: https://www.choosefi.com/read/newsletter/

Where to Listen

Apple Podcast, Spotify, Stitcher,  Google Podcast, anywhere podcasts are played