Today I have the great pleasure of interviewing my online friend Henri Junttila from Wake Up Cloud. Henri Is one of the few people I follow online because I sense that he genuinely likes to help people. Henri helps people discover their passion and to be able to build a living around the things that bring them joy. He helps people break their self-imposed limitations, and I am excited to have him on my site. Now let’s move onto our interview.
1. Henri, could please tell everyone a little bit about yourself and what you do?
I make a full-time living through my online business, and have done so since 2009.
Before that, I was a professional poker player for about five years. I eventually discovered that I wanted to do something more. I wanted to contribute and help people. In short, I wanted to do something that truly made my heart sing.
Today I mostly help people create the lifestyle of their dreams, and live a passionate life.
2. Was there a tipping point for you, a moment where you decided to completely change what you where doing and how you where living ? What helped you get through this transitioning phase?
I don’t know if there was one defining moment, but I do remember waking up one day and being sick of making excuses. I’d been holding myself back from following my passion because I was afraid.
There were people out there that seemed to know more than me, so why would anyone listen to me? What would I have to offer? All of these fears and worries whirled inside my head, until I said no more.
After that, something shifted inside and I started moving toward what I wanted. I still have plenty of worries, but I try to stay in the present moment. I take life one day at a time, because that’s all I can do.
3. In the last few years you have had the great opportunity of making a living by helping others. What are a few of the most valuable things you have learned on your journey of being an entrepreneur ?
To find something that excites you, and follow that. Follow your heart, because it is your internal GPS.
This is probably not something you’d hear from many entrepreneurs, but I’ve found that if you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, it’s going to make you miserable. There has to be some kind of enjoyment, excitement, or passion there.
But being excited is not enough. You also have to take action. Action is taken one step at a time, one day at a time. It’s easy to try to get things perfect, but the bottom line is that you have to start before you’re ready.
You can’t figure life out. You can only take one step at a time. So start today. Start now.
4. One of the things that you point out is that because of our current technology, we have the opportunity to turn many of our passions into ethical online businesses. Do you think this is a sustainable trend considering the great economic uncertainty we are living in? How do you see all this affecting the online world?
I think the economic uncertainty today is because of old structures collapsing, and new ones emerging. It’s akin to doing some spring cleaning. When you’re in the middle of taking out the carpets, vacuuming, and scrubbing, everything looks like a mess. But when you’re done, everything feels fresh, smells good, and looks good.
That’s what I think is happening now. We’re in a period of chaos, because things are changing. And part of that change is because of the internet. In the next few years, I believe we’ll only see more people coming online, and the online world growing bigger.
We have to remember that the internet is still fairly young, and it’s still developing.
5. With the flexibility of your business, you have had the opportunity to pursue many of your hobbies. Could you share with us what they are and what have you learned by actively participating in them?
Something I’m particularly interested in right now is cartooning. For most of my life, I’ve avoided drawing anything, because I didn’t believe I could draw. In 2012 that changed, because I decided to join a cartooning course by Sean D’Souza.
And I’ve been drawing almost every day since then. My skills have improved tremendously, and above all, I’ve let go of the belief that I can’t draw. I’ve realized that I can draw. This has not only improved my drawing skills, but also rippled out into other parts of my life. Because if one negative belief was wrong, what else do I believe that holds me back?
Something else I’ve started doing again is playing electric guitar. I loved playing when I was younger, but I quit because I wasn’t getting the results I wanted fast enough. Now I’m back at it with a focus of just doing something every day and keeping it fun.
Last, but not least, I became a father in 2011, and that has completely changed my life. My business allows me to spend hours upon hours with my son and see him grow. And that’s incredibly important to me.
These are just a few things my business has allowed me to do. There’s a lot more, but these are the main things that came to mind when I read your question.
6. What books have had the biggest influence on your life? What would you recommend for anyone looking to start a business or find their creative passion?
There is only one book that comes to mind, and that is The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. This book completely changed my life when I first picked it up in Thailand around 7 years ago. It helped me realize that happiness comes from within, and that we create our own unhappiness through the way we relate to our circumstances. It is not life that makes us unhappy, but the way we relate to life.
I’ve picked up most of my online business knowledge by experimenting and working with people who know what they’re doing, which is why no business books come to mind right now. There are many good ones out there, but nothing I feel would be relevant here.
7. I was always interested in esoteric subjects, and during my time in Prague as a result of my Spiritual journey I happened to have many intense mystical experiences that caused me to question everything. I realized that all worldly success could be taken away at any time, so at that point I quit pursuing my worldly ambitions and decided to dedicate my time to really understanding the transformations I was going through. I realized that without inner freedom no matter what success I could achieve in the worldly sense, would never really fulfill me or my purpose for being on this planet. Now, at this point of my life I am ready to focus on my external freedom. This is where I try to learn from people like you who have set up businesses that are in alignment with their vision. To me inner freedom along with external freedom is ultimate freedom, because without inner freedom you eventually will take whatever worldly success you attain for granted. Since my site is all about discovering and creating both inner and outer freedom, could you please share with us what “freedom” means to you?
Freedom is a state of mind, and a feeling.
If you think about having external freedom, what is it that you really want? It’s the feeling it will give you.
So freedom to me means experiencing that feeling of freedom. It doesn’t mean that your life has to be perfect before you get there, because your life will never be perfect. There will always be new challenges.
It means that you have access to that feeling of freedom right now. Imagine how you would feel if you already had everything you wanted, then live from that place. Take action while you feel that feeling.
8. Last question, you have already accomplished many amazing projects, what do you have in store for the near future?
I’ve just launched the Lifestyle Liberation Academy, which provides training and support for people who want to craft the lifestyle of their dreams.
As for what’s coming next, I can’t really say. I have a few ideas in mind, but more often than not, my plans don’t work out the way I think they will.
I don’t plan a lot. I have a direction, but I let life come to me. It’s much easier that way.
If you want to stay up to date with what I’m doing, feel free to visit my blog, WakeUpCloud.com
Once again, thanks so much for taking the time to share your experiences with us Henri. I look forward to possibly collaborating with you in the future. Peace.