Saturday, October 14, 2017

Having integrity has gotten me nowhere

I was listening to an interview with the highest paid supermodel of all time. 

Crawford’s thirty years of success at modeling made her an international icon, and so, it was no surprise that she was savvy enough to impart the following piece of advice. 

This business will use you, so you better use it back. 

That’s the story we’re afraid to tell ourselves when we enter into the professional arena. 

That knowing we’re being taken advantage of is the first step in not being taken advantage of. That we don’t owe our allegiance to anybody. And that loyalty is a commodity, not a commandment. 

Look, we have entered the business system of durable goods and supply and demand. Employers and clients and organizations and won’t hesitate to fire us at the drop of a hat for any reason that fit their business needs. 

They’re not into developing careers, they’re into using us like assassins. Like guided missiles. They wind us up, and off we go to help them make millions. 

And so, our responsibility is to choose opportunity, not loyalty. To be absolute opportunists, doing whatever is best for the future in the current situation, unbound by the past. To view the world as a malleable environment, and ourselves equally as such. 

Without this kind of mindset, we end up piling our careers sky high with unrealistic expectations. 

I’ll never forget the first time a client stiffed me. They owed me thousands of dollars and simply did not pay their bills, no matter how many phone calls were made, emails were written and invoices were sent. I was infuriated. Never before had I felt so naïve and helpless and taken advantage of. 

But after six months, there was nothing else to be done. I had to take the loss. Even my mentor advised, sorry to tell you kid, but it’s cost of doing business. 

That was the first time the crushing reality of real life fully dawned on my naive consciousness. I realized, wow, people aren’t here to facilitate me. Nobody is looking out for my career. 

I know you believe that your cement stance is a mark of integrity. I know you’re supremely confident with your own heroic moral code. But you can’t remove the teeth from the cruel bite of reality. 

And so, put aside your innocence for a moment. 

It’s not hypocrisy, it’s how you can live with yourself. 

It’s not failure, it’s being honest about what you want. 

It’s not selling out, it’s doing what you have to do to be okay with yourself. 

It’s not about right or wrong, it’s about moving your life in a direction that makes sense. 

And it doesn’t matter if you choose the future that’s cheaper, it just matters if it’s the one you want. 

Of course it doesn’t feel right, but after a certain point, what feels right might not work anymore. 

It’s time to try some wrong. Fuck your integrity. Go do what you have to do. 

Even if small bits of prostitution may be necessary.

It’s a tough way to live, but a damn good way not to die. 

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Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  
scott@hellomynameisscott.com
www.nametagscott.com


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