Welcome to the Join Up Dots business coaching podcast interview with Jocelyn Paonita
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Introducing Jocelyn Paonita
Todays guest, joining us on the Join Up Dots free podcast interview is Jocelyn Paonita.
She is a lady who believes that entering into adult life with a solid education is extremely advisable, but entering into adult life with the debt that education brings is not.
She was a college graduate who ended her education with zero student loans.
What I hear you say…..no student loans how is that possible!
Well, hang on a minute as if you think that sounds inplausible then consider that not only was her college bill paid for but she actually got paid to go to school too.
How The Dots Joined Up For Jocelyn
As the first in her family, she had to figure out the scholarship process on her own, and so successfully did this, she now wants to help other students and their families do the same and the first step has been writing the Amazon bestseller “The Scholarship System.”
This best selling book details the exact strategies, and insider information that Jocelyn Paonita uncovered which allowed her to bring in over $125,000 in scholarships and financial aid, paying her entire college bill and giving her extra cash each semester.
She was able to focus on her higher education rather than constantly worrying about money and how much student loan debt was piling up.
But that is just one part of her story as this is a lady who has an eye of creating a life that so few people are willing to create, and she is going for it Big time.
As she says “Recently I have realized that future options are endless and, while I have always taken advantage of those opportunities in front of me, I am now creating my own.”
So how does someone come out of the education system with a mind-set so different from so many others, who focus in on a job, and not creating the opportunities that can lead to financial freedom instead?
Well let’s bring onto the show to start joining up dots, as we discuss the words of Steve Jobs in todays podcast, with the one and only Jocelyn Paonita.
During the show we discussed such weighty topics with Jocelyn Paonita such as:
Why she believes that we don’t have to go from a bad position to an amazing one instantly, but instead we can stand on a bridge between the two for awhile!
How you have to make sure that your job is making you take a step forward towards the future that you want….use what you have around you!
How life is always going to be hard until you find the rhythm and then it gets easier and easier!
How she is inspired to become a public speaker and help students across the globe gain an education and remain debt free!
How her Fathers redundancy was a big dot, that helped shape her future. She wouldn’t have wanted it to happen, but is now glad it did
Books By Jocelyn Paonita
How To Connect With Jocelyn Paonita
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Audio Transcription Of Jocelyn Paonita Interview
When we’re young, we have an amazing positive outlook about how great life is going to be. But somewhere along the line we forget to dream and end up settling. Join Up Dots features amazing people who refuse to give up and chose to go after their dreams. This is your blueprint for greatness. So here’s your host live from the back of his garden in the UK, David Ralph.
David Ralph [0:26]
Yes, hello there, everybody. Welcome to Episode 191 of a Join Up Dots. Today’s guest is a lady who believes that entering into adult life with a solid education is extremely advisable. But entering into adult life with the debt that education brings is not now she was a college graduate who ended her education with zero student loans. What are you say? No student loans. How’s that possible? Well, hang on a minute, as if you think that sounds implausible, then consider that not only was our college bill paid for, but she actually got paid to go to school to as the first in her family, she had to figure out the scholarship process on her own and so successfully did this. She now wants to help other students and their families do the same. And the first step has been writing the Amazon bestseller the scholarship system. Now this best selling book details, the exact strategies and insider information that she uncovered, which allowed her to bring in over 125,000 in scholarships and financial aid, paying her entire college bill and giving an extra cash each semester to now she was able to focus on her higher education rather than constantly worrying about money, and how much student loan debt was piling up. But that’s just one part of the storey as this is a lady who has an idea of creating a life that so few people are willing to create. And she’s going for it big time. And she says, recently, I realised that future options are endless. And while I’ve always taken advantage of these opportunities in front of me, I’m now creating my own. So how does someone come out the education system with a mindset so different from so many others who focus in on the job and getting the job and not creating the opportunities that can lead to financial freedom instead? Well, let’s find out as we bring on to the show to start joining up does the one and only Jocelyn pen Nita, how are you, Justin?
Jocelyn Paonita [2:18]
I’m doing well. Thank you for having me.
David Ralph [2:20]
It’s lovely to have you on. That is a beautiful name. And I struggled all the way I was leading up to that I was thinking, oh my god, how do you say how do you say how do you say? And even though you told me beforehand, it was a panic moment for me. So where does Panetta discernment come from?
Jocelyn Paonita [2:38]
It’s actually Italian. I saw a family over there and very close to my roots. I absolutely love Italian. And, yeah, it’s pretty much a time.
David Ralph [2:48]
So it’s not a sort of centralised, Italian, Southern Italian is just as far as you were just Italian.
Jocelyn Paonita [2:54]
Well, this is it’s Southern Italian. So my family’s actually in Palermo, one of us small cities in Sicily.
David Ralph [3:01]
Oh, that’s where the mafia come from.
Jocelyn Paonita [3:05]
That’s what everyone says when I tell them that.
David Ralph [3:09]
But that’s what we say. Because he’s true. He’s the mafia. So do you have any sort of sort of guitar playing uncle’s a slightly strange and wear black suit?
Jocelyn Paonita [3:19]
If I did, I wouldn’t be able to tell you know what I
David Ralph [3:22]
know. You probably wouldn’t. But then again, nobody else is listening. He’s just a gentleman.
Jocelyn Paonita [3:30]
Yes. I can’t say I have any guitar playing uncle’s. But there are a few strange birds in the family
David Ralph [3:37]
always is in every family isn’t there? Yeah. So in your your, your life is quite interesting. Because as I was saying to you, just before we started recording, you’re kind of my target audience. Because you are somebody that is creating a pump yourself. You’ve done some great stuff, you’ve done amazing things. And we’re going to talk about the sort of college sit, because that is one of those things that I read. And I thought really, how has she done this? So I know that so many people are going to be fascinated about that as well. But you are still a full time employee and you are working, you’re in that transition you’re working for that the big thing, whatever you end up doing in life?
Jocelyn Paonita [4:18]
Yes, yes, exactly. I would definitely say that I can relate to most of your audience.
David Ralph [4:23]
What is it in you why why do people have this? And I’m kind of asking this question that even though I know because I went through it myself. But why do you get that kind of feeling inside? When you think actually, I know this was the path I set out on for quite a while for many years? I thought it was going to be the path but for some reason, I’m not too sure. Now, it just doesn’t seem right. Is it something that’s been like an epiphany and it’s just come to you,
Jocelyn Paonita [4:49]
my family, I’m the oldest subset or oldest of five. So my family has to provide for seven of us. And it’s always been financially tight. And so when I went into college, I knew first I didn’t want to have to worry about money. I didn’t need to be rich, but I always wanted to be financially stable. And that meant that I needed to, or I thought I needed to follow the the stereotypical American dream, where you’re exchanging time for money, you know, you have your 40 to 50 hours a week, you have your standard benefit, you’re working for a large corporation that’s established, it’s the quote unquote, standard, secure job that we were told about growing up. And so this entrepreneurial stage that me and so many others are in, I did not foresee that in my future at all, when I stepped foot into college, I thought, let’s just follow the standard path and do what I’m supposed to do move up the corporate ladder, and that’s where I will end up. But getting involved in student organisation and eventually attending an entrepreneurial conference, I realised You know what, maybe, maybe there’s a bit more to my future, maybe I don’t want to do that stereotypical pathway that I’ve, that has been so embedded in me. And at first being surrounded by entrepreneurs and, and other students that were just thinking so far outside out the box. I thought, there’s no way I can do this, these, these people are amazing. I mean, they’re, they’re so creative, I don’t have a creative bone in my body. And I actually, that is a direct line from what I used to tell people. I literally said I would love to be an entrepreneur, but I don’t have a creative bone in my body. And, and that’s when people started telling me you know what, Jocelyn, you don’t need to be creative, per se, you just need to want to solve problems. And, and that’s what entrepreneurship is. It’s it’s solving problems, helping people overcome their challenges. And you know what I realised God, I love helping people. So maybe I can do this. So to bring it back to your question, how, how does one end up where we are in this stage where you’re like, where you’re thinking, you know, maybe the standard path isn’t for me, let’s go the entrepreneurial route. I did not foresee that by any means.
Unknown Speaker [7:20]
Is my bow
David Ralph [7:21]
isn’t it? But you know, I’m so infused Bobby’s I want to jump in. But I’m so mad that we all go on the path. But we get told to now it’s our lives. We are the only ones living our lives. And I did the path that was expected. I went through college. And I remember saying to my mom, right, I’m going to take six months off. And she went, No, you’re not you’re going to get a job. And I went, well, I don’t really want a job. At the moment. I’ve done education. I’ve been at school since I was five. I’m now 17. You know, I just want to break note, you’re going to get a job. And she basically wrote to the company’s for me, and I got sucked into some interviews. And unfortunately, I got one. And I was there 15 years. And it set the path up for my whole career. And it wasn’t until I got to my age now 44. But I thought I can’t do this anymore. I really need to break free. But I look at it. And I think yes, this is what I should be doing. This is absolutely it. And it is the entrepreneurial spirit to create your own future. But this, isn’t it that we we just kind of buy into this myth. This is what everybody else has done. They’ve been doing it for years and years and years. So that’s what’s expected of us. Why do we do it?
Jocelyn Paonita [8:32]
I you know, it really is strange. You’re absolutely correct. But I do you think times are changing. I think our generation is getting a little bit better at saying you know what, maybe that’s not meant for me. So I think the times are changing. But I also think seeing, for example, the market crash not too long ago and and seeing I mean, our parents are my parents generation, they’re so much debt that they’re in and we’ve seen them struggle. And then we saw the economy crash growing up, I think it almost made us petrified to go off the beaten path because we saw the challenges that came when with debt and you know, not having a secure job. So I think I think that might have shaped us a little bit to be a little bit risk averse. So I don’t know if that played into it for you. But that certainly played into it for me thing, thing other struggle and and having and take on that debt. I just knew I never wanted to do that.
David Ralph [9:31]
With me. It was just something, it was something inside, that it was like a scratch that I had to itch. And when I quit my job, and it was the leap of faith time, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. But I just knew that I couldn’t do that anymore. And if somebody had said to me for years and years and years, what do you want to do in your life? My standard answer was, I don’t know, I can tell you what I don’t like because I’ve done it. And I didn’t like it. But actually the thing that makes me come alive, I had no idea at all. And it’s such a shame, isn’t it, but there’s no way around it. And that’s that’s what this show is trying to do is trying to show people a different way of thinking and the process of overcoming fear and not knowing the answers and seeing things like obstacles and challenges as something that is part of the journey and not something to be frightened about. And you know, it’s interesting, you’ve surrounded yourself with entrepreneurs in sort of a virtual environment and sort of a localised environment. And once you do see a different way of thinking, a different way of acting, it’s very difficult to go back, isn’t it?
Jocelyn Paonita [10:42]
Oh, absolutely. And I think that’s the big part of it. If you stay in this standard path, and surround yourself by people who think the corporate ladder is is all there is to look forward to, you don’t know what you’re missing out on. But as soon as you surround yourself, they always say, you know, you’re the average of the five people you surround yourself with, right? And I started surrounding myself by these people, like you said, the entrepreneurs, the ones that are thinking outside the box. And I mean, it just opened up my mind and my eyes, I had no idea that there are so many people out there like that, and that I was capable of doing it. So yeah, it’s like you have to check off the box and do that stare at standard job. But until you really, like you said, take that leap of faith and and see what other people are doing out there and, and overcome that fear. I mean, you’re going to be stuck in that little box that people tell you you need to fit in.
David Ralph [11:34]
Well, what you think about not everyone being an entrepreneur, because this this show isn’t really I suppose about entrepreneurship, but it is about happiness. And if you aren’t in a job that you hate, but the thought of being an entrepreneur terrifies you then find a job that you’re going to love. And there’s so many jobs out there, it’s never going to be easy to get. The first one’s perfect. But it’s just making that movement, isn’t it, it’s making that progression from something when you’ve been in a job for say, five years, and you know, two people and you know, the commute, and the hours seem convenient for you. You just become comfortable, don’t you? And it’s that first step, which is the hard thing to do.
Jocelyn Paonita [12:13]
Yeah, and actually, that’s funny. One of the things I did want to mention was one of my mentors, they call it a bridge job. And, you know, just I keep mentioning the entrepreneurial lifestyle. But it’s funny because I’m in this odd hybrid right now where I’m doing a standard corporate job, and I’m working on some entrepreneurial things on the side. So I think successes is what you your own definition, it doesn’t mean that you have to be completely your own boss. But one of the things that was important to me, and is now is making sure that at least what you’re working in, and what you’re experiencing, is getting you closer to one of your future goals. So So the one thing I I wanted to say was these these people, it doesn’t mean you have to be your own boss. But if you sit back and think of your job and what you’re doing, does it at least enable you to do what you love? Is it giving you skills that you will need in the future? Is it getting you that one step closer, and if it is, it doesn’t have to be where you want to end up. But if it’s giving you some tools in your toolbox that you can use in the future, then this is a bridge, right? It’s it’s bridging that gap so that you can get one step closer to where you want to be. So I don’t think that you know that there can absolutely people out there that want to work for a company or be in my situation where they have a little bit of both. But I think the key is just to know that you’re at least getting something out of it, that’s getting you closer to your ultimate goal. And, you know, if if you can’t say that you’re getting anything out of it, then maybe that’s when it’s time to move on and look for other opportunities. But the other opportunities don’t have to be your own business, it can be another company, but at least ensure that they’re giving you something that can help you reach that ultimate goal. I love that you are the first
David Ralph [14:09]
guest in 191 episodes, to talk about the bridge. But that is so inspiring, isn’t it because that shouldn’t need to make things scary, it should be something but if you have got responsibilities, if you have got debts, if you have got people that you need to look after, you can actually transition gradually. And it doesn’t have to be that your punch your boss in the face and walk out. But it can be something that you can do in the evening and just start working on something and developing your skills and linking in with people and networking and all those kind of things that we can do so easily. Now, the fact that you know, and I say this, literally every show just been the fact that I press the button, and I’m talking to you in America, and bang, we’re recording it. It’s just opportunities, isn’t it. And I love the condition of I bridge. It doesn’t have to be definite, it doesn’t have to be perfect. But you’re happy to do something if it means that you’re moving towards something.
Jocelyn Paonita [15:08]
Exactly. I think that’s perfect for people that are a little bit more risk averse. And they’re not ready to make that full leap of faith. But they can at least gear themselves up to a point where then eventually they’ll feel confident enough to make the job. When I
David Ralph [15:22]
when I quit my nine to five job, I wasn’t brave enough to quit the nine to five. So I made sure but I had a bridge. And I call it the slide of faith, not the leap of faith. I just kind of moved naturally to a point where I could pay all my bills at a minimum my bills would be paid. Am I doing this full time? No, I’m not I have certain responsibilities. And I have to go off and do another job whilst I’m working towards it. But when I ultimately get to where I want to be about this is my full time job. Yes, I totally believe and I set out on a two year path. When I quit my nine to five, I said going to be two years before I get where I need to be. And I was willing to work 17 hours a day, 24 hours a day really if it meant that I was naturally going to get to where I was. Now I’ve been doing it for about a year. And I would say I would say I’m about four months ahead of the curve. Now I can actually starting to see the point where this will be my full time job. Has it been difficult? Yes. Has it been tiring? Yes. Would I do it again? at a heartbeat? Absolutely. Because you know, ultimately, if you do it right, and you put the effort in vain, you will get something that is yours. And that means it’s not the risky option. Is it being an employee is a risky option.
Jocelyn Paonita [16:43]
Yeah, no, you’re absolutely right. And I think that once that opportunity cost tips in your favour, and you realise you know what, now it’s finally to the point where me spending time at work for this other company is actually hindering me, that’s when you’re ready to finally jump, you know, fully walk over that bridge, and move on to the next thing. But as long as you’re getting something out of it, and companies these days, they’ll they’ll put you through training, they’ll put you through classes, they have so many resources. I mean, as long as you’re getting things out of that, as long as you’re getting lessons, it’s fine. But yeah, absolutely. Once you realise, you know what, I’m ready to make this jump and, and make my own business or my own venture, my full time job. I think the bridge jobs always, always a good solution. In the meantime.
David Ralph [17:28]
And I shouldn’t really be saying it’s bad. One of the best things that you’ve got at work is the internet. And most of us sit there with computers in front of us. And I for like about six months would just turn my PC slightly, so no one could see my screen. And for eight hours a day, I was researching and working on stuff and building websites when I shouldn’t have been doing it. But hey, I’ve left now if they’re going to do anything about it, they should have done it at a time. But yeah, we’ve got this opportunity to develop ourselves. And we don’t even have to go on courses, we’ve got like online courses, the fact that you can look and you can see what Jocelyn Panetta is doing, you know, and you can see what other people are doing. If you look at enough of them, then there’s a half a chance that you’re going to find something that you think I never knew that existed. But that sounds fun. And if you start to find out that it feels fun, then there’s, as I say, half a chance, but you could actually do it, because that’s where your passions come in. How do you feel about that?
Jocelyn Paonita [18:24]
I completely agree. Yeah, that’s no, now there is one challenge. You mentioned working while you’re at work on this stuff, but I do and I’m sure your your listeners can relate to this. But it does get exhausting. And I understand that. I mean, I don’t know about other people. But sometimes I’ll wake up early. And so I’ll get work done before I even had to work. Or as soon as I get home, I get right back on the computer, and I start working on my own things. So before you realise that you’re working, you know, 16 hour days, because you have to put in your eight hours, eight to 10 hours, depending on commutes and stuff out at your real job. You’re you’re technically real job. But then you’ve got to come back and still be motivated to go after your own dream and work on this this side venture that you’re working on. So it gets exhausting. It does.
David Ralph [19:14]
He does. But I think you work through it as well, don’t you? I went when I started doing this and people say to me, how are you doing a seven day a week show. And it’s not just about a formatted show. It’s a free flowing conversation as we’re having now. And people go, how’d you manage to do? And this is just part of what I do. I do other stuff. And then I’ve got kids and you drop them off at school and you come back and you do over. And for a time I look like death. And people will see me and I would go what’s happening to you, David, sit down, you look terrible. And then your body kind of gets used to it. And now I’m finding that even before my alarm goes off, I’m ready to get up and ready to go. And even before my eyes open my thoughts just thinking, you know, ah, this is what I do today. That’s what I do today. And I never had, I never had that it was always Oh my God, I got another hour until my alarm goes off. And it was like a drag to get out. And now I I don’t actually like going to bed because I think it’s cutting into the time for me to do stuff.
Jocelyn Paonita [20:15]
Yeah, no, I completely agree. And that’s the best part about finding something that is your true passion and your true dream. Because you can you can get excited like that. And and so while it’s exhausting, you can work all night and not even realise what time it is. Because you genuinely were passionate about it. And you were just so involved in your work. And and yeah, that’s exactly it. So I get home from work, make dinner, and then I get right back to work. But it’s almost like you don’t even realise the hours passing because it’s just something that you’re passionate about.
David Ralph [20:49]
Well, let’s let’s play some words of a very famous man from Hollywood. I like to play on every show. This is Jim Carrey,
Jim Carrey [20:56]
my father could have been a great comedian, but he didn’t believe that that was possible vote for him. And so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant. And when I was 12 years old, he was let go from that safe job. And our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.
David Ralph [21:22]
However, those words make you feel when you hear them.
Jocelyn Paonita [21:26]
I can completely relate to that. Because like I mentioned, when I went into college, I never thought that entrepreneurship was in my future. I thought I had to do that standard path. And I think his words are what I realised towards the end that, you know, maybe they say it’s secure. But how long will it be secure, you know, technology coming in and careers changing and even companies just changing completely with time. Just because it might be secure right now doesn’t mean that it’ll be secure in the future. So if you’re going to do something, you might as well be happy doing it. Right?
David Ralph [22:04]
Hmm, I agree totally. And every time I listen to those words, I feel inspired. And even though I know I’m going to play them because I am the one who presses the button. I kind of go Yes, I’m looking forward to it. And it’s really just that last two or three seconds, isn’t it? You might as well take a risk. I’m doing something queued up.
Unknown Speaker [22:22]
Exactly. Yeah. Well, absolutely. I can like,
David Ralph [22:26]
Well, what do you love most in your life, because I am going to go back and talk about your book, because that’s fascinating. I know, so many people out there will want to know about that. But actually, as you stand at the moment, on your bridge job of moving towards where you want to go to what really lights you up.
Jocelyn Paonita [22:45]
My what really lights me up is
being being involved with people helping people. So I love public speaking, for example, I always have, I didn’t realise I did until a teacher forced me to go into a public speaking country test. But what I realised was, it wasn’t the public speaking, that I really enjoyed, it was the fact that I got to make an impact on all the people listening. And I mean that, that is what just lights me up, you put me on a stage in front of thousands of people. And it is just I am in on cloud nine, I absolutely love it. But it’s because of that impact. And the fact that I know I can change someone’s life, even if it’s just one life in the in the crowd, that is enough to keep me going I get off stage. And I’m just like, on cloud nine, I’m so energetic because I got to do what I love. And that ties into this book, because I realised you know, what, if someone didn’t tell me that I could have gotten a free ride for college, I would have never known that was even a possibility. And so I want to be that someone for thousands of students around the world. And so I was thinking, you know, I’d love to public speak and speak to the students. But there’s only one of me, I can only do it so often. And reach so many students that, you know, it’s it’s not really scalable. And that’s where this book came into place. Because this book is almost sure I’m not face to face public speaking. But for those that read it, when you read it, and I’ve had a lot of family and friends read it, they say they can almost hear me speaking, I put my voice into that book I write as if I’m speaking to them one on one. And I mean, that is what makes me tick. It’s helping people and knowing that I can change a life, just like someone changed my life when they told me that I could apply for scholarships and get possibly even paid to go to school.
David Ralph [24:37]
So So when somebody said that to you, you know, it’s, it’s beyond belief, isn’t it, because so many people go into the college system, and they come out with huge debts. And for years and years and years, you know, my, my, my daughter is a lawyer or a barrister or something she is. And she’s been wracked with debts. And she still paying them off. And she’s been working sort of full time for about last 10 years. And Jeez, dude chipping away, though. So when somebody sort of said that to you, there must have been a big part of you that for now. Never gonna happen.
Jocelyn Paonita [25:09]
Absolutely. And and it goes back to the US doing what we’re told. I mean, you just assume college comes with debt. That’s part of the path, you have to take on loans, and you have no choice, the only way to go to college, especially in the US where it’s just the price is just astronomical. And so yeah, when she told me that, hey, you know, what, if you make applying for scholarships, your job during high school, you’ll get paid for four years, I thought she was absolutely nuts. I looked her I was like, no way. And she’s like, what a, I’m telling you, if you put your effort into this, it will pay you for four years, if not longer, because if you think about it, I’m still getting paid by whatever amount I would have been spending on my loans that I’m avoiding. So at first, I didn’t believe her. But then she gave me you know, college boards, huge, huge book with scholarships. And when I saw how many were out there, I was like, You know what? Maybe it’s true, maybe it’s not, but at least I can try.
David Ralph [26:12]
It’s fantastic, isn’t it? But somebody comes along and says to you, I could tell you how to get free college all the way through. And there’s nothing really that she’s going to gain in that fact, other than she’s helping you. But there’s still that human element that go No, it’s not true. It’s not true. I’m not even going to take a chance on that. Because it’s not true, until you start digging in yourself. And that’s the kind of entrepreneurial spirit as well, isn’t it? It’s, it’s not until you actually see it for yourself. And you see that these people I used to find it amazing when people would say, Yes, all I do is go to sleep. And I wake up the next morning and I’m 5000 pounds richer. And you think how are you doing that? How are you just getting money when you asleep? But once you actually delve into it, and you look at what people are doing out there, you can go? Yes, I can see that. And it’s like a light that comes on. But you still have that totally ingrained belief that it’s a scam, or there must be some shady Enos to it. And when that lady came up, you’ve you could have easily run a mile, can you?
Jocelyn Paonita [27:19]
Yeah, no, that’s a really good point. I think. And especially with topics like this, when it’s about money, people are specially hesitant to believe that it’s true. So when people see my book six steps to securing financial aid and winning scholarships. I mean, they’re certainly hesitant. I’ve received countless emails where it says is this true? And I think the big factor in this though, is it’s not one of those get rich quick schemes. I started off the book saying This will require hard work. This is not something that you can expect to do with just two hours of work. So I think that’s the difference. But by your apps, right? People are very cautious with a very hesitant, especially around topics like this. And I think it they need to just kind of take that little leap and read the book and see how attainable it is to really believe that they can do it. But yeah, I had the same hesitancy when she told me I was just like, now that sounds too good to be true. But the thing is, it does require work. And I think that’s the difference between those scams and those that are in if they say, you know what, in two hours, I can get your free ride, it’s probably not legitimate if if it’s a scholarship that says, hey, you’ll get six figures without even writing an essay. It’s probably not legitimate. And I say that in my book. But for something that says you know what, this is going to be hard work. But I’m going to guide you through the path so that you don’t have to find your ways around these obstacles that I already experienced. I think that’s the difference between those that you should be cautious about and those that you can open open your mind to but people do need to see a little bit for themselves before they really trust it
David Ralph [28:58]
to to enjoy hard work. Are you basically a grafter?
Jocelyn Paonita [29:04]
Um, I like challenges. So when I see an obstacle and and people, especially when people say, Oh, that’s probably not going to you can’t do that. I take that and I run that really motivates me. So I I do think I enjoy hard work. But I think I’m also this is so cliche, but I think time management has to do with it. Because if you can successfully time manage, it doesn’t feel that overwhelming. So there’s difference between hard work and just being completely overwhelmed. I think that’s a time management. So I’m fortunate enough to be good at time management. So when I see hard work ahead of me, I’m like, Yes, bring it on
David Ralph [29:44]
it. Yeah, that’s true, isn’t it? Is it funny, because you know, going back to this show, people come to me how you doing it, how you doing it, and you just kind of do it. And after a while you get faster it doing it, and you streamline your processes. And if you kind of buy into that, if part of me kind of does, I suppose when they say you know how you doing this, I can Oh, it’s not easy. It’s not easy, you know, it’s very difficult, because I feel like I should justify it. But actually, I could really do this whole seven day a week show in a day, if I managed to structure it right. And the only thing that kind of screws me up Jocelyn is the time zones, where I want certain people to be on. And the fact that is now sort of 10 past nine in the evening here. And I’ve got another two shows afterwards, where I might have done one at nine o’clock because the English person wanted to do it at nine o’clock in the morning. So you could be having on those 12 hour days. That’s the only thing that screws me up. But I still kind of accept their point of view. Oh, yeah, it’s not easy. It’s not easy. Like it should be harder than it is. But you only get something if you put the work in, don’t you?
Jocelyn Paonita [30:53]
Yeah, absolutely. And I think that goes back to if you’re doing something that you’re passionate about, or that gets you closer to your goal to the future that you want, then it’s a little bit easier to make it through it right? Because I’m sure you’d love to crawl into bed right now or go hang out with your kids. But this is your dream, right? And so that makes it a little bit easier to stay up this late. And work. Now if it was your old job that you quit, you probably wouldn’t be as willing to be working right now. Right?
David Ralph [31:20]
No, you’re absolutely right. And it’s funny when when you have a dream you have you don’t realise it’s a dream, I’ve got different way of thinking things. Now, I think you do stuff until you realise is the thing you want to do. And then once you’ve done enough of that, you really start fine tuning that dream and you have a belief that comes with it, that it’s going to take you somewhere. And it’s that point where your hard work, getting something going suddenly starts getting a bit of momentum. That’s when the passions will come in, and you really want it to get better. And yeah, that’s that’s where I’m at the moment. The first six months of doing this, to be honest, was a slog. And it was a slog. But now I have you know, that momentum going, you can’t stop me, you really can’t stop me. And I actually have to force myself to spend time with my family because they want to be with me, which is acceptable. So it’s afternoon, I you know, I took time off. And I spent two hours playing Indiana Jones Lego with my daughter. This was a good use of my time. Not really was enjoyable. Yes, Yes, it was. But you had to force yourself because otherwise, I’d be rushing up here to do this again.
Jocelyn Paonita [32:28]
Yep, yep. And that’s actually my book. I mean, it was the same thing with when I started writing my book, I started writing casually. And, and I was thinking, you know, maybe I could do this. But it was at first a little hard. And then I started getting into the rhythm of things and figuring out my style and how I was able to do it. And I realised doing one hour of writing a day. So every morning, I’d wake up an extra hour early so that I could get get in an hour of writing a day. That was what really got me going. And once I got into the flow thing, I mean, it was simple, I was able to knock out the book, I it only took me a month to write the entire book. And I mean, I was even I went to a lake house for a weekend with my girlfriends. And I knew that they’d get up around, you know, 10am 9am. So I purposely set my alarm clock to wake me up at seven, so that I could get in writing before they even woke up. Even though I was on vacation, and everyone wanted to sleep in, I was just so excited to get that writing in that I had no problem waking up in the middle of my vacation to get it in there. So I completely know what you mean. I mean, you’re surrounded by people you love. But this, this when you’re doing something you truly enjoy. I mean it you just can’t stay away from
David Ralph [33:45]
the dead. The phrase that jumped out at me is when you was in the flow, because that’s, that’s what you want in life, isn’t it? That is the moments when you’re, you’re doing something and hours just passed. And it’s very different doing something that you love compared to being at work. I remember the time I used to get in eight o’clock in the morning. And I used to look at the clock and think I must be lunchtime. It was like 10 past nine. And I was so tired sitting at my desk thinking Oh, God, I’ve got to get through the day. I look back on it now. And I think I was just in the wrong place. I was totally in the wrong place. Because now I know that life shouldn’t be like that. And I very much want the audience to have a dream life. But I know that every single listener is not going to be because they’re not going to totally believe in it. As we’re saying they’re not going to listen to it and go, yes, I totally buy into what they’re saying I can have that too, is going to be always easy for Jocelyn is easy for David. They’ve got bit by they’ve got fat and all that kind of stuff. But I do think that’s your your body’s way of saying you’re wrong somehow, if you realise that there’s so much effort going into just getting through a day, you must be in the wrong place.
Jocelyn Paonita [34:55]
Yeah, yeah. And I think that goes back to, maybe they don’t think they can do it. Maybe they know that they need that that paycheck coming in, because they have people to support. But if they could make sure that they’re getting something out of this current job, whether it be public speaking, learning, or creating presentations, or any kind of skill set that they know will help them in the future, I think it’s a lot easier to deal with. But I mean, if they’re not getting anything out of it, then it’s time to start looking for a new bridge or just go over it and and and jump into what you want to do. So I think it’s fine to be hesitant and and hold back a little bit as long as you’re getting something out of it.
David Ralph [35:36]
Did you think you want sort of bloody mindedness? The fact that if somebody says to you you can’t do it is like a red rag? Is that something you’ve always had? Even as a small girl?
Unknown Speaker [35:49]
Jocelyn Paonita [35:51]
maybe I think it definitely it definitely increased once I got to high school and college. I think going to college and being one of the few and my family really made me that that made me realise, you know what, I am unique. And I can do things that a lot of people don’t do because I’m doing it now. So I think until I I really went to college and started doing things that people told me I wouldn’t be able to do, maybe not so much. But once I started going to college and getting a free ride and crossing over, you know, overcoming challenges that people thought I would never be able to overcome. That gave me that momentum and that thrill. And it’s almost like now I I wait for the moment to prove people wrong and to be able to do something that they said I couldn’t do. So I think once you accomplish one thing that people didn’t think you could, it’s almost contagious, like you you’re like, Okay, now bring on the next thing. And the next thing. So I don’t think I’ve been like that since a child. But it’s definitely been increasing at full force in the past few years.
David Ralph [36:56]
Because I was like it as a child. In my whole life. If somebody says to me, you can’t do a thing, right? going to show you and I will just do it. And since I’ve been doing this job, and just recently I’ve had a few people on but have got physical disabilities, that you would go, how the hell they doing that? how they’re doing that. And when you talk to them, and you realise they’re doing anything that you want. And it’s not the person’s point of view. It’s other people’s points of view. It’s other people saying you can’t do that. And now I kind of thing. Who the hell are you to tell me? I can’t do that? What Why? Yeah, you don’t know who I am, as in the same way, but I’ve spoken to these people. And I’ve kind of in my head, I’ve kind of gone well, how are you managing to do that. But of course, that’s my point of view, again, that no one should tell us what to do. I’m very ranting tonight, just me and I don’t know what come over me. But I’m know when she tell me what to do. Because this is my life. And if it’s my life, I should live it the way I see fit. And as long as I’m not hurting hurting people and causing pain and distress, but I’m trying to do things for the right reason, and develop my life and progress and hopefully provide value to the world, then God damn it. I’m not gonna listen to anyone who tells me I can’t do something.
Jocelyn Paonita [38:14]
Yeah, and I think that that mindset is probably what enabled you to make that that leap of faith, you know that you thing, you know what you guys told me that I need to do the standard job, but I’ll be damned if you’re going to tell me what I have to do. I mean, that’s that mindset is what enables you to move on. Now, I think other people, maybe they’re not as a full force on, you know, I think some people to come to people telling them what they need to do, or people telling them that you can’t achieve that. And I think that’s what your show really helps people with this thing. You know what you might think that they’re right, you might think that what they’re saying is what you have to do, but look at all these people that are doing things otherwise, that are going off the beaten path and, and saying, you know what, screw that, I’m going to do what I want to do anyway. So I think that mindset that you have a lot of entrepreneurs have, and that’s how they get to where they are, which is great. But I think other people that are stuck in that standard job that they’re just unhappy with, maybe they don’t have it quite as much as you did. And they need to remind themselves that they have to make a special effort to say screw you guys, I’m gonna do this anyway,
David Ralph [39:21]
my my nine year old daughter, Ashley, when she was little, and I’ve told this storey numerous times, because I think it’s kind of fascinating. But I can see this occurring already. When she was like four and five. She used to be Ashley can. And we used to say, What’s your name? Ashley can Ashley can do anything she used to say. And we took a swimming once. And she went actually can and prove yourself in the pool and actually couldn’t, she couldn’t swim. And we had to sort of like swim over there and save her from drowning, because he just kind of thought that she could do anything. But now she’s nine. She’s already when you say going you can do that, Oh, I can’t do that. I can’t do that I’m rubbish at doing that. I’m not very good at doing that. And it’s almost like, she’s now got a mindset that has kind of come from peer pressure as opposed back, she likes people to go, yes, you can, you’re really good and sort of like bigger up. But when she was little, she didn’t need to be picked up at all. She just kind of knew it and would go with it. And it’s sad, but something along the line is lost. And it’s not just her I think it happens to so many people as well, that they almost have a fear of stepping out in front of people and putting their hands up in class and showing that you want to do something because everybody else isn’t. Can Can you see that in America as well?
Jocelyn Paonita [40:36]
Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. There’s people that I mean,
people are afraid to maybe make waves or stand out for the wrong reason. And so they’re not ready to make that jump and, and and do whatever they want. And I think your daughter’s probably seeing that same thing. You know, she wants friends or she wants to be the cool person, she doesn’t want to stand out for the wrong reasons or, or maybe just enough, people have said you can’t do that. And so she’s now starting to believe it. But it’s it’s that challenge of trying to bring yourself back on. On the other side of things where you’re like, you know what, no, I can I can do this, I can do whatever I set my mind to. But yeah, I absolutely see that over here as well.
David Ralph [41:17]
Well, let’s play the words of Steve Jobs, and is the theme of the whole show. And this is a man who most of his life probably got told he couldn’t do certain things. And well, we know what he achieved. This is the Jobs.
Steve Jobs [41:30]
Of course, it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards 10 years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leaves you off the well worn path. And that will make all the difference.
David Ralph [42:06]
Now you’re on the bridge at the moment, as we said, and you are transitioning to your your new life. So at this point, can you see how the dots have lined up to where you are now already?
Jocelyn Paonita [42:19]
up? Absolutely. And that’s I think at first you you’ll be sitting there at the at your desk and thinking God, what am I doing. And then like you said, when you look back, it’s so much easier to connect the dots than when you’re in it at that moment. So I look back and I see all of my experiences so far from my job. Now it’s my degrees to the organization’s I was a part of during college case competitions, all the way back to in high school when that teacher forced me to do the public speaking contest. It’s just amazing how you think, you know, what, what am I doing at the moment? And then in a few years, when you’re looking back, and you’re like, wow, that really did get me to the next step. Everything was a bridge to where I am today. And this current one that I’m on, it’s going to get me to where I want to be tomorrow. So absolutely. It’s amazing how things work out. And this is so cliche, but I always said, literally, I think I wrote this in sixth grade in my yearbook. Everything happens for a reason. And just every time I accomplish something new. It just reinforces that idea. And I think that’s exactly what Steve’s job, Steve Jobs is saying it’s, it’s, you look back and you connect those dots. And it’s just like, wow, I cannot believe that that awful experience or that challenging experience or that experience that I was dreading got me to where I am today. Everything happens for a reason. And I’m every day I’m learning that more and more.
David Ralph [43:52]
So many people say to me those words that you were just saying, but actually the worst time of our life was the big dot, but actually my made them who they were, they look back on it and they go out it was absolutely dreadful. You know, I’ve had people who say to me, I was in a car, and I was just about to commit suicide. And something happened. And I didn’t. And I remember this, this guest, and I think she was Episode 99 or something. And she said to me, that was my worst day. But my best day, but Dave actually didn’t commit suicide. But the day that she was so low, she almost committed suicide. And she looks back at that. And she says that was my big deal. And thank God I went through that because I wouldn’t be who I was today.
Jocelyn Paonita [44:35]
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I think we all have those moments when they just absolutely change your life.
David Ralph [44:41]
So what would you say would be the adjustment?
Jocelyn Paonita [44:45]
that’s challenging. Um, I think. And this was almost a storey at the introduction of my book. But when I was in high school, I came home. And my family, like I said, we’ve all I always struggle financially. But my parents did great at hiding it, we never really saw it growing up. And finally, I came home from school one day, and my dad was there. And I was like, you know, what are you doing your you should be at work, and come to find out he had gotten laid off. This was right in the middle of the financial crisis. And not only did he get laid off, but it was it was the company was being shut down. I mean, there was not this was not temporary. And my heart just sank. I mean, to be a financial burden on your parents, when they’re struggling, it’s the worst feeling. And I mean, you’re there, your parents, they want to provide for you. So they don’t look at you like a financial burden. But that was how I felt, and I just wanted to do everything in my power to ease their stress and and help them through this. It I was only, you know, 16. So how much could I do. But that’s what I really set my mind to say, you know, what, they’re not paying for college. I know they can’t afford it. But I want to be completely self sufficient. And and between that, and the woman that told me I could get a free ride. I mean, that moment, was when was what changed my life. That was when I said, you know, what, my parents are struggling, they’re about to go through a really hard time. And I want to make this easier for them. And so I put all of my efforts into applying for scholarship. And, and through that, I not only got paid to go to school, so I was able to focus on my academics graduate with a great GPA. But now I’m debt free. And I’m able to pursue my dreams and go after opportunities that I wouldn’t be able to do if I was buried in debt, like most college graduates, so so by my with my father losing his job, and me really waking up and seeing Oh, my goodness, this, this is about to get really tough. That really, that moment changed my life.
David Ralph [46:58]
He’s a, it’s a personal storey that you shared, but it is one that I imagined so many people across the world will have, that the wage earner suddenly isn’t there anymore. And it puts a strain on the whole family fabric. But it’s how you, you you look at that, once again, I suppose you either look at that as as an obstacle that you can’t get over or challenge. But you can get round somehow. And it’s getting round, but really moves you on to the next point.
Jocelyn Paonita [47:27]
Yeah, absolutely. And I think you’re right, you can look at it two ways, and how you decide to look at it is going to determine your future.
David Ralph [47:38]
So let’s talk about your future, just before we send you back in time on the Sermon on the mic to have a one on one with your younger self, where’s your dreams, where’s your aspirations, I just hear it in your voice. But you are a lady who is going to do amazing stuff. And the fact that you have just got that that fire burning inside you, it’s not going to take long until that bridge runs out. And you’re actually where you want to be. So what are you aiming towards?
Jocelyn Paonita [48:06]
Well, like I said, I absolutely love public speaking, I love helping people. And so my goal is to be able to speak to students all around the world, from high schools to colleges, and let and be that person that tells them, you can do it, you don’t need to be buried in debt in order to follow your dreams. And and and that’s what I’m working towards. I want this book in as many students hands as possible. But I don’t want students to have to pay for it, I want schools to care enough about their students to buy these in bulk, and give them out. So for freshman orientation, or a junior year in high school, or even a freshman orientation at college, I want these schools to be giving them out to students worldwide. So they are equipped with what they need in order to navigate the insane process of getting scholarships and financial aid. So so the book is the first step getting it in their hand and start helping I’m that way, but then I want to physically go and speak to the students and work with them and and tell them the storeys and the great things I was able to do in college, because of this college funding so that I can motivate them. So so in no time, what I want to be doing is speaking at schools, speaking to students, and possibly even working with counsellors that I can tell them, You know what, my counsellors were great, but they didn’t quite, they weren’t quite equipped with this. And if you could build this knowledge and share it with your students, we can do so much together. And we can together tackle it. I mean, in the US, we have over one point really $1.2 trillion in student loan debt, this is going to just, it’s going to crumble our economy if we don’t get a hold on it. And so I’m hoping that this book is just the first step in in reducing that number and in helping students avoid being part of that number. So So that’s, that’s my future, I’m hoping is where I can say, you know what this, this book is in students hands, they didn’t have to pay for schools did it because schools care about these students and gave it to them? And then me being able to physically go and speak to them in mass groups and motivate them and and give them that push that I got years ago?
David Ralph [50:19]
Just two words. I disagree on that. You said, I’m hoping you’re not hoping you’re going to get that you’re going to do that. Because I think with public speaking, you need to have a storey you need to have something it’s no good saying, and I hear it a lot of people go, I’d like to be a public speaker. And it’s almost like, well, what have you got to talk about, you need to have something, and you need to have something that you believe in your heart of hearts is going to be a storey that people want to listen to and will resonate with. And you’ve got that already. And you’ve got that quite a young age, I would suggest it. And so I think yeah, I think you’ve got a target audience. And so I don’t think there’s hope, I think but you aren’t going to get that and you’ve probably deserved, but you should get it as well.
Jocelyn Paonita [51:05]
Well, thank you, thank you, I’m looking forward to it.
David Ralph [51:08]
There you go, that’s more positive, throw up those self limiting thoughts just and then and go out and get what you want. Well, this is the end of the show. And this is the part of the show that we call this seminar, Mike. And this is when we send you back in time to have a one on one with your younger self. And if you could go back in time to have a conversation with the young Jocelyn, what age would you choose? And what advice would you give where we’re going to find out now because I’m going to play the tune. And when it fades out, you’re up, this is the Sermon on the mic.
Unknown Speaker [51:40]
Here we go with the best beer on the show.
Jocelyn Paonita [51:58]
So if I could go back back and speak to my younger self, I would go and talk to my 14 year old self about 14 I’d be just starting High School. And I would push myself to say to to pursue an entrepreneurial idea, I would try and get that entrepreneurial spirit a little bit earlier than I did. I really didn’t start thinking that way until college. And I think that if I had at a younger age, I wouldn’t be dealing with some of the challenges that I face today. So if I could speak to my 14 year old self, I say you know what, think outside the box, try things. Don’t think that you have to follow the footsteps of the stereotypical path that people are telling you you need to go on. You can be an astronaut, you could be a teacher, you could follow that path if you want to. But at least in the meantime, while you’re in high school, try a few little businesses, even if it’s selling lemonade on the side of the street, because this could give you crucial skills in the future. And if you do decide to go on that path, then at least you can say you got those skills. But knowing what I know now, and knowing the future I want to have, I have a lot of things, I have a lot of things I need to learn. And I wish I could have learned those earlier, I would absolutely talk to my 14 year old self. And I’d say you know what, don’t think you need to follow that standard path. And and go outside and create something if you see someone complaining if you hear an issue that they’re facing, if you can solve it, try and come up with some kind of idea that can solve their pain points that can give them any kind of boost, and grab whatever knowledge you can. In addition to that, I would absolutely push myself to read a little bit more. I mean, entrepreneurial books, anything that I could get my hands on. I’m doing this now, but I see seek doing it at such a younger age. And I wish I had done the same. So if I could go back to my my 14 year old self in ninth grade. That’s that’s the advice that I give her. And I think that that would cause the domino effect of where I’d really be in the same place I am today. But I’d have a few more tools in my toolbox than I do now. So the areas that I know I need to work on, maybe I’d already have those worked out, and and really tailored to what I need. A little earlier, I was able to do that. So that’s that’s the advice that I give my 14 year old. So
David Ralph [54:37]
Justin in how can our audience connect with you.
Jocelyn Paonita [54:41]
They can connect with me on Twitter, at scholarship sis. So scholarship s Y es, they can connect with me on Facebook, it’s just the scholarship system. Or they can send me an email at the scholarship email@example.com. And then they can check out my site where they can contact me through there as well at www scholarship system calm. And if they have any questions or doubts about this process, I would love to talk to them.
David Ralph [55:12]
We will have all the links on our show notes. Thank you so much for spending time with us today. joining up those dots. And please come back again, when you have more dots to join up. Because I do believe that by joining up those dots and connecting our past is the best way to build our futures just limping. Nita, thank you so much.
Jocelyn Paonita [55:29]
Thank you, David. I really appreciate it.
David doesn’t want you to become a faded version of the brilliant self you are wants to become so he’s put together an amazing guide for you called the eight pieces of advice that every successful entrepreneur practices, including the two that changed his life. Head over to Join Up Dots.com to download this amazing guide for free and we’ll see you tomorrow on Join Up Dots.