I Don’t Work to Help You

I don’t think many people understand why I run The 21 Convention. I’m sure a few do, but they are a tiny minority. Shit, I’ve only come to understand my own drives clearly over the past 2 years in general, and the past few months in specific.

The free aspect of The 21 Convention only compounds upon this confusion, the confusion of why I do what I do.

I say “confusion” because most people seem to believe I run The 21 Convention to help people, mostly men. This is an easy conclusion to reach since most entrepreneurs espouse this as the fundamental purpose of their work (regardless of whether or not it is actually true), and even feel guilty if it is not their chosen purpose for working.

The fact that all of the videos from the convention are view-able for free, again, only adds weight to this conclusion.

Yet, it is not true, never has been true, and never will be true of me.

Am I glad when my work helps others? Yes. And I am even more glad when it helps those who share similar values to me. But globally speaking, this is unimportant to me. Not a day has gone by in my life since starting The 21 Convention where I woke up and was excited to help people.

I wouldn’t even say a day has gone by where it was on my to do list. That’s how far off the radar helping people is for me. Not even a passing thought.

Yet my work reaches hundreds of thousands of people every month, and helps many of them tremendously. Many of those reading can personally attest to the intensity of attending The 21 Convention, and the raw power in many of the free videos.

So am I not contradicting myself? If I’m helping so many people, and doing such a good job at it, shouldn’t that dictate the purpose of my work? Shouldn’t the results determine the purpose?

No, no, and no.

While the results are a predictable consequence of an individual loving their work, and deriving so much personal, selfish happiness from it, the results in no way dictate my reasons for running The 21 Convention. In fact the more concretely I have identified why I work, which is always further and further away from helping people, the more success I have enjoyed, and paradoxically, the more people have been helped in the process.

You might be asking yourself now, why does Anthony work?

The fundamental answer is: because I enjoy it. However, I’ve come to realize that that answer applied in daily life, is something more akin to concept formation.

Essentially, I care about the ideas presented in, at, and through The 21 Convention more than anything. What people derive from an idea presented at The 21 Convention is a separate matter entirely, and one that as I discussed previously, is unimportant to me.

What matters is that the right men with the right ideas end up on stage, where I can produce a video that clearly communicates the message they chose to deliver. Not communicate to any specific person or group of people, but clear, pristine, and of the highest quality in and of itself, independent of any one or any thing else.

This is why I have never, and will never entertain the idea of someone presenting at the convention on an idea I am convinced and am then aware is wrong. The idea of this happening is so far outside the realm of why I wake up every morning that it is repulsive, if not totally incomprehensible.

Worded differently, I don’t host conventions to have attendees, and I don’t produce videos to get views — I have attendees to host conventions, and I gather views to produce videos of and from the conventions.

I derive joy first and foremost from seeing great ideas come together on stage at The 21 Convention. Nothing else really matters to me in this context. Incidentally, this is why the speeches are so consistently powerful and have such a huge impact on people.

Because you and everyone else are the last thing on my mind, and that is a good thing.

— Anthony Dream Johnson


About Anthony Dream Johnson

CEO, founder, and architect of The 21 Convention, Anthony Dream Johnson is the leading force behind the world's first and only "panorama event for life on earth". He has been featured on WGN Chicago, and in the NY Times #1 best seller The Four Hour Work Week.    His stated purpose for the work he does is "the actualization of the ideal man", a purpose that has led him to found and host The 21 Convention across 3 continents and for 6 years in a row. Anthony blogs vigorously at TheDreamLounge.net and Declarationism.com.

17 Responses to I Don’t Work to Help You

  1. Douglas Howard Crooks April 19, 2012 at 9:10 pm #

    Keep doing it. It’s a huge inspiration seeing what’s possible from someone my own age.

    • Matt April 19, 2012 at 11:52 pm #

      The above comment is ironic in the most awesome way.

      It’s interesting with this post to see just how similar you are to Howard Roark. In fact this trait is the one thing that I find most hard to empathize with in Roark, and in you as well.

      For me, you could reverse this entire post and it would fit me. I care much less about the medium through which I change people’s lives, and more about the change itself. The joy I get from my creations pales in comparison to the joy I get from seeing somebody use that creation to really improve their lives.

      People could look at what I put out, and I assume I really care about specific details of the quality, but In truth, I focus on those details because I know that’s what will have the most impact.

      In the end, this is also a selfish pursuit, the pursuit of my own joy… but what I derive joy from is just so different from what you or Howard Roark derive joy from…

      • MC April 20, 2012 at 12:50 am #

        I’m certain you have to enjoy what you create, and do it for yourself, before you could enjoy the fact that it benefits other people. If you didn’t enjoy creating whatever you create, and it was unenjoyable for you, then I don’t think you’d choose that medium to begin with.

        The people you’re helping would also matter. There are certain people you might go out of your way to help, some that you wouldn’t go out of your way to help but might help without trying, and some people you wouldn’t want to help even if they asked for your help.

        • Matt April 21, 2012 at 3:36 am #

          This is all true.

  2. Patrick April 21, 2012 at 9:40 am #

    Hi Drew, wow that is like probably the stupid post to write in but i will do it. Yes you have helped me a lot and im thankfull for it especially in nutrition and exercise. But I´ve preodered Drews new book, but it didnt arrive and I´ve lost my money too. Please could you help me out?


  3. Patrick April 24, 2012 at 5:37 pm #

    My email is ssinn65@yahoo.com, thank you for your help

  4. Patrick April 24, 2012 at 5:57 pm #

    Ive preorder and paid Drews Book Elements of Form but it never arrived to my email (ebook) and home (printed book). Ive emailed him, but no answer. So to put it in simple terms Ive preordered paid never got the product and Drew is not answering. My email is ssinn65@yahoo.com. Can you help or do I need to clarify anything more? Im sorry, if my writing is not good,since its my second language.

    Thanks Anthony

    • Anthony Dream Johnson April 25, 2012 at 1:58 pm #

      Patrick, I have nothing to do with Drew’s book. Are you e-mailing him at drew@baye.com? If so he probably just hasn’t got to your e-mail yet.

  5. James13onds April 26, 2012 at 1:31 pm #

    Rock on Anthony!!

  6. Patrick April 28, 2012 at 9:32 am #

    Yeah, Im emailing him but he didnt answer. I dont know even why?
    What should I do, can you give me any advice.


  7. Max May 2, 2012 at 8:00 am #

    I personally think you should charge for the videos, you been giving far too long. Keep them in a vault, kinda like a full access course like mixergy and collect some $$

    My two cents.

    • Anthony Dream Johnson May 2, 2012 at 1:44 pm #

      Thanks man, but the advertisements are working out really well … can’t complain. Free has been the way to go and remains so =).

  8. Charles Dahl May 3, 2012 at 8:53 pm #

    Anthony, I hear you saying that the challenge and intellectual stimulation you receive from organizing the conventions is the primary motivation for doing what you do, any benefit to others is a consequence. I find that totally laudatory, and I think you do a better job than anyone else out there as a result. I watch the videos–uniformly excellent…and I’m waaaay past 21!

  9. Patrick May 5, 2012 at 7:01 pm #

    Thanks Anthony, if u contacted him. Drew sended me a email.
    Im so happy 🙂

    You can delete my comments

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