AJ Leon is a writer, designer, entrepreneur, humanitarian and nomad. AJ Leon is a misfit. This is a million miles away from the “successful” career that AJ had as a financial executive in Manhattan. The life and career he turned his back on to live a life of adventure. Ask AJ Leon what he does now and he will tell you that he runs a travelling circus. Listen in to find out why.
AJ says of his old career, his past life “It’s a great life, if it’s yours”
AJ Leon is passionate and that passion is contagious. He lives with intention. He focuses on doing work that really matters and is changing the world. Following our conversation, i was certainly more determined to live my best life.
AJ shares two pivotal moments in his life that had a powerful impact. The first was when his high school guidance teacher told him he would achieve and it was best to lower his sights – and he went on to prove her wrong. Determined to Win with a capital “W”. Years later, as his career went from strength to strength, still in his mid twenties, with the corner office in Manhattan, a big salary and bonus and all the trappings that go with it, AJ was called into the boss’s office. He was told that he would achieve things and that he should lift his sights higher as he was being promoted (with accompanying pay raise and bonus).
How would you be feeling at this point? Delighted, excited, a sense of achievement, expectations for the future? WOuld you be feeling like you had “Won”.
Well AJ Leon broke down and cried. He cried as he quickly recognised that he would soon be trapped.
“I saw the 60 year old version of myself, looking back at me right then, and mourning the glory of a life that could have been”
Personally , that quote gives me goose bumps.
Now it is one thing to feel this way, it is another to act on it.
AJ Leon knew it was time for a change. Time to live a life of his choosing.
“I don’t want to go on vacations and holidays, I want to go on adventures”
I loved this conversation with AJ and I am extremely grateful to Srini Rao from the Unmistakable Creative for the introduction. It has made me reflect on my life and the story that I want to write, as well as the role that I want to play in it.
Do you have someone that has helped you tap into your inner misfit? If not, be warned, you may come away with a completely different outlook after listening to this conversation (or maybe it is an outlook that you have had all along, it just needed dusting off).