Grow Stronger By Humbling Yourself Every Year

Stay humble and never look down on anyone. You just never know.

If you want to grow stronger, it's important to stay humble. Humbling yourself every month or every year is a good reminder you've still got so much to learn.

Don't let your success get to you! Luck is a bigger factor for your wealth than you realize. The more humble you can be, the less you'll take any success you have for granted. As a result, you'll end up trying that much harder to get ahead.

Getting Poked By My Friends

“Good thing you're married, otherwise, no woman would ever go out with you!” retorted my friend when I told him I scrubbed my LinkedIn profile of all work experience and simply put that I was an Assistant Varsity Tennis Coach.

“Heck, you're not even the head coach, but only the assistant!” he went on to dig. My friend is a successful entrepreneur who has not yet decided to be free, despite having buku bucks.

I wasn't offended by his comments because we're always jabbing at each other before going to battle on the tennis court. Instead, I laughed and played along.

“Yeah, thank goodness right? It's tough to find a good woman nowadays in San Francisco. Ready for me to kick your ass?” 

The Importance Of Staying Humble

So why did I erase my LinkedIn profile? I felt that after 2016's surprise business success, my ego was inflating out of control.

I started feeling too proud of myself – like those who confuse brains with a bull market. They end up buying stock on margin at all-time highs and then blowing themselves and their reputations up.

Of course we're all richer after a long bull market, duh! Every time someone asks me what I do, I can't wait to explain my online business. In the past, I would just say I'm a writer or in between jobs to keep a low profile.

Writing about Dunning-Kruger made me realize that I could very well be an overconfident idiot who simply isn't aware he's an overconfident idiot! Whenever overconfidence reigns supreme, bad things tend to happen.

Examples include: buying a vacation property close to the top of the market, taking an outsized investment risk, not recognizing luck as a big factor. If you are humble, you'd think thrice about making decisions that count on future uncertainties.

I know many of you are highly motivated individuals who've experienced tremendous progress over the years as well. It's important to keep things real and never forget where you came from.

Low Status Is Fine

Some people have commented whether I'm worried about being perceived as “not equal” in a parent's eyes given I'm just an assistant varsity tennis coach – as if nothing I've done prior matters.

It's a weird question to ask because I think spending time teaching kids anything is a very honorable endeavor. Perhaps it's their insecurity speaking? Of course I'm proud of my new role.

If you're willing to spend $48,000 a year in tuition on your kid because he is the most precious thing in your life, it's only logical to appreciate the coaches and teachers who are there to help make your kid into an honorable person.

Here's a reader comment that demonstrates the point about being perceived as lower class or status regarding the topic of networking as an assistant varsity tennis coach.

Being A Coach Supposedly Isn't Good Enough

I agree with the tennis, but unless you leverage your knowledge and show the parents that you have your other skills/knowledge, I think that those connections will be less beneficial to you. You really have to try to join some sort of network or ‘boys club' to really help them.

Those parents will all be friends because of their kids, but if you’re just their coach you don’t necessarily get the same interactions to really become close with them (i.e. kids birthday parties). I developed great relationships with my track, soccer, tennis, xc, etc. coaches but my parents, not so much. My parents like the coaches and respect them highly but they never had the same relationships as with parents of my friends that I hung out with or their coworkers.

So you really need to try and leverage a way to get connected with those families to truly see the benefits of knowing them. To me, your main benefit is getting to teach a sport you love though!

This comment is insightful because it's a real experience that makes sense. If I want to build relationships with the parents, I need to make the effort because they probably won't. Then again, all relationships take work to develop, so this is nothing new.

I see this comment as an opportunity to make the argument for all parents to build stronger relationships with their kids' teachers and coaches. If someone is spending hours each day teaching your most beloved child new skills, then surely this person is worth getting to know.

Here's my response.

“I’ve thought about being viewed as “the help” to the parents as the assistant tennis coach, and that’s just fine. I don’t want anything from them. I just want to do my best, learn, have fun, and hopefully make a difference in their lives. It’s how I view all my tennis buddies at my club (several parents are members). I just want to play tennis and have fun. But it was because I was just having fun all these years that I was referred to this role.

I’ve always had this underdog mentality because it’s so motivating. It makes me appreciate what I have. It also makes me feel more alive. When the parents see me playing at the same tennis club they belong to that costs $12,000 to join and requires five letters of recommendation, I think they’ll eventually figure out that perhaps I'm teaching because I want to do something good, and not because I need the money. And if not, that's cool. 

Perhaps I’ll even write a parent a letter of recommendation for her family to join my club one day. And perhaps the parents who currently have other kids in middle school and elementary school may find it beneficial knowing someone who works at the very high school they’d love their kids to attend. With the world so small, what parent would be so foolish to look down on me?

The consistent theme is to just be a good person. Sooner or later, something positive will happen when you least expect it.”

You Just Never Know Who You'll Meet

I'm big in Japan

I just got back from a kick-off team party at a parent's house where all the player's parents also attended. All the parents were friendly. If I hadn't introduced myself yet, they made sure to introduce themselves to me.

Here are some of their profiles:

  • Group CFO of a large semiconductor company
  • Law partner
  • Mobile apps entrepreneur
  • Prominent city attorney
  • Venture capitalist
  • CEO of a pharma company
  • Partner at a large mutual fund company

Do I gain anything from knowing them? Not at the moment, since all I care about is being a good tennis coach. We mostly talked about teaching philosophy, what they do for a living, and college plans.

But perhaps one day, they might remember me as someone who did good by their kids if I ever need some legal advice, want to jump back in the finance industry, create a mobile app, or get out of a legal pickle.

You just never know so stay humble.

Build Your Network And Make Friends

It's best not to make enemies with anybody, especially one that has an online platform. Once you cross a blogger, you're screwed because the pen is far mightier than the sword today.

Only if you're financially independent may you consider getting into it with a blogger. Even then, I wouldn't. The Stealth Wealth movement is real. It's hard to fully comprehend who has money and power these days.

Not only is it a good idea to be respectful to the men and women who drive you, serve your food, mow your lawn, build your house, entertain you online, and teach your kids life skills, you should proactively get to know their backgrounds as well. Ask them about their family, understand their hopes, find out what makes them laugh.

I swear, if you take the time to listen, they'll go above and beyond to take care of you. Listening takes humility. Be a humble listener.

See: Spoiled Or Clueless? Try Working A Minimum Wage Job As An Adult

Examples Of Where Being Inconsiderate Hurts

1) A prospective renter didn't get back to my follow-up e-mail after I gave him and his wife a private showing (instead of just having them come to the scheduled open house). A year and a half later, his subordinate at a lending company reached out to meet me for coffee to try and convince me to write about their product.

The prospective renter tagged along and didn't realize it was my house he visited until the end. Because he never responded to my follow-up e-mail after I took an hour of my time to meet him and his wife, I wasn't feeling it. No new business ever came to pass.

2) When I interviewed with an insurance startup, a misogynist founder blurted out, “I hate women!” after I proposed the idea of working with a female fitness blogger to help promote health consciousness for their brand. The entire meeting was completely unprofessional with one co-founder interrupting my presentation every minute and the CEO speaking on his phone during my presentation. Not only will I never support this company, I may go on the offensive one day.

3) A blogger in my personal finance blog network stole my ad campaign business back in 2009. She decided it wasn't good enough for her to earn money as a participant. As a result, she decided to copy everything I was doing, including my contacts I privately shared with the network to create her own ad campaign business.

In retrospect, her greed and duplicity was the best thing that could have ever happened to me online because Google changed their algorithms shortly after and punished her site and those who didn't stay loyal. I was forced to figure out a safer way to make money online through business partnerships that have since grown beyond my wildest dreams. Those who stayed true have benefitted tremendously from many referral opportunities over the years.

No matter who you come across, try not to be an asshole. Just like controlling spending is harder to do the more you make, controlling your ego is harder to do the more successful you become. 

If you are one who constantly likes to brag about your success, try and go through a profile scrubbing. Not only will humbling yourself help keep your ego in check, it'll also force you to improve your skills that got you there in the first place.

Don't rest on your laurels!

Related: Are You Smart Enough To Act Dumb Enough To Get Ahead?

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More Recommendations

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For more nuanced personal finance content, join 55,000+ others and sign up for the free Financial Samurai newsletter and posts via e-mail. Financial Samurai is one of the largest independently-owned personal finance sites that started in 2009. 

Stay humble my friends!

About The Author

41 thoughts on “Grow Stronger By Humbling Yourself Every Year”

  1. Humbling read. I know it’s easier said than done, but I always try to listen more than talk. You can learn a lot and people give more important information that way. It’s also good to play dumb sometimes too in order to get useful information whether it’s about personal finance, health and fitness, cars or anything. Recently I learned a lot about a stock (which I already own, but was contemplating on buying more shares) from someone totally unexpected.

    Staying humble means talking less because the chances of saying something dumb or offensive increase, at least with me maybe lol.

  2. Adriana @MoneyJourney

    A while ago I found a part time job weighing tables at a fancy restaurant. Many wealthy people came there to eat. Some were humble, others were total jerks. I was nice to everyone regardless of how they treated ‘the staff’, it was my job to act professionally and not tell clients off :D

    After a while though, I learned a thing or two about some of the rich people who were repeat clients: some were rich because they inherited fabulous sums of money (so have no idea what it means to work towards financial independence), others weren’t even rich per se, they were simply spending mom’s and dad’s wealth (so don’t really understand the true value of money) and then there were some who took over the family business that was already a success (so they can’t understand working hard to grow a business from scratch).

    So, why do some people look down on others? I think it’s because they don’t know any better. I don’t think this makes them ‘bad people’, but like you pointed out, it’s just a matter of time until karma decides to play a practical joke.

  3. Great article Sam! My husband starting working in a restaurant when he was 13 and worked all the way through college. The stories he has about the way people act and treat others is unbelievable and some are just plain sad. Today, no matter where we go we always leaves a tip and are thankful for those providing a service, as he often thinks back on his days as a waiter. My husband now works in public accounting, but he reminds me that the people skills he learned from being a waiter has often helped him more than his accounting skills. It goes to show you that some of those lower paying jobs teach individuals more valuable skills than those that offer more money.

    Best of luck in the new role, I’m sure those kids will learn several valuable lessons from you!

  4. JustAnotherEngineer

    One thing I’ve found is that some people don’t even realize they’re being jerks. Which reminds me of one of my favorite quotes from Justified:

    “You ever heard the saying ‘You run into an asshole in the morning, you ran into an asshole. You run into assholes all day, you’re the asshole.’ “

  5. Oh wow, people can be so ignorant. I hate to say that kind of thing, but it really bugs me when people are judged on their jobs. I think everyone should treat everyone else the same – I certainly do.
    I think your Linkedin move was a good one, and good luck with the job :-)

  6. I try to be a nice person because karma and because my father is one of the nicest, best people I know and I like to think he would be proud of who I am. He has never shafted anyone in his life. He goes out of his way to do nice things for people. He is a doctor and he waives his fee for a lot of his clientele, or accepts payment in kind (think sack of potatoes, or an office chair). A few years ago his laptop and his portable echo machine were stolen from the boot of his car. He reported the theft to the cops, who did not hold out much hope for recovery. Two weeks later he gets a call from a guy who says he has my Dad’s stuff and wants to return them.

    The guy in question was an illegal immigrant. He needed a laptop for his kid, and bought one at a ‘flea market’. It was my Dads. They hadn’t even wiped the disk. When he booted it, the login screen showed my Dad’s name as Dr. BITA, and the background showed the name of my father’s hospital. Apparently this guy’s son had been treated really well by doctors at that hospital even though he was an illegal immigrant with no insurance. He then remembered that the guy he bought it from said that he also had a “bigger, special laptop from the same source” for sale (obviously not realizing that it was in fact a portable echo machine). So, he went back to the flea market and procured the ‘bigger laptop’, looked up my Dad’s name online, found him and called him.

    If that isn’t karma, I don’t know what is.

  7. Humility is important. I have recently switched jobs leaving academia and the ego that goes along with it for a small town in a private hospital. Why did I do this? So I can spend more time with my family.

    You never know who will cross your path in the future. It pays to be genuine and polite.

  8. My anecdote involved watching a person much younger than me who considers themselves a leader meeting me and looking me up and down to decide I was not worthy of their time or interest. Their face was a particular kind of special when they saw me leave the box seats immediately behind the ambassador at that event.

    I’ve run into them since this occurred and they still can’t figure out why I’m uninterested in talking to them more than politeness requires or advancing their career. Child, you played yourself. Every human is fascinating and if you haven’t learned that yet, you won’t get very far.

  9. Passive Investor

    This post struck a personal nerve for me. I work in an industry where I feel constantly judged for my young age and personal level of success. I’ve even been asked multiple times by prospective clients what my net worth is in order to determine if I’m worthy of trusting.

    The angel on one shoulder compels me to drive a Corolla, live in a humble apartment to save money, and never indicate to others how much I make or own (what you call stealth wealth).

    The devil on my shoulder feels like I need to let clients or prospective clients know that I own 10 properties or have a higher net worth than they do, even at 25 yrs old. Sadly, I honestly feel that’s what it would take for some people to do business with me. The angel on my shoulder almost always wins, and ocassionally I have to lose business to someone who is attracted to flashy and flamboyant. Oh well, I am who I am.

  10. Great advice for a first time reader Sam! What I struggle about being humble, is shutting up about my conquers and listening to others have done. You never know what you might learn from their experiences. If I remember to just shut up and let them speak I could gain knowledge to help me conquer more! Like what John Wayne once said, “You’re short on ears and long on mouth.” I don’t want to be that guy.

    – Adam

  11. I’m a big believer in karma, treating others wells, and being humble and not forgetting where you came from. I agree with The Green Swan… this is how we should live our lives all the time, regardless of whether we are rich or poor, struggling or successful.

  12. Great article as always, Sam.

    I think the networking is secondary for you at this point. As long as you’re doing what you love while helping those kids, all else is secondary. It’s not like you don’t currently have a list of valuable contacts.

    And as you’ve said, as long as you’re doing right by everyone, good things will come your way. The parents seem to like you, so I imagine that you can always approach them if you ever need something.

    I’ve always been the humble type, especially when I am dealing with the service employees as a customer. It comes from being one myself (a service employee, I mean). I’ve gotten so many disrespectful customers in my decade of banking that I couldn’t imagine showing anything but the utmost respect to someone who serves me food or drives me somewhere. And I’ll never truly understand the people who disrespect them.

    Maybe people should do what you did; work for Uber (or work some other low paying service job even if they don’t need it, just to avoid forgetting that other people are still people too.

    And that insurance company filled with rude misogynysts? Disgusting! Isn’t it 2017 or something? Shouldn’t we be past this crap!? I do hope you publicly call them out one day, but I’d never ask you to do so.

    Keep on fighting the good fight, Sam.

    ARB–Angry Retail Banker

  13. I’ve found that watching a few episodes of CNBC”s Lifestyle of the rich and famous will humble a person pretty quickly. If that doesn’t work, stare at yourself naked in a mirror for a while. For me that works every time :)

    1. I often just stop and stare into the mirror after I step out of the shower in the morning. Doesn’t make me feel humble. You must need a better mirror.

  14. The Green Swan

    Pure karma! I certainly don’t live my life only being nice to others because I am financially independent. It’s something we should all practice, right? Setting yourself up to be financially independent is a personal decision and ambition, why should that affect others around me?

  15. I have a permanent humble meter inside my head that calibrates as needed, and starting a blog recently has ensured I stay firmly humbled for the near future.

    I had a boss a few years back who left work in his mid-40s, and I still remember all the water cooler talk about how someone can walk away from a career at that age. I work for a fairly conservative company, and it was amazing to see how this once respected individual was quickly “downgraded” in people’s minds. He went on to teach lacrosse at a local high school, and has loved every minute of it. I was much younger then, and remember thinking the opposite of most people. He was able to step off that hamster wheel and leave all the BS behind. In the meantime everyone else was pointing and laughing while sweating their asses off pumping away at the wheel. I’m pretty sure he got the last laugh.

  16. RetireOnDividends

    Being humble is just another pillar of self discipline, like having an ability to constantly save money or keep on top of your weight. It isn’t easy and is well worth the rewards as more and more people want to be associated with you.

  17. Go Finance Yourself!

    Sam, this is why I really enjoy reading this site. You’ve had an incredible amount of success yet you still remain humble and very driven.

    My personal example of not being treated with respect. When I first met with the recruiting firm to discuss a CFO role that I had been recommended for, the recruiter looked down on me the entire interview. He made it very clear that my competition all had experience as a CFO, and acted like I shouldn’t be there. After I landed the job, he called me several times. All of a sudden he wanted to be my best friend and of course wanted recommendations for other people to call on. I declined to even take his calls after he snubbed his nose at me during our entire interview.

  18. Humility is highly, highly underrated. The other day I was on a hike with my friend and we looked up into the hills to the very fancy houses and he said, “I hate rich people.” Funny, coming from a guy who make over 200k later in his career and barely has a penny to his name now. I said, “you don’t hate rich people, you just hate assholes.” Because there are plenty of people he might come across that don’t “look” rich. He may never know if they are. But they are nice, humble, may drive sensible cars and prefer jogging over expensive hobbies like golf. Your goal should just to be nice, no matter what your money situation.

  19. Jack Catchem

    Hi Sam,
    I see a lot of this as resulting from what happens in life after you “win.” I see life as an open game world. There’s a main quest of FI, but you determine what goals matter to you. Take yourself as an example. Fought your way up through Goldman, exited into early retirement, became a Blog-Zilla & have a happy home life. You did it! You won! Cue the credits…except life keeps rolling after the quest is complete.

    Creditably you are still out there having fun and creating meaning with your life and energies. Even better you remain humble. I’m excited you “won life” so to speak and are still seeking challenges and impact, it keeps you relevant. For others still seeking that elusive win, your actions verge on madness. I think they are awesome.

  20. David Michael

    Great blog post. It seems that life’s quest is first to become “somebody”. Then, after achievement comes the opportunity of being a “nobody”. Not everyone achieves it as it’s hard to give up the ego.

    I had the good fortune of being a somebody after years of financial and academic struggle in California. Now in retirement, I have had the experience of being a nobody in Oregon. Each day has become precious with time for community, gardening, hiking, kayaking, and being out in nature. Today, I am prosperous.

  21. Millennial Money

    Thanks for sharing this Sam. We are all human and go through struggles. It took me awhile to learn that empathy is essential to building wealth. Trying to understand who someone really is and what it’s like to walk in their shoes starts with a simple question – not “What do you do”, it’s “Who are you?”. I’ve stopped asking what people do and ask them do tell me who they are. This is sometimes jarring for people, as they don’t expect the question. When they default into, “I’m the CFO of X,” I follow up with great, but what are you really passionate about? This has led to some incredible conversations and more meaningful connections. I am a big fan of radical transparency – it’s been one of the most impactful habits I’ve worked to build. I am very open about who I am and what I enjoy to anyone who asks. The response is often positive and I can cut through the formalities of conversation and move a conversation beyond the surface level. We are all human, have dreams, fears, and vulnerabilities.

    The most successful people I know if my life are the most humble. They have nothing to prove. I find it fascinating, with me personally, the more wealth I’ve built the more I’ve been able to look outside of myself and really connect with people. Chasing money, status, and recognition almost force you to measure your value against those markers.

    I used to do and care about all of those – but once I reached financial independence I stopped caring and started focusing on really connecting with people. I was able to look outside and build more meaningful relationships. I strike up conversations with anyone from the cashier at Walgreens, to my post woman. In this day and age with all of us stuck in our phones, the real world is happening all around us. We should all humble ourselves and open up to the world and people around us.

    Thanks again for sharing this valuable lesson.

  22. Growing up, I studied karate for many years.

    Before every training session, we had to clean the dojo, primarily sweeping the floors. The senior person present, often the sensei, would start sweeping the floor, and as junior students entered, they would assume cleaning duties. It was a constant reminder, that no one is too important to help, that we all care for each other, and every action has value.

    Anyone who doesn’t understand the value of the people around them, soon has no one around them.

  23. My wife was a swim coach at her high school for many years. While her relationship with the parents were hit and miss (a couple of bad apples in the booster club seem to have a way of turning parents against coaches) her relationship with the students is what she cherished. Many considered her a second mom and even 15 years later invite her to weddings, showers and other life events.

  24. FS, this is a fascinating blog post. You make a very interesting point about the ‘competitiveness game’ and social standing. Whether we want to ignore it, or play it, the game is always ‘on’ for those who enjoy playing it. Three thoughts…

    1) Sometime, you might find yourself ‘big-footed’ by a parent with a high-status gig, and that is unpleasant; it says a lot about the parent, and what their young man is learning at home. And none of the parents could do what you are doing as Assistant Coach.
    2) It might be interesting for you to discuss your point with the Head Coach, and what his experience has been with parents.
    3) Lastly, your main relationship will be with the Head Coach and your players. The players will turn over every year. You may be forced to make some hard choices on roster status, discipline for behavior, and playing position. Relationships with parents work two ways, and it might be something to think about if a parent decides to ‘leverage’, as well.

    This is an amazing chapter you have opened in your life. Looking forward to reading more about your upcoming season. Continued success to you!

    1. Howdy Mate,

      It’s been an amazing experience so far. We just won a true nail-biter yesterday with the overall matched 2-2. My #3 singles player won the first set 6-3, but lost the second set 0-6. Momentum was not his friend!

      But I talked to him, and told him to go back to what was working for him in the first set. To stay patient, to step back when receiving the 6’6″ guy’s serve, and more. He gutted it out 11-9 in the tie-breaker in front of both teams and all the parents!

      We had lost to this team 1-6 last year, and now we emerge 4-3 victorious. Amazing feeling.

      One mom is a tennis player, highly opinionated, and involved. She asked me whether I needed her help, and I told her absolutely! I told her to handle the first 3 courts and observe any weaknesses or obvious things our player should be doing. I’d check in her her.

      The more folks who care, who want to get involved, the better I say. We all want the same thing. Fun times!

      So many interesting observations I can write about in the future.


  25. Financial Panther

    I’ve always seen this as part of the reason I think everyone should try out some of these sharing economy/gig economy apps. It’s like how you used to do Uber every once in a while. You really humble yourself when you’re just a guy performing a low level service for someone.

    Just as an interesting story, it’s important to remember that you never know what type of background the person performing a service for you might have. I’ve done multiple deliveries to a person who I discovered is a law student at the law school I went to. Each time, she made me wait downstairs for a while and stiffed me on the tip (and she lives in a luxury apartment building, either paid for my loans or parents). My guess is that she just sees me as the help. So make sure you treat everyone right. You never know who your Uber driver or delivery man might be.

    Imagine how different she’d treat me if we were at a networking event or something. Or if she knew what law firm in town I worked at.

  26. It sounds like you’re building great connections. That’s awesome. That private school cost more than college, nuts.
    I really should scrub my LinkedIn profile too. I haven’t logged on in years and all the info is outdated. It’s not an accurate representation of who I am today. Yes, I try not to be a jerk. Being nice doesn’t cost anything and you never know who you’re going to offend.

  27. John@MilitaryFIRE

    Great advice Sam.
    Would you be concerned about legal action- libel or slander etc- if you decide to take the offensive?

    Getting my ego under control has been a struggle. Being good at something doesn’t help if you’re a jerk. You’ve written about this before. When you mess up (and you will), no one will be there to catch you because they were just waiting for you to trip. I try to follow a growth – mindset now. Instead of thinking of myself as smart and resting on past success, I try to remember how hard I had to work and the people who helped me get there along the way. Keeps things in perspective.

    1. No because when you speak the truth, there is no libel or slander. Is there something you said that is worrying you?

      You should always keep something in your back pocket just like how you should always have insurance in case something bad happens.

      1. No, nothing worrying me, I’m just interested in how people think about potential litigation. MMM talked about it years ago- as I remember he crowdsourced a bunch of lawyers and intimidated his intimidators.

  28. John@MilitaryFIRE

    I’d add- Stoics tell us you can’t help what other people think of you because they make up their own minds. Therefore, it shouldn’t bother you. I think you have it right.

  29. Life has a funny way of commingled back at you. Call it karma or whatever. I haven’t burned any Bridges and I do my best to be considerate but I’ve had many opportunities to get hosed. I’ve had people I worked with and even assigned work to become my boss. I’ve had the opposite occur. People I worked with at past employers have head hunted me for jobs. Fundamentally it’s best to treat everyone with respect as you never know. Also it’s the right thing to do.

  30. I think the people out there who aren’t financially independent who look down on others are unhappy with themselves, were not taught respect and blame other people for their own mistakes. People who work in customer service must see this all the time and can really get hit with a lot of grief from disrespectful customers.

    I came from humble beginnings and have seen how hard it is to work blue collar jobs and minimum wage jobs from observing my parents and people in our community. There’s no shame in working minimum wage jobs and I’m really grateful for those who do, day after day without complaining.

    Good for you for simplifying your LinkedIn profile. You should be able to put however much or little you want on there and not be judged. Coaching high school kids is an honorable role! I think it’s fantastic you got this opportunity and are making the most of it.

  31. FinancePatriot

    I think this is a great article. I was at a homeowner’s association party, where the host, was a mortgage broker. I asked him why he never mentioned his gig to the people who showed up for the party. He said, “I don’t want to hard sell my neighbors.” However, I truly believe this informal networking leads business to him, as people will inevitably find out what he does for a living and, when they need a mortgage, may just call him because they know him.

    Working with kids is fantastic. My wife tutors for free, one kid, 3 days a week at our public school. I don’t know what the world would do without volunteers. Sure, it’s just one life, but this boy’s life and education are important.

  32. I could say there’s an argument for “enough” here. You are in a place in your life with income that you seem to make enough, it seems (at least from your writing). While people who are big partners in an accounting firm might claim they need that $1.5 mil a year in salary, they’re also working 60+ hours a week to be there. After spending a week in your lifestyle, most would probably change their tune pretty quick. People are programmed to need more–to consume more, but eventually, if the work needed to get there is too much, it’s not worth it. Sure, if you won $100 million in the lottery, then flying private would be awesome because you can afford it and you didn’t have to work hard to get it. But if you have your ass off continuously so you can afford to keep up with that lifestyle, what’s the point?

    So in regards to other parents in the school in the future, I wouldn’t worry about it. Let them judge all they want–for those that do judge, perhaps that’s all they have left to defend themselves.

  33. In terms of your last example, it is worth pointing out that many of the bloggers that did not stay ‘loyal’ had no idea of the strife, yet got caught in the crossfire. When Google changed their algorithms, it seemed that some of the severest punishments were a bit, I’d say, targeted. Ever since that, I’ve been very selective about where I place my trust. It sounds like you have as well.

    Best of luck. It’s always fascinating to read not only your journey but your perspective as well.

  34. Humility is a trait to be pursued (and, a great medicine against the dreaded D-K disease!). Good for you for taking a stand. If your LinkedIn profile is what impressed people, they weren’t the right people to impress.

    Keep at it, Sam. We all love what you do!

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