The Worst Things People Say

Todd Brison

If you hear any of these, plug your ears and run.

“You’re moving up in the world!”

Really? Moving up from where? To where? Is there a top of the pile? Some magical place where I will be the ultimate human, exalted over all my fellow mortals for my fame and money and good looks?

What makes you think we’re all moving the same direction anyway?

“Be careful”

Ask someone older than 50 to tell you about their childhood. I did this with my grandmother and learned about how:

  • She nearly froze to death in Minnesota
  • She left her friends and family to go to college hundreds of miles away
  • She spent her summers biking around Cape Cod with her best girlfriends
  • She met and fell in love with my grandfather at the high school they both wound up teaching at

These are the moments she remembers. Guess what happens if she’d spent her youth “being careful” instead?

“It’s all about content, man.”

I don’t have anything more to say on this except can we please think of some other word to describe all the Internet things which flood our eyeballs every day?

“The rich just get richer”

This is actually true.


People who say this are ignoring the other side of the story — sometimes, the poor get rich too.

Tyler Perry lived in his car before Madea struck it big and he became a millionaire.

Sara Blakely failed her law school entrance exam, piddled around in stand-up comedy, and sold fax machines door to door before creating and patenting Spanx. Now she’s worth over a billion dollars.

Billion. With a B.

Two more things before we move on to the next point:

  • Rich is relative
  • It’s also a state of mind, not a dollar amount

“I’m not creative”


Think of a problem you have at your job or school or house.

Now write down 5 possibilities to get rid of that problem.

If you thought of even one possibility, congratulations! You’re creative. Almost.

Creativity has two parts:

  • The ability to visualize something which is not currently present
  • The ability to bring that vision into reality

You can get better at visualizing solutions. I do it in my Microjournaling practice.

“I’m too old/young for that”

I was naively pursuing a career in journalism when the newspaper industry came crashing down in 2009.

Dozens of people I knew were out of a job. Several guest speakers who came to class all but begged us to stay out of the industry.

Guess who kept their jobs and continued work?

It wasn’t the 26-year old with a bright career who could write well but didn’t have time to figure out Twitter marketing.

It was the 51-year-old who learned to blog, Tweet, shoot photos, write, do video interviews, and figure out how to give readers value across every platform.

The more you learn, the more you learn.

Age has nothing to do with it.

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