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how to succeed without even caring
a guide to making it in today's dog eat dog world
by erik lars myers (@TopFermented)

Do you want to make more money? Do you want a better career? Do you want to have a more successful love life? Do you want to feel better about yourself every single day?

If you answered yes, or even maybe, or possibly even no, to any one of these questions I have a plan for you, my friend. Yes! Now, for a limited time, you too can learn from the wisdom that has already helped millions on their way to a better life. Just follow this easy 5 step program.

Step #1: Make shit up

The first and easiest step in this program is to lie -- and don't lie about the small things. Nobody cares if you're wearing blue underwear and you say it's black. No, you have to lie big -- make it count. Now, remember: every good lie begins with the truth. Fortunately, our world is full of truths for you to harvest at your will.

"I was a secretary at a bank" can easily turn into "I managed incoming communications at a brokerage firm."

"I failed out of college twice" can easily turn into "Classes weren't challenging enough, so I took a semester off to do some independent research."

You get the idea.

Working on that resume? Remember that the mid-90's held an inordinate number of happenings in the tech market that most HR representatives will not have the wherewithal to check on. Go ahead and make up a dot-com that you started. Everybody else did. Start with something obscure and work your way out from there.
  • Founder and CEO of www.monkeyninjas4sale.com -- a niche market startup created for the training and distribution of monkey ninjas to developing countries who are in need of a full militia or just a few thousand troops to pad out their own forces. Original clients included Luxembourg, Uruguay, and Canada.

"No, ma'am. I'm not at liberty to discuss the details of the transactions, as they pertain to the national security of the countries in question."

Looking for a date? Online dating services are convenient because you're more likely to find a date if you make up something about yourself than if you're completely honest. If you're male, it's easy to say that you're 6'6" have blond scruffy hair, used to be an Olympic track and field star but now have opted for a simple life of weekend surfing, expensive dinners and wine tastings. If you're female, just post something about your breasts. Anything.

Step #2: Don't get caught making shit up

There's nothing worse for your ambitions than being caught in a lie. Good examples of things not to say are tried favorites:
  • I tried it, but I didn't inhale.

  • I never had sexual relations with that woman.

  • I had absolutely no insider information before selling those stocks.

  • Owning this baseball team has given me perfect experience for public office.

  • I am absolutely positive that we will find weapons of mass destruction.

Fortunately, as most of those have a limited range of use, you should rarely be in the situation where you may be tempted to try them out. The message remains clear, however: get caught, and your dream is over. Because of this, you may have to construct an intricate web of lies to mislead your victims. Stay away from anything that involves birth, death, and marriage as they all involve public records of some kind. And always be prepared to jump immediately to Step #3.

Step #3: Blame somebody else then barely apologize

"Oh, my stupid friends must have hacked into my Match.com account and changed my profile again. What did it say this time? That I was a blond?"

There's nothing worse than getting caught in a lie, so the best thing to do is have a contingency prepared for when it happens. The easiest way to do this is to find somebody who:

a) doesn't exist
b) comes across as completely unreliable at all times
c) comes across as completely reliable at all times
d) any combination of the above.

There is a wrong way to do this. The really hairy guy standing on the street corner handing out pamphlets about achieving enlightenment through telepathic communication with your steamed vegetables may be completely non-credible, but he won't make a very good scapegoat, either. What you need is somebody who seems reliable but really isn't. Try Ralph Nader, or Ex-Governor Gray Davis. If all else fails, blame Bud Selig.

After finding a scapegoat, remember to apologize for them to throw the scent off your track. However, don't apologize too much. Everybody knows that only guilty people apologize. If the innocents apologized, we would have seen apologies from Michael Jackson and Martha Stewart a long time ago, right? Just throw a, "Yeah.. well.. sorry, I guess." into the mix and everything will be okay.

Step #4: Play the odds

You are 1 of 6 billion+ people in the world. Do you know what that means? The world is your oyster. Crack it open and eat the squirming insides with garlicky butter, baby. You have the option of approaching as many people as you can possibly meet and taking your chances with them because if you talked to one person per second for your entire life you wouldn't make it out of Asia.

If you're hard up for sex, head to a dance club around closing time when everybody's good and drunk. The phrase, "Hey... wanna fuck?" might seem crass, but chances are you'll eventually find somebody who says yes, and in the meantime you only have to deal with a few slaps. Who cares?

The same thing goes for business -- but in the opposite direction. If you ask every single person you come across to borrow $10, chances are many of them will actually do it. With 270 billion people in the US that $2.7 trillion of untapped venture capital waiting -- just for you!

Step #5: Discard remorse

This is the final and most important step. All of the previous steps will fail if you don't have a firm grasp on this one. The successful people in this world are standing on the shoulders of those less fortunate than themselves, and they don't care.

Watch Donald Trump sometime. Does he look like he cares who he pisses off? No! You know why? Because he's got the money and the success to either ignore them or pay to have them "removed." You know that saying? "Be careful what bridges you burn blah blah blah." Screw that. If you're successful and rich you don't need to visit those old bridges, you build new ones plated with silver with toll guards that wear gold lamé pants and you make people pay you to cross it.

Remember, nothing can stand in the way of success like a good set of morals and standards. Discard that nagging inner voice and the world is in your hands.


Writer, beer drinker, brewer. Not necessarily in the order. For more, check Top Fermented and Mystery Brewing Company.

more about erik lars myers


the white knight, tarnished.
by erik lars myers
topic: humor
published: 4.24.02

the tooth fairy
the myth, the legend, the conspiracy
by erik lars myers
topic: humor
published: 5.22.02


sandra thompson
3.15.04 @ 7:57a

Just think how rich, obnoxious and famous I could be if I'd had these pearls of wisdom in my youth. Guess I'll just have to settle for being happy and somewhat less rich and famous. Okay, very much less rich and famous. I am still able to be obnoxious when it's appropriate, a skill which takes pitifully little effort depending upon the company I keep.

sarah ficke
3.15.04 @ 10:30a

If you're successful and rich you don't need to visit those old bridges, you build new ones plated with silver with toll guards that wear gold lamé pants and you make people pay you to cross it.

This made me laugh.

erik myers
3.15.04 @ 10:34a

Gold lamé pants are the key.

rachel levine
3.15.04 @ 12:17p

Words of wisdom from Elliot Levine: better to cheat than repeat. And his second best one: deny, deny, deny.
You don't know my dad, do you?

tracey kelley
3.15.04 @ 12:55p

Remember that the mid-90's held an inordinate number of happenings in the tech market that most HR representatives will not have the wherewithal to check on.

This works well for broadcast companies also. "Uh, no, unfortunately you can't call the HR department, as the entire Des Moines block of stations was gobbled by Clear Channel and everyone was fired. Now, about my duties as Consultant."

erik myers
3.15.04 @ 1:10p

See? The 90's were gold for resumes. I'm surprised that people don't use it more often.

Though, I do have to say, a resume I saw to take over my last position actually had on it, "Invented online sales."

Imagine that! The person that invented online sales wanted my job!

dan gonzalez
3.15.04 @ 2:29p

That same thing almost worked for Al Gore once.

But he violated Step #2, skipped steps 3 and 4 in their entirety, and went straight to 5.

If he only had this column to read, he'd probably be president now.

matt morin
3.15.04 @ 4:13p

But Dan, Bush gets caught making shit up all the time and nothing ever happens. Maybe that's because he's already rich.

Or he posts stuff about his breasts on Match.com.

erik myers
3.15.04 @ 4:27p

Or he posts stuff about his breasts on Match.com.

"Some people, say I'm small -- I say I'm perky!"

dan gonzalez
3.15.04 @ 5:19p

But Dan, Bush gets caught making shit up all the time and nothing ever happens.

Coolness, a familiar voice I haven't heard in awhile. ;-)

But didn't Bush start making most of his shit up after he got elected?

::Awaiting blazing Morin Retort::

Oh yeah, and thanks for the skanky visuals about his perky breasts. I'm about to gouge my eyes out.

matt morin
3.15.04 @ 6:33p

"Some people, say I'm small -- I say I'm perky!"

"My friends call them Nipples of Mass Destruction."

sarah ficke
3.15.04 @ 11:00p

Da ha!

I know that's going to pop into my head now every time I see Bush.

robert melos
3.16.04 @ 12:50a

It's better than Bush popping into your head every time you see Erik.

Erik, where were you with this advice when I was graduating college the first time in 1984?

erik myers
3.16.04 @ 2:54p

Well, I was 8.

robert melos
3.16.04 @ 9:55p

Augh! Eight? A day late for the Ides, but the effect is almost the same.

So you weren't this devious when you were 8, were you?

erik myers
3.17.04 @ 9:11a

Oh.. I've always been devious.

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