ITT 002: How to Dominate Fear, Draw Your Own Map, and Live Boldly with AJ Leon

02 Aj Leon In The Trenches Podcast Tom Morkes 1

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Relent Not One Inch


If starting something from scratch is tough...

And choosing a course of action, a direction, and a speed is scary...

Then giving up a lucrative job in New York to bootstrap a business, create a paradigm-shifting, book publishing venture, and travel across the world in a van in 1080 days must be madness.

But that's exactly what AJ Leon decided to do.


In AJ's own words (click to tweet):

I don’t want to relent not one f@#%ing inch. [AJ Leon]

Choosing a Course

From an outside perspective, AJ had everything going for him; a financially stable job in New York, an amazing and supportive soon to be wife, and a lucrative promotion just days away.

Except on the inside, everything wasn't so great.

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AJ Leon, founder of Misfit

AJ had a painful epiphany the day before a big promotion; he realized if he takes this promotion, he's stuck in this lifestyle forever (a lifestyle that, while socially respectable, drained him of energy and passion).

The next day, AJ quit his job and chose his own course; no plan, no preparation, no waiting around for someone to tell him what to do.

If you want to understand what it means to draw your own map, talk to AJ.

About AJ Leon

AJ Leon is a writer, designer, entrepreneur, humanitarian and nomad.

He is the founder of Misfit Inc, where he helps brands take over the world.

You can find out more about his business at, and read about his travels at his personal branded website:

AJ and his wife, Melissa, are currently on a mission to travel across the world in 1,080 days.  You can follow along at

AJ also produces Misfit Quarterly – a creative arts journal dedicated to showcasing the work of artistic carriers of the misfit flame.  The digital edition is free – but AJ also does a limited release run of the print version; something I’m a proud subscriber of.  If you’re interested, checkout

AJ Leon - ITT 002: How to Dominate Fear, Draw Your Own Map, and Live Boldly with AJ Leon

Amazing Quotes from this Equally Amazing Interview

I don’t want to relent not one f@#%ing inch.” (click to tweet)

This is what I want and I’m going to live my life deliberately based on the choices I make.  If it crumbles in my hand, then at least it’s on me. (click to tweet)

True greatness is only a reflection of the failure that is probable in the pursuit of it. (click to tweet)

There has to be a possibility that whatever you’re doing may end in cataclysmic failure or it’s probably not worth doing. (click to tweet)

Don’t listen to anybody. (click to tweet)

More than ever before there is an absurd amount of propaganda out there in the world and there are people that …in a very well intentioned way guide you toward safety, and security, and compliance, and complacency…you should question all of that.

Take 3 or 6 months to write down what you want your one and only life to represent on this planet – what you want to accomplish – what you want to be different because you were here…write it all down and use that as a signpost moving forward…but don’t take your cues from society…it will lead you to despondence.

Keep on doing it…you’re going to f@#% up…keep on putting one foot in front of the other in defiance of a conventional and conformitive life. (click to tweet)

What AJ Leon and I Discuss in this Interview

  • Quitting a successful career for uncertainty and possible failure
  • The power of bold, audacious moves
  • Creative entrepreneurship: what it takes to become a creative entrepreneur and why it’s so essential you become one
  • The absurd awesomeness of taking a 1080 day trip around the world (via a trailer named Pegassus)
  • Overcoming the fear of embarking on an uncertain journey
  • What true absence of fear is (hint: it’s not courage)
  • “No one ever did anything spectacular without taking great risk”
  • Why pressing deeper into uncertainty is the only way to deal with fear
  • How you harness creative energy to create tangible products
  • The power of writing in the morning
  • The power of solitude
  • Waking up at 430 in the morning for exercise and creative development
  • The importance of design in every project you ever create (looks matter!)
  • How aesthetics can set you, your business, or your art apart from everyone else
  • Artisan and Handcrafted work matters more now than ever
  • The mystical power of scarcity in building your brand
  • Adding value to your business through selective craftsmanship
  • The importance of combining art + business + creativity + personality
  • How AJ balances traveling across the world in a bus (The Pegasus), runs his business, creates his art, manages his social network, and still has time to get interviewed by Tom Morkes!
  • Making the leap to doing what you love without a safety net – advice AJ would never give to anyone else, but it was the only way for him to take control of his life (and the world is thankful)
  • Why you should not listen to anybody (the  irony isn’t lost on us)

In The Trenches with Tom Morkes on YouTube:

Connect with AJ Leon:




More Show Notes:

Pursuit of Everything Manifesto by AJ Leon: Read AJ's amazing eBook here (he'll be kickstarting the physical edition very soon!).

Escape From Cubicle Nation: A great resource for people who want to quit their job and pursue their passion.

Good Life Project interview with AJ and Melissa Leon: Great interview.  Watch it.

Misfit Quarterly: Get the free digital edition here.  Or join me and be awesome and support an awesome initiative by grabbing the limited edition softcover.

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