Jon Brooks is an entrepreneurial thinker and writer for highexistence.com, a self-improvement website aimed to show people the way to a more enlightened lifestyle with ideas and practices influenced by the ancient philosophy of Buddhism and Stoicism. He grew up in a small village in the countryside of Wales, called Troedyrhiw, and studied film at the University of Glamorgan Atrium in Cardiff. Read on to learn more about Jon’s fascinating work and how he ended up at Locus Workspace in Prague.
Why did you come to Prague?
I was living in Amsterdam for a few months and I was very happy there, but my friends and I
took a trip to Prague for a few days and I really liked it here. I really like the architecture and the cobbled streets and the general atmosphere. I thought, Yeah I could live here. I went back to Amsterdam and “coincidentally” met a girl from Prague. She moved home and we started dating. I decided I was going to come to Prague.
What is your current occupation?
I would say my job is entrepreneurial, so I spend a lot of time at the moment doing product design, developing products and courses based around self improvement, philosophy, and spirituality. I am also always looking for ways to market content and reach a wider audience. I write and edit articles, do a little bit of design and copywriting.
|Check out Jon's website here|
How did you get into this field of work?
|Read more about Jon's journey here|
A couple of years ago, I started my own blog while living in Wales with my parents. Just for some fun, I thought I would write an article on meditation. I posted it on reddit and the article got a couple hundred upvotes. The next day, I received a message from Marijn Schirp, the co-owner of highexistence.com, asking if they could share my article on his website. We continued to talk over the next few months and eventually he asked me if I would like to be an editor of highexistence.com. I decided to take the opportunity. At that time, there was one other editor of the site and the co-owner decided it would be a good idea to use this as a test. He said if you guys could double the revenue of the website’s monthly sales, we will give you shares in the website and keep running it, but if you fail, then we will just sell it. Thankfully, we hit the goal we set out for.
Has this field of work been a passion of yours all along?
I believe that everybody has certain core values based on their personality type and they need to do work that uses those core values. It doesn’t necessarily matter specifically what type of work that is. I knew I needed to do something creative, to have a creative job. I’ve always done art and I did my degree in film and specialized in script writing. I never thought that I would be a blogger, but I did want to be a writer. With the job that I have now, I get to make films, write scripts, develop ideas, sketch, etc. It’s a nice all around, jack of all trades position.
What are you currently working on?
|30 Challenges to Enlightenment|
Right now, we are working on our first ever Kickstarter course. Highexistence.com has been around for nine years or so, but we didn’t start selling products until two years ago. We released our first major product, which we spent over six months working on, a year ago. The course is called 30 Challenges to Enlightenment and it is a spiritual obstacle course. We give people 30 day challenges, which include meditation, fasting, compassion and so on to help them become more enlightened versions of themselves over a period of time. The course was very successful; over two thousand people have taken it. Some people are averse to the notion of spirituality, because they associate it with being a hippie or just “whoo whoo” nonsense. To change this association, we decided to create a new course through the filter of Stoicism, a Western version of Buddhism. We are going to create a Kickstarter course called, The Stoic Obstacle Course. It will be comprised of a journal, an accountability group for people to hold each other accountable, and a progress chart.
What part do you play in these projects or products?
I am more of the concept, ideas character. I bring the rough building blocks and my coworkers help refine and strategize the next steps. What motivates me, simply, is just that I like being creative. For me it is intrinsically enjoyable to make something, and even more enjoyable to make something useful.
Do you have a favorite project you’ve worked on?
The main project I am very proud of is our 30 Challenges to Enlightenment Course. We had a small team and we took some risks that worked out.
How did you get into coworking?
When I was in Chiang Mai, Thailand, I didn’t find any decent cafes to work in and someone suggested that I use a coworking space. I did some searching and found Punspace, a coworking space in Chiang Mai and ended up loving it. One of the curses of creativity is that it is associated with low conscientiousness which means that you get distracted easily. It makes sense, because when you are creative, you are constantly thinking outside of the box and joining random ideas together. If you need to sit down and work solidly on something for an extended period of time, it is easy to get distracted in a place like a cafe.
How has coworking impacted your work (work style, projects, networking)?
We recently had a sale on highexistence.com and just working here, at Locus, allowed me to put in a lot more productive hours that I wouldn’t have been able to do at a cafe. The sale only lasted a few days, so I didn’t mind over working. Having the freedom to leave the office late at night and the availability of fast internet was really helpful. Also, I really like being able to leave my work in the office after stepping out. I think coworking spaces allow you to have this boundary between your work and nonwork life.
Why did you choose Locus?
Two weeks ago I moved ten minutes away from Locus, so I looked it up online, saw the five star reviews
and here I am.
What is your favorite part about working at Locus?
I think that the people who work here are really friendly, welcoming, relaxed and helpful.
There’s a nice balance between being super productive and not being productive at all. The atmosphere
in Locus is productive and efficient, but warm at the same time.
in Locus is productive and efficient, but warm at the same time.
What is a fun fact about you?
For some reason, I can remember everybody’s eye color, even if it is one person I met for five seconds, one month ago.
If you could use one word to describe Locus, what would it be?