Getting Unstuck: Reinvent Yourself. Again. A Transformation Story with Mike Johnson.

Our lives are rarely linear. Most of us start out “here” and then make a series of twists and turns. Sometimes we’re the driver. Sometimes fate and opportunity take the wheel. And sometimes someone else says “I’ll drive.”

In this series we’re calling “Transformation Stories,” we depart from our traditional format where we talk to an expert about some aspect of change. Instead, here we interview one individual about how they came to be where they are today. We’ll focus on a turning point, or catalyst that propelled them from a less than desirable situation to one that’s more aligned with who they really are and where they want to be.


In this episode, we talk with Mike Johnson. Mike began his career life in the corporate world, but then exited that highway for a series of careers without which, he says, wouldn’t have led him to retire at age 52, living off passive income with almost no entries on his calendar. And he loves it that way – as you can see.

Let’s find out how he did it.

Listen for:

• How Mike turned the adversity of a situation into personal growth.

• How Mike identified his values first – “I wanted to earn money, but not be on a schedule.” – and then chose a course of action to align with them.

Everything is going to be fine in the end. If it’s not fine, it’s not the end. – Oscar Wilde

Mike’s wisdom and guiding principles:

• “Everything works out in the end.”

• “If you have a chance to start to start something new, and reinvent yourself, do it.”

• “You have to have the audacity to believe that you deserve ‘it‘ and can do it.”

• “Feed yourself first.”

• “The speed of improvement is based on your sense of self-worth and the disciple it takes to achieve the goal.”

After Listening to the Episode:

  1. Mike and his wife often asked themselves open-ended questions as a way to spur their thinking. What questions could you ask yourself? What questions, if any, are you avoiding asking?

  2. Where along the way did Mike demonstrate courage by leaping before the net appeared?

  3. Truly self-aware people often use “contemplative inquiry” as a means to get at what’s inside themselves, to unearth what they want out of life, or even to answer when one of life’s questions comes their way. One of the most common forms of contemplative inquiry is meditation, but walks in nature also serve the purpose. Mike chose to have an early morning newspaper route to give him time to pause and think things through. Where do you exercise contemplative inquiry? To what results?

Jeff Ikler