Is That Who You Want To Be? Pt II

How much would you have to be paid to be a huckster? Because that’s the thing about schemes and scams—they work.

Think of it as a kind of different take on the dress-suit bribe but with the same logic. Not how much you made running the scam, but how much it cost you to be the kind of person who could do it. Not how much you get out of being the loudest guy in the room, the big swinging dick, but what you did to yourself to be it. Or what you did to other people along the way. How much did you pay to get paid?

That’s what you should ask yourself. But, since it is unlikely that the people attracted to such things will have that self-awareness, ask it to yourself that when you catch yourself envying them. You won’t wish for what they have when you know what they paid for it. Because whatever the amount, it came out of a bank accounts that cannot be replenished. The ones labeled: dignity, self-respect, restraint, pride.

Written by Ryan Holiday
Ryan Holiday is the bestselling author of Trust Me, I’m Lying, The Obstacle Is The Way, Ego Is The Enemy, and other books about marketing, culture, and the human condition. His work has been translated into thirty languages and has appeared everywhere from the Columbia Journalism Review to Fast Company. His company, Brass Check, has advised companies such as Google, TASER, and Complex, as well as Grammy Award winning musicians and some of the biggest authors in the world. He lives in Austin, Texas.