Are You Dirt? Then Stop Letting People Walk All Over You!

Don't let people walk all over you. Have the confidence to stand up yourself and fight for what you believe in!

One of the surprising responses from How To Improve The Value Of Your Home With One Phone Call is people basically saying it's not worth the hassle to call the property assessor's office to make them input the appropriate square footage on record.


If you paid a permit fee and constructions costs to remodel your home and are now paying extra property taxes on the increased value of your home. The least you can do is make sure the city has your home's new size correct. The 3-R report is an important record for when it's time to resell your home.

I'm not sure if everybody saying “don't bother” are mega-millionaires, but to me, spending 10 minutes to fight for 180 square feet of rightful space to increase my home's value by ~$160,000 is absolutely worth it!

This “don't bother” attitude is exactly what the government counts on to collect maximum revenue for the services it provides. When the real estate market is rising, the government will aggressively raise assessed values to collect more property tax revenue.

When the real estate market is falling, even though there is no way in hell you could sell your house for what it is being assessed, they won't budge. Fighting for what you deserve is the Financial Samurai mindset.

Don't let people walk all over you!

Stop Letting People Walk All Over You

If you can't be bothered because you're lazy or too intimidated to stand up for yourself, this kind of thinking can negatively affect everything you do. Life is about winning the small to conquer the big. Don't let people walk all over you.

Here are some examples when you consistently let people take advantage of you. Without confidence, you will fall behind in getting everything you want in life.

1) You know your woman is cheating on you.

But you can't be bothered to talk to her about your marital issues because you're too afraid of confrontation. As a result, you turn into a pathetic loser. Your woman doesn't respect you, your sex life is horrible, and your relationship goes down the drain.

Other people don't respect you either because they know your woman is messing around with other men behind your back and you're doing nothing about it. Letting your partner walk all over you is terrible.

2) You don't think you're getting paid what you're worth.

But you can't be bothered to put together a presentation highlighting your value and have a heart-to-heart with your manager to tell him or her why you deserve a raise. At the same time, you don't bother finding a job elsewhere because you doubt your abilities.

You're comfortably dissatisfied. As a result, you turn into the office virus and spread negativity throughout the organization. You become increasingly bitter and unhappy at work. But you do nothing about your situation and deserve the nothing you get.

3) Your competitor steals your idea.

Instead of calling her out and going after her, you let her continue to copy everything you do. She gets the glory, you don't. And when you end up telling other people how you came up with the idea first, nobody gives a crap. They just think you're jealous.

You should have sent a cease and desist letter, but you were too meek. Enjoy being a failed founder who has no net worth because you spent everything you had in your business. You naively believed that meritocracy would win in the end.

4) You quit your job.

The number one reason why people quit their jobs instead of negotiating a severance is because they are too afraid to talk to their bosses and stand up for themselves. Quitting is the easy way out. They justify their inaction by saying, “It's the right thing to do;” or “I don't want to burn any bridges;” or “Why would they lay off a high performer like me?”

Negotiating a severance takes having multiple conversations of give and take. Once you quit, you're left with nothing. But if you receive a severance, you gain the freedom to not rush into anything just for money.

5) You let the loud noise play on.

Instead of asking your neighbor to turn down the bass, you let the bass drive you crazy. You can't sleep, you go to work pissed, you're easily agitated with your spouse, and you lose your focus.

Whenever you pass your neighbor on the street, you mentally snarl, but smile as if nothing is bothering you. You've let your neighbor pollute your peace and quiet which negatively affects everything around you.

Stand up for yourself! Ask your neighbor to be more respectful.

6) You let a dog defecate all over your front lawn.

At least once a week you wake up to dog shit on your front lawn. It keeps happening because the dog owner knows you don't have the guts to do anything about it. And at least once a week you've got to remove their dog shit for them.

Instead, why not stake out or set up a camera to catch them in the act, follow them home and fling their own shit back at them? I'm sure they'll love it since they love doing it to you.

7) You let trolls crash your party. 

A random student from Unibocconi in Milan left an angry comment telling me I was lying about how much bloggers can make online. He demanded I send him my income statements as proof along with some choice words.

I asked him why he thought he deserved access to my private info? He just started his site this year and was already hurting his reputation online. Not smart if he's about to graduate and try to land a job in finance. After I questioned him, he then sent immature memes making fun of old people and the gay community.

Now I was offended. I forwarded his e-mails to his university's administration office to tell them to speak to this kid before he ruins his life. They apologized on his behalf, thanked me for the heads up, and said he has been spoken to.

It's too bad there's so much online bullying nowadays too. If you run a blog or online business, you will get trolls. Ignore most of them. But certainly defend yourself and the people you care about if they've gone too far. Always defend your honor! Just like how you will always defend the honor of your children and loved ones.

8) You never question what you're getting for your money.

I always ask people who ask me for investment advice what they are getting from their investment firm for the fee they are paying. Nine times out of ten, they have no idea how much they are paying until I calculate their fees for them. They are always shocked to hear the number.

One person said she hadn't heard from her advisor in a year. Demand better for what you are paying or move your money. See how to reduce 401k investment fees and how to reduce mortgage fees and get the best rate possible.

If you're paying a large recurring fee, actively seek service. Commit to a quarterly sit-down with your investment advisor.

9) You let someone physically or mentally bully you. 

If you are currently being bullied, I feel your pain because I've been bullied before. But to the extent I won't die from a bully, I always fight back if the bullying becomes chronic.

The easiest way to fight back is to confront the bully and ask in a calm manner, “Why are you doing this to me?” This simple question makes the bully confront their aggressions. It catches them off guard because bullies prey on the weak.

I have used this tactic face-to-face and over e-mail many times before, and it's always helped ameliorate the situation. This question often leads to more constructive dialogue. Increasing your knowledge and learning self-defense also helps boost your confidence and confront bullies.

Bullies are the worst. Don't let them walk all over you. You might be the underdog, but you've got to find ways to fight back. There are many non-violent ways to do so.

10) You let other people dictate who you are.

After promoting the Financial Independence Retire Early movement since 2009, I've noticed a growing number of people hating on people who have achieved FIRE or who are practicing FIRE. These people are called the Internet Retirement Police.

They are so jealous of your financial success or desire to be FIRE that they must rain on their parade since they are nowhere close to where you are and are unwilling to make similar sacrifices. What's sad is that most of the Internet Retirement Police are bloggers trying to reach financial independence themselves.

Use their judgement as motivation to make more money and be free! As the palliative care nurse, Bronnie Ware, once wrote about the #1 regret of the dying, “1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

Related: You Will Always Get Screwed: Face The Facts For Greater Success

The Bullying Won't Stop Until You Make It Stop

Bad things happen all the time. It's up to you to rectify the situation by taking action. Don't let other people walk all over you and kick sand in your face without any repercussions.

Even if you fail at improving the situation, you will feel better knowing you did your best to stand up for yourself. If you do nothing, a cancer will eat up your soul.

Having the right money mindset is half the battle for achieving financial freedom. Everybody deserves to be rich. But for some reason, not everybody believes they can be. And if you want the best solution, then achieve financial independence as soon as possible. 

Once you've accumulated a real financial independence number, your courage will increase. Once you are financially free, you will no longer fear losing your job or running out of money. As a result, you will have more courage to fight against all the oppressors in your life.

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About The Author

60 thoughts on “Are You Dirt? Then Stop Letting People Walk All Over You!”

  1. Elle @ New Graduate Finance

    I’m going through a rough patch, and this post really helps.

    I know that just acting like a victim and complaining does not make any positive changes. But this post is good motivation to get out there and change what isn’t working.

    1. Just a little advice: No matter how difficult it gets at work, gut it out. If you love the work you perform, just keep at it and hone your craft. Be the best you can be professionally. Don’t let them change your attitude and don’t ever behave unprofessionally.

      You’ll be the winner at the end of the day. Good luck!

  2. It’s the Victim Mentality. We’ve all seen it before. It’s sad, but you can’t be responsible for other people’s choices. The only thing you can do it offer some friendly advice in a non-confrontational manner and leave it at that. You can’t cry over spilled milk; especially when the milk isn’t yours to begin with.

  3. I like the pic of a young Jack Bauer…

    I love this post because more people need to be vigilant of their own money. Check your bank statements for errors, check your credit card statement for fraudulent charges and check your FICO & Credit Reports. Everyone should do this because no one is going to do this for you.

  4. It can be a crazy system. I’ve had residential rental properties in a down market in which the appraiser would use foreclosures as comps because they were within a half mile of my property and had similar square footage.

    However, the property tax assessor wouldn’t use those same properties in evaluating my annual property tax. It was definitely a double whammy of pain.

  5. My father was a successful engineer who made a lot of money with stock options when he was young – first with Wang Laboratories (he worked there with fewer than 10 employees) and then with a printer company known as Centronics (they invented the dot matrix printer). Although he never went to college, he is and remains one of the most intelligent people I know, and as a child he was one of the wealthiest I knew. He stopped working for others when he turned 38, and I saw the amount of freedom money brings at a young age. He did two things for which I will always be grateful. First, he paid for college so I graduated without debt. Second, and probably more important, he gave me 50K when I graduated from college. So I went out into the working world with what I think was just enough money to give me the freedom to make choices that were best for me without worrying about the short term financial consequences. I don’t think that being given total financial freedom would be a positive – either by gift or inheritance – but that start has made all the difference in my career and my ability to not permit others to have control. I plan on paying that forward to my two daughters.

  6. Loved that you called out that troll. I enjoy reading when trolls who spread hateful and often personal messages on social media and other places online are held accountable. Too often they hide behind the anonymity of their computer.

  7. I’d add a caveat to #4 of quitting a job. If someone is planning to take an extended break from the workforce as was in your case to try their hand at entrepreneurship, then it’s absolutely better to negotiate a severance. However, for most rank and file people who are leaving a job for a better job, a standard 2 week notice or whatever amount of time required to transfer one’s task is probably the better route.

    1. You must have missed a chapter in my book when I talk about double dipping and even triple dipping.

      Let me give you an example. When NBA coaches get laid off from their job, they still get paid the remainder of their contract. Many of them also end up finding new work before their payment fro let me give you an example. When NBA coaches get laid off from their job, they still get paid the remainder of their contract. Many of them also end up finding new work before their payment runs out. The same can be said for the rest of us.

      Did you have a bad experience when trying to negotiate a severance and conduct this transition?

      1. Everyone needs to decide for themselves and it’s good that you provide information in your e-book so people can make a more informed decision.

        My view is that since most exempt employees don’t have a contract unless they’re part of an executive team, if things aren’t bad in your current job, and you’re only leaving for a better opportunity, why not just leave, especially in a dynamic environment like SV where job hopping is common. If someone has been with a firm for a very long time, 10 plus years, then yes, I would agree that it’s better to negotiate a severance.

        1. May I ask your experience negotiating a severance if any? What is your work background and experience so I can get some perspective where you are coming from.

          You are the dream employee to an employer by just leaving. Seriously, this is every manager’s risk to avoid having a conversation and paying a severance.

          Imagine getting a severance, and then starting your new job in 1 -2 months while you travel the world. There is always a better situation. But if there is some exploding offer that is too good to refuse, then absolutely sign the other offer, make sure it’s a go, and then leave.

          1. 15 years working, 4 jobs. Never been laid off(cross fingers). Current job is the longest with an employer at almost 7 years. Maybe I’ll try to negotiate a severance if I end up leaving voluntarily, but never stayed longer than 3 years with previous employers and left in good terms, so didn’t try for a severance.

  8. Stefan - The Millennial Budget

    This is a constant problem I think we all face Sam. Confrontation can be scary for people as it is not the norm. People who challenge society, their bosses, or friends/family can seem crazy and quite frankly ignorant. But nobody changed anything by not challenging something. Anybody who has left a legacy behind has had to change the way people think. Sometimes people need to be shown that they are being mistreated as they are so blinded by reality while others have the mentality that they are worth more than dirt. It is better to try something than not try at all.

  9. One of my biggest pet peeves are people who complain about a situation, but then do absolutely nothing to remedy it. I’m not casting stones here because I used to do the same exact thing when I was younger. But, at a certain point in life, you need to realize that you have a choice. The choice to do something, or the choice to do nothing, ultimately shapes our destiny. At least if you do something and fail, you can say that you tried.

    1. I agree completely, Michael! I recently wrote an article about this same pet peeve. Whining and complaining is far easier than investing the time, effort, and energy to win. Our culture encourages this sort of passive mindset.

    2. PatientWealthBuilder

      better to try and fail. if you are trying and being smart about which risks to take you will eventually succeed.

  10. Lots of great points. I get annoyed with taxes – the government really tries to take advantage of us with the ridiculously complicated tax system We have to fight back by educating ourselves and actively taking advantage of tax deductions.

  11. I get so frustrated by people in my gig industry job who I run into on a gig annually who have the exact same complaints about their lives each time. They look at me wistfully if they’ve bothered to ask what I’m up to and then bemoan that they cannot do what I am doing. False. They could. They just won’t line up their actions to their stated desires. I believe their actions more than anything else.

  12. Offtheheezay

    I’ve been struggling with #2. My responsibilities at my employer are far above my role/title and compensation which hasn’t change significantly in the last year-and-a-half. I brought up the role responsibilities mismatch discussion to my manager, manager’s manager, and manager’s manager’s manager. They all gave my different answers, and I used the “dad told me this, mom told me this technique”. It came down to an apology from my manager for my raise this year and an agreement that plans would happen to promote me to an “official manager” in six months and that I would be promoted within the year. I’m currently listed as an individual contributor but am guiding/leading 23 people.

    I’ve decided to give my manager time to come through on his promise but have started accepting the LinkedIn recruiting discussions. I believe my value is at least 150% of what I am payed now and have been offered (through an initial recruiter conversation) 200% of what I am payed now. Really wondering if I should continue to wait until September/October (six month timeline)? I enjoy my work and it’s one of a kind (although it can lead to long hours and nights/weekends), my employer has provided me training and opportunities, I have many co-workers who are close friends, and I am convinced I can become a leader in my current employer in due time. Still, I wonder if I am doing the right thing? That extra salary could mean retiring years earlier.

    It’s tough to decide to stand-up for yourself in this situation.

  13. This post is highly relevant for a personal finance blog, because the mindset described in your scenarios is the exact same mindset that causes people to bury their head in the sand regarding their finances.

    For me, I started reading a lot of personal finance blogs and other websites regarding money, early retirement, etc. But the fear of not knowing what I was doing, having to confront my spending habits, having to wrestle with the idea that my net worth is nil at 26, having to pick apart this giant mental monster I’d built with my apathy was very difficult.

    I disagree with you on one point. You say that people are comfortably dissatisfied. I would say that these situations are profoundly uncomfortable, and this discomfort clouds our judgement, keeping us stuck and fearing ridiculous scenarios we dream up to stop ourselves from gaining control.

  14. PatientWealthBuilder

    Are you mad today? Great article. Love the fighting spirit. Live your life. If you grew up in Northern New Jersey you would do all these things naturally. Everyone lives on top of each other there and become very aggressive. People down south would be more hesitant. We all have different backgrounds. Whatever your natural tendency – at work you still need to be a fighter. Although be professional and winsome. Good to see there aren’t many trolls out here. I was thinking about this topic with regard to salary and wrote some of my experiences:
    One of the keys though is to always have a positive attitude. Don’t become that toxic person written about above!

  15. I kind of agree in principle but I also feel that your strategy is “eye for an eye”, which to me does not contribute to the greater good. In many cases, I’ve found that not fighting back and swallowing my pride has led to better overall results, maybe not for me, but for the group as a whole (whatever the “group” maybe in a given context).

    For example you could call the police at your student neighbor having a party, OR you could remember that you were young once as well, and accept a bad night of sleep once in a while if it’s not happening too often.

    As Jack said above: “Fighting every battle is a recipe for an unhappy life.” I totally agree.

    1. Not eye for an eye. Just getting back to even for what you deserve e.g. do good work, get paid for good work. Not asking for more. Not asking for less.

      Yes, pick the battles you strongly believe in. Let go of the rest.

  16. Financial Slacker

    Totally agree. People need to stand up for themselves. Even when it’s difficult.

    In my last corporate job, I didn’t think I was getting paid enough. And in fact, it wasn’t what had been agreed to by the person who hired me (who actually got fired shortly after I arrived).

    I put together a detailed summary of my accomplishments describing how much value I had added to the company over the years.

    And two months later, I got laid off. But I did get a nice severance, so in the end it was worth it.

    Articles such as this help me realize that I made the right choice.


    1. PatientWealthBuilder

      That is very interesting! A big part of one’s career path is luck. Not all of it – most of it is your own hard work and well-placed aggression. But you have to make your own luck. It still results in getting laid off become some companies and some industries go through that. Learn from it and come out stronger. Someone who learns confidence and how to never give up through getting laid off can come out stronger than someone who has had things handed to them. It sounds like you learned to speak up and I’m sure you bounced back!

      1. Financial Slacker

        I do agree that luck often plays a big part in career advancement. I have always believed that success was the result of working hard and positioning yourself so that you can take advantage of opportunities when they arise.

        I also believe you can make the best of any situation. Getting laid off was a learning opportunity and has freed me to pursue other ventures.

  17. I pick my battles.

    There are some things worth fighting for, and some things that aren’t. Those will be different for every person, and even change for individuals as their circumstances change over time.

    Fighting every battle is a recipe for an unhappy life.

    1. I agree with you, Jack – if you’re not picking your battles, you’re going to be a miserable person and people will just know you as the jerk down the street.

      On the battles you do pick, put the foot down and stay strong.

      — Jim

    2. I agree with point wholeheartedly. I use this route for #2. I read my bosses and what strategy would work to get me what I want.

      First boss, I realised wanted to control titles but negotiable with the salary. Second boss would tell you how to budget (which included free advice on not speeding to save petrol, buying things on sale, etc.) so that you didn’t need that raise but got the message and gave a decent raise. Third boss was kind and generous and freely adjusted titles and salaries when approached.

      I, however failed on my fourth boss. How do you negotiate with a boss who at your performance review has no idea how the company promotion policies work?

      Answer: Apparently dumbass me didn’t realise that that was code for, “I don’t value your work or your loyalty. I think you’re just here to make the colour quota. And I have to barely tolerate you. Oh, and by the way I found your replacement.” Two months down the line, I finally had it decrypted for me in a spectacular way.

      (Yeah, yeah, I know I’m naive, loyal to a fault, a really slow learner when it comes to this game and need things to be knocked into my head in a hugely embarassing way for comprehension to sink in.)

      Btw, I love these “kick up the bum” posts! Fuel for the FIRE! :)

  18. Great article, a few points here hit me real good! sort of good timing for me, time to reassess and reevaluate certain relationships I have in my life.

  19. Hi Sam,

    In my adult years I’ve stood up many times for what I feel is right. In business it has worked out extremely well for me. The bankers, accountants, lawyers, vendors, and customers I deal with know if they try to take advantage of me I will definitely call them out on it. Talking with other business owners in my area I know I get preferential treatment over them simply because I willing to ask why.

    In my personal life standing up for what is right has cost me my relationship with my parents, siblings, and some friends. Most people if they knew the details would say good riddance! Why would you want a relationship with people who are toxic? In theory they are right. The reality is that it still hurts.

    I will continue to stand up for myself and the people I love. The difference now is that I”m willing to tolerate the loud music, the poop in the yard, or the negative people more than I used to. It’s just like in one of your recent articles. When you finally achieve FU money, the desire to say FU kinda goes away.

    Thanks, Bill

    1. Tough to hear about family relationships being lost due to confrontation. It is sad that some people can’t see a rational argument. I understand it still hurts. I was once a great friend to a guy who no longer wanted to hang out after I spoke to his ex employer out of courtesy six months after he got laid off. Up until then, I had been telling him a recruiter was calling around to replace him, and for him to prepare for something bad. I even invited him to interview at my firm.

      Anyway, I met with his old boss at a hotel lobby to chat, and that was it. I was already determined not to go back to finance after giving online entrepreneurship a try for three years until June 2015. My friend couldn’t see the situation as an innocuous one. So sad. Four years later, I’m true to my word and didn’t go back. I think he’s OK with it now as he said he’d happily meet up for a beer, but things are just not the same.

  20. I think the hard part of that article was in dealing with the tax office. In most jurisdictions, such a move would result in more taxes. I realize in your case it wouldn’t have mattered. But that seems to be CA specific.

    So it may have just been the unique actual specifics of that situation that resulted in reader pushback.

    1. Don’t think so. It is a “let me lie down and have you trample me” mentality. Fight the tax office. Fight the assessor’s office. Fight anybody who is trying to keep you down or rip you off. Don’t not be afraid to stand up for what you deserve.

      1. I had a city government send me tax bills yearly for a car I didn’t own from a city I didn’t live in. Probably 3 years straight, with me calling them explaining that I didn’t own said car, and even if I did, I don’t live your city. They would tell me I needed to come into the office to straighten it out. I would explain to them that their office was 250 miles from the city I actually lived in, so they could bite me. It took sending a certified letter with my DMV records AND then one more year of idiocy before they gave up. Similar situation with a parking ticket when I didn’t even own a car at the time.

        It can be hard fighting stupid. I probably would have spent far less money just paying the bill they sent, but screw that. It upsets my wife, but from time to time I will spend more money just making sure someone else doesn’t get it.

  21. My issue is, I definitely speak up for myself, but when met with initial resistance, it is hard to stay firm when the other side has something I really want/need. They obviously have the upper hand in the negotiation process. Unless what I am trying to get really does not matter to me that much, then the negotiation typically goes a lot smoother and generally to the direction/result I would like it to go — because having it is a bonus, but not a necessity.

  22. DIY Money Guy

    Great article. First and foremost I have to acknowledge the Stand By Me movie reference in the article feature image. That is one of my all time favorite movies. Thanks for the reminder. Back to the article, something that may be just as toxic as being bullied is accepting stuff for what it is at face value. Challenge and question everything and you will absolutely learn more, meet more people, and make more money.

  23. Believe Fire

    At my last job I took over management responsibilities when my boss was forced out of the company. I was the best fit and actually wanted to take on that role. Months went by and my title and pay were not changed. I believed it would be worth waiting in the end but if I had known it would take 5 months before something was done I would not have went down that path. I spoke up very often but when everyone around you is getting laid off it’s very difficult to get your compensation adjusted upwards. I learned a valuable lesson from this. If I ever take another job, I will never fill in or take over for someone without an official job offer.

    After about 5 months of filling in for this role I was assigned a new boss. My product line was now under another product line due to organizational changes. My new boss was promoted to oversee the managers at his prior level for his product line as well as me and my product line. He spoke with me about getting my title and pay adjusted with HR. Whew finally! I asked him what the process would be like and he indicated an offer would be given. I asked him about negotiating the offer and he seemed confused. He said he’d been with the company for 30+ years and had always been taken care of. Seriously? The offer was lower than I wanted which was expected. I didn’t sign and told him I needed to speak with whoever had the authority to negotiate. He looked at me like I was an alien and then called HR. The local HR couldn’t negotiate my salary so he called the next level up so I could speak with her. I told her why the offer wasn’t acceptable and gave justifications. She said she’d visit the following week. A better offer was brought that I eventually signed. I hoped my boss would learn to negotiate for himself after witnessing his subordinate do it. A few weeks later he told me that he was getting his salary adjusted because he found out one of his new direct reports was getting paid more than him. That means someone in a position equivalent to his old position was getting paid more than him AFTER he took a promotion with a raise. Sure sounds like the company had been taking care of him huh?

    A few months after my title change and pay increase I negotiated a severance. It had become a toxic environment with all of the layoffs and budget cuts and the pay wasn’t what it should have been. Now my wife and I are traveling the world in search of budget friendly retirement spots. Maybe we’ll take jobs again someday, but just recalling this story reminds me of how awesome freedom is.

    1. That is pretty amazing. Almost like an “ignorance is bliss” kind of moment. Companies really don’t want employees what other employees make, as they then lose the upper hand in negotiations. Hence, I’m miffed but proud Airbnb allowed one of their newest hires to tell the world he makes $250K/year at 26. Right on! So many positives like increasing the rent on all Airbnb employees, having more confidence that the economy will be OK since so many make so much, and giving other engineers and students some insight into what type of career and pay package they can pursue.

  24. The Green Swan

    So powerful! Especially when it comes to money and what you’re paid vs what you deserve. So many people don’t have the guts to say something. I hope this post helps many realize they can. Now go out there and ask for a raise!

    The Green Swan

  25. Wow, that troll story seems like a nice post in the making. I found your accounting of how much bloggers can make online pretty much spot on by looking at my own crappy data and extrapolating. I’m sure by now you could write a book on internet trolls. It would be entertaining, at least.

    1. Ah yes, an endless amount of entertaining writing I could put together. I’m fortunate in that there really aren’t that many trolling / hateful comments here. I’m impressed! The FS community is solid and I think a lot of the writing speaks for itself. It’s when there are a lot of weak arguments where trolls start pouncing like rabid dogs.

  26. Apathy Ends

    i knew I was being underpaid, and my company proved it with a ton of market research and “leveling” last month – I am going to push for at least even up with external companies over the next few weeks – this is not something new unfortunately, I recently went from way underpaid to slightly underpaid.

    The construction crew in our development don’t pick up their garbage and it blows all over our yard, I will tackle that one first.

  27. Mr. Tako @ Mr. Tako Escapes

    I like the general theme! Sticking up for yourself is a good thing. There are times when it may not be a good idea though.

    We all pick and choose our battles!

  28. Aliyyah @RichAndHappyBlog

    I have learned the hard way that you always have to have your best interest in mind and speak up for yourself. This world is a selfish place and a closed mouth really doesn’t get fed.

  29. Matt @ Distilled Dollar

    I’ve had this same discussion with too many close friends and colleagues because I successfully negotiated two different offers in the last few years for higher compensation.

    The common thread is typically, “it’s not worth it,” or, “they’ll pay me what I’m worth.”

    In each cause I was able to boost my income by more than 10% on a salary basis, which means I’ll see that 10% every year. I also did it twice so my 2nd 10% was a boost on my already enhanced salary. This can be compounded over my entire career! Of course it’s worth it.

    It was difficult because it’s scary to put myself out there and demand for more than these very intelligent, suit wearing professionals are willing to offer me.

    I also think people tend to think HR and management respects them and will pay them what they’re worth. Those two attitudes can be mutually exclusive. A smart manager should have a great team and efficiently pay them what it takes to keep them. If he paid them less than they deserve, but they’re still happy or content, then his division will be even more profitable.

    Great story on reporting that student to his administration!

    1. Nobody will EVER get paid what they are worth. Only people who speak up will get paid what they think they should be worth. Half the battle is selling yourself internally, and the other half is selling yourself externally.

      I thought about writing a whole post about this kid from Milan. But, I don’t feel like blowing up his reputation and short circuit his chances for getting a job. I’ve been there and done stupid stuff before. Tough love is important, and I think in the future he will appreciate getting a smack down at 18, rather than after it’s too late.

  30. Dear sam,

    I like your post, but I feel it is very optimistic. It is great if you confront bad behavior, then things stop or get better. I used to believe in that too, but after years of bad experience (20 years) my believe has changed. I have been in a seriously abusive relationship with a child for many years, confrontations always made it worse, so I left. Then court and police instead of helping me gave me lectures of how I should try to get along, gave joint custody to the other parent. Spending thousands of money in court to get help did not go anywhere, finally I think God looked up to me and he lost his job and moved out state, so day to day harassment stopped.
    I have tried confronting bad bosses and HR, things got so bad I had to leave that job, fortunately I work in a large company and had good work reputation so another division took me promptly. Lot of bad experience with close family members also, I did cut of relationship with one of them because of that. Anyway, I could go on and on about the failures in my life in trying to do something about bad behaviors of others and nothing happened, things got worse. I think it is luck, sometimes it works for some and sometimes it does not, not one thing works for all.

    1. Sorry to hear about your experiences. Sounds very difficult. Perhaps you can share some of the positives that came out of it though? Yes, I admit I am a SUPER optimist at everything. Sprain my ankle, thank goodness I didn’t break it. Break my ankle, thank goodness I didn’t also break my leg.

      There’s lots of luck involved. There’s also lots of skill necessary to make the right type of delivery for peace.

  31. Great article. “Having the right mindset” is to true.

    I would add one more category – Investment Fees. Too many people just accept higher fees to avoid confronting their banker or advisor. Maybe the advisor came recommended by parents or friends which adds to the guilt of speaking up. Either way, if they are charging way more than value provided, its time to buck up, ask them to reduce their fees, or speak with your feet.

  32. Brian - Rental Mindset

    So true! The biggest one I see is #2 – people complain about what they get paid but don’t do anything about it. The complain about how they do the job of someone two levels above them, but they don’t fight for that title recognition … and I have to hear about it instead!

    Great tip on the phone call after getting an expansion. I’ll have to remember that if I expand any of my rental properties.

    1. “Comfortably Dissatisfied” hits the nail on the head! So many people love to complain about a co-worker who got promoted instead of them or how they aren’t paid enough for the work they do, but never do anything about. They get paid just enough to be comfortable. People do not like breaking out of their comfort zone.

      It is simple–just as Sam put. If you aren’t paid enough, go prepare a thoughtful presentation on why you deserve more money. If your company won’t give you a raise or promote you, go somewhere else that will! Or better yet, try starting your own business and see if you really have what it takes. You can always start small on the side to dip your toes in the water.

      I don’t like the career I am in, so I am actively working 30-40 hours a week extra to build a business for myself. The cool part is those 30-40 hours don’t even feel like work! “Early Retirement Is Exactly Like Being An Entrepreneur: Awesome!

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