By Ezra Firestone | May 12, 2021
I have a message for all the youngins coming up in our industry. I’ve seen this happen a lot, and I’ve ever been there myself.
(Warning: this is bit of rant, but it’s important!)
“You’re Broken, and I Can Fix You”
People are hungry, and when you’re hungry you do funny things. Your moral compass is a little looser, and you’re willing to do whatever you have to do to eat.
In this case, you’re not hungry for actual food; you’re hungry for validation.
You see pics of people balling out in Lambos, wearing ripped jeans and fancy watches, lounging on the beach, and you think “I want that”.
And I understand that consumption is fun — and it’s important to have fun — and that consumerism is pushed on you heavily.
Everywhere you look, someone is selling you some shit. And the way they sell you things is by saying, “You’re broken, and I can fix you” — you stink, buy deodorant; your teeth are too yellow, make them whiter; you’re too poor, make some money.
Everyone is telling you how you’re flawed, then selling you some shit they claim will make you right.
Consumption Will Not Bring You Fulfillment
What I want to say to the young people coming up in the game that there’s no amount of consumption that will bring you fulfillment. Trust me, I’ve tried.
And now that I’ve made more money than I ever thought I would, I can confidently say that money does not bring happiness.
Life isn’t about what you can buy and how you can look cool in front of other people. I see so many people in this industry whose motivation is to be perceived as cool and interesting, either to the opposite sex or to their peer group…
If that is your motivation, then you’re fucked.
Creation motivated by getting approval will almost always lack the magic required to make something good
And by the way, I’m not against nice things — I buy a lot of stuff. And I’m not even against seeking approval or validate your ego — I’m into all that shit.
But not as a motivator for why you do the things you do. Motivation has to be deeper than that. My motivators are to create a better life for myself and my family, to create a better life for the people in my community, to do something in the world that helps people.
And when your definition of success is more than just making money, then a funny thing happens: not only are you more likely to achieve your goals, you’re also more likely to make money.
“What Can I Take?” vs. “What Can I Give?”
Listen, I’m all for buying things and enjoying your success now: buy nice things, don’t put off having fun or reaping the benefits of your hard work.
But when you’re running a business, you screw yourself if you take all the profits out of the operation and start spending it.
The game is not What can I pull out of my business?, the game is What can I put into my business to grow it?
How can I build my team? Which team members can I invest in? What new employee can I bring up the ladder next? How can I make a better product? How can I invest more in this operation?
If you take a longer view than the next month or year, that’s how you actually end up making the most money and being able to buy the most fun stuff.
I hope you walk away from this post with something. Thanks for reading!