Author, CEO & Founder

Learn More >>

Constantly Guilt Yourself Over Doing “The Responsible Thing?” Maybe You Shouldn’t.

In: Finding Your Voice

There’s a lot of bullshit around the word “responsible.”

We let this tiny word guilt us to the grave.

Do the responsible thing. Act responsibly. Be a responsible adult. Don’t be so irresponsible.

I don’t know if we should blame this asshole voice in our heads on our parents or not, but you might want to consider it. (Hi, mom!)

There are a lot of things that are, by default, “responsible”—taking the kids to soccer, suffering through another Jillian Michaels video, religiously categorizing our business expenses in Quickbooks, slogging through our inbox on a Friday.

And, you know, we do those things. We do ‘em because we’re adults, and we do ‘em because we know that the consequences of not doing those things will be far worse. (I can’t think of a worse day than having your children kidnapped after realizing you’ve gained 10 pounds after getting a call from your accountant that you SUCK, after slogging through 100 emails from people who all need something from you.)

But nothing in life is cut and dry—unless we’re talking about Aged English Cheddar, of course. (Can we please talk about Aged English Cheddar sometime? I’m @TMFproject on Twitter.) And sometimes in life, when things are jagged and entirely soaking wet, you’re going to have to make these things called DECISIONS. And when that happens, usually you’ll go running and crying into the lap of our friend Roger the Responsible and ask: What’s the responsible thing to do here, Rog?

Which, I suppose, is better than making a decision based on “What’s more sociopathic?” but nevertheless, making decisions based on which one is the more “responsible” decision to make is problematic. Why?

Because sometimes bad decisions parade themselves around as responsible ones.


  • A big, new dream client shows up in your inbox, which would normally be great except for one thing: You’ve promised yourself you were going to take this month to start writing your book. So you run to Roger the Responsible and ask, “What’s the responsible thing to do here, Rog?” And Rog proceeds to remind you of all your outstanding student loans, that new car you splurged on, the money you still owe your web designer. And so you take the client, because not taking the client would be irresponsible, right?
  • Or maybe you’ve been seeing everybody and their mother starting a podcast, and doing webinars, and giving away fancy eBooks, and so you figure that you should start doing these things, too, because not keeping up with the latest and greatest feels irresponsible and lazy—even if it means doing less painting or speaking or whatever it it that you love to do.
  • Or maybe you’ve been dying to try something new—to start writing like you really talk, or only offer ONE service instead of five. But then Roger the Responsible kicks in and reminds you that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, and what if you lose everything you’ve worked so hard to create?

We make a lot of “responsible” decisions that are actually bad ones, because we’re more focused on doing what’s responsible in the short-term, instead of doing what’s responsible in the long-term. And guess what?

Sometimes the most responsible thing we could be doing is going to feel irresponsible now.

Sometimes the most responsible thing…is saying no.
Sometimes the most responsible thing…is being selfish.
Sometimes the most responsible thing…is rejecting the money.
Sometimes the most responsible thing…is having a controversial opinion.
Sometimes the most responsible thing…is going with your gut.

Because sometimes the most responsible thing?

Is not cut and dry.

But when you know what you really want, it doesn’t have to be.

h/t Meg Worden, who inspired the fuck out of this blog post after our conversation yesterday.

Aug 15


How to Be the Most Confident Person At The Table

Aug 15, 2014

When somebody doesn’t buy from you, which are you thinking? “Man, I’m a loser”  or “Man, they’re a loser.”  Getting cocksure is the very first order of business. And if you don’t feel sure of yourself, you know what you need? Not more clients. You need to sit your ass down, read 100 books, grovel for the […]

In: Finding Your Voice


Jan 14


Sometimes in Business, You Need to Do YOU.

Jan 14, 2016

The dead horse of the decade is the target customer. You’re asked to create personas. Put yourself in their shoes bras. Get inside their head. Imagine what’s keeping them up at 3 o’clock in the morning. (For the record, it’s that their ass is getting fat and they totally forgot to make cookies for their […]

In: Finding Your Voice


Aug 22


If You Don’t Seem Capable…You Aren’t

Aug 22, 2015

The way you hold your wine glass. How leisurely you pour your words. The conviction found in your fork, as you slowly and quite deliberately raise each bite to your mouth, as if rushes were for commoners and you hold the greatest secrets of the universe right there in between your forefinger and your thumb. […]

In: Finding Your Voice


Jun 19


I Wrote This For The Ones Who Care What They Might Think

Jun 19, 2017

“Oh, but they’re going to say ________________________.” That I’m not really as smart as I think I am.That I think I’m better than them, now.That I’m putting on a show. Good news: you can stop micro-managing all the thoughts that don’t belong to you, darling.  Their thoughts belong to them, just like their children do. You […]

In: Finding Your Voice


Aug 25


The Competition Doesn’t Have Sh*t On You

Aug 25, 2017

There’s never been a person who went to school for accounting and said: BUT WAIT, I CAN’T BECOME AN ACCOUNTANT BECAUSE OTHER PEOPLE ARE ALREADY DOINGGGGG THATTTTTTTTTTT. There are plenty of people out there doing exactly what you want to do—times eleventy thousand. “But there are already so many writers / designers / candlestick makers” […]

In: Finding Your Voice


Oct 8


Look, We’ve All Got Our Faults. *Stomps Cigar*

Oct 8, 2015

Look, we’ve all got our faults. I, for one, have a wrinkly ass neck. I don’t know how it happened. I don’t know when it happened. But all the sudden there are lines as deep as the Panama Canal cutting across my trachea. Fortunately, all the resveratrol I’ve consumed over the years seems to have […]

In: Finding Your Voice


Exclusive VIP Access

Enter your email to start your own middle finger project and get all sorts of colorful inspiration + know-how straight into your inbox to help you quit your job, do what you love, and start the side hustle of your dreams.

Don’t worry, there will be plenty of f-bombs.

Privacy Policy Info Here