This post is about productivity. I have to tell you that because this is a career blog and career blogs need topics that fall into the career space. You can’t have a blog that doesn’t have a topic. Even Mark Cuban, who seems to not have a topic because he writes about basketball and colleges and eating at the iHop still has a clear topic: How to make a ton of money.

1. Life is easier if you embrace hardship instead of trying to avoid it.
My blog topic is not how to make a ton of money. It used to be. When I was in my twenties, and early 30s, my focus was money.  But somewhere I realized that I wanted an interesting life more than money. I think it was when I was at Ingram Micro, a Fortune 50 company, and I was blown away at how boring and risk averse everyone was. The Fortune 50 is a study is seeking safety in product lines, in workplace practices, and in a stable life.

I am not the safety-seeking type. So I stopped trying to make a lot of money and started trying to do interesting things, and that’s when my career really took off. Investors love interestingness.

2. Focus on being interesting and then hurdles are predictable.
I found that if I focused on making my life interesting, money came. But if I focused on money, I got stuck. So I have spent the last ten years understanding the difference between going after money, going after happiness and going after interestingness. I have found that I am most productive when I follow my instinct for what will be interesting because people are more focused and more engaged when they do what interests them.

A lot of you will say you want to do what you love, but your vision of doing what you love is really limited. Like, you think you want to be a yoga teacher, but the yoga business is mostly about marketing yet  you have this idea in your head that teaching yoga is interesting. But teaching yoga for someone else is being a worker bee and it’s working for free. Teaching yoga in your own studio is mostly a marketing job. (Even Mark Cuban says this, actually: follow your action not your passion.)

So let me be clear that choosing interesting work is difficult. It’s the hard path. It is not interesting to do something easy because if it’s easy, you already know the path and the outcome. How could that truly be interesting? You are lying to yourself.

3. If you admit you’re a cliche, you can use tried and true methods to help yourself. 
When I launched Brazen Careerist, it was a blog network. I had already found my fifty favorite Gen Y bloggers and I had my editor, who is still my editor, edit those bloggers.

For the most part, he hated editing the bloggers.This was before he got medication so he was also surly and biting, and one of his biggest complaints was about posts that began by explaining why the person has not written in so long.

Because of this I am very careful not to open a post with that topic. Instead, I am slipping it in here, in the middle.

I have written about my life for my whole life. It just happens that it’s my job now, but I’d do it anyway. This is probably not good—for one thing, it pegs me as very likely to kill myself. For another thing, when I am uncertain about my life I shut down. In my webinar about how to write about your life, I realized, while I was teaching it, that writing about your life means facing your life. I am having a hard time facing my life now.

4. Be clear on what you hate about yourself. You have to see it to move past it.
It’s a pattern. Here are the times I had a hard time writing about my life:

When I had a baby. (I started republishing old posts and I got fired for breaking my contract.)

When I launched a company. (I wanted to write about entrepreneurship but I got scared that people only wanted to read about climbing a corporate ladder.)

When I moved to the farm. (I wanted to write about the farm but I thought people only liked me because I was from LA/NY and other big cities where I’ve landed.)

Now. When I’m scaling back my career to homeschool my kids. I can’t even write that without feeling a little sick. I don’t want to face that. So I don’t want to write anything because I don’t want to see it.

I coach so many people who want to have kids and are feeling sick about the idea of scaling back their career. They feel sick about the idea of being grouped with stay-at-home moms instead of high-achieving men. I get it. I feel that way too. The first thing I noticed, in fact, when I started homsechooling, was that I miss being surrounded by men. Because that’s what happens when you have a big career and you are a woman. Most women drop out, and it’s the men that are left. You get used to being surrounded by men.

5. You are not special. You are like other people. So find people who are like you. 
But luckily, people send me tons of links about scaling back careers, and I am getting confident in my choices. Here are some of my favorite links:

The Harvard Business Review says that it’s not the women who need to lean in, it’s the men. The author, James Allworth, points out that all the studies about what makes a fulfilling life show that it’s relationships and not work. So to tell people to forgo relationships in order to work more is absurd. Sheryl Sandberg’s book assumes that women are not in high-powered positions because women make the wrong choices. But people who choose to have a smaller career and pay attention to family relationships are making better choices, and men need to lean in to their relationships.

Another link that makes me happy is that the best educated moms are the ones most likely to opt out. When I saw the headline it made immediate sense to me. Those are the moms most likely to feel that they have a choice—because their husband earns enough money and they themselves are capable of generating income from home. The research also makes sense because the best educated moms are the ones most likely to be able to process the data that explains why it’s not a given that everyone should try to have the biggest possible career. It’s new data and it’s difficult to process after twenty years of feminist diatribes about the glass ceiling. But the smartest women are the first to go against the grain—which is what opting out is, since the media does not encourage it.

Here’s what I’ve learned from not writing about my life because I was scared you wouldn’t like it: I’ve learned that you don’t care what I do in my life as long as I’m interesting. If I am doing something that’s scary, and I tell you, then you can identify with me when you do something scary. What this community is, really, is people who want to do something scary. Because life is very, very boring if we don’t scare ourselves.

 

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  1. Susan DiIorio
    Susan DiIorio says:

    You are correct. That is exactly why I read your blog; to follow your acts of courage, in order to be fearless in my own life. Thank you.

  2. Tim Chan
    Tim Chan says:

    I like your quote, “I found that if I focused on making my life interesting, money came. But if I focused on money, I got stuck.”

    And isn’t it Mark Cuban, and not Marc Cuban… unless you are talking about someone else.

    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      Oh. You’re right about Mark. Thanks. I read him so often. I think this really is testament to how little spelling resonates with me. How could I not notice this????

      Penelope

      • Tim Chan
        Tim Chan says:

        Just didn’t want Mark to be disappointed, because so many people read your blog (and his blog is going to get so much traffic from you mentioning him here).

  3. Jill Goodridge
    Jill Goodridge says:

    What I like about you is that you say everything I think but am afraid to say out loud.

  4. Darnell Jackson
    Darnell Jackson says:

    I like #1 the best.

    It’s like dealing with the heat in Florida.

    Most people tense up and hate it.

    But when you dress for it and accept that you live in a tropical paradise it’s cool.

    • mbl
      mbl says:

      On the flip side, we’ve lived in a Winter Wonderland (not my first choice) for 4.5 years. I was finally inspired help my daughter build a snowman a few days ago in the spirit of “when life gives you snow in April . . .” It is enormous and everyone who walks by smiles, so that is some solace.

        • mbl
          mbl says:

          I should try that too! I was just taking a cue from Darrnell’s ‘tropical paradise’ spin. I usually call it the *#%^$@* north pole. :D

          The snowman is still standing his ground on a brown/green lawn and we have put his face back on a dozen times in that last two days. But no worries, the forecast is for snow through Friday. Oh joy!!

  5. mbl
    mbl says:

    I concur.

    Per 5, I wonder what ‘educated’ will look like in the post college-for-everyone-world. You use “educated,” “able to process data,” and “smart” although even now they don’t always go hand in hand. Will “educated” mean knowledgeable, but not necessarily degreed? Will there be a shorthand badge for that?

    I homeschool and met my husband at work. I didn’t aspire to a ‘big-career,’ but I had and needed a B.A. I have always been a self-directed avid reader and researcher, and treated college the same way (dropping classes that didn’t hold my interest and choosing my degree by tallying credits–which led to a surprising history minor.) The job led to my meeting my husband and being in a position to comfortably homeschool.

    If he were to scale back and “lean in” (per 5.) any more than he already has, we would need to move from our “Lake Wobegon” local school and scale back on many of the activities and hobbies that she is interested in. Doable, but we aren’t willing to that. Yet.

  6. Maria Killam
    Maria Killam says:

    Penelope, your posts are so funny. I love how you slipped in the ‘why you haven’t written in so long’ part. I once found a blog written by a woman who was quite a famous designer who would start each post by saying “I’m so sorry I haven’t written, I’ve been buying for my store in Paris”, “So sorry dear readers, I have been designing my new dishes”. It was very annoying. I too, also make sure I never start a post with that kind of apology. Your posts always inspire me to write more authentically about my life.
    Thanks!
    Maria

  7. Gary
    Gary says:

    You are right. I DO actually care about what you do in your life, but, honestly, I spend very little brain power contemplating it. You most likely do the same stuff on a daily basis that we all do. So what. (BTW, are all those bulbs coming up yet?) You have great interestingness and enchantingness. Your writings help me with my thinking. I love you, and your willingness to share your inner self, and some daily goings-on (cello lessons, etc.). I’m not to that point, and won’t share my little “blog” with my friends, due to fear of them seeing my honest innards. KOKO, you’re helping me reach the point where I don’t care about all that AS much. This comment I’m posting is putting me out there a bit, but it’s to people I don’t know, and that matters right now. We all know each other fairly significantly anyhow, because we all love to read Penelope Trunk! GS

  8. Rebecca@MidCenturyModernRemodel
    Rebecca@MidCenturyModernRemodel says:

    Oh for heavens sake, your life is relevant and your learnings are relevant and the things your are studying about and thinking about are relevant. Additionally, because there is nothing new under the sun, if you are struggling with something, then someone else probably is too. ALSO, your blog shows life changes and decisions and the impact of said decisions on life, and that is relevant as well. And, you do frequently tie it back to career which helps me (I find it relevant).

  9. DD
    DD says:

    The reason I read your blog is not bc you are ‘funny’ that’s just the sweetener you put on it to help us deal with the kick in the message… I read your blog bc you face the things that we all face, and you articulate the difficulties. And this one has to be one of my all time favourites, if not the best so far. It takes guts to do this. I admire you for writing this, and am grateful at the same time.

  10. Greg
    Greg says:

    I’ve been thinking about career guidance for ambitious people who have checked out (working part-time, homeschooling, etc).

    1)Give up on promotion. If you work part-time you will not progress up the career ladder at half the pace of coworkers working full-time. You wont progress at all. Working part-time is a signal that you can’t handle more work. So give up on the bigger desk.

    2)You won’t have much money. The good news is that you can maintain social class without the goods that signal class.

    3)Focus on being great at what you do and solving problems. No one will appreciate it because everyone knows you have checked out. But maybe you will be able to check-in again in 10 years and suddenly, for a short period of time, you will be unstoppable.

    Ok, the last bit is wishful thinking. But at least focussing on being great at what you do can lead to flow.

  11. Jana @ The Summer House
    Jana @ The Summer House says:

    Yes…that’s it! Take the risk. I took a risk last month and put some of my artwork up online. That feels really vulnerable especially for a perfectionist. I then committed to a 365 project and I will not like every drawing I contribute to the project. I like that because it pushes against my perfectionism.

    I may have chosen to homeschool years ago but you have encouraged me to be brave and daring today.
    J

  12. Tara
    Tara says:

    This post is about me and for me. You have so aptly captured my exact experience right now.

    Thanks Penelope!

  13. Sarah
    Sarah says:

    I understand. Life is really boring. Even when you home school 4 kids. It’s not that I don’t like my life, it’s that things get boring fast. Which is why I don’t follow a curriculum, or do school from Sept – June. My boredom can’t stand being contained.

    Coincidentally, every time we have another kid my husband gets a pay raise of $10,000 per kid. This happens because he is always getting bored with a job and finds a risk to take.

    At the age of 30, he landed a management position of $100,000 per year, in a job that people go to college to find. He got bored. Quit, to start his own company, and I know him. He will retire by 40, because that is the currant goal, and then get bored with retirement and start something else. Again.

    It is taking a risk that makes life fun. Although some days I do envy non-risk takers. How can they sit there day after day doing the same thing??

    Nice post. I think you summed things up well.

  14. Julie
    Julie says:

    “So to tell people to forgo relationships in order to work more is absurd. Sheryl Sandberg’s book assumes that women are not in high-powered positions because women make the wrong choices. But people who choose to have a smaller career and pay attention to family relationships are making better choices, and men need to lean in to their relationships.”

    Very well said!!!! I know some people will never understand, but when you feel this way, you get it…. If I was offered a 6-figure job but was going to have to work my ass off everyday… be a slave to it… I would say no. I am a single mom and I will take my 40-50k self employed (and ultra flexible) position any day of the week. What is the point of working your whole life if you have no time to actually live, and reap the benefits of your supposed “success”? : )

  15. channa
    channa says:

    But there are lots of blogs about moms and kids having relationships. They’re not interesting. Careers, markets, education, curriculum and generations are all interesting topics.

    Opting out is surely a great decision for your kids, but don’t let your career blog turn into a back-patting circle of unambitious relationship-havers. Who needs advice about how to make $40k a year and be home in time for dinner? That’s nice, but it’s not difficult or interesting.

    It’s also not really fair to caricature people who enjoy challenging, intense work as having no life and no relationships. People should fill their time with whatever makes them happy. Engaging work is a blessing and while parental guilt is everywhere, I have a hard time finding any evidence of some movement of children who felt harmed by having hardworking, careerist parents.

    • Angie
      Angie says:

      I don’t believe Penelope has ever written a post in her blog that encourages people to be ‘unambitious relationship-havers’. Or that she has ever caricatured people who enjoy challenging, intense work as having no life and no relationships.

      From what I have read (and I admit I have not read every single blog post, but I have read quite a lot of them!) the underlying theme is that we all have choices to make when it comes to career, family, relationships. If you make these choices without fully understanding or taking into account your own values, goals, personality types – you may just wind up unhappy,lost and in denial about the reasons you are there.

      I think what Penelope highlights is that we get a lot of (false) messaging about how people, and particularly women (ie. sheryl sandberg, marissa meyer) can ‘have it all’. This generates an expectation that everyone should be able to achieve a high powered career and maintain their relationships without any tradeoffs. Clearly this is not realistic. The realistic stories about people who are engaging in interesting/challenging work whilst still feeling fulfilled in terms of their relationships never seem to make the spotlight.

    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      Not posting. Seriously. I get incredibly depressed when I don’t post. And i have to really be careful how I manage my life in order to have big enough chunks of time in my life to think in order to post.

      And when I don’t post and I tell myself I don’t have time then I have to spend time telling myself that I’m lying that I don’t have time. Kalfka wrote with a full time job. Raymond Carver wrote with a full time job. Sometimes it’s a full time job just to give the speech to myself that tons of great writers wrote while they had a full time job and I need to stop making excuses.

      Penelope

  16. Razwana
    Razwana says:

    ‘A lot of you will say you want to do what you love, but your vision of doing what you love is really limited.’

    I absolutely love this. The ‘doing’ of what you actually enjoy is not even half the equation. It’s how I’ve learned to really love my job – really enjoy the parts that mean something to me, and accept the parts that are inevitable. It is a constant practice however ….

    And finally, Penelope – I have learned to accept that when you release a new post that has a lot of links to other posts you have written, I will spend at least 30 more minutes here than I intend to….don’t stop :-)

    – Razwana

  17. Maia
    Maia says:

    Hi Penelope, I like your idea that going after interestingness will in the end bring you more money that focusing on money.
    I feel it works. If you are in your element, then it will have that effect on everyone and everything around you too.
    Also scaling back on work doesn’t mean having a small career. It’s not the hours you put in, but rather how to make your products work for you, even when you’re not working.
    I also have a blog and I find it’s really hard to write honestly about what’s happening in my life, because I don’t want to reveal it even to myself, let alone others. But once I get it out I realise that somehow it isn’t as bad as I thought and and sometimes even gain some insight from writing about it.

    • Gary
      Gary says:

      Almost my same story, Maia. Best of luck to you, maybe I will get brave enough to promote my blog to my friends. I’d better get to work on it, I’m way behind! GS

  18. Sadya
    Sadya says:

    It surprises me every time you write a post like this one. You have enough experience now to look back and see that anytime you’ve been in situation like this one, you have always been able to wing it. You come through- with scratches, bruises and trophies.

    At what stage in one’s life does insecurity/ low-self esteem eventually die? High achievers want to be liked, all the time, and do have successful streaks. But why are they haunted by insecurity?

    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      It’s a good question. I see that I have more self-confidence in some things, but my self-confidence is wanting in other areas. I think this is probably true for everyone who keeps trying new, difficult things. If you find your confidence skyrocketing it probably means your life is monotonous and predictable.

      Penelope

      • Diane
        Diane says:

        One of my all-time favorite quotes, attributed to Picasso: “I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.”

        I am constantly scared because I don’t know how to do what I want/have to do. So I have to read this quote multiple times every day.

  19. Rachel
    Rachel says:

    Ditto. I read your blog because you’re interesting. Keep being interesting and good stuff will follow.

    I love everything you said about opting out. My dad died at 58, and after that happened, I began to re-evaluate everything. Namely, I decided to lean in at home.

  20. Sam
    Sam says:

    I think that part of the problem (at least for me) is that we still tend to equate people with what they “do” in their career. Our jobs are still such a big part of our identity- we feel the need to immediately ask people what they do, we identify ourselves that way, we relate to others in that way. By stepping back from a career, some of us are also stepping back from a vital, or perhaps the most defining, aspect of our identities. This is also in part why some people feel so compelled to do what they are passionate about- if you believe that your job = your identity, you’re going to want to make that job something that you care about deeply, ideally your greatest passion.

  21. Pirate Jo
    Pirate Jo says:

    One person’s boring is another person’s tranquil, relaxing, and drama-free.

    I have zero interest in hardship. Hardship is what’s boring, that grinding, unending worry about paying your bills.

    If people find me uninteresting because I reliably and predictably make more than I spend each month and balance my checkbook, well then it’s probably a good thing I don’t care what they think.

  22. Jennie
    Jennie says:

    My favorite quote from you, ever is: “most of the things in life worth doing are a little scary”. I have this posted in my office, and it has given me the courage to (among other things) get married and change jobs. Thank you, Penelope, for your courage and inspiration.

  23. Jess
    Jess says:

    I miss you when you’re not here and I always wonder, “what’s going on in Penelope’s life right now, I hope she’s ok,” or “I hope she’s on some really great vacation.”

  24. Lori
    Lori says:

    I’m a new reader, thankfully I missed the time when your blog was about making lots of money since that’s never been my thing. I think being engaged with and by life means scaring yourself on a fairly regular basis. For someone like me, an introvert in a pretty calm career, that is easy — lots of things scare me. Every time I try something new, I am terrified. When I first found your blog and spent time reading a few posts, I couldn’t decide if I wanted to keep reading because your experiences, your way of seeing the world – shit, even your logic — seemed so different from my own. But this post was fantastic — entertaining, well-written and insightful. Thank you.

  25. mh
    mh says:

    I’ve noticed that “stuckness” in one area of my life — even if it’s something dumb, like never finishing a book I started reading a year ago, or being two months late hannging out the hummingbird feeders — tends to bring “stuckness” into other areas of my life.

    The bigger the “stuck” I’m trying to forget about, the bigger the emotions and the relationship trouble.

    Do It Now — I teach that to my kids. Do It Now — make the phone call, finish the chore, do it. Because getting unstuck on one area gives you a release all across your emotional life.

    Easier said than done, I’m afraid.

    Must.Learn.To.Take.Own.Advice.

  26. Amanda
    Amanda says:

    I always find your posts so interesting Penelope. They tend to either completely resonate with my own experience or make me think hard about something. Accepting hardship is my challenge right now, one that meditation usually helps.

    I have to say I don’t see how being interesting makes hurdles predictable … I’ll have to keep thinking.

  27. emily
    emily says:

    Meld you homeschool section and your regular section together. People who don’t read that part of your blog regularly are missing out! There’s brilliant stuff about teaching self-directed learning that is so applicable for creating a career for yourself outside the main stream choices – which is the only thing that enables one to follow their action, as you said above, and also lean into their relationships.

    I

  28. Chad B
    Chad B says:

    Its funny how these find us. I just published my blog yesterday about “showing up” and my friend read it and sent me this as it was in her inbox. Universal alignment I guess

  29. Brent
    Brent says:

    First of all, give yourself some grace. You’ve got two blogs now! And you’ve been posting a ton on the homeschooling side, and it’s really resonating with me. My wife and I have made the decision to homeschool in part because of what you’re writing over there. Not that this blog hasn’t helped me tremendously with my career, but the impact of that decision (homeschooling) will probably outweigh anything I will ever achieve at work…and I’m a pretty high achiever. The best advice I have ever received–and could ever give–with regards to getting unstuck–is to just do the next right thing. For you, that’s just sitting down to write. Something. Anything. Psychologically, the output doesn’t matter as much as the action. Thanks for not quitting. Thanks for your writing. Thanks for being awesome.

  30. Lye
    Lye says:

    Hi Penelope,

    I’m sure you’d be able to predict exactly why your blog appeals to much to someone like me – I am 24, harbour alternative career ambitions, am flailing a little, etc – but I would like to thank you for something very particular and maybe a little less predictable that you have taught me:

    Up until very recently, I have been completely, naively secure in the belief that nobody from the business world (which is obviously one giant homogenous soup) would ever be able to understand or advise me on how to carve out a non-profit life. Let alone advise me on how to carve out a life, period.

    I stand totally corrected and educated.

    • Morgan
      Morgan says:

      I agree Lye – Penelope is one of the few people who have taught me that business and life are totally interconnected. Neither are clean and logical. It has helped me a ton to hear the truth from somewhere too.

  31. Morgan
    Morgan says:

    You’re too hard on yourself Penelope. Doing work that matters to you is important – not whether you do that via kids or career.

    I get being confused, but people connect to you because you are so vulnerable, human, and how you think connects good ideas. There are plenty of big jerks with over-inflated egos and sexy careers who no one gives a rats ass about.

    Interestingness, happiness, kids, careers – are vague goals compared to living by what matters to you in this moment.

  32. Erika
    Erika says:

    I really enjoyed this post and yet again you captured what I really like about you: your honesty and openness. You’re right — I don’t always agree with you, your posts aren’t ever “easy” — but they are interesting and I find myself coming back again and again — which is more than I can say for most sites.

    You inspire me, Penelope. :)

  33. Crystal
    Crystal says:

    Penelope, you’ve helped me accept that I never want to have kids. I read all your homeschooling blog posts in addition to your normal posts and I know that if I had a kid, I’d have to homeschool them. But I hate taking care of people. I hate even the idea of not being able to do whatever interesting thing I want. I also don’t want to be less happy in my romantic relationships. And so much more.

    I guess I just wanted to say thank you for talking about the reality of having kids in your blunt way. I value that.

  34. Joy Phenix
    Joy Phenix says:

    I’ve pushed “publish” on my blog over 500 times and every time it feels like an act of courage.
    Every.
    Time.
    A small act of courage, to be sure, but still…

  35. Taura
    Taura says:

    I love it!
    My first post of yours. Thank you for putting your “scary” down in writing for me to chew on.
    I am digeating the same scary.

    Chin up and enjoy!!!

  36. Becky Castle Miller
    Becky Castle Miller says:

    I love it when you analyze yourself…because you give us insights into ourselves as well.

    “when I am uncertain about my life I shut down. …writing about your life means facing your life. I am having a hard time facing my life now.” <—- Thank you so much for that.

    I was so excited about my blog…I had picked a topic and created an editorial calendar and started writing great posts, but I haven't been able to bring myself to write or post anything in like two weeks. Now I understand why: I have been uncertain about my life lately. No wonder I can't write about it. But just understanding that makes me feel better. Maybe I will write about that uncertainty. If you're feeling it, and I'm feeling it, I bet others are too.

    Also, I'm glad you're okay, just processing.

  37. Paula
    Paula says:

    interesting..and honest. can you imagine being an ENTJ and deciding to retire right before 50 and embrace the lack of control, lack of self worth and do whatever you want to do with your life person? talk about being stuck. don’t even bring up direction….spin me around and give me a push and i stop at my first step. now i’m indecisive, unsure of myself and wondering who the ENTJ really was or even if she existed at all. how do you get more done when you don’t have anything to do? sitting with the discomfort and seeing where this goes. hopefully somewhere soon.

  38. Matthew Jennings
    Matthew Jennings says:

    What a fabulous piece of writing. It’s amazing that you think that people would be more interested in you if you lived in a big city. I think most of us portray the ‘me’ that we want people to see. You portray you, with no camouflage or layers.

  39. Dannielle Blumenthal
    Dannielle Blumenthal says:

    Penelope,

    What a wonderful and honest writer you are. And a wonderful mom.

    I totally identify with the conflict you express.

    I think you are extraordinarily courageous to downscale your career for the sake of your kids. Especially when you consider the very real financial risk that this entails.

    One thing you might want to keep in mind is that this is not forever. You are doing what is right for the boys **right now**. They will grow up and then you will go back to being a proper workaholic :-) If you want to that is.

    I hope you keep doing what you do, for a long time.

    By the way, I think people would pay to read your blog.

  40. Matt Schmidt
    Matt Schmidt says:

    As stated by the great Dr. Seuss: You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own, and you know what you know. And you are the guy who’ll decide where to go

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