The Only Certain Freedom

The Transformative Journey of the Entrepreneur

Patrick O'Neill

A Globe and Mail Best Business Book

The Only Certain Freedom explores the process, pitfalls, and triumphs of leaving the corporate world in order to fashion a career that matches our heartfelt values. Written by management consultant, teacher, and writer, Patrick O’Neill, this book will help budding entrepreneurs find the courage of their convictions, discover the universal truths that underlie their personal hero journey, and turn their nascent hope for a better career and more fulfilling life into reality.

The Only Certain Freedom tells the narrative of Patrick O’Neill’s own experience as he struggled to take control of his career path while connecting each twist and turn of his story to different ancient myths, clarifying the common threads of human struggle, and illuminating the profound wisdom at the heart of human experience.

While The Only Certain Freedom is truly a book for our era of empowered individualism, it is also a testament to the universality of human experience from time immemorial. While it promotes the individual seeker, it also connects his or her journey to the hardship and joy that all of us face when we decide to take the risks necessary to find success.

O’Neill shows that while we often think of our experiences as unique, we are, at the end of the day, fallible humans and we have as much to learn from each other—past and present—as ever.


“A compelling and profound book about redemption in how we relate to work and the struggle to create something new in the world.”

“A must-read for all those who have ever contemplated bold career moves at any age, as well as for those searching to infuse more passion and purpose into their lives.”

“Inspiring . . . Encourages us both professionally and personally to risk daily, forgive constantly, and remember that we are more than the habitual stories that have limited our choices.”

“Don’t start a new business without reading this book.”

Patrick O’Neill leads Extraordinary Conversations Inc., a Toronto-based management consulting firm founded in 1988.

The firm specializes in change management, leadership development, team performance, organizational communications, and conflict resolution.

A gifted teacher, consultant, mediator, and mentor, Patrick has worked with thousands of people and hundreds of teams and organizations over thirty years. He has contributed to the practices of leadership and wise governance by developing leading-edge organizational effectiveness programs that are practical, pragmatic, and applicable to the workplace and community.

Patrick’s expertise in organizational dynamics has taken him to global corporations in North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific; to the townships of South Africa; and to the peace process in the Middle East.

His corporate clients have included the Boeing Company, Teva Pharmaceuticals, the Ontario Pension Board, CIBC World Markets, the Walt Disney Company, Saab, Kraft, Nestlé, Pearson, Revlon, Telus, and Sony BMG Music as well as mid-sized and smaller organizations.

Patrick was a volunteer board member of the Angeles Arrien Foundation for Cross-Cultural Education and Research, a non-profit charitable organization based in San Francisco. He is also a past president of the Learning Disabilities Association of Ontario. Currently, he is a volunteer advisor to War Child Canada, Pathways to Education, and the Adrian Dominican Sisters. He is also an advisor to Ryerson University’s Certificate in Ethics program. Patrick’s insights on leadership are regularly featured in national newspapers like the Globe and Mail. He is also the author of A Hundred Chances: Short Meditations on Opportunity, Risk and Probability.

ISBN 978-1775172208
$22.95 CAD $17.95 USD
Published March 9, 2018
5.5 × 8.5 172 Pages
Paperback, ebook,

Distributed online only