Championing the underdog comes at a hefty price. It usually takes a lot of time, energy, or money. It’s often wildly unpopular.
In my business, I’ve learned that to be successful — I mean really successful — you have to have a little bit of asshole in you. No real champion lives in a nice house or drives a fancy car. Champions scrape by, case by case, trying to right the world’s wrongs. To them, no cause is too small, and no effort could ever be enough.
I often ask myself why I don’t just mind my own business and go quietly about my way. Let someone else be the fighter of the losing fights. A small voice inside me has told me over and over again that the only way for me to be really successful is to stop being so damn benevolent all the time and to start putting myself first.
Trust me, I’ve tried to be an asshole. I recently decided that I would do one asshole thing a day. I made a simple list to start me off.
1. Stop letting shoppers who are only purchasing one item go ahead of me in line.
2 If the driver next to you turns on their blinker, speed up, don’t slow down.
3. If my coffee house barista gets my order wrong, yell at him to make it right and ask for a refund.
I genuinely believed that learning to do these small things on a daily basis would give me enough practice to be able to do the big asshole things some day. It’s the only way to the top.
So when I was sitting with my brother inside my car on Christmas morning, and he was telling me that our dad had left him alone for the holidays because he was vacationing with his new wife, and that our mom had not bothered to invite him for Christmas dinner at all, I fought the instinct to champion that began to stir.
But how do you not want to fight for the underdog, tooth and nail, blood and guts, hell and high water, when on Christmas morning, your little brother, who has always struggled to find his place in the world, tells you that he is trying to understand why his parents refuse to love him?
Reader, let me tell you, there may be riches in this life for the assholes of the world, but I guess I was just not meant for that level of success.