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Q&A

Q&A with Joe Barnes

It’s time for another Q&A session to introduce a new Watkins author to the world, and today we’re speaking to Joe Barnes, whose first Watkins title Do The Work You Love is released on February 11th, 2020.

Some books explain how to discover a passion, or life’s purpose, but leave the reader to find their own path to creating an income from it. Joe aims to change this with Do The Work You Love, guiding the reader through the entire process of making money without working a boring job. Read on to find out about Joe’s story, the inspiration behind the book, and how you can go from economic servitude to genuine career satisfaction, fun and fulfilment.


Hi Joe! To start us off, what first inspired you to write Do The Work You Love?

It all began with a comment on my YouTube channel, Screw The System. A young man from the Netherlands asked me advice on, ‘creating an income without working a boring job.’ That gave me an idea for the title of a book (which has since been changed to Do The Work You Love) and a topic to write about. His situation was interesting. He had multiple passions, yet no idea how to monetize any of them. Furthermore, he was confused about whether he should pursue higher education or get a regular and, in his words, boring, job.

The person who commented on my YouTube video was unsure, but not without hope. In his comment, I recognised the thought process and dilemma that many of my audience experience. This gave me an idea. I would write a blog post and answer his question. However, as I sat down to write, I realised the answer would require more than my normal 1500 words. The blog post turned into an eBook and soon after, that eBook turned into the full-scale book. What was supposed to take me no more than a week of writing ending up being a year and a half long project.

How do you fit writing into your day?

When I first started out, well over a decade ago, I used to write for an hour a day (while also working as a tennis coach and hypnotherapist). It was easy back then. All I had to think about was completing my first book. Now, I have to think about promoting myself through social media, writing blog posts, making YouTube videos and running a meet up group.

There’s so much more to being an author than writing. However, having said that, I do try and stick to a routine. I write every day, whether I have a deadline to meet or not. If nothing is due, I’ll just write for 45 minutes. If a book needs to be finished, I can write for three or four hours a day, focusing on completing 350 words every hour.

It’s not really a case of fitting my writing into my day. Instead, my day has to be structured around my writing. It’s one of my main priorities, so TV time, socialising and, occasionally, clients have to be sacrificed.

You encourage people to use The Dream Job Chart to figure out which of their passions might be something they can turn into a job. Did you try this yourself, and what happened when you did?

Yes I did, and you can see the outcome in the book. I graded around 9 or 10 potential passions from estate agent to actor, and from hypnotherapist to politician. However, when I created the chart, I was already over a decade into my journey. Therefore, I was recalling options from a time when I wasn’t sure of my path and had many ideas floating around in my head.

The chart made me realise I made the right choices all those years ago. My most fanciful passions – being a pro tennis player, for example – were never going to work. However, the safest options – being a schoolteacher or an estate agent – were always going to leave me unfulfilled. I had to strike the right balance between enjoyment, fulfilment, length of time to
master and the potential to monetize.

You refer to quite a few businessmen and women in the book who influenced you over the course of your journey. Is there someone in particular you admire?

Of all the examples used in the book, Elon Musk is the one I most admire. This is for a few reasons. First, the projects he’s involved in are not just vehicles to make him rich. He’s on a mission to use technology for the benefit of humanity (both with the reduction of CO2 emissions by switching to electric transportation and the forward-thinking idea of finding an additional home for the human race by colonising Mars). I also like the way he’s built up to SpaceX and Tesla with Zip2 and PayPal. In the terminology of my book, he’s followed The Strategist’s Path, which is a similar route to the one I’ve followed.

Finally, I admire his spirit and ambition. As one of his employees, the worst thing you can tell him is that something can’t be done. Elon refuses to accept the term ‘impossible’. As a result, countless creative solutions have been found that put Tesla and SpaceX at the cutting edge of their respective industries.

What is the main message you hope that readers will take away from your book?

That they have options. When someone is unclear about their future, feels a pressing need to make money and can’t see a way to make a living from something they enjoy, it can be all too easy to panic. This usually leads to making a career choice out of harmony with our true ambitions.

I want my readers to know they don’t have to do this. Hopefully, by learning about the possibilities they have, they can relax. Then, with a clearer mind, they will realise there’s nothing chaining them to a life of long hours and stress.

Ultimately, if my readers were to live their lives as an adventure, rather than a series of obligations they’re bound to undertake, I’ll feel that my mission has been accomplished.


Find out more

Joe Barnes lives what he writes. Since graduating from the University of Manchester, he has followed the path of inspiration and forged a successful career doing what he loves: first as a tennis coach, then as a hypnotherapist, and now an author, speaker and life coach. He is in great demand as a motivational speaker at personal development groups, including his own Success Club, as well as in schools. He is the author of Escape the System and Do The Work You Love (Watkins Publishing, 11th February 2020).

Find out more at www.escapethesystemnow.com

Do The Work You Love: How to Create an Income without Working a Boring Job (9781786783141) is available from 11th February 2020.