Stop Listening To Them And Start Listening To You


A friend sent me an article the other day. It was a “10 Reasons I’m Successful and You Suck” post about why the world is filled with “wantrepreneurs” (someone is always “aspiring” to be an entrepreneur but never does anything about it). It was a list like all the others you’ve read.

I started to write a parody list, but the original is just too good:

They care about what others think

They make excuses

Scared of failing

They don’t want it badly enough

They’re too comfortable

Fuck this kid.

This is the poison that people skim by the ton.

It’s misleading, it’s dishonest, and it’s dull.

Honestly. I’m usually the most forgiving person in the world but this list sums up perfectly what is wrong with journalism right now.

The writer is 20 years old. He has no subtle understanding of anything. I doubt he’s had any real suffering. He’s just going around yelling at people that they aren’t as good as him.

And the post is one of the most shared on the major site it was posted to.

Maybe I’m more upset about this than I should be because I also work hard to help people get out of being “wantrepreneurs”. At StartupBros I write regularly about ideas for starting businesses, finding businesses, overcoming excuses, taking action, getting motivated, and all the rest. But I do it with humility, from experience, and in a way that’s meant to help – not to build myself into some deity.

I’ve written here before about how there is no 1-2-3 to success. How all “successful” people fail, are afraid, make excuses, and care deeply about what others think. The most successful people usually contain the deepest flaws.

Success doesn’t come by skimming blog posts (written for clicks and the author’s ego) and checking off boxes.

My wish for you, Kallistos, is that you survive as many battles in the flesh as you have already fought in your imagination. Perhaps then you will acquire the humility of a man and bear yourself no longer as the demigod you presume yourself to be. – Demekes, Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield

Hell no. It comes with doing small things in your life every day to make your world better.

Maybe it’s getting healthy. Maybe it’s making some more money. Maybe it’s smiling at someone today.

Maybe your success is happiness, maybe it’s achievement, maybe you don’t even know what it means to you today.

There is no one way. Plurality means that in complex situations there is more than one right answer. Life is complex… I don’t care what Buddha said… there are multiple ways to do the thing – each as “right” as the next.

One choice is to listen to punks (or gurus) who have the gall to tell you they know what you should do.

The other choice is to sack up and gain some respect for your own opinion. To see that you have flaws and decide whether they’re worth correcting or not.

Whatever you do, if you’re a human you will care what others think about you, make excuses, fear failure, be apathetic, and get too comfortable. Not all the time, but sometimes.

And, despite what dumbass self-help writers who’ve never come to terms with their own humanity write, you’ll make progress.

Miraculously, in the face of all the bullet-pointed lists telling you how to do life. You will find that you’ve made things happen despite your fear, laziness, and whatever other self-help sins you commit daily.

You know what would make your life better. Start there. And fuck them fools.