14 Things I've Learned the Hard Way Over the Last Decade: Life, Liberty, Love and the Pursuit of Crappiness - An Ode to the Roaring 20s

14 Things I've Learned the Hard Way Over the Last Decade: Life, Liberty, Love and the Pursuit of Crappiness - An Ode to the Roaring 20s

Whenever Steve asks me a question about doing something, my response is almost always: “I don’t have time for that shit.”

  • Are u going to that party?
    • “I don’t have time for that shit.”
  • Are u going on a second date with her?
    • “I don’t have time for that shit.”
  • What’s for dinner tonight?
    • “I don’t have time for that shit.”

For real though in this economy I don’t have time for any of that shit!!! 

At this point in my life, I rarely have time for things that don’t directly coincide with my goals, yet, a decade is a ridiculous amount of time to get shit done. Especially when you’re 27 years old; the last decade has encompassed more than 37% of my life. The man that invented the TI-83 Plus should be collecting royalties to this day. I turned 27 at the end of August. Every birthday that hits makes me feel like I’m getting old af. I’ve felt that way since probably my 22nd birthday. Imagine being 22 years old and thinking that you’re old. So dumb. So naïve, yet it’s arguably the most important age for the majority of young kings and queens, especially those transitioning out of college. It’s the age where you either start chasing dreams or chasing paychecks. So, while 22 is not significant in size, importance sides with the inverse. We’ll come byke to that.

2019 is over, depending on when I release this: in 9 days, 5 days, tomorrow? Maybe the clock already struck midnight on Jan 1, the point of whatever I’m going to write about in this post remains the same and hopefully will hold true through the next ten years. I should preface this by letting u know that I took Adderall about an hour ago so any weird tangents have an alibi.

Through 5 paragraphs I’ve dropped one big fact. That I’m 27 years old. Some more facts I can add to the list: 

  • I'm a terrible writer. But I'm great on camera (comfortable)
  • I live in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
  • I work from home, from my laptop more specifically. I can work from wherever I want
  • I earned an undergraduate degree in international business
  • I earned an MBA in marketing analytics
  • I have a collective social media following of nearly 50,000 people (youtube, IG thottin, twitter, email, etcetera, etcetera)
  • For the first four months following my move into Brooklyn I gave myself haircuts instead of getting real ones because I had no idea if I was going to make livable money doing what I was doing... and I had to lower expenses somehow lol
  • I've since built a $200,000 a year business centered around fantasy football (absolutely fuckin out of control)
  • And now I can afford haircuts

The numbers/accolades listed above mean very little to me if I’m being honest. Like Drake rapping about killing someone, it’s cool to say and fun to think about, but doesn’t actually mean anything. I’m weird tho, I feel like I literally have accomplished nothing. Like I’m just getting started and that’s why I feel like I never have time for that shit!!! For anything. I want to accomplish so much because I feel like I haven’t done shit yet. But on the other hand, I’ll admit, I find it difficult to stay grounded sometimes, when I genuinely begin to think about what I've created. I’ll say to myself, “How many 27-year olds do I know that have built multi-6 figure businesses? How many can wake up and do whatever tf they want, when they want?” Sure, you see them every day, all over Instagram, so you might be sitting there reading this post like binch ur not special nick. Trust me, I know I’m not and I don’t think I am. But in reality, it’s a feat close to 0.01% of people my age have conquered. But anytime those thoughts creep into my head, questions like “Why the fuck does that matter? And what does that prove?” follow closely behind, thankfully. 

None of those numbers mean that I’m a good person. Or that I’m intelligent, or pleasant to be around, or that my friends or family like me. Realistically, that bulleted list above is just a list of my insecurities stemming from the fact that I feel like I need to validate myself and what I’ve accomplished to y’all otherwise I feel like every word I type henceforth (<< lfg) will be misconstrued and tied in with all the farce Instagram millennial life coaches that are still on their parent’s health care plan. (I was until January 1 of 2019. Nothing wrong with that). Just stop telling me that u can help me build a 7-figure business in 11 days. 

What I’m most proud of has nothing to do with numbers, or money, or any sort of outside validation. The single thing I’m most proud of up to this point in my life is my ability to make important life decisions by focusing solely on the long-term, without wavering from that process. I’ll eat shit for the next five years if it means being happy in year 6 and onward. I’ve always had that mentality, and I always will. And I’m very proud of that. It can be scary af at times to operate that way, but I live on a no-regret policy. No exceptions.

10 years ago, I was 17 years old. 27-17 = 10 < u don’t go through all that schooling and not come away with elite math skills. 10 years ago was also 4 or 5 lifetimes ago as far as who I am as a person. Anyone going through the growing pains of late teens to late 20’s I’m sure can relate. Ida slapped the fuck out of my 21-year old self if I met him today.

January is a weird time of the year for me because my business operates around the fantasy football schedule, which for my audience means the beginning of summer through Christmas. When this time of the year approaches, I dig myself out of the day-to-day trenches and start to think long-term, what do I want to bring to the table NEXT summer and I have some time to dedicate to projects that are not football-related and ones that I’m more passionate about personally. 

With the new year here, and seeing all the HiLARIOUS see u next year jokes turn into see u next decade jokes, 2020 hit a bit different. I don’t remember a single fuckin thing in my life before age like 13. That’s an exaggeration, but not by much. How do people remember things at such a young age? I don’t have time for that shit. Realistically, 2020 presents the first time that I can sit back and be like “zamn I actually remember the last decade, things that I learned during it and what I can take away from it”. There was no agenda for this post, nor did I even know I was going to write it until about two hours ago when I sat down and was like fuck it, we gone do it live. So, with the most further ado’s, I present to u, the 14 most important things I learned during the last decade of being alive unfortunately.

 

1. I Was Fuckin Terrified to Publish My First Vlog

One of my favorite quotes of all time is from an author by the name of Neil Gaiman. He said “The moment that you feel that, just possibly, you’re walking down the street naked, exposing too much of your heart and your mind and what exists on the inside, showing too much of yourself. That’s the moment you may be starting to get it right”.

 

    I’m of the belief that EVERYONE should have some sort of creative outlet. Painting, drawing, making music, playing an instrument, writing, blogging, journaling, poetry, making videos, editing videos, fashion, graffiti, even sex is a reflection of who u are as a person. You’re a giving person? It’ll show in bed. You love to have a good time? You’ll make party music. The way u see the world can be expressed in a million different ways. I implore u to search for the way that comes most natural to u and go all in on it. You don’t have to share it with the world. Do it for yourself. Once u find the right thing, you’ll want to share it with the world.

     

      And when u do finally post something publicly, be nervous about it. Be nervous AS FUCK. Let people judge u. A blog post like this would almost always have some sort of section titled: “Don’t care about what other people think, don’t care about their judgements”… like okay, thank u but we’re not fuckin robots. We’re humans. I give less fucks about what people think of me than anyone that I know, but I still give an unbelievably high amount of fucks about what people think of me, and whether or not they’re judging me and so on and so forth. It’s not something I’ll ever get rid of, but it’s something you can learn to channel and embrace.

       

        I remember the first vlog I posted on YouTube. Or I should say that I remember the moments leading up to hitting publish on the first vlog I posted on YouTube. You can ask my mom how nervous I was. I was pacing around my house. I was texting Steve and Kelli, like should I do this? I shouldn’t do this, right. But what if? Fuck. Alright.. click. It was one of the scariest but craziest feelings I’ve experienced. I’ve learned to fall in love with those moments and feelings in this life. They are VERY few and far between, but push you to places you weren’t sure were there. Now I’m like 500 videos in and I’m comfortable putting shit out into the world. However, anytime I post something that’s even remotely vulnerable, I get butterflies in my stomach. This post for instance. I’m scared to post it. And I’ll be scared to make an Instagram story promoting it. And I’ll be scared to tweet it out. Like who the fuck am I at 27 to tell people that are my age how to live their life? It's a valid question. I try not to preach at all. I try to simply document my personal experiences in hopes that other people are going through the same things and it can help those people. But if there’s one thing that I know for an absolute certainty, it’s that the more nervous I get about posting something, the better it is and the more impactful it is. The most vulnerable pieces of content I put out always drive the biggest, most positive reactions from people. Those are the ones that result in me receiving deep, personal texts, emails and messages. Some shit y’all would not believe unless you literally saw them. After I left my final corporate job, I posted a vlog every Saturday at noon for 70 or so straight weeks. It doesn’t sound like much, but that’s me documenting a year and a half of my life. The good, the bad, the fugly. I mean I legit cried about a girl on one of my vlogs lol. I hated it, but it just was what it was. I didn’t use it to get views, I didn’t use it for clickbait or to sell anything. I didn’t even plan on bringing up the breakup in the video but it just happened. It was what was going on in my life at the time. From that video, and videos like it, I got messages from people telling me that they were suicidal and because they were able to relate to some of things I was going through, it made them feel less alone and got them through it. I know how crazy it sounds, and some of you might be reading this like bullshit, but I promise u that shits very real.

         

          Those scared feelings for you tend to translate into less scared feelings for other people.

           

          2. Being Vulnerable is the ONLY Way to Do Meaningful Things

          If I’m being honest with myself, the most difficult thing that I went through over the last decade was that ^ breakup. I always found that I learned more about myself as a person through the ending of a relationship than during any other times in my life. And it’s not particularly close. I’m sure most of y’all reading this have dealt with a breakup and/or heartbreak at one point or another so u can relate. If u haven’t, Godspeed and buckle up.


          The ending of a relationship opens the gateway for a billion ridiculous thoughts that come racing to your brain. It’s a fuckin steroid-filled thoroughbred at the Belmont, and the negative part of your brain is the finish line. The question at the forefront of it all is “Why?”. Why did the relationship end? Was it something I did? Was it something they did? Could I have given more, or tried harder, been nicer, been better looking? Am I going to be alone forever? Did we make a mistake by breaking up? We should probably get back together right? Some ridiculous, but I’d argue that they all run through your head at one point or another post-divorce.
          The end of this relationship, in particular, caused me to look really far inside, a depth I’d never explored. I don’t know if I was depressed, or just in a bad funk, or what, but it was one of the worst periods of my life as far as I can remember… which is only back to age 14 but I think my childhood slapped, so yea this gotta be it.


          Shortly after, I realized something. That for the first 20 years of my life, I wasn’t capable of being vulnerable. Around anyone. My family, my friends, girlfriends that I had. Looking back on it now, I have my theories on why that was but the point I’m making is that my lack of being able to open up, to display my flaws, to understand that I’m not 4%, let alone 100% perfect, was significantly hurting all parts of my life. And I had no idea at the time.


          That was until the breakup happened, and I eventually put two and three together as to that being the reason why we broke up. Who the fuck wants to be with someone that doesn’t let you “know” them fully? It actually blows my mind that any of the gfs I had before her and up to that point were with me for as long as they were.


          It might sound crazy for y’all to hear this about me seeing as how I now broadcast all my fuckin problems to the internet at scale, but like I said, my younger self was a handful of lifetimes ago.


          From that point on, I made a promise to myself that I would be as transparent and vulnerable of a person as I could possibly be. When u take your vulnerabilities and insecurities and flip them into your strengths, and start owning them, u can really start living your life and become who u are. It just makes sense. When you’re truly at ease with your vulnerabilities and insecurities, people talking about them or judging you based off of them shouldn’t impact you.


          It’s not an easy thing to do. Not at all. I still struggle with it to this day. But I’m kiloyears ahead of where I was just half a decade ago and I’m proud of that.

           

          Remember, we like people for their qualities, but we love them for their defects.

           

            3. You’ll Figure Out Things You DON’T Like WAY Faster Than Things You DO

            This is more geared toward your profession. It was for me at least.


            By the time I was 24 years old, I had my MBA and had worked at 4 separate full-time jobs. I’m not talking about working at a movie theatre, or a fast food restaurant. I’m talking real, salary 9-5 jobs. I had 4 different ones by the time I was 24. To this day, I have never celebrated a one-year anniversary at a job. While my friends would tell me that their co-workers are having a four-year anniversary for them, I’d be lucky if I made it past 4 months.


            I was young and ambitious and when I found something I didn’t like, I wasn’t scared to move on from it. Too many people are crippled by fake narratives formed by people that don’t have the tiniest fuckin impact on their life.

            What are people going to think? My “friends” will think I’m dumb.


            “My grandparents won’t understand”


            “It’s a steady paycheck..”


            Your real friends will support you regardless.


            Your grandparents don’t understand a fucking thing that goes on in today’s world anyways. My grandpa thinks his cell phone doesn’t have text messaging. He has an iPhone 8.


            “It’s a steady paycheck.” I’m not telling you to go sell your paintings on the corner of Essex and Delancey mane. Find another job, I promise it’s not that difficult. Maybe you have to take a $3000 pay cut, but is that not worth the happiness of a more fulfilling and enjoyable job? I mean Jesus Christ what are we even talking about here. This is a real conversation that needs to be had.


            “Quitting before X years doesn’t look good on my resume.” Says fucking who? As someone who is soon to be hiring people, if a kid walked into an interview with me, handed me a Frank from Shameless type of job-hopping resume, BUT was self-aware enough to tell explain to me that he or she saw a better opportunity elsewhere, or had the courage to leave a job because he or she loved something else more, I’d be ecstatic. The fake narrative bullshit needs to stop.


            Think about it logically. You’re gonna keep doing something u hate, in hopes of eventually being happy? When u can literally make a choice to be happy right now….by not doing something u hate. Idk maybe my math is fucked up but it seems to work for me.


            So, this is a call to anyone doing something they hate. It’s not worth it. Especially while you’re young. I almost look at your younger years through … what is that thing called. The Law of Diminishing Returns. Your late teens and early 20’s are those years to fuck around and live life to the fullest. Try 32 different jobs, stay up until 4 am working on a side hustle, or partying, travel around the country.. Because you can. You have the energy. You have a lack of responsibilities. The younger years are for being creative, experimenting, taking risks and fading anything that kills your happiness. When you get older, you still do things that make you happy and keep yourself creative and fresh, but your body ages, you have more responsibilities and the risks you do take have to be more calculated both from an energy and financial standpoint.


            This is me saying it’s okay to quit something u hate. You’re not a quitter. Or cowardly. I’d firmly argue that it’s the opposite of cowardly, the large majority of people are scared to do it.


            So, when u say “I don’t know what I want to do with my life”, that’s fine. Just keep trying new things and figuring out what u don’t want to do, cross it off of your list and you’ll eventually lead yourself down a path towards the answer.


            Just a final note here, too. You can do something you’re unhappy with if you know it’ll lead you to where you want to be down the line. Like, work that shit job for three years if you know that dream job is at the finish line. But if you’re stuck with no end in sight, don’t stay stagnant because you’re scared to move.

               

              4. Don’t Ever, Ever Put Yourself in a Box

              Physically u probably shouldn’t do this either, but I’m referring to your mentality about yourself, and who u are as person. You’re not one thing. You’re a billion different things; passions, feelings, emotions, and all that kinda shit, that are always changing… rapidly. I want to put this in a way that doesn’t come off as spiritual and/or corny because this shit is so important.


              A lot of people in the Twitter world would refer to me as a “fantasy football analyst”. I would vehemently fight the fuck out of that notion. That’s not who I am. I make informational videos about fantasy football that hopefully bring people value. It’s one aspect of my life. It’s the reason that my YouTube channel is and will always just be my name: Nick Ercolano. I could’ve just as easily used some boring ass generic channel name that had “fantasy football” in it and I’d likely have double the numbers of subscribers I have now and prolly made a whole lot more money, too.


              If u put a gun to my head and asked me whether or not I’d still be talking about and creating fantasy football stuff in five years, the odds would border on 50/50, at best. You can call me a business owner, u can call me a fantasy football analyst, u can call me an asshole, they all might be (and are) true today and may not be by tomorrow, but I’ll always be Nick Ercolano. And again, Nick Ercolano is a billion different things, passions, feelings and emotions that rapidly change. And I will always present the truest side of whatever those things are to the world at the moment of presentation. The only way to win the game in the long-run is authenticity. Unwavering, vulnerable, authenticity.


              It’s the reason I enjoy vlogging so much. My absolute favorite comments on my videos are the ones where people tell me to stop cursing. I immediately reply to those comments with something like “why the fuck would I do that?” Gets them big mad. But, there is no one way to be successful. In fact, I’d argue that the only way to be truly successful is to do so by being undeniably exactly who u are, to a fault.


              Do I curse a lot? Fuck ya. Do I drink a lot? Sure, I get shithoused with the boys all the time. Not as much as years past thankfully, but it’s still part of who I am. Have I experimented with drugs? As much as any typical 27-year-old living in New York has. Case in point is, yes, I’m an idiot sometimes. But do I work my fuckin ass off to hit my goals? Yurp. Do I work out 4-5 times a week? Not right now because it’s like 22 degrees every day and my gym is kinda far, but y’all get the point. Do Steve and I do stupid shit on my vlogs. Sure. Have I cried over said breakup in a vlog? Also, sure. I don’t think you’re ever going to know what you’re about to get from me. Because I don’t know either. I just am exactly who I am. I’m not going to do what people think a successful person would do. I won’t be what people label me to be. I’m not what your mother told u that I should be. I’m just big me.


              You can do something that’s right and do something that’s wrong. It doesn’t make you either of those things. You can do something good and you can do something bad. It doesn’t make you a good or bad person. Good people make mistakes just as assholes can be nice. There’s not a single thing that defines you so don’t let one.

               

                5. The Way People Act & Treat Other People Is a DIRECT Reflection of Their Life and How They Feel About Themselves

                Between the months of April and November of 2019 I published over 250 videos that have received over 3 million views collectively and have gotten almost 40,000 comments on them. It all sounds great until u realize that even if 99% of those comments are positive ones, the simple math tells u that around 500 negative comments have come my way over the course of just a few months.

                 

                  That’s probably enough to break a lot of people. One negative comment that hits on an insecurity of mine might speak deafening volume levels relative to 100 positive ones.

                   

                    Fortunately, I’m in a place where the large majority of shit that comes my way is positive. And tbh, the negative ones do hurt sometimes, but they tend to be some of my favorite ones. Idk why I’m like this.

                     

                      You have to understand that when people are hurt, they want to hurt other people. When people are at a really good place in their life, when someone is genuinely happy they have ZERO energy or time to use on trying to put other people down. On the internet, in real life, it’s just facts. Psychology 101.

                       

                        So, when I see a comment that’s negative, my first emotion is a bit upset, naturally, but I’m immediately overtaken by empathy. Like, u know how fucked up your life has got to be for u to be sitting behind a computer monitor, watch an entire video of someone else, let it get u upset and go comment something negative about it in the hopes that the person on the receiving end of the comment’s feelings can mirror your negative ones. When u really sit back and think about it like that, jfc, it’s sad.

                         

                          While it’s wildly popular to be a cunt on the internet (I know the c-word is ostracized but it’s my favorite word in the world so i'm gonna use it), there are plenty of assholes in the real world too. All u can do is know that there’s some pain inside that person. If they snap on u, 99% of the time it’s not your fault. It’s something that person is dealing with at home, or financially, or whatever the case is, but how u treat people is a direct reflection of how u feel about yourself inside and how you feel about your life. 

                           

                          6. The 40-Year-Old Regret Game

                            I mentioned regret earlier. It’s something that I do not live with. Not when it comes to big decisions.

                             

                              Anyone that’s 25 will tell u about something they regret from ages 18-21. Anyone in their 30s will tell u that they regret not doing XYZ in their 20s. Anyone in their 40s is lucky because they’re way closer to being dead than I am.

                               

                                I do plenty of dumb shit that I regret, daily. I’m not close to perfect and there are a lot of things in my life that I’m not proud of. There are actually a few things that’ve happened over the past couple of weeks weighing on my heart right now that I’m not proud of but I’m nervous to make right.

                                 

                                  That stuff aside, whenever I’m at a crossroads in my life about a big decision that I have to make, I legitimately ask myself if I’ll regret doing/not doing it when I’m 40 (just an arbitrary number – when I’m 40, I’ll use 60. When I’m 60 I’ll hopefully be dead already). If the result of that question is that I’ll regret NOT doing something, I do it. I don’t care if it puts me in an uncomfortable situation right now. Or if it hurts me financially right now. I’ll always take a short-term L if it means not living with regret.

                                   

                                    The one common regret you’ll find among almost ANYONE is only that they wish they had started earlier. Do I wish I started posting shit a few years earlier? Absolutely. But am I Happy? That. I. Started. Of course.

                                     

                                      It’s cliché to say that “The things you most regret are the things that you don’t do!”… those quotes are almost always posted by people that literally take no risks in their life. Not enough people actually fuckin live it. There are more stupid assholes on Instagram posting that exact quote than actually doing anything with it. It drives me crazy. And I’m genuinely not mad at those people. I say it drives me crazy because I know how much happiness they’re missing out on from not taking the leap. And I’d like to be that person or have this post be the thing that gets u to jump. You’ll make it to the other side of the gap, I promise. I know that because u have no idea wtf the other side of the gap is. There is no other side of the gap. It’s just the process of doing what u love. So how can u be unhappy when you’re doing something that makes you happy without trying to get anywhere. It’s just 1+1=2 you stupid assholes!!! Sorry I didn’t mean that.

                                       

                                        I’ll leave you with a quote from Bill Burr: “Realize that sleeping on a futon when you’re 30 is not the worst thing. You know what’s worse sleeping in a king bed next to a wife you’re not really in love with but for some reason you married, and you got a couple of kids, and you got a job you hate. You’ll be laying there fantasizing about sleeping on a futon. There’s no risk when you go after a dream. There’s a tremendous amount to risk playing it safe."

                                         

                                        7. The Shit You Want to Do Least is the Only Thing You Need to Do

                                          The most frustrating questions I get are from younger people that are trying to start their own thing – podcast, business, youtube channel – whatever. The question is always something like

                                          • “what kind of camera do u use?”
                                          • “Should I buy that laptop if I’m going to start a podcast?”
                                          I’m not frustrated at those questions because I hate answering them, I'm frustrated by them because it's the absolute quickest tell that you’re focusing on the wrong shit.

                                           

                                            Creating a website for your new “business”, ordering business cards, designing a logo. Not a single fuckin thing I just listed matters.

                                             

                                              They are all distractions from what u really need to be doing. Those non-valuable tasks make u feel like you’ve accomplished something, so u go to them first, when u know, again going back to what u know is right deep down, what u should be doing. It’s creating that piece of content. It’s doing the editing. The filming. The research. The leg work. In the trenches.

                                               

                                                It’s what pushes whatever you’re building forward. It’s the 90/10 rule. The most important 10% of what u do gives u 90% of the results. I’ll tell u what doesn’t give u 90% of the results: buying a new $2500 camera, tinkering with the design of the menu on your website, having someone take a picture of u at a coffee shop with your laptop pretending you’re working while u online shop.

                                                 

                                                  I recorded close to 250 videos with a $200 camera and no microphone before I even thought about upgrading anything. Straight fuckin garbage audio. The content is what matters, and will always be what matters. The message u deliver. Not the extra bullshit.

                                                   

                                                    So… the shit u don’t want to do is exactly what u need to do in order to progress. When you wake up, and the first thing you need to do makes you feel uncomfortable to the point that you want to push it to the bottom of your to-do list, that's what you have to do.

                                                     

                                                    8. I Am Exactly Who My 18-Year-Old-Self Needed at The Time

                                                      The first time I heard that ^ quote it hit me like Mike fuckin Tyson.

                                                         

                                                        Earlier in this post I said I’d give it a 50/50 chance that I’m talking about fantasy football in five years. It might sound stupid considering the entire following I have and all the money I’ve made is centered around the subject. I’m not trying to prove a point by pivoting away, but I realize in five years I’ll have other passions and interests that I’m going to want to creatively pursue, one of them being helping kids, like myself, build businesses uniquely centered around who they are. Sounds familiar.

                                                         

                                                          I think a lot of the reason I put out vlogs is to give the younger crowd “permission” in a sense (trying not to sound narcissistic), to chase their goals while being exactly who they are. I am vulnerable in my videos now because I wish I had someone that I looked up to tell me that it was cool to be vulnerable. I show my fuckups now to let people know that u can’t get the goods without eating the shit. I document the work I put in because what u see on Instagram is an illusion. No one that’s successful has gotten there without the work. I believe that. Hitting the lottery isn’t successful. It’s rich. Being successful means being happy on your own terms. Money does not equal happiness. I try to instill in my content all the values that the younger me needed to know, or had to learn along the way.

                                                           

                                                            And it made me realize, right now, I’m exactly who I wish I had when I was younger. Like u ever heard that saying “be the person your dog thinks you are”, be the person that your younger self needed. I don’t even know if I’m telling u to do that, but it makes sense in context of what I do. And I realize it’s basically what I’ve been doing for most of my 20’s and it’s worked out pretty terribly tbh.

                                                             

                                                            9. 99% of Shit Doesn’t Matter

                                                              “You literally don’t care about anything”. That’s a text I’ve gotten from Steve a minimum of 8 times this decade. And I look forward to receiving 80 more in the next.

                                                               

                                                                It’s not that I don’t care about anything. I care immensely about very, very few things. You can miss me with all the petty nonsense that happens day-to-day. I don’t have time for that shit.

                                                                 

                                                                  Worry immensely about the people and things that matter the most and the other bullshit will fall in line.

                                                                   

                                                                   

                                                                  10. You Can’t Love Anything, Until You Love Yourself

                                                                    This quote always struck me as really fucking weird and I don’t think I understood it for a long time. Maybe I still don’t, but it makes more sense to me now than it ever did. It’s similar to the point I made earlier about being vulnerable. You’ve got to be able to love all the fucked-up things about u. I’m not gonna say “if u can’t love yourself, how can anyone else”, because I don’t believe that to be true. Before I loved myself, or at least before I knew what it meant to love myself, I’ve had people fall in love with me. Maybe actually they didn’t fall in love with me, at least not the real me, just the me I portrayed. Yeah that makes more sense. Just typing out loud here.

                                                                     

                                                                      Anyways, until u realize that you’re not perfect or close to it, u won’t be able to truly love someone else because they too aren’t perfect. You’ll spend your life picking out the imperfections of people and convincing yourself that this is wrong, or that’s weird, or what the fuck here or there, and everywhere.

                                                                       

                                                                        If there’s something u don’t love about yourself, change it to the best of your ability, but understand that true self-love comes from within, there is no person out there, no amount of money, or type of car, or job status that can make u love yourself. It’s about acknowledging that we’re all fucked up inside and out, and that’s what makes this life shit fun!!! 

                                                                         

                                                                        11. Having Money Solves 0 Problems, It Instead Exposes Much Bigger Ones

                                                                         

                                                                          This is a dumb thing to start off with, but I have more money in my bank account after this summer than I know what to do with. Not a brag, in fact it’s almost the contrary. I’m single, I don’t have kids, I don’t care for fancy cars, or watches. I split an apartment with a roommate. The things I like to buy include white vans (Sk8-HI size 11 if anyone is in the holiday spirit), $20 graphic t-shirts, and new pieces of tech. The rest of the money I make gets invested back into my business. I probably spent close to $3000 on margaritas this year too. As u can imagine, the profit margin when running an online business with 0 inventory is quite generous.

                                                                           

                                                                            Kanye said it best – “Having money’s not everything, not having it is.”

                                                                               

                                                                              I preface with that so I can say that money solves 0 problems that you’re TRULY facing in your life. You ask 100 people what the biggest problem they’re facing today is, 95 of them will tell u something that revolves around money. But I can promise u, that at the core of all those “financial” problems, none of them are truly about money. They point to a deeper insecurity issue. Needing a bigger house, a nicer car, better clothes, etc. etc. You need a nicer car to impress people at your job for fucking what? That’s not a money problem. That’s a u problem. You want nicer clothes to impress a girl that you hope to turn into your girlfriend because you’re lonely? Again, not a money problem, that’s some internal shit u gotta work out. Once you have money, you’re forced to go straight to the source. Isn’t it ironic that once you have money you don’t have the luxury of getting to use it? As the source of your problems.

                                                                               

                                                                                This is not from a place of judgement whatsoever. We all have flaws and a lot of them. If material shit makes u happy, treat ya self. I do it all the time. Just know that it’s a short-term fix to a long-term problem that we all need to work on. Collectively, we need to tap a little deeper into the way we see things. What are the biggest challenges that we as individuals face, and look at them with far greater depth.

                                                                                 

                                                                                  I have the phrase “DON’T TAKE THE MONEY” tattooed on my right arm. I’m looking at it right now. Apart from it being one of my all-time favorite songs by Bleachers, it may be the only tattoo (of the 8.5 currently on my body), that is accompanied with any sort of meaning. My margarita tattoo is still and will always be the goat, so don’t get it twisted. To me, “don’t take the money” inspires a mix of two things: selling out and making regretful, short-term decisions. I don’t mean selling out in the way that most people think of it, like ur favorite band is a sell-out because they’re on Z100. I mean selling yourself out. Doing things that u KNOW deep down inside of you are wrong but u do them anyway. You make these decisions for a bunch of different reasons: Because you’re feeling lazy. Maybe it’s to make a quick buck. Or to avoid short-term discomfort. And it doesn’t necessarily have to be morally and/or ethically wrong. What I’m referring to are the really important decisions in your life. They might be about your job, a friend, significant others, personal health. Taking the easy way out. The short cut. You KNOW deep down that the decision u make isn’t the right one long-term, but low and behold, it’s the choice u make regardless. You want the extra $8,000 salary to buy a new car to impress people that u hate, but you’d be far happier at a lower-paying job. You hang around people that are “popular” despite them bringing your self-esteem down. Things like that. I’m good at navigating those choices. I do what my gut and my instinct tell me is right at the time and I don’t second-guess it. I don’t have time for that shit. 

                                                                                   

                                                                                  12. You Make Your Own luck

                                                                                    I literally don’t believe in luck. I believe in work. Lucky things happen, but they happen to people that give themselves the chance to let them happen.

                                                                                     

                                                                                      The more work u put in, the more at-bats u give yourself to hit that “lucky” home run.

                                                                                       

                                                                                        You want more luck in your life? Work harder ya bish

                                                                                         

                                                                                        13. 30 Is Absolutely the New 20, But Only If You Treat Yourself Like You’re in Your 40s

                                                                                          As millennials, or anyone for that matter, the amount of opportunities available to us at this point in time is fuckin outrageous. For better or worse. I mean, let’s reiterate this again. I literally make a full-time living by talking about fantasy football inside of my apartment. All I did was hit the record button on a camera one day. The options are endless.

                                                                                           

                                                                                            I’ll save all the talk about being healthy because there’s always one corny ass number in all of these lists like “take care of your body”, “start eating healthy NOW!”… Like thanks Michelle, u stupid bitch, anything else u wanna share with us that u came up with on your own.

                                                                                               

                                                                                              What I’m saying here is that health and fitness are a massive part of my life and I really don’t understand how people can through theirs without making it a priority, but apart from the crippling hangovers I get nowadays, I feel as good as I did at 17, as I do now at 27 if not better.

                                                                                               

                                                                                                But, with those endless opportunities, there are also endless damaging opportunities. It’s great that you can have a post workout salad from your favorite restaurant delivered to your doorstep exactly when you get home from the gym with Postmates. Is that great when you find yourself ordering pizza, wings and fries for dinner 4 nights a week with the same app? It’s great to stay in touch with old relatives and classmates on social media. Is it still great when you find yourself scrolling through Instagram for hours looking at pictures of fake people that make you feel terrible about yourself? It’s great that you can reach out to anyone in the world at any given time, instantly. Is that great when you drunk text your ex at 2am? Lots of opportunities, use them wisely.

                                                                                                 

                                                                                                  You know, I used to be scared of getting old. That the prime of my life would be my high school and college years. I loved that time of my life, and are non-arguably some of my best years, but my prime is without a doubt going to be the next 10, not the last 10. Maybe even the next 20. And keeping my body and mind sharp can take 99% of the credit.

                                                                                                   

                                                                                                    You ever see pictures of like Pharrell or some shit and people say “he hasn’t aged a day!” It’s because they were in fantastic shape when they were younger. Not a drip of fat on their bodies. They took care of themselves when they were young, so when they say age is just a number, for them it’s true.

                                                                                                     

                                                                                                      Sure, I work out to look good, but that’s an added incentive for me at this point, no longer the driving force. It keeps me mentally sharp, boosts my confidence and I know it’ll help me age well… Again, long-term. Y’all want short-term results because u don’t look at the bigger picture. You’d rather take a pill, or where a fuckin vibrating wrap around your stomach then workout and eat well. Shit carries over into business, too. People would rather hack their way to results then build a foundation. “Let’s follow 8,000 people today in hopes of them following us back, so that we grow our follower count and look more legit.” How about giving out value so that people actually want to follow you? Shit hits all over – health, business, relationships, the answer is always long-term.

                                                                                                       

                                                                                                        There’s no such thing as one long-term decision imo. A long-term decision is 1000 short-term decisions over a long period of time. zamn that was good.

                                                                                                         

                                                                                                        14. You Can’t Joke About Wanting to be Dead Unless You’re on Twitter

                                                                                                         

                                                                                                         

                                                                                                        The Entrée, Not the Outro

                                                                                                        I’m sorry if this post came off as narcisstic, arrogant or cocky in any way. That was not at all the intention, I just had a lot on my mind to share and thought these words would hopefully help others. At the end of the day I really just want to inspire and be inspired by those around me.

                                                                                                         

                                                                                                        My life is fantastic. There’s no two ways about it. I get to wake up whenever the fuck I want, I have the flexibility and freedom to do what I want, when I want to do it. I certainly don’t take that for granted. But I also don’t get carried away with how “lucky” I am because I worked for this shit. For as great as my life is, I worked twice as hard to get it to this point. And as I keep chugging along with life, business, friends, relationships, etc., I’d assume that this ratio will continue to get exponentially more lopsided towards the work side. Shit ain’t easy, but it’s real.

                                                                                                         

                                                                                                        If I’ve learned one thing from this past decade it’s that if you want to be happy, you and you alone are the only thing that can make it happen. You’re not happy about something change it. Don’t blame others. Don’t blame your mom. Don’t blame your sister. Don’t blame your friends. Don’t blame your home environment. Don’t blame your work office. Don’t blame NJ Transit. Don’t blame the weather. Don’t blame Obama. Don’t blame Trump. Don’t blame rap music. Even if it was 100%, without a doubt, that person, thing, places fault. You put them in a position in your life which let them dictate something in your life = YOUR fault. Take some goddam responsibility for the things that happen in your life and your actions will start to magically become smarter. You’re the motherfucker that wakes up every day and chooses to work out or to sleep in. To eat eggs or donuts. To save money or spend it. To hustle or nap. Before you think to blame someone else, grow up fam.

                                                                                                         

                                                                                                        I don’t know why I wrote this, but I’m glad I did. This is an open call to y’all to think bigger, but act smaller over the long-term. Take a leap with good intentions, I promise you’ll land in a good place. If you need any help with starting anything creatively, please reach out to me. I’m here to help. Email me, DM me, *67 my cell and put on a fake Obama voice prank call me. That would be great content tbh. If you’re scared to reach out to me for whatever reason, guess what, that’s good. That’s the good scared I was talking about. You know it’s the right thing to do. Go message me now. And send nudes


                                                                                                        I hope that this post genuinely helps like 4 people out there. So, here’s to hoping that 4 people read this. And here’s to another decade of party and bullshit.


                                                                                                        37 comments

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