Everybody wants to be more than they are. How else can you explain the growth in the self-help/improvement industry? Surely, if these self-help gurus were so fucking effective, this market should be contracting and not expanding. Everyone who buys the courses, the books, and the expensive 1x1 sessions should be crushing it. The single biggest reason why businesses grow is loyalty – clients keep coming back. There is no industry in the world with more repeat business than self-help. It is a drug – it gets you hooked and keeps you high long enough to attend the next course or buy the next book.
I will let you in on some truth – another book, another 7-step plan, or another 5-day lecture series in Hawaii is not what you need to advance and unlock your potential. I should know – I wrote the book “10 Steps to Financial Freedom” and I don’t think a single person who bought it will activate any of the advice in the book. So why is it that we are all so depressed, unfulfilled, and operating so far below our full potential?
We are terrified of what people might think if we start to do radical things or make radical changes in our professional lives. Between 1997 and 2010, I traded derivatives for large banks in Johannesburg, London, and Mexico City. I launched the warrant (listed options market) in South Africa for Deutsche Bank at the age of 26! I thought of myself as a mini rainmaker, so when Bloomberg, a financial software and media company, approached me in 2010, I thought – what the fuck? Do they want me to go and sell financial software to my peers in the financial markets? I was terrified of what people may think - from derivatives trader to software salesman.
We are all so worried about what people will think if you quit your job as a doctor and start writing screenplays for Hollywood movies, or you post a video about your new sneaker business or start a podcast to brand the wines you sell. You use these excuses: I have a face for radio, or I don’t have a funky studio, or my voice is more irritating than Marge Simpson. NOBODY GIVES A FUCK ABOUT YOU.
This is a cruel thing to say but most people are too busy dealing with their own shit to be concerned about your squeaky voice. Sure, there are deeply hurt and conflicted people that will hate on you, post negative remarks, and tell you are a piece of shit – but in all honesty, do you really care about the opinions of these sad and broken people? There will always be haters. Go to your favorite song on YouTube, what is the probability of finding zero dislikes? Michael Jordan didn’t make his high school basketball team. Tom Brady was the 199th pick in the 2000 NFL draft - haters gonna hate.
You need to get yourself to the point where you don’t give a fuck about other people’s opinions. Why do you think Mark Mason’s book “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” sold millions of copies worldwide? People want so badly to not give a fuck. Why was it that all the girls in high school wanted to be with, and all the guys wanted to be like, the devil-may-care guy who rode a motorcycle? There is something truly awesome about being unfettered by and free of the opinions of others. You live life on your own terms – that is true freedom and independence.
The secret to success, happiness, and fulfillment in life is not being enslaved and paralyzed by self-consciousness. I know this is not easy because we are all hardwired to be concerned about the opinions of others. But you need to move away from that. If you want to launch a personal brand on social media and tap into millions of potential clients, you need to put yourself out there and be vulnerable. People are going to say you are ugly, stupid, full of shit, a piece of shit, etc. There are many people in the world who are so sad and miserable and have lives that are so empty, that they will take the time to write you a nasty comment. Instead of being hurt, feel sorry for these miserable fuckers. Don’t ever lose sight of your mission and purpose. The same is also true of the praise. When people say how fucking great and awesome you are, this too should not be taken too seriously. You do not need external validation. You know who you are, you know your value and no one should be allowed to change that.
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