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Why I’m an asshole

16.05.11 - 31 comments

It’s true, I’m an asshole! Here’s why:

Recently, one of my blog posts called Why Most People Dream and Only Some Do: The Go-Getter Theory got quite some traffic. A lot of people seemed to like the article and shared it all over the interwebs. It got a lot of attention: 50,000 unique visitors over a few weeks time.

My inbox is now overflowing with emails filled with hatred, flames, tons of negative comments and criticism. Usually, the following quote by Bill Cosby is the rule of thumb, but I’m going to make an exception because I feel I have a humbling message to tell.

I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.
Bill Cosby

I admit that the specific blog post was written in a bit of an egocentric way. I admit that that I was condescending against a friend who has a monotonous job at the assembly line of a car factory. I now understand that this negativity of mine against people who have standard 9-to-5 jobs is powered by jealousy. There, I said it. I’m jealous of the day-to-day, nine-to-five work force.

Many people have an admiration for people like me who just go off on their own, who have a lot of aspiration, who throw caution to the wind and take a lot of risk to follow their dreams. But please understand that I am the one who is jealous of people who don’t have to do that. I am jealous of people who can take the “easy path”. Just go to work, switch off their brain for 8 hours a day, climb their corporate ladder and who are happy with that.

The thing is, I can’t do that.

I am officially unemployable. I’m not able to work for a boss. I am not able to shut my mouth and just do the work people tell me to do.
I will do anything I can think of to keep from having a job. When people try to tell me what to do, I’ll get frustrated. To me, having a normal job feels like hammering nails on my coffin.

I need to be independent, I want to do my own thing until I succeed and I can’t understand that people aren’t like me.

But if you think I’m an asshole. Know that I’m jealous of you.

Yours truly,

A jealous asshole.

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31 Responses to “Why I’m an asshole”

  1. Sam

    I second that!

  2. Davy De Sutter

    You’ve hit the nail right on its head !

  3. Phil Morrow

    Good article, it’s refreshing to read something so filled with honesty and passion. For what it’s worth I agree with the sentiment of both this and your previous article.

    However, if you were hoping that this might stem the hate-mail from the 9-to-5 crowd, then writing things like:

    “…people who can take the “easy path”. Just go to work, switch off their brain for 8 hours a day, climb their corporate ladder and who are happy with that.”

    …probably won’t help.

    If I had to comment in only two words it would be ‘Stop Digging’. ;)

    • Davy Kestens

      Thank you for your elaborate comment!
      I’m not trying to stem the hate-mails, because it’s impossible to please everyone. I just felt like expressing my sincere thoughts about it.
      I also don’t want to be negative about “the easy path”, because I clearly stated I’m jealous of that lifestyle.
      But then again, I’m a gen-Y asshole and I don’t think I’ll be able to change myself in such a way that I’m no longer drop dead honest about my feelings towards the rat race.
      Thanks again for this comment :)

  4. X

    Eh I understand you.

    I’ve just gotten a job back in my home country – have been at it for almost two months, and I’m going completely nuts!! It’s an awesome job too. Objectively, I’ve got an amazing job description, which means really high employability in the future; it’s a government job at the top pay band, which means that very little can get me fired and that I get an increase in salary every year (which is admittedly within the average income band, being a public service job). I have great colleagues and an awesome job location. I get to go around the country doing stuff most people only dream about, and I’ve managed to make 95% of my class at uni really jealous, since I’ve managed to get pretty much the only position of this type in this top institution in years.

    And yet, I feel like I’m completely trapped. I’m just going crazy thinking of all the things I could be doing during the hours that I’m working, and I am just bursting with ideas. I’m divided between going my way and taking some risk and doing this job for the contract term (not even 5 years) and having a top-notch resume’. Thing is, a big part of me does not give a shit. All my entrepreneurial plans are being squashed in weekends and a couple of hours in the evening, when these are available.

    The funny thing is that I’ve been taking risks all my life. I took a university course which pretty much promised low employability at low rates. I travelled around like crazy until 5 months ago. I went out with the girl that everybody told me not to go out with. And I’ve only managed to have a great time doing all of this.

    So I agree with you. I am also jealous, because the thought being a 9-5 employee simply freezes my blood. The only reason I went for this was because I was stuck for money. And now I feel trapped.

    • Davy Kestens

      Hey “X”, thank you for sharing your story.
      This is a great addition to the article. I hope you’ll find your true calling and will be able to succeed in your goals.

  5. Ghislaine Bovy

    Consider me an asshole too!

    Honesty is what I like about you Davy so just stay yourself.

    For people who like the 9-to-5 jobs, let them be, no problem.

    For you & me & thousands of others we just want to do things differently.

    I once went through a series of questionnaires (I was working for GE at the time) & guess what: I was in the category “rebels”.
    The next best thing is that rebels are very useful, so let us be rebels!
    Sounds better than assholes ;))

  6. J E Sikora

    Well, I’m 1 of those 9 to 5ers (more like 4pm to 12:30am but that’s not important), I’m finding out the hard way how well “bosses” don’t like CREATIVE, HONEST, FACTUAL, HELPFUL, SAFETY CONSCIOUS thought. I’m about to join you!

  7. Chris

    Your blog post feels like I wrote it. I finally just found a job after bouncing between contracting work for 3 years. I have had my own company on the side that finances my ‘recreational’ activities.

    Keep on man and to hell with the haters. Maybe they are just jealous they can’t just be themselves. Probably not but we can say that right? ;)

  8. Kris

    It takes a big man to say he is sorry, many people in your position would have simply told the world to bugger off and slinked off in a sulk. You have explained your position better (albiet not as elequantly as some had hoped, but elequance improves with age, so dont worry about that :))

    And whilst you have nothing to be ‘sorry’ for (after all nobody is forcing us to read your blog) it shows you are mature and open minded enough to take on board what others are saying.

    Never worry about what others ‘think’ of you as opinions are like arse holes (everyone has one) and as long as you can listen to another person viewpoint without getting defensive (which you have admirably shown that you can) you can have a conversation just about anything, even with somone who has a polar oposite viewpoint.

    I try to take a lesson from every discussion I have, whether I agree with it or not.

    Keep up the good work :)

  9. Gonçalo Reis

    You’re really an asshole…! Because of you I quit my job! :)

    • Davy Kestens

      This is the MOST AWESOME COMMENT EVER :) You just made my day.
      I hope everything will work out great for you!

  10. Matt

    The cynics and haters online like to make a lot of noise but with that many hits most people must have liked the article.

  11. Joe

    Not everyone that has a 8-5 job ‘switches off their brain’ and just goes to work. Many people have rewarding, stimulating jobs.

    You know how a go-getter delegates the things they don’t like? Well someone has to do that job, and someone probably enjoys it. If they don’t enjoy it, the job still needs to be done. Getting things done is enough reward for many. Some don’t look for or find reward in their occupation. They find rewards elsewhere.

    Keep quoting all those self-help books if it makes you feel good though. But consider this: What would really be lost if you lost it all? You’re not risking anything at age 22.
    And why are you going to college? If you can’t take orders from a boss, why do you take them from a professor? Can’t a real entrepreneur make it without college?

    • Davy Kestens

      Hi Joe!

      Thank you for your comment!

      As I said in the article, I understand that not everyone has this feeling of “switching off their brain”. That’s simply how it feels to me.

      You say that “Some don’t look for or find reward in their occupation. They find rewards elsewhere.”.
      Why would you want to settle for an occupation that doesn’t reward you?
      I understand that there might be circumstances when you are pushed into such a position due to external reasons. But why settle?
      It bogs my mind why some people settle for a job they’re clearly not happy with. If you’re not happy, then why don’t you try your ever best to change it? How hard it might be?

      On the college part -> I went to college to get some time off. Most students have no clue how much free time they have, compared to the corporate world.
      This free time enables me to put more hours into entrepreneurship and progress faster than I would normally.

      And yes, I can’t take orders from a professor either… :-)

      Thanks again for visiting my blog and taking the effort to reply! Would love to continue our discussion on this topic! Add me on Skype if you’d like.

      Kind regards and have an awesome day!

      Davy

  12. Erin Markland

    An ass hole? NO. Honest, yes. I’ve been an entrepreneur and worked for myself my entire life – like you – and by no means am I jealous of any one who does the “daily grind.” However, I think every entrepreneur should work a 9-to-5, to be in those shoes for a while & to be well rounded. I understand your comment on jealousy, though – perhaps I am jealous that a “9-to-5-er” takes home a consistent paycheck while someone like me makes zilch one month and then rolls in the dough the next. But how I see it — we all make choices and we need to stop complaining about them. Not that I’m saying you are complaining by any means. But if any one has qualms with their job or career path or life choices, well then, they need to change them.

    And ignore the criticism. They are probably jealous that they don’t have a cool blog, is all.

  13. Brent Hale

    Hey Davy, just found this blog after signing up at ghostbloggers.net. I give you a lot of props. I can’t stand working for a boss or being told what to do, either and I recently decided that I never would again. Most people don’t understand that and probably never will. Those people have it engrained in them that, in order to be successful, they have to have that 9-5 job, they have to keep quiet and follow the rules, they better get a college degree, they better put on their suit and tie, blah blah blah. Those people don’t dislike you… they’re angry at themselves. Hopefully they’ll come around.

    I’ll definitely be stopping by here a lot more often, and I hope to find a ton of success on Ghost Bloggers.

    Thanks for the good read,
    Brent

    • Davy Kestens

      Hey Brent, welcome to GhostBloggers and welcome to my blog!
      Sign up for the mailing list and you’ll be notified whenever I post new stuff. (This only happens once every few months)

  14. Jayson

    Hey Davy,

    Great blog! I’ve been an entrepreneur for the past 18 years and have been much more self fulfilled in life than working for someone else. I worked for a large corporation straight out of college and that lasted 4 months by my choice… I started my own business shortly thereafter and have never looked back. Even on the worst days it still beats taking orders from a potential pin head boss or getting stuck in the 9-5 shuffle… I control my future successes and failures by the decisions I make and not someone else…There’s just a lot of value in that to me. I wish you great success in remaining the “asshole” you are!…

  15. Valentin Spitsyn

    You just nailed it. The jealousy towards the 9 to 5 way is haunting me wherever I go. The pillow of comfort, no need to take risks, a total assurance that tomorrow is going to be just another day and nothing would break that circle of life.

    On the other hand, people who don’t do that are free, but vulnerable, you never know what another day would bring you, you can fail, deals can go bad, hell you even might get broke in an instance.

    But you know what, you learn a lot. You learn to spend your assets wisely, you don’t spend yourself and your time on things you don’t need. You feel alive, every next day is like no other, and yes, it can bring you a lot of sorrow but a lot of joy at the same time.

    You’re like a ship in the sea, yes it’s stormy, and yes it’s calm, it can test you in the most brutal way possible, but can bring you the treasures that are beyond your expectations.

    I’m happy I found your blog Davy, your stuff rings true to my core. Thank you.

    • Davy Kestens

      Thank you for your awesome comment! Appreciate the time you took to write back to me :)

    • Ville

      “The pillow of comfort, no need to take risks, a total assurance that tomorrow is going to be just another day and nothing would break that circle of life.”

      Ok, your comment is relatively old, but nevertheless how the hell can someone be so ignorant? Surely you can’t think that there’s a total assurance of tomorrow in times like these?
      The whole EU is fucked up and people are getting laid off…everywhere. I think a basic thing like buying a house/apartment is, for most people, a big fucking risk these days.

  16. Megan Burkett

    It sucks. I completely understand this feeling- day in and day out. This is why I don’t want to leave college. It truly is “the best job you will ever have.” If you have never read anything by David Foster Wallace you should look into it. I think you would appreciate his work.

  17. Derrick Jones

    Dude, as a long time entrepreneur, I dig this article and the one other one as well. Without even seeing the emails of people complaining about your post, my guess is they are probably people who have given up and are “cubicle prisoners”. They went along happily convincing themselves that their uninteresting lives aren’t so bad. Then, you came along and reminded them that they settled for second or third best. Instead of taking the advice as a wake up call and changing their lives, they attacked the messenger. Screw them. Misery loves company. Leave them in their misery. I discovered your blog by accident. I’m going to start hanging out here now.

    Maybe we can swap posts once in a while. Take care and keep up the good work.

  18. cody

    Welcome to the club!
    I have tried to work for someone and it is very frustrating. Plus, you make no money.
    We have to go by ourselves to succeed. It is easier for us than a 9-5 job…

    Cody

  19. Ankur Gupta

    Great blog buddy. Well said. Most of the people in my college think along these lines as well. Anything outside the normal is taboo and playing safe is the only thing they think off. How to build resume. How to apply for a job that makes the most money. Doing things out of the ordinary is not even an option.

    Being a different person from society is a difficult task. It takes time to adapt to the change. There are lonely times in life because everyone sees you as someone different. But, it is something that feels good when you look at what you have achieved and what others have after some time.

  20. Jerry whinston

    Fuck u bitch, i hate u asshole

    • Davy Kestens

      Dear Jerry,
      Thank you for your comment. I enjoyed your terms of endearment and appreciate you taking time out from your satisfying day-to-day hard work, in order to contact me. Just wanted to say that I vigorously adore you too.
      With love, Davy.

  21. Peter

    Hi Davy,

    To reuse the quote from Bill “To please everybody except yourself” isn’t the way to go, although it’s always nice to please a certain person when he does a good job. But when not, it’s good to be a asshole from time to time as long a you both know what your goal is, right ?

    Anyhow, refreshing article and like to see how generation Y (I refer as generation Why? :-)) is finding their way in life & climbing up the corporate ladder.

    See you next week on Tuesday.

    All the best,
    Peter

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