41 Years of Hard Truths – Day 1

This post is part of my series 41 Years in 30 Days. Read all that shit right here if you’re so inspired.

If you’re not a member of my awesome Facebook community (seriously – we have a shitload of fun over there), you might have missed my post this morning. In that case, here it is:

Did you know that I turn 42 in nine days? Thus, I’ve decided to have a birthday month. Beginning today, I’ll be posting a blog a day with a lesson hard-learned (about business and life). I think celebrating 42 years and still being alive to tell those stories is a pretty fucking fabulous way to celebrate. Stay tuned!

So yeah, it’s true. You’re going to be getting one email from me a day if you’re a subscriber. And please — if you’re a subscriber, I invite you to read this before unsubscribing.

And if you’re not a subscriber, you’re invited to read this and consider subscribing.

I protect your email addresses like my rock and roll hootchie coo and if you know me, getting access to that is akin to a leaked Ann Coulter sex tape (it exists and you know it does, yet it’s the thing of myths).

But I digress.

So today is day 1 of hard truths.

I spent way too many years of my life worried about what other people thought of how I lived my life. The day I figured out that everyone who wants to nitpick my life can go shit in a hat and could better use that time to make improvements to their own lives — the world became a much better place.

And to whomever first introduced me to the phrase “go shit in a hat,” I’m eternally grateful.

Hard Truths-Erika Napoletano

Here’s the skinny:

The world is full of people who want to tell you what you should do. Christ, everyone and his brother knows how to get your startup funded, what email marketing program is best, the keys to finding love, and how to keep the cat hair off your black peacoat. EVERYONE KNOWS EVERYTHING.

Those people can go shit in a hat. If you know everything, I have no use for you.

My life got better when I learned about the word “invitation.”

When someone invites you to do something, you are responsible for deciding whether you’re going to fucking do it or not — not the person inviting you to do it.

It becomes your decision. Your prerogative. (Doesn’t that word look funny? Definitely doesn’t sound like PRE-ROG-A-TIVE when Bobby Brown sings it.)

And that’s why my consultancy got better when I began working with clients who wanted invitations.

Ones who didn’t want everything mapped out. Ones who wanted to make reasoned decisions based on perspective.

And my life got better when I brought friends into my life who extended me invitations.

Invitations to listen. Love. Leap. Lean back. God knows, my friends know better to invite me to “lean in.”

Because it became my decision.

Just like it’s your decision.

And anyone who becomes so concerned with what you should be doing isn’t spending enough time on his own life.

Today, I have days that are better than others.

I still think I’m a fuck-up sometimes.

But on the grander scale, I’m pretty fucking awesome. And all that happened because I learned that invitations have a higher intrinsic value than shoulds.

I have absolutely zero fucks to give to anyone who thinks they know how I could better live my life.

I have every fuck to give people who extend invitations — to themselves and others. Invitations are challenges. Teeny tiny hamster dropping-sized challenges.

And if you see them as that small, you’ll see them as completely digestible. I mean, don’t go ingesting and digesting hamster crap. Okay, this metaphor has gone off the rails. <needle off record>

If you see invitations as small challenges, imagine how many you could dare to surmount.

Imagine how much less contentious your business conversations would be.

Imagine how much less yelling and more love could be spent between you and those you love.

Imagine how fucking awesome that would be.

No one knows how to live your life better than you. After all — it’s the ONE THING you were born to do and you’re doing fabulous if you’re still here reading this. Keep that shit up, lovely. You’re rockin’ it.



6 replies
  1. Barbara Goldberg
    Barbara Goldberg says:

    I’ve learned the same thing about invitations. They are SOOO much better than should’s.  Enjoy your birthday month Erika!

  2. MartinGrahamKing
    MartinGrahamKing says:

    I am so fucking pleased Your Facebook page invited me in… You fucking Rock Lady <3 🙂
    Now… About that rock and roll hootchie coo ..

  3. handwrtsensei
    handwrtsensei says:

    I will be very happy to get an email from you EVERY FUCKING DAY. Cuz this stuff rocks. You rock. Thanks for reminding us who’s in charge of our lives. Oh, and I like the shit in a hat thing, too. Gonna use that soon!!

  4. debmiller
    debmiller says:

    I wanted my favorite line of that to be: “go shit in a hat” (hahahaha! …that will crack me up for the next month until I get tired of saying it so much) but it turns out that this morsel is the one that made me shout the “Amen, Sister!”…
    “…my consultancy got better when I began working with clients who wanted invitations.
    Ones who didn’t want everything mapped out. Ones who wanted to make reasoned decisions based on perspective.” These “ones who want everything mapped out” are the ones who have driven me to drink and made me want to turn my back on my business so many times I couldn’t count if I wanted to. I love this fresh perspective – thanks!


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