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9 Things You Should Stop Apologizing for If You Want to Be Successful
Never apologize for wanting to make money to become wealthy
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The worst thing I ever did in my life was be a people pleaser.
I didn’t set out to do it, but I fell into the trap. The corporate world taught me to do what the boss says and try to please every customer. One time, while working in an insurance call center, I got a complaint made about me by a customer.
The big boss hauled my ass into his office.
“If you ever f*cking do that again you’re fired. Now go call them and apologize.”
From that moment on I became a people pleaser. I didn’t want to go through that torture ever again or get fired.
This led to a habit many of you are familiar with: apologizing.
I’d accidentally start every email or conversation with:
“Sorry to bother you.”
“Sorry I’m one minute late.”
“Sorry I don’t know.”
“Apologies for being her. Is that okay?”
Then this led to me communicating like a politician running in an election. My answers became complex. I wrapped red tape around everything I said. I made excessive caveats in emails and provided way too much context in meetings.
I became a scared little boy. Weak as piss.
This way of life took me up to about 3 years ago. I was completely lost in life. I got fired from my job for doing nothing wrong. I got sick of being told what to do by people no smarter than a 5th grader.
So I stopped apologizing.
If I was late, I said nothing. If I made a mistake, I didn’t apologize. If I wanted something in my life, I didn’t say sorry for going after it.
And life got 10x better.
I actually got more respect. I made a lot more progress. And I stopped following the blind sheep that run corporations off a cliff into the land of nowhere.
The key to a kickass life is to stop apologizing. Start with these then go nuts.
Never apologize for wanting to make money to become wealthy
This one’s taboo.
Making money is evil, apparently. If you want to make money you’re shallow as hell and should get a life.
We need money to live. We need wealth to work less and focus on what matters. I’m not saying you need a Lambo or nothing. But you sure as hell shouldn’t stay broke because you’re worried someone will judge you for wanting to make money.
We see it in job interviews all the time. 99% of people don’t ask how much the salary is because conventional wisdom says it’s rude or inappropriate.
Screw what the stoics said. Ask about the money. Let the hiring manager know you want to get paid and money is a factor in your decision. Heck, have the guts to ask for more money and stop accepting piss-weak salary offers.
Counteroffer the mofos.
Money makes life better and there’s no doubt about it. It can’t solve all your problems but it can solve quite a lot of ‘em. It’s okay to get rich. It’s okay to chase money for a while. It’s okay to buy yourself nice things and enjoy life.
Stop listening to virtue-signalling losers who also chase money in secret, too.
Never apologize for being a weirdo
I am weird.
I eat crazy vegan food, piss on the airplane toilet seat, watch documentaries about Mother Teresa, believe Keanu Reeves is Jesus, drive a piece of crap car, live in a tiny home, and have a half-asian kid who already plays the piano better than Mozart (even though I told her music isn’t a viable career).
I’ll do me, you do you.
Your weirdness is what makes you interesting. And interesting people are attracted to other interesting people. I haven’t had to network, send cold emails, or throw business cards in people’s faces for years.
Weirdos like me connect with me because they see some of their weirdness in me.
Weirdness is a magnet. It attracts the things and people you need in life to live your version of success.
TV host Anthony Bourdain tried to be normal. It’s why he got into several romantic relationships that he shouldn’t of. When his romantic fairy tale of being normal and married didn’t work out, he ended his life.
That’s what normal does to you. What made him successful was his weirdness but he just couldn’t embrace it or find a way to live with it.
You get one life. Don’t screw it up by being normal.
Never apologize for building your own thing
It’s okay to have a 9-5 cubicle job.
There, I said it. The point is to not do it for your whole life. I meet people on the internet all the time who want to build something they own 100% on the side (which is what I preach).
But they apologize to themselves and their boss for having that desire. They even ask their boss if they can build their own thing haha.
Yes, you don’t need to build someone else’s dreams for the rest of your life. It’s okay to become an owner, or start a business. It’s okay to become obsessed with painting and piss off to Venice for a year to learn how.
You either build your own thing, or have regrets later in life that you didn’t. There’s no middle ground.
Nobody wants you to do it though for two reasons:
They envy you
By building your own thing, you stop them building their thing
Never apologize for being pissed off
A lot of society operates poorly.
The medical system
Most people just accept it. They order a $30 hamburger and get delivered a $5 Big Mac and say nothing. But you don’t have to and you shouldn’t.
Challenge people, institutions, and organizations. Get them to deliver what they promised and what you paid for.
It’s okay to get pissed off.
The key is to be respectful. Tell them what you’re unhappy about and then ask them to fix it. If they don’t, then use the common escalation points of talking to the manager, leaving an online review, getting dispute resolution involved, or taking their stupid ass to court if it’s really bad.
I’m doing it right now with local government. They are allowing someone to abuse their power and take advantage of my neighbors. And they won’t get away with it. I won’t stand for it, and it’s not going to continue.
If it takes me a year to resolve it, then fine. With that kind of commitment and assertiveness most roadblockers in your way will move away real fast.
Pissed off = Energy
Never apologize for leaving bad friends behind
I could write a book on this one.
My high school mate slept over at my house and stole my dad’s $1000 Nokia phone. My best friend treated me like a loan shark and borrowed money every week. Another friend told the cops I beat someone up when it was him (I couldn’t even hurt an ant with my skinny arms and fragile fingernails).
One day I just erased all these bad friends. Facebook block. iPhone block on their number. Change of home address. New job.
When you stop hanging around losers a lot of problems just go away. It’s okay to curate your inner circle and replace bad friends with good friends over time.
Never apologize for being delusional
Delusional people build great things in the world that we all need.
I am delusional. I think I’m going to become a best-selling author and take this Substack from 100k subscribers to 2m. Maybe I will or maybe I won’t.
But damn it feels good to dream … to do what everyone else says you can’t do or thinks is impossible to achieve.
If we don’t have dreams then what the bloody hell is the point of living?
We may as well drive down to the funeral home, choose the coffin, book the funeral, and say goodbye to our family.
Even if you don’t reach your delusional goal, you’ll still get further by having it.
Never apologize for your obsession
All of us have an obsession, even if we don’t know what it is yet.
Don’t apologize for it. I’m obsessed with writing. One prominent writing figure said publicly last week that I write too much and am nothing more than a content mill.
I love writing. It’s all I think and dream about. What I do might make me look like a madman, but to those who love writing … they get it.
Most people won’t understand your obsession. Find your tribe who do and spend time with them. Let those – such as family – know that they don’t have to understand but they need to stay out of the way of your obsession.
Never apologize for embracing self-improvement
The cool kids will say self-improvement is a scam. A pyramid scheme.
They want us to think it’s selfish and that we shouldn’t improve ourselves. They’re wrong. It’s okay to improve. It’s how we grow and get better in life as we get older. As humans we crave progress.
Progress is one part of life that keeps us alive. If we refuse to grow then we run the risk of letting mental illness move into our heads. I look at who I was a year ago and I don’t even recognize myself. And what I thought 5 years ago almost feels as strange as what I thought about the world at 6 years of age.
Our human hardware is our brain and every day it’s getting an incremental software update from the information we consume and people we spend time with. Some of those software upgrades turn into viruses, and others turn into better software.
To *not* improve is to die at 25 and get buried at 85. Or as my friend Dan Koe puts it, to be 50 years old and have the emotional maturity of a 12 year old.
Never apologize for setting 5 year goals
If you’re willing to suck at anything for 100 days in a row, you can beat most people at most things. The bar for excellence has never been so low – Alex Hormozi
Shortcuts and a lack of patience have destroyed more dreams than the bad boss at work who loves to micromanage people.
When you set long-term goals most people don’t get it. At best, the average person has New Year’s Resolutions that are one year in advance and get repeated for years without anything ever happening.
Very few have 5 year goals. And less than 1% have 10+ year goals.
When I started writing I made it a 5 year goal. Now I operate on 10 year goals and am about to hit my 10 year anniversary writing online. Any online success I’ve had is because of this long-term mindset – not quality of writing, friends in high places, or trust funds from daddy.
Play long-term games. Dare: play forever games.
Bonus Thing to Stop Apologizing For…
Writing online before you feel ready.
All you need is ideas and guts.
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