028: Why It’s Good To Be Unemployable (Michael O’Neal)


Unemployable. There was a time when that word would strike fear and/or pity into the hearts of people around the globe. But there’s a man among us who is changing all that. His name is Michael O’Neal, and he is our guest for episode 28.

Michael is currently the host of the ultra-successful podcast, The Solopreneur Hour. The tagline for his show is “job security for the unemployable” and he’s on a quest to show solopreneurs, entrepreneurs, and wannabe-preneurs everywhere that not only is ok to be unemployable, it’s a good thing.


The road to his present-day unemployable status and successful podcast is a windy one; a path that has been filled with massive ups and downs, incredible learning experiences and plenty of wins.

Growing up, Michael bounced around the Eastern Seaboard of the US and did a spell in Florida (he likes to say he did a “jail term”), before landing in Colorado for 14 years. He’s been in San Diego since 2012. Why all the moving around? Mainly it was his way of exploring. He likes to say yes to things and moving was part of that.

As a mountain biker and snowboarder, Colorado was the perfect place for him. He had been a web design guy for a few years before moving to Colorado and found a new home with the company that owned and operated Ski Magazine. For them he took care of their web needs and also became their unofficial tech guy. They didn’t have anyone on sight so he saw the need and took on a second gig within the organization.

One day, he passed a sign outside a design agency that read “Got Web Design?”; he was intrigued to know there were others doing the web thing too so he popped his head inside. He told them if they ever needed help with web design, he’d be happy to lend a hand. The next day they offered him a position for $20k more than he was making.

For the next few years, he worked there but was expanding his knowledge base. He was reading books like Rich Dad, Poor Dad and Cashflow Quadrant, which altered his mindset and how he saw the world. He was becoming unemployable.


  • How lay-offs and down-sizing can be a GOOD thing.
  • When and why did he decide to go to Europe?
  • Reverse engineering: how you can apply it to your life.
  • What are the 3 pillars of freedom, according to Michael?
  • Why stability and safety are overrated.
  • And so much more!

After leaving that company, Michael went full speed ahead into freelancing. He was great technically, artistically and knew branding so he was a valuable asset to all of his clients. He did the freelancing thing for a few years with a short stop as a Creative Director for a Fortune 500 company. That gig lasted for about a year, and even though the pay was incredible, he went back to freelancing because the culture caused him nothing but misery.

And then life threw him a curveball. Both of his parents got sick and died within 7 months of each other, leaving him emotionally and financially devastated.

He went into survival mode and did whatever he had to do to get through each day.

It wasn’t until he was talking with a friend, a man who turned out to be Ted Turner’s best friend, that he actually mourned. Sitting on his friend’s couch, the full impact of his losses hit him.

Although it was a devastating experience for him, it was also an awakening. He wanted to do something for his parents that he hadn’t done while they were alive and that was take them to Europe. So he planned a four month trip and took their ashes with him. He took them to the Sistine Chapel, the beaches of Normandy and many other places on his European adventure.

And when he returned to Denver, he had very little money but a renewed sense of purpose. He had no idea what he was going to do for work, but he knew he didn’t want to trade hours for dollars anymore.

Through a series of twists and turns in the network marketing world, he first became a social media expert for his networking marketing company and then created a podcast for one of the industry’s most gifted speakers. That podcast led to the production of another podcast for a successful network marketer.

Originally Michael thought he would do podcast production next, he had been hired by a few influential people to produce their podcasts and he really enjoyed it.

Until one day when fate stepped in, one of his podcasters wasn’t available to get on the mic so Michael jumped on and did a show on social media. It felt so natural to him, he loved it and got great feedback from the audience. At that moment, a new path was forged. He didn’t know how he would do it or what the show would be about, but he knew he was going to do a podcast.

That wasn’t much more than a year ago and today he has a thriving podcast called The Solopreneur Hour with Michael O’Neal. His show has been downloaded over one million times in its first 10 months and has been listened to around the globe. To boot, he’s created a supportive, engaging and dynamic mastermind group as well as an elite private coaching business for all of his solopreneurs, wannabe-solopreneurs and proudly unemployables.

Please join me in thanking Michael for sharing his knowledge biscuits on the show; he’s an awesome guest and it was great to chat with him. Leave him a comment or send him a Tweet.

Tweetable: “I like to say yes and worry about the details later.” Michael O’Neal


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