Jonathan Golden Finding Impact

FIP 024: Finding Your Calling, with Jonathan Golden

Jonathan setup a coffee company with a conscience – called Land of a 1000 Hills – which provides employment and community investments to over 2,500 Rwandan farmers and their families. He’s also a business coach, a priest and a public speaker, and a true adventurer in social enterprise. In his book Be You. Do Good: Having the Guts to Pursue What Makes You Come Alive, Jonathan gives plenty of advice on how to find your calling. We dig into that process, which he also uses in his coaching sessions, and we talk about his journey as a social entrepreneur.

On this episode, we discussed:

  • Taking action: the balance of just getting things done versus time for strategic analysis.
  • Jonathan’s journey as a social entrepreneur, which started with an idea and he gathered a few people together, but hit a brick wall when no one did anything.
  • So he took the action himself and made the first step.
  • Acting on an inkling, or “your gut”, which was the element of risk, matched with a little bit of research. That was the beginning of his business, which is now selling coffee in shops across America.
  • An idea is no good, unless you can take a step today. Don’t put it off.
  • The importance of listening and getting the market’s feedback.
  • The method of finding your calling: the 7 principles of life’s calling which Jonathan explains in his book: Be You. Do Good.
  • When figuring out your purpose and clarifying what’s important to you, it’s useful to think what you would do if you only had one year to live.
  • On finding your passion, find out what gets your blood boiling or makes your heart sing.
  • When looking for your calling, finding out who are the people groups that you’re most compelled to serve. Who do you want to help the most?
  • On where to direct your work, identify the places that you relate with and the places that resonate with you.
  • Understand the concept of “A provision for living” i.e. not how much you want, but how much you need.
  • Discover your proficiency – look at your talents, your knowledge area, your skills. Look at what you can do, to help you discover your life’s calling.
  • Finally, all the above is tied together with a plan – a plan to implement.
  • Our calling, or life’s work, should be very close to the way we played as kids – don’t overthink it. Do what comes natural, and makes you come alive.
  • We all need mentors and guides to help us follow our life’s calling – just like our community provided in years gone by. This is why coaching is so important in our professional lives.


Connect with Jonathan:


2 replies
  1. Ronan Ferguson
    Ronan Ferguson says:

    A brilliant episode on coaching and community, amongst other topics. Thanks so much for putting this together – fantastic that advice this good is being made freely available.

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