My least favorite thing in a person

Washington Square Park: getting slaughtered in speed chess—another one of my least favorite things, 2022.

The Big Apple

I lived in New York City last year for two weeks. It was a trial run to see what life in the city was actually like.

I’m no Republican, but Brooklyn was a bit too left-leaning for my taste.

A woman told me she refused to listen to male musical artists. Her friend snapped in approval and gave her a resounding, “Yass.”

A dude with a master’s degree shared that some men can get pregnant.

I got reminded I was a straight white man a number of times. It felt odd having people assume things about me based on my race, gender, and sexual orientation.

None of this made me feel offended or oppressed, obviously. I enjoy spending time around people I differ from philosophically and politically. I love engaging in disagreements, so long as they are done in good faith with the goal of exchanging ideas. My opinions continue to evolve over the years as my values change and I have conversations with people way smarter than me.

But one conversation on the subway really left a sour taste in my mouth.

It was centered around gentrification: when a poor urban area becomes more desirable from wealthier people moving in, improving housing, and attracting new businesses. This process tends to displace the original inhabitants.

(e.g. Williamsburg, one of the most expensive neighborhoods in Brooklyn, was an industrial site with a low cost of living up until the 1990s. Now it’s one of the most bougie areas in NYC, flooded with yoga studios and vegan cafes. The population went from predominantly black to only 5% black in just a couple decades.)

A friend of a friend was complaining about all the white people in certain pockets of NYC. I chuckled because he himself is white.

He bashed the lucrative businesses that moved in. He scorned the non-native New Yorkers moving in from all over the country (which he himself was). He pitied the black and Hispanic populations that have been replaced in gentrified neighborhoods.

I didn’t even disagree with his points or sentiments. I wouldn’t want to be culturally or economically pressured to move out of my neighborhood.

But I asked him two questions:

  1. “Who specifically should we be mad at?”
  2. “What actions or changes should we ask those people to make?”

In other words, What can we do about it?

These weren’t nihilistic, rhetorical, or passive-aggressive questions. I was genuinely curious because I didn’t know how to feel about the concept.

Unfortunately, once I challenged him to get more direct, the conversation fizzled and we moved on to something else.

So what’s the thing?

Vital Climbing Gym in Williamsburg, 2022.

This article isn’t about gentrification. It’s not about any of my sociopolitical opinions at all. It’s about my least favorite practice.


Complaining about the way things are without offering any possible solutions. Spewing negativity and hopelessness without any proposed course for change.

Complaining is different than criticism, of course. We need to criticize bad ideas.

But complaining exists in a vacuum. It goes out and asks for nothing to come back in.

I’ve seen this countless times when coaching others. People will say, “I just need to vent.” They will dump all the things they are frustrated and resentful about.

After affirming that I hear and see them, there’s a vital question I tend to ask once someone airs their grievances.

“That’s a lot,” I say. “I’m sorry this is happening…So now what?”

I love when people voice their concerns—about their lives, those they love, or the world. But the most successful, impactful, and fulfilled people I’ve seen in my practice all have something in common.

They always share at least one of these three things after speaking about their frustrations:

  1. the lesson they’re learning
  2. the positive value they’re getting from this crappy experience
  3. the actions or changes they’ll take to move forward

So should we all be willing to save the world?

Some bar in Bushwick, 2021.

Immediate counterarguments pop up as I type this all out.

First, it sounds like I was expecting that guy on the subway to march straight to Washington DC to talk to lawmakers about reforming NYC zone laws.

It’s not a crime to dislike something and then complain about it. What irked me though, was his immediate evasion once I tried to suss out his actual ideas beneath the complaint. Once I discovered there were none, it was clear he was just virtue signaling: letting those around him know he values justice and fairness, but expressing it only with words and not with actions.

And second, awareness is important.

The case can be made that we need complainers who take zero action. They can spread the word until it eventually reaches someone who is willing to push for change.

But that never seems to be the goal of the cynic.

Chris Williamson, my favorite podcaster, shared a quote from one of his subscribers on the topic of cynicism:

“Cynicism is a psychological protector.

Its role within the system is to protect you against experiencing anything bad. It is a pre-emptive strike against a perceived threat.

If I tell myself that ‘all women are bad’, then I’m less likely to seek a relationship with women and, as a consequence, I’m never going to feel the pain of rejection.

If I tell myself that ‘everything is shit’ or that ‘things will never get better’, then I am excused of ever having to try at anything.

The upside of never trying is never having to feel the pain of failure.”

Fighting against things we don’t like is hard and potentially endless work. The world is a beautiful place but with nearly eight billion people living on it, there will always be problems big and small somewhere.

Complaining on a subway is easy. Doing something about it can be nebulous.

Cynicism is one of my least favorite practices because it’s negativity masked as care.

A man who hates his job cares about living a fulfilled life. But quitting and pursuing something else is scary. He could fail and feel embarrassed. So he keeps clocking in and complaining about his crappy boss and pay.

A woman who says, “All men are trash” has now saved herself from any future heartbreak. Because now whenever a guy harms her in any way, it simply confirms this story she’s been telling herself.

What about me?

The top of Rockefeller Plaza in Manhattan, 2022.

To end this rant, I’ll share one of the biggest reasons cynicism enrages me so.

I used to do it all the time. My past words and beliefs make me cringe.

I blamed invisible entities for all the bad in my life for years. I would say…

“Society coerced me into going to college.” That’s why I failed out and owe tens of thousands of dollars in student loans.

“Women have too high of standards.” That’s why I’ve never had a deep and meaningful long-term relationship.

“Capitalism is corrupt.” That’s why my bank account is the way it is and I’m in loads of debt.

If each of these cynical stories were correct, then I’m off the hook. None of the undesirable outcomes in my life are in my hands.

There’s a quote I often come back to:

“Not everything in your life is your fault. But it is your responsibility.”

I understand we all begin at different starting lines. I would never tell an impoverished woman in Bangladesh to just start a business and take ownership of her life.

But if you’re reading this blog you’re probably in a position to be taking way more responsibility than you already are. With every challenge come lessons, potential changes, and opportunities to grow and thrive.

We just have to be open to looking for them.

I asked my top readers these 4 questions

Earlier this year, I reached out to my top 10 readers (based on email open rate, clicks, and engagement). I asked these questions:

  1. Why haven’t you unsubscribed from this blog yet?
  2. What have been your favorite pieces and why?
  3. What should I improve?
  4. What would you love to see more of and less of?

I love feedback. Craving it and asking for it is one of the most powerful shortcuts to mindful growth.

My friends and I do annual feedback sessions where we check in with each other. How have we made the other uncomfortable? What impresses us most about the other? Etc.

I’m working on a free ebook to promote to my podcast audience. A buddy and I had a call a few days ago where he shared his screen and tore my first draft apart. I implemented each of his notes last night and it looks 20 times better than the original.

There’s no such thing as perfect. But humbling ourselves and seeking new perspectives is one of the healthiest and most rewarding things we can do for ourselves.

The best writers have editors. The best athletes have coaches. There’s always something to improve. Something we’re not seeing.

That’s why I sent these questions to my most active readers. It’s also why I encourage anyone to email me suggestions. I don’t have to agree with all of them, but I do have to be open to receiving criticism.

Here were the most common threads from the responses I got:

1) Why haven’t you unsubscribed from this blog yet?

  • Many of my friends are long-time subscribers who want to support me and stay up to date with what’s happening in my life.
  • Subscribers enjoy the variety of content: me learning chess, my travels to different countries, and huge life decisions I’ve made.
  • Most of all, readers enjoy hearing stories and experiences they can relate to: insecurities, death, navigating through difficult emotions, etc.

2) What have been your favorite pieces and why?

3) What should I improve?

  • I tend to be vague when referring to evidence while making a point (e.g. “Studies show…”). Moving forward, I’ll be more specific and avoid making sweeping generalizations without providing data to back them up.
  • My content creation career will be a never-ending journey in improving my storytelling skills.

4) What would you love to see more of and less of?

  • More stories, fewer lectures. (Check out my conversation with professional storyteller Diane Callahan—She explains the difference between showing and telling in a story).
  • A few people miss my old newsletter where I would give subscribers four cool pieces of content every Friday: something to watch, read, use, and listen to. So moving forward, I’ll give more links and references to podcasts, books, and videos that get me thinking.

As always, if you have any feedback for me, write it down on a sheet of paper, go outside, and throw it in the sewer because nobody cares.

Kidding. Just send me an email. I read every message.

Hope you like the improvements. New website coming soon.

My relationship with alcohol

Salisbury, 2016.

Last year, friends and I stayed in Brooklyn for a February weekend.

That Saturday night, we grabbed dinner in Manhattan, went to a show at the Comedy Cellar, then got drinks afterward. I got absolutely trashed and ended up face-down in a toilet at the bar.

My concerned friends asked the staff to unlock the bathroom door. Two of them had to bring me back to life. I was the sloppy college kid who ruins the night and needs to be taken care of.

The problem was that I was 28 years old.

I’ve only been hungover once since that following Sunday. And that was from a wedding I went to later that fall.


There’s a natural direction I and many of the people around me seem to take. As we get older and further away from our early twenties, we step away from partying and late nights…while stepping toward more responsibility and focus.

I drink casually with my friends. Every now and then I enjoy getting drunk and partying with them.

But nights like the one I had in NYC have made me ponder over a few questions these last couple of years:

  1. What do I want my relationship with alcohol to look like?
  2. What do I not want when it comes to alcohol?
  3. How can I harmonize my love for sobriety and clean living with my love for drinking with my friends?

I had my monthly phone call with a close friend yesterday evening. He’s been sober for years and he helped me shape my thoughts on all this.

This summer

Iguazú Falls, 2023. Yes, it’s beer in that cup.

Let’s start with where I’m at right now.

It’s May of 2023. I just moved into my aunt’s home for the summer. My goals are:

  • increase my coaching fees
  • grow the podcast
  • publish my book
  • get jacked
  • spend lots of time with family

None of these goals require me to drink booze. In fact, each of them will be substantially easier to get done without alcohol in my bloodstream.

Aside from hangovers taking hours of brainpower away from us…alcohol demolishes sleep quality, makes it easier to eat poorly, and weakens decision-making.

Sobriety is the ultimate productivity hack. I do challenges like Sober October and Dry January where I don’t drink at all for a month. I feel like Captain America every time.

I don’t say these things to demonize myself or others who drink in moderation. But the fact of the matter is that alcohol is technically a poison we use to feel good.

So when we drink, we’re weighing the costs and benefits of doing so and making a decision. I’ve been more than willing to sacrifice a hungover Sunday for an exciting and reckless wedding, for example.

But to be honest, I feel like I’m in a season of my life where the costs of drinking aren’t worth it to me.

I’m in an environment where I’m perfectly positioned to get a ton of work done, take excellent care of my physical and mental health, and prepare to move to South America this September. (More on that in a future blog.)

I don’t have many friends down here. And I like that.

It means more time with my family. More time getting things done. More time taking nature walks alone and coming up with ideas. More time on the podcast. More time to write.

My decision isn’t 100% flushed out yet. But there’s a chance I don’t drink a drop of alcohol until I fly to Columbia after the summer is over.

That would ensure I get to keep my daily 6am mornings, gym routine, and clear mind.

The problem?

Philadelphia, 2022.

I have weddings and bachelor parties to go to this summer. Events I’m ecstatic about.

There’s some anxiety though.

What’s fun for me at 29 is not what was fun for me at 23. And whenever I have sloppy nights, it’s because I drank like I did when I was in college.

I generally don’t enjoy going to bars or clubs. I have tinnitus and can’t hear well. So loud, crowded spaces make me uncomfortable unless I’m wasted.

My favorite place to drink with friends is at their house. During dinner, on their couch, having fruitful conversation or playing games.

Despite all that, I can have fun with close friends no matter where we are or what we’re doing.

The last place you’d find me is at a Miami nightclub. But next weekend I’ll be doing just that at a best friend’s bachelor party. And you can bet I’ll be having a damn good time.

I’m excited to see Miami Beach. I smile at the thought of the bride and groom having the time of their lives with their closest friends. I’m honored to be a part of it.

But what if I don’t want to drink? What if I get tired like I normally do around 10pm? I don’t want to be the buzzkill who gets a solo Uber home at midnight because he can’t stay up.

Which brings me to the second question I opened with: What do I not want when it comes to alcohol?

I don’t want obligation. From others, yes. But mostly from myself.

We live in a drinking culture. Wine with dinner. Drinks on a first date. A beer with the boys. Many cultures do this; the US isn’t special.

But the funny thing about alcohol is, it’s the only substance that if you tell people you don’t do it, they assume you have a problem.

Unless I’m repressing something super deep, I don’t think I have a problem. I just don’t want it in my life at this time. And beyond that, I don’t want to expect it to be in my life. I certainly don’t want my friends to be insulted if I choose not to partake.

So what do I want?

Ocean City, 2015.

I want to live a clean and healthy life. I want to rely on my skills and personality to have fun and confidence, not on a chemical that makes me care less. I want to go to bed and wake up early practically every day.

I also want the freedom to drink a beer if I want one.

Last year, I was doing a month free of booze. I visited my dad and we were sitting on a dock eating dinner and watching the sunset. There was no pressure from him or guilt from me, but I just wanted to drink a beer with him.

So I did. And we had a lovely evening just chatting and laughing.

My aim is not to see alcohol as this evil, demonic entity. I can have a glass of wine with a friend without spiraling into chaos. It’s about autonomy for me.

Maybe I get into Miami and I do want to get drunk with my friends. But I want to freedom to not do that if I don’t want to.


The Districts concert, 2018.

I explained what was so frustrating to my friend on the phone yesterday.

I love systems. Algorithms to operate within.

“Oh, I’m faced with this situation. Well my rule is, I do this. But if that, then I do this.”

This is different. There’s no absolute consistency; it’s feelings-based. My relationship with alcohol is dependent on the setting, my mood, the people around me, what’s going on in my life, and a plethora of other factors that are impossible to predict ahead of time.

But I take solace in the fact that my close friends are kind, gracious, and understanding.

It’s funny that I have anxiety about this bachelor party because I know for certain that, aside from some light jabbing, they would be totally supportive if I told them I didn’t want to drink. Plus, alcohol or not, nothing will get in the way of me being present and excited during my time there.

There will come a day when I embrace sobriety and give up alcohol entirely. I don’t think that day is today. But there’s no reason I can’t start moving in that direction.

A few days ago, a buddy said to me, “Many beers to be had this summer.”

No, I don’t think there will be.

The last 24 days

I typically write 2 blogs a week. Those of you who are good at math may have noticed I’ve only been pumping out one per week these last few.

Here’s a timeline of my life starting from 24 days ago:

24, Took a weekend trip with a good friend to Iguazú Falls, Brazil.

21, Started working with a developer to revamp my website. (Here’s a sneak peek.)

19, Had my final Spanish lesson in Argentina. Said goodbye to my tutor and asked if we could continue working together online.

17, Took a couple’s retreat to Patagonia for the weekend with my lady, an Argentine, and a Brit.

13, Threw a going away party with all my Buenos Aires friends. Said my final goodbye to most of them.

12, Last day in Argentina. Said goodbye to the woman I was dating. Heartbreaking cab ride to the airport. Almost canceled my flight twice.

11, 16-hour return to the United States starting at 1am. Got a phone call that night telling me one of my best friends had killed himself.

8, Lunch with my mom, sister, and aunt for Mother’s Day. Tried to be present and loving while battling the emotional waves from leaving my favorite city and losing my friend.

7, Had several connect calls with friends from all over the globe who reached out in support. Refreshed and revitalized me.

5, Finished the first draft of my free YouTuber’s Guidebook.

4, Flew to Tampa, Florida for my community’s annual coaching retreat. Hung out with my mentor, met other coaches in person for the first time, and competed in various coaching challenges for four days.

2, Made $3300 in an hour and a half. Won the “Out and About” challenge.

1, Flew back to DC. Eighth airport in three weeks.

0, Sat down to type this blog.

After I email this to all of you, I will pack up my car, shower, and drive down to Virginia. There I’ll move into my aunt’s extra bedroom and live with her for the rest of the summer.

I’m doing this for three reasons:

  1. to live frugally
  2. to live close to family I don’t see as often
  3. to focus entirely on work, fitness, and family time

I’ve been bopping around without a technical home ever since I moved out of my apartment in February. It’s felt like a year’s-worth of experiences has been condensed into a single month.

I feel ambitious, sad, and sharp.

Underneath all the hardships and challenges, I can’t help but feel immense gratitude. For the people in my life, for the projects I get to work on, for the body and mind I’ve been gifted and choose to maintain.

I miss my friend. But I know he’d be proud of me.

I certainly am.

Tobias McCargo

In the last week, I’ve sat down at this laptop three times to start writing a new blog. Each attempt lasted 5-10 minutes before I closed my computer and walked away.

I was planning on writing about leaving Buenos Aires and moving back to the United States. I would mention the biggest lessons I learned from my two months in South America. I would’ve told the emotional story of saying goodbye to my friends and girlfriend down there.

But on Thursday night, the day I flew back to my home country, prepping for bed after a long day of travel…I saw a missed call with a few Facebook messages.

They read:

“Hey man call me when you can.
It’s about Tobias.”

I tried to come up with 20 different things it could be. But I knew. I hadn’t heard from this mutual friend in years.

I called back. He picked up immediately.

“Hey man,” he answered.

“Hey,” I replied. “What’s going on?”

He asked if I was sitting down. I closed my eyes and started crying.

Phoenix, Arizona—2020. The last time I saw my friend in person.

The history of “salt and pepper.”

Tobias referred to our friendship as salt and pepper. You can imagine why. He used the 🤍&🖤 emojis when commenting on photos of us.

I met Tobias McCargo in the summer of 2014. It was customary for young folks in Maryland to spend the summer working and partying in Ocean City, the closest thing that state had to Las Vegas.

He trained me on my first day ever working in a restaurant.

At least…he was supposed to. He called in sick that day so I was bussing tables on my own. I had lied about having restaurant experience because I thought I wouldn’t get the job otherwise.

It was a busy day. I got ripped apart, like jumping into a pool of sharks.

So right out the gate, I was like, Who the hell is this Tobias guy? I’m pretty sure we’re going to be enemies.

Then I met him.

Fish Tales, 2015.

I liked him immediately.

He was funny. He was cool. Every single person at the restaurant knew and loved him. He knew everyone’s name and stopped to talk to each person as we walked around setting up the dining room.

But above all, he showed a level of kindness and givingness I had never seen in a human being.

If you needed help, he wouldn’t just tell you the information you wanted. He would stop what he was doing to personally show you step-by-step how to do something.

I needed guidance in setting up a room service delivery. So he organized the tray for me and joined me in handing it to the hotel guests.

Aside from a small group of high school friends, I didn’t know anyone in Ocean City. So he invited me to his house and introduced me to his buddies and a bunch of coworkers at our restaurant I was too nervous to meet myself.

As fate would have it, we lived on the same street that summer: Gull Way.

We spent that summer partying, skydiving, and making cash at the hotel during the day only to spend it all that night. Ever since then, he’s been one of my closest friends.

As the years continued, we went our separate ways. Many months would fly by without us seeing each other. The occasional text or social media comment.

But whenever we’d reunite, it was always like we’d just hung out the day before.

I was scared that maturity and age would dissolve our friendship. It was built on the foundation of drinking Yuenglings, experimenting with drugs, and staying up until 5am.

But as we got older, we got closer.

Tobias could party, yes. But he could also just talk to you completely sober for hours about anything.

He loved to read. We discussed our favorite Stephen King novels, our favorite anime shows, and polarizing topics like race, religion, and politics.

He was patient. He told you what he thought but always wanted to hear what you had to say. He gave everyone the benefit of the doubt. This man was friends with the world.

And above all, he loved to mess with people.

God forbid you fell asleep with your shoes on. He’d take a photo of you and post it to Facebook. He’d find a nickname you hated and call you it every time he saw you. But he had this magical ability to do it in a way where you had to laugh too.

One time we were setting up the restaurant for a banquet. I asked him where I could find linens for the big tables. He told me to follow him and we started walking down a series of halls.

After about four minutes, I realized he was just taking me in circles.

“Dude where the hell are we going,” I shouted. We burst into laughter. Two dudes hunched over in an empty hotel hallway unable to breathe because they were having such a fun time.

It was impossible to be mad at the guy. And if you ever were, he would apologize profusely because he never wanted to actually hurt anyone or make anyone feel like less.

Coconuts, 2019.

So, what now?

There are a number of cliches you hear about when a close friend or relative commits suicide.

  • “I had no idea.”
  • “I feel like I could’ve done something to prevent this.”
  • “I’m sad and angry at them for doing this.”

They all hold up.

I feel guilty for not being more assertive these past two years when Tobias fell off the face of the earth. We went for a long time without talking on the phone. He had a history of disappearing from time to time.

But no matter how annoyed I got at his lack of presence, I knew in the back of my mind that we’d reunite and do what we always do. We’d sit at a bar somewhere, he’d buy the first round of beers, and we’d laugh and tell stories. I knew he’d be one of my groomsmen whenever I got married. I knew we’d go to a UFC fight together.

I’ll never get to see those scenes play out though.

I think about his girlfriend who was expecting a life with him. I think about his family being told this news over the phone. I think about all the thousands of friends and acquaintances he stacked up over the years…each of whom will feel a sharp pain learning that one of the greatest people they’ve ever met is no longer living on this planet.

I also think about when I tried to kill myself in 2017. It never hit me until now how utterly devastating that would’ve been for the people around me if it had actually worked.

I’m so sorry.

Tucson, Arizona, 2020.

There’s still a shocking level of denial in me. I keep thinking, Well let me just call him. If I just call him we can sort this whole thing out. If I could just talk to him…

He reached out to me last month for the first time in over a year. I was in Argentina at the time and felt it would be easier to just set up a call when I got back to the States.

I’ve reread these texts a hundred times. I can hear his voice. It makes me cry every time.

We never set up that call. The logical part of me knows there’s no way I could’ve known what would’ve happened. But the emotional part feels like not calling him back will be one of my deepest life regrets.

Just one more conversation. What I would give for that.

Looking back, one thing I’m wildly grateful for is the number of times I said “I love you” to my friend. Every hang. Every conversation.

We were extremely vocal about how much we appreciated each other and the friendship we created. As two masculine men, it never felt weird.

Tell your friends you love them. Tell them why. When one of you leaves, you’ll only wish you said it more.

And please. If you are battling with anything that makes you want to do something drastic, call someone. A friend, a relative, a hotline…

Email me if you have to: [email protected]

I miss my friend. Everyone who met him even once misses him.

Thank you for all the memories, Tobias. I love you, buddy. 🤍🖤

A season of Yes (in 3 questions)

Iguazú Falls, 2023.

My buddy and I went to Brazil this weekend. It’ll be tough to encapsulate every experience and insight I gained in those 48 hours but I’ll do my best.


Took an early flight on one-ish hour of sleep.

Stood in silence gazing at the most impressive spectacle of nature I’ve ever seen.

Finally found good pizza in Argentina.

Got spooked by some South American raccoons (coatis).

Found some more falls.

Swam in those falls.

Made friends with a Swiss, a Brit, and a German.

Got dinner with them.

Drank yerba mate next to the Paraná River—overlooking the three fronts of Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil.

This weekend made me feel like I was 20 again.

Fearlessly asking strangers if they wanted to be friends simply because we spoke the same language. Jumping into strange waters. Staying up all night drinking beer and speaking Spanish.

I thought of the immature, blissful kid version of me who lived in Germany in 2014. This weekend I felt those same feelings of adventure and openness but in the mind of a 29-year-old with a business and his shit together.

Oktoberfest in Munich, 2014.

^^This guy was having the time of his life. But he was lost inside.

^^This guy is also having the time of his life. But he’s continuing to ask and answer some important questions.

Here are three questions I’ve been unpacking since I’ve been living down here in Buenos Aires.

What have I gotten most out of my time in Argentina?

In short: a ton of confidence.

Doing difficult things is a universally fulfilling feeling. Things like strenuous exercise, starting a business, or learning a foreign language.

Most of us can agree in conversation that doing this stuff would likely lead to an interesting and rewarding life. But it’s so unbelievably easy to not do them. Because well…they’re uncomfortable.

I’m reminded of this Alex Hormozi tweet:

It’s fun to tell people you’re moving to South America. It’s also fun to write blogs about your time there and to share photos of waterfalls that look fake.

What’s less fun is working tirelessly to get better at Spanish, maintaining relationships as fellow travelers come and go, and falling for someone you only have two weeks left with.

Starting is fun. Doing the daily work is hard.

In the last two months, I’ve…

  • cowered in my apartment for fear of speaking Spanish
  • cried from gratitude for my life
  • laughed until I cackled
  • built relationships I’ll have for a lifetime
  • become more of who I actually am: silly, adventurous, connected

The big lessons come from putting yourself in daily, unfamiliar, and awkward situations and seeing what you’re truly made of. Will you embrace this unease or shy away from it? Will you continue doing the grinding and unforgiving work when no one is watching?

The confidence I’ve earned has come from proving to myself week after week that I am in fact the kind of person who follows through.

“You don’t become confident by shouting affirmations in the mirror, but by having a stack of undeniable proof that you are who you say you are.” – also Alex Hormozi lol.

Why do well-traveled people seem to act 5-10 years older?

Between 18-22, I was a man-boy with long hair running around my college and beach towns getting wasted and trying to hook up with women.

Freshman dorm, Burnett’s Vodka, ~$18 per handle, 2013.

When I meet 18-22-year-olds who’ve been living in different countries, it feels like I’m talking to a seasoned 30-something. That’s because, as I mentioned in the previous question, this person is seasoned.

They’ve been on their own. Truly on their own. They’ve been forced to solve their own problems, find their own meals, and build their own communities.

I didn’t know how to do any of that consistently until I hit rock bottom at 23 and started taking control of my life. Because up until that point, all my problems had been solved for me.

High school was a joke. I gave minimal effort and passed just fine.

My mother is a saint and an incredible mom. But she took it a bit too far during my formative years by constantly cleaning up after my messes. She made the phone calls I put off. She requested extensions on deadlines I missed. She made sure I was always taken care of.

I sound ungrateful for complaining about it, but looking back I wish she had let me suffer more. You didn’t send in your application in time? Damn, guess you’re not going this semester. You didn’t call the doctor to set up your physical? Damn, guess you’re not playing soccer this season.

It sucks, but it’s through the suffering and the consequences that we learn a fundamental truth.

No one’s coming.

When you’re running a business, getting in shape, or traveling to a new country…Nobody is going to ride in on their white stallion and carry you to the promised land. No one will wave a magic wand and grant you clients, subscribers, friends, skills, a girlfriend, or abs.

It’s all on you. You have to stack the bricks to build the house. You have to find the raw materials. You have to build relationships and ask for help.

Growing up, I didn’t believe this to be true. I never told myself, “No one’s coming.” For me, it was, “My mom will probably take care of this.”

That didn’t sustain itself for very long.

I always cringe when I hear celebrities or athletes say their goal is for their children to never work a day in their lives. What an awful thing to do to a kid.

A better alternative would be to drop them in the middle of South America with a backpack, a passport, and $500. Then find them a year later and beam at their wisdom and grace.

I worry about the younger generation as I watch my little sister grow up.

GenZ is the first generation to be on social media before puberty. Preteen and teenage girls are experiencing skyrocketing levels of anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation. Young boys are aging with increased levels of antisocial behavior.

I’m no expert, but I imagine spending 8-13 hours a day on a smartphone is not helpful. Constant stimulus. Food delivered in minutes. Infinite entertainment. Communication with anyone else who happens to be on their phone.

If we so choose, we never have to be bored ever again. We never have to wait ever again. It’s never necessary to be completely alone. We can open TikTok or YouTube and watch it from 8am to 2am.

When I stood gazing at the falls, I had completely forgotten what Youtube was. I wasn’t thinking about anything other than my friend and the water in front of me.

Anyway, I have no idea if traveling is actually making me a wiser person. But I certainly feel more aligned, more present, and more capable of handling whatever comes my way.

And finally…

Am I ready to go back to the United States?

Easy answer: absolutely not.

I mean no insult to my friends and family back in the States. I’m thrilled at the thought of hugging them and being in the same room as them.

But I’m dreading my flight in nine days.

People have been asking me how I feel about going home. Here’s how I feel:

When we flew back from Brazil this weekend, I told my buddy, “Man, it’s good to be home.” I smiled as I walked the cobblestoned streets to get to my apartment.

My return flight to the States feels like I’m just taking another trip to a foreign country. It feels premature.

But I have no choice. I have commitments. And all chapters, all seasons, have their end. Some are more graceful and seamless than others.

It’s been a season of Yes these past two months. I’ve agreed to practically everything.

  • dinners
  • people
  • wine
  • trips
  • cappuccinos
  • dates
  • barbecues

It’s led to more memories and insights than I had in the previous 12 months combined. And it will certainly go down as one of the most formative eras in my life’s library.

But I’m about to enter a season of No.

I’ll unpack this more in the next blog. But besides major events like weddings and bachelor parties, this summer there will be no:

  • alcohol
  • dating
  • coffee
  • late nights
  • distractions

I’m going full monk mode. My priorities will be growing the podcast, spending time with family, and publishing my book. Nothing else.

I have until September. Then I’ll most likely move back down to South America.

Then I’ll be back…home.

Permission to be silly

Dillan Taylor inside El Ateneo Grand Splendid
El Ateneo Grand Splendid, “the world’s most beautiful bookstore.”

I used to be quite silly. I would yell, play different characters, and commit to jokes for far longer than necessary.

I’ve always tried to maintain my sense of humor. I don’t take myself that seriously. I love making people laugh. And of course, I want to be laughing each and every day.

But these last few years have been way less focused on fun and way more centered around creating and growing.

I built a solo business from scratch. I’m in the midst of expanding a podcast. I’ll be publishing a book soon.

As I sit at this laptop for hours each day, develop my skills, and focus intently on bringing value to others…I’m reminded of something a client said to me at the start of the year.

“I feel like I’ve lost my silliness.”

He was sharing about how being laser-focused on his own personal and career growth made him act more serious. But his truest, most fulfilled self was one who was goofy and who laughed at the woes of life.

Me too.

So I asked myself, How can I be a fun and silly person while maintaining my love for learning and growing?

Cut to: today. I’m more than halfway done with my time living here in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It will easily go down as one of the most rewarding and impactful periods in my life.

A month ago, I…

  • spoke no Spanish
  • knew nobody
  • was feeling a bit overwhelmed and insecure

And since then I…

  • had numerous conversations in Spanish
  • became friends with people from the USA, Sweden, Brazil, Australia, Argentina, Venezuela, the UK, Austria, Germany, China, and Canada
  • organized a large dinner with many of these friends
  • met a woman
  • interviewed some of my favorite creators on my podcast
  • learned more about myself in one month than I did the entire previous year

All the while, I’ve been wildly productive and silly.

I’m writing the chapters of my book slowly and steadily. I’m sticking to the systems of my podcast uploading schedule as best I can. Potential clients continue to email me about coaching.

And I spent this entire weekend hopping around the city with a beautiful Brazilian woman, meeting friends for wine, and laughing until I couldn’t breathe.

So it seems I accidentally managed to answer my own question from earlier: How can I be a fun and silly person while maintaining my love for learning and growing?

Here’s how in 2 steps:

1) Secure the non-negotiables.

When I got into town, I spent the whole first week learning my neighborhood. Where will I spend my time?

I had to take care of the most important environments for my regular routine.

  1. gym
  2. coworking space
  3. groceries
  4. favorite cafes and bars
  5. parks for walking

In terms of the 80/20 Principle, these would be the 20% of places I’d spent 80% of my time. So I invested time in making sure they were close, enjoyable, and cost-effective.

On the micro level, I do the same every Monday in my Weekly Review.

I’ll write an entire blog about each step of my WR. But in a nutshell, I just spend two hours organizing all of my project tasks and to-dos and scheduling them for my week. The goal is to then wake up each subsequent day and never wonder what I’m doing that day.

In other words, I define what “done” looks like every single week. By Friday, if I did everything I said I would do (my non-negotiables) I don’t get to feel bad for not working hard enough. I’m done.

And once the non-negotiables are taken care of…

2) Leave plenty of room for silliness.

If I’m keeping the promises I make to myself, if I’m defining the work and then doing it…then I get to do whatever the hell I want.

Within reason, of course.

I’m not staying up until 5am snorting coke and letting my body erode away.

But this weekend was nothing but pure joy, wine, and lacking any responsibility. It was everything I loved about studying abroad in Germany.

Dillan Taylor at Oktoberfest in Munich
Oktoberfest in Munich, 2014.

Look at this silly boy.

He had nothing but fun living in Europe. But he was a mess. He never knew what his non-negotiables were. How would he take care of his health? What was he striving toward? What value did he want to bring the world?

No clue.

So when he wasn’t partying and meeting women, he was alone in his dorm room feeling wildly depressed and scared.

I don’t feel that way now. Not even close.

Because I have my answer to all those questions. Which means…

I get to have plenty of weekends like the one I just had. Next weekend I’m taking a trip with my buddy to Brazil and Paraguay. The weekend after that, I, my lady friend, and another awesome couple we just met are going to Uruguay. Then I fly back to the United States…which I’m quietly suppressing from myself.

Take care of the needs and leave plenty of room for the wants.

Today, I need to post this blog, do my Weekly Review, go to the bank, interview a guest on my podcast, and go to my Spanish lesson.

Once those boxes are checked, I can be as silly as I choose to be.

First photo shoot

I auditioned for grad school programs for acting in 2016. I sat in a Broadway hotel room and performed various monologues for scouts from colleges around the globe.

After exhausting my character resume, the head of the University of Houston asked me to sing a song.

“A…song?” I froze. No one had ever asked me to sing a song before.

“Yes,” he replied. “Any song you know the words to. I assume you’ve heard a song before?”

While I appreciated his roasting, it didn’t help with the pressure of remembering lyrics. I spent five whole minutes thinking about any song I knew the words to.

It was an embarrassing and hilarious experience. And I just felt that same feeling seven years later.

I’m building a new website in the next two months so I got some professional photos taken. She said, “Just pretend I’m not here and act casual and confident.”

I’ve never felt so uncasual and unconfident in my life.

But I thought I’d share a few here since I don’t really care for social media. Feel free to print them out, put them up on your walls, build a shrine. Whatever you want to do.

The biggest lesson I just relearnt

Plaza San Martin, Buenos Aires.

My biggest hurdle growing up was my obsession with what others thought about me. I had to be funny, entertaining, and seen as a cool dude.

It didn’t matter if I actually was these things. So long as the character I was playing was performing well.

I tried to mask my insecurities in middle school and high school by being a class clown and by making fun of others for laughs. Come senior year, I started taking ADHD medication (which I didn’t need) and became twice as self-conscious. Only now, I was too timid to even talk to my friends.

Thank God TikTok wasn’t around back then.

I know none of this is all that unique. Who isn’t an uncertain and anxious mental mess as a teenager? But it seemed like everyone around me had everything figured out at the time. People knew how to be smooth. Guys knew how to get girls. My friends seemed to know things about business and politics I couldn’t comprehend.

But as we’ve all gotten older, I’ve been able to connect and reflect with the men and women I grew up with. Each and every one of them has said the same thing:

“I was super insecure in high school.”

Act 1: Learning something simple

Things got better when I went off to college. I stopped taking Adderall, stopped smoking weed, and started partying and making new friends.

I was becoming more confident. I was beginning to grow into myself. But not for the sustainable reasons I hoped for.

It was mostly the booze.

I still had no idea who I was, what I valued, and what skills I brought to the table. Maybe I could carry on a conversation, but I was still a wildly insecure person.

And once everything came crashing down in 2017, I failed out of college and moved back home. That was the darkest time of my life. But it’s also when I started becoming the man you all read from today.

My self-improvement journey began. I listened to Jordan Peterson’s lectures, started going to the gym, and built a meditation practice. Personal Development 101.

As I became more mindful and more healthy, I quickly embodied one of the age-old pieces of advice:

Stop caring about what people think about you.

It was freeing. I stopped looking at myself through the eyes of other people. I just worked on myself, did my job, and corrected myself when I made mistakes.

There’s a quote I love: “I am not what I think I am. I am not what you think I am. I am what I think you think I am.”

In other words, we have no idea how others actually view us. We just create stories in our heads that are our best guesses. So there’s no point in working tirelessly to figure it out. Should I try to put the puzzle together of what my coworker thinks of me or should I just show up, get my work done, and be as respectful as I can?

I started saying no to things. Derek Sivers calls it “Hell Yes or No.” When faced with a decision, if it’s not a “hell yes,” it’s a “no.”

It felt like I solved life.

Act 2: Discovering nuance

I quit my full-time job in 2020 to start my own freelancing business. I would eventually find life coaching and pursue that as my career.

In the coaching space, we often talk about the concept of people-pleasing: sacrificing your own wants or values for those of other people. It’s often a pernicious habit that drains us and keeps us from doing the things we actually care about.

But then I heard a coach say something that has stuck with me ever since. It was in the middle of a workshop I was running on people pleasing.

“I think people-pleasing gets a bad rep,” she said. “Obviously we shouldn’t be killing ourselves for other people all the time. But I think being a good friend or partner means doing things you don’t want to do from time to time. If you tell your friends you don’t want to go to dinner with them four weeks in a row…don’t be upset when they stop inviting you to dinner.”

This was the first challenge to my “only do what I want” principle.

I love my friends. I cherish my family. Am I jumping with joy at the prospect of every hang, every phone call, every event?

Of course not.

But I’d rather be a person who shows up for the people he loves than put every single decision through a matrix. I want to be able to say I’m sorry. I can set boundaries and make sacrifices.

So this concept of not caring about what others think about me…it was incomplete.

We have to care about what others think about us. It keeps us from acting like assholes, smelling like garbage, and letting our lives rot away. It’s what allows us to make friends and keep them. It’s what gets us hired. Life is significantly better when other people like being around us.

So I went from, “I don’t care about what other people think about me,” to, “I care about what the right people think about me.”

My friends and family. You guys, my audience. My podcast listeners. The folks who care about me and want me to continue to grow. I listen to these people. I use their feedback.

Act 3: Relearning

I’ve been in Buenos Aires for a month now. In one month, I fly back to the United States.

I’m dreading it.

The amount of growth and fun I’ve had here, the people I’ve met, the work I’ve gotten done…It’s been a pivotal moment in my life.

Among the many insights I’ve gathered in my short time here, one sticks out. I think about it when I’m in a taxi flying through the city streets, drinking coffee at an outdoor cafe, and sitting here in this coworking space.

Right now, I’m seated next to around 20 other digital nomads. They come from Europe, North America, and countries that neighbor Argentina. I know many of their names. I’ve partied with a few of them.

Most of them know I have a blog, a podcast, and a coaching business. They know about my travel plans, the wedding I’m in this summer, and my current career goals.

And none of them are thinking about any of that right now.

Not a single person in this room is wondering how I can get more YouTube subscribers, how I can charge more for my coaching, or where I’ll choose to live when the summer is over.

I’m the only person thinking about any of that. They’re all on their laptops reading Slack messages, coding features, or yawning through Zoom calls.

No one cares about how good my Spanish is. No one cares about how jacked I look. No one cares about how big my podcast is growing.

And if they ever do, it’s for a fleeting couple of seconds.

“Oh wow, you have a podcast? That’s awesome!”…Then they go right back to their own desires and insecurities.

Alex Hormozi has a quote I come back to once or twice a week:

We will always be the main character in our movies. So we sometimes make the mistake of thinking other people view us as lead or even supporting actors. But outside significant others and very close relatives, we’re usually just side characters at most and background extras at the least.

Does it make sense to obsess over the opinion of someone who views you as an extra in their movie?

It’s almost arrogant to believe we hold so much power. We act as though the comfort and emotions of others are in our hands. If I go into a cafe and speak horrible Spanish and it’s awkward for the barista…so what?

Did I ruin her day? Will she need therapy because of my horrendous vocabulary?

If so, she has much bigger problems to sort out.


In summary:

  1. Stop caring what people think about you.
  2. But make sure you still act in a way that the people you love and respect enjoy being around you.
  3. So long as you are a kind and respectful person, keep putting yourself out there and doing what you want. No one is thinking about you nearly as much as your anxiety is telling you they are.

The Ravioli Lady

Palermo Hollywood, Buenos Aires.

A few nights into living in Argentina, I did a solo dinner at the pasta place near my apartment. Armed with practically zero Spanish, I mentally prepared myself for war.

When I got there, I peeked at a menu on one of the outside tables. As I was figuring out what I wanted, a young woman came out of the building, greeted me questioningly, and returned my menu back to its original spot on the table.

I felt like a child who just got in trouble for playing with a toy that wasn’t his.

She ushered me inside and I gave my order. I pointed and spoke slowly to make sure I didn’t mispronounce anything, praying she didn’t ask me any follow-up questions.

She did.

Her Spanish was so quick I genuinely thought she was messing with me. Her pitch went up at the end of her sentence so I knew it was a question.

“Si,” I replied. I had no idea what I just agreed to.

She could’ve asked:

  • “Do you want a job here?”
  • “Do you think I’m ugly?”
  • “Are you a silly little American boy?”

Yes, ravioli lady. Yes I am.

She then asked me, “¿Y para tomar?” Which means, “to take?”

“No, para acá,” I said, indicating I wanted to dine in.

She looked at me as though to say, Yeah…no shit. I thought she hated me.

But the real problem was my vocabulary. In that context, tomar didn’t mean to take; it meant to drink.

She was just asking what the hell I wanted to drink. And I responded by saying I was going to eat in front of her and there was nothing she could do about it.

I somehow managed to get my meal of ravioli, empanadas, and white wine. And I ate it in the corner like I was in time out. It was an embarrassing fear that came true when learning another language.

That was three weeks ago.

Since then, my basic Spanish has gotten noticeably better. I have no trouble going to cafes and stores and getting by.

This weekend, I ran into the Ravioli Lady at the local Irish pub. A few friends and I were watching the UFC fights. She seemed much warmer this time. Maybe it was the booze. Maybe it was because she wasn’t working.

I asked her if she remembered me. She smiled and said she did.

The first thing she noted was how much my Spanish had improved. I told her my side of the story from that night and how embarrassed I was. She thought it was hilarious.

She loved her new title as Ravioli Lady and said she would ask her coworkers to call her that. We fist-bumped and went about our evenings.

I sat there with my buds watching the fights, laughing with them, and drinking beer. And a thought occurred to me.

My brain had been perceiving that embarrassing night at the pasta restaurant as a bad thing. Painful. Discouraging. Something to avoid.

But that’s all such short-term thinking. When we zoom out, we see all the positive and rewarding results.

Even if that chance encounter with Ravioli Lady didn’t happen, the lesson is still the same: some of the deepest human connection comes from sharing what went wrong.

This blog, for example. The posts that get the most engagement by far are the ones about my fears, my travel goofs, and my insecurities.

Could you imagine how boring it would be if I just posted my wins every week? Setbacks and imperfections allow others to see themselves in what you’re sharing.

So back to my time here in Buenos Aires. Most days involve me putting myself out there in some way: asking women on dates, speaking grammatically incorrect Spanish, and saying yes to most invitations.

A lot of times, it feels as though I’m taking a risk. There’s a potential to look stupid, have others judge me, and get rejected. The fight or flight response begs me to avoid and hide in my apartment.

But I’ve learned that every risk has two potential benefits:

  1. a beautiful learning opportunity
  2. a captivating story

It’s usually both.

Per my ravioli story. I’ve told it many times here. It makes people laugh and encourages them to share their experiences with language barriers.

As for learning, I get to remember a time when I didn’t know what tomar meant. I can measure how far I’ve come with my Spanish by looking back at a fun and embarrassing moment.

All this to say: it’s crucial to not rob ourselves of future insights and stories. Take the risk. Do the scary thing.

The worst-case scenario is you have a funny story to tell in the future. Best case is you get exactly what you were hoping for.

Q2 goals (2023)

Sitting on a couch at my coworking space as I write this blog.

This year I started experimenting with quarterly goals. The intention was to give myself that New Year motivation and novelty four times per year.

Here were my Q1 goals.

My immediate reaction: I didn’t hit all my goals but I’m so glad I started doing this. I definitely forced myself to do things I wouldn’t have done had I not put them on the list (e.g. check my T levels, get 40 Google Reviews, work on my best man speech).

(If you’ve gotten any value or insight from me, feel free to show some love by taking 7 seconds to leave a 5-star Google Review!)

But I don’t really enjoy setting goals. I prefer putting systems in place that allow me to come back each week and do my work in a fun and efficient way.

So no, I didn’t upload 20 podcast episodes or 45 YouTube videos. But I did hire a video editor, nearly double my subscriber count, and interview some of my favorite creators.

I didn’t ask out 25 women face-to-face. But I have been putting myself out there constantly here in Buenos Aires. Dates, new friends, content collaborations…

My #1 takeaway from Q1 is to expect less from myself moving forward. Focus on less so I can actually do more.

So here are my Q2 goals…

Podcast—The YouTuber’s Guide to the Galaxy:

  • 2 YouTube clips (long form)/wk
  • 2 YouTube shorts/wk
  • new episode every Monday (audio & video)
  • create free info product—The YouTuber’s Guidebook


  • hire a designer and launch an entirely new website
  • 2 blogs/wk
  • finish rough draft of Do The Thing!

Personal growth:

  • jiujitsu 2 times/wk
  • gym 3 times/wk
  • Spanish lessons or meetups every week
  • ask out 5 women

Here’s to another three months!

What are your Q2 goals? I’d love to hear about them.

Why do I take cold showers?

I take very cold showers three or four times a week. I dread it just about every time.

There are well-known physical benefits:

  • boosts immunity
  • reduces inflammation
  • combats depression symptoms

But the reason I torture myself in this way is for the mental effect. It’s a reminder that I can do difficult things even when my mind is screaming that I can’t. Here’s the process:

  1. dive into something wildly uncomfortable
  2. sit in it for a few seconds
  3. quickly acclimate to feeling just fine

This system also exists in our careers, relationships, and health.

I just finished my second week in Buenos Aires. When I got here, I mentioned in a blog that one of my goals was to “give my life a cold shower.” Here’s what I meant.

As my flight to South America drew closer, doubts and fears came pouring in. It was like I was standing next to the tub with my hand testing the freezing water. All you can think about is how miserable it’s going to feel. The benefits feel far away and are hard to imagine.

Then I got on the plane, unpacked my stuff into the apartment, and started to find my feet. I got memberships to a coworking space, a martial arts gym, and a weightlifting gym. I began Spanish lessons. I took taxis where I could only understand 20% of what the guy was saying to me. I went out and met entrepreneurs, beautiful women, and new friends.

It was all exhilarating, uncomfortable, and overwhelming. Just like taking that first step into the cold shower. There was homesickness. I just wanted to be back in a familiar setting. The first thought you have in a cold shower is, I need to get the hell out of here.

But then you just breathe. The water gets a little less icy. Your fight or flight mode calms down. And before you know it, you’re feeling relaxed and refreshed by this thing that felt like it was killing you five seconds prior.

That’s where I’m at now.

I’m typing this out while sitting next to some buddies in my coworking space. I have a routine down. I have a few favorite cafes and bars. I’ll sometimes even forget I’m in a foreign country. It just feels like home.

Before I came here, I was on the phone with a good friend and telling him about my anxiety. What he said has stuck with me ever since.

“There are people who are doing exactly what you want to do who have fewer skills, fewer resources, and less drive. They just care less and put themselves out there more.”

So now whenever I get down on myself for speaking Spanish like a two-year-old, not knowing the bus system, or sounding awkward when flirting…I just remind myself of those words.

There are people doing better than me who are less capable. Just relax and keep doing scary things. Most of life’s treasures are buried beneath uncomfortable actions and cold showers.

Two weeks down. Five to go.

My favorite question to ask people

I ask questions for a living. Coaching, podcasts, writing…

What makes a low-quality question?

In my mind, it’s one that can be answered with a single word or sentence.

  • Do you like your job?
  • What kind of food do you enjoy?
  • What do you do for a living?

These run the risk of being answered immediately and mundanely. Not everyone is good at expounding or really running with a prompt. So I like to ask questions that force people to think and open up a bit.

  • What’s your favorite and least favorite thing about your job?
  • If you could hand-pick every meal you ate for a week, what would that week look like?
  • How would you explain what you do for a living without using the name of the occupation itself?

Not only do questions like these tend to get more juice out of the person I’m talking to. But they also bring a sense of fun. There’s nothing quite like being asked a question we’ve never been asked before.

So for me, a high-quality question is one that:

  1. they don’t hear often
  2. makes them think before answering
  3. cannot be answered with a single word

My favorite question to ask people?

What have you been learning about yourself?

Not only does this meet all three criteria mentioned above. But you can ask this question to someone multiple times in a month and get totally different answers. It implies growth and awareness. It allows people to reflect on the direction they’re heading.

I ask this question to my clients, my friends, and myself. The results are reliably rewarding.

What’s your favorite question to ask people?

I thought I would like Buenos Aires…

I’ve been living here for a little over a week now. Here are a few things I’ve done.

  • started Spanish lessons
  • done jiujitsu
  • started two meetups: one for working out/meditation, one for chess
  • made friends from Argentina, Sweden, and China
  • gone on two dates
  • partied Argentine style until 6am
  • got shat on by a pigeon (on my way to meet a woman)
  • gained 85 YouTube subscribers in the last 30 days
  • had one of my videos go viral
  • bought my first fanny pack

I thought I would like it here in Buenos Aires. But I don’t.

I absolutely love it. I already feel sad that I’m leaving in a couple months.

It’s everything I’ve wanted from living in a city. Yet my living expenses are around $500 per month.

I’ve made friends here I already don’t want to leave behind.

The adventure continues…

Buenos Aires: day 2

My main goal in these blogs is to be completely transparent. Day 1 of my living in Argentina absolutely terrified me.

I spent hours with an American buddy who showed me the ropes and that was awesome. But once we parted ways, I felt like a child lost without his parents.

The sole reason for this fear: my Spanish isn’t good enough to carry on conversations yet.

I felt too timid to go to a restaurant or store on my own. What if someone tries to talk to me? What if they throw things at me? What if la policia take me away because my Spanish isn’t good enough?

I’m ashamed to say that my first night was spent in my apartment trying to figure out how to get food delivered. None of the apps would accept my debit card, so I just didn’t eat.

I know. It pains me to admit that. I was even telling myself at the time, “Dude. You came here to get uncomfortable. What the hell are you doing sitting here in this room?” I began questioning how I’d make it a week let alone several months.

On top of that, I live right next to a major nightlife hub—La Plaza Serrano. Every Thursday to Sunday, the nights are loud and long.

I barely slept.

If every night was like that, I certainly wouldn’t make it. But then day 2 began.

I woke up saying out loud, “Fuck this. You do scary things. Go outside.”

So I put on my finest pair of crocs and went grocery shopping. The simple act of walking around my neighborhood made me feel 100x better. These people aren’t here to kill me.

In fact, I’ve never been around so many openly kind and social people in my life. Anyone anywhere will stop and talk to you if you ask questions or spark conversation. They might even invite you to dinner.

I got lost on purpose so I had an excuse to walk the many cobblestoned streets. I met two backpackers from San Francisco while waiting in line to exchange cash. I walked past some of the most stunningly beautiful women I’ve ever seen.

Then I bought some groceries. This whole batch cost $6.50. I could get used to this.

I also found a jiujitsu gym and rock climbing gym, both within walking distance. The BJJ gym has plenty of weights and equipment too so that takes care of where I’ll work out during the weeks.

In the evening, I attended a “workout and meditation” meetup. The organizer’s plan was to exercise and chat goals every Monday to start the week off right. I had to walk through the heart of my neighborhood of Palermo to get there.

I was in awe. I tried to balance basking in my surroundings with not looking too much like a gringo tourist. Not trying to get robbed, ya know?

Palm trees. Botanical gardens. Zero honking cars.

This place is beautiful. The people. The buildings. The weather…

I got to the park where the meetup was. There I met Edward and Mili.

Edward is a Swedish web designer traveling the world with his golden retriever Louie. Mili is an Argentinian product manager who wants to quit her job and work on her own startup.

We got along instantly.

After 40 minutes of an intense HIIT workout, we sat and meditated and visualized our perfect week. Edward would ask guided questions like:

  • Who do you want to be this week?
  • What do your mornings look like?
  • What does the best version of yourself spend time doing (and not doing)?

I pictured myself going to more events, rock climbing, doing jiujitsu, meeting more people. I made an internal agreement that I wasn’t allowed to stay in my apartment simply because of fear. I had to be working or resting or something intentional. No avoidance.

After all that, the three of us just sat there chatting for another two hours. We talked entrepreneurship, they asked about my podcast, and I was picking their brains about things to do in Buenos Aires. It was sitting there, legs sore and mind 100% present, when all my anxieties and doubts simply faded and disappeared.

We eventually started walking back. Mili and I hugged and kissed each other on the cheek (a cultural greeting I’m still getting used to). Then Edward and I continued walking with Louie.

He and I discussed finding clients, hiring people, and self-improvement. We share a mutual love for Joe Rogan. We exchanged book recommendations. He told me he wanted to try Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

I made a friend.

I’m taking him to class with me tomorrow. Mili and I are getting dinner and beers this weekend.

I feel at peace typing these words on my balcony. It’s 23 degrees (73 degrees Fahrenheit for you uncultured swines).

Now I’m going to go get breakfast a few blocks away, walk to my new coworking space, and meet a dude for coffee I met online.

A lot can happen in 24 hours.

Want to hear the craziest travel story ever?

Too bad. I made it here safely and smoothly.

(My trip to Vancouver Island was more action-packed.)

I got into Buenos Aires this morning at 5:30. Zero hours of sleep on the plane. Anticipation and anxiety. Dropping my luggage and laying in the apartment bed was as blissful as I imagined.

After a two-hour power nap, I met up with a dude I connected with on Zoom. He showed me around my neighborhood, bought me lunch, and helped me get a public transit card and exchange cash.

He was basically my guardian angel. I thanked him profusely for helping me land on my feet in this foreign city. He told me he was just paying forward all the guidance he got from people before him.

Now I’m sitting on my balcony typing away as I listen to pedestrians walk by saying things I can’t understand. Three men are playing hang drums and accordion. My space is small and peaceful.

I feel far away, which is exactly what I wanted. My two main goals in being here were:

  1. to give my life a cold shower, and
  2. to remove access to my friends and family so I could focus on my work and health.

Here are the first things I noticed today…

  • The women are gorgeous here.
  • Life is quite different when you’re the foreigner (when you don’t speak the language and when most people don’t look like you).
  • I haven’t felt this adventurous since I lived in Germany when I was 20.

I’m off tomorrow. The to-dos are: jiujitsu class in the morning, finding a coworking space, and getting a membership at a rock climbing gym.


Tomorrow’s the day

Tomorrow is my flight to Argentina. It’s also my grandpa’s birthday who passed away in December.

Last night, I had a travel nightmare. I tend to get those before big excursions.

I was sitting at my gate waiting to board the plane. There were about 30 minutes to go before I realized I had forgotten to get my boarding pass and check my bag.

Panic ensued. How did I make it through the terminal without accomplishing those essential tasks?

And that’s really at the heart of why travel makes me so stressed out: the fear of being incompetent.

My friend put it perfectly. She told me the story of immediately losing her backpack and passport when she went to Poland. She laughingly told me, “At that moment I felt like I was too stupid to be traveling alone.”

That’s exactly right. If I miss a flight, if I get confused by foreign public transportation, if I can’t find my way…my deep fear is that other people could figure it out but I’m too stupid to.

Yesterday was emotionally taxing. I said goodbye to some close friends, hung out with my family, and came home and crashed at 9pm. Today I’m armed with my first full night’s sleep in a week. Some work to do. Rock climbing with a buddy. Packing. Hanging with besties.

The next time you get an email from me will be from my apartment in Buenos Aires. All I have to do is make it there alive.

See you then.

This book is taking longer than I thought

Woman typing away on a typewriter

I set out to write a book in July 2021. The plan was to interview creators: people who built something cool, shared it with others, and made money doing so.

Since then, I’ve sat down and had conversations with people I’ve looked up to for years. I interviewed the woman who wrote the article that inspired me to run my own online business. I spoke with my favorite YouTuber who’s the reason I love chess. I’ll also be including my chats with my favorite author and my biggest inspiration in the entrepreneurship space.

My harshest lesson: it’s so incredibly easy to not write a book.

If you’re ever looking to procrastinate more, just tell people you’re writing a book. It sounds amazing. Hearing the praise from friends and family about your new venture. Setting up Zoom calls with people you never thought you’d meet. It’s been exciting and wildly rewarding.

But hidden underneath all these rosy scenes is the most boring and painful activity: sitting down and actually writing the damn thing.

Here’s a list of tasks I’ve done instead of fighting the resistance to writing:

  • color code each sublabel in my Gmail accounts
  • buy Christmas gifts in March
  • outline ideas for my next book

One of the most common questions asked when creating something is, “Why is it so hard to do my work?”

While there are hundreds of factors at play, I think the answer is simple: Because when we actually try to do something, it’s possible to fail. Planning is simple. Executing is messy and uncomfortable.

NBA players never miss shots in practice. It’s stunning how accurate they are. Then in games, their percentages go way down. Things are tougher on the main stage when the stakes are higher and everyone’s watching.

For me, sitting here and writing these blogs each week is basically effortless. I get up between 5am-7am, make a cup of coffee, then black out for 45 minutes until I’ve crafted a masterpiece for you all. That’s my basketball practice.

Chipping away at this book feels like game day.

It takes longer to write the same amount of words because I feel like there’s so much more on the line. A mediocre blog will be forgotten in a day. But the difference between an excellent and crappy book could change the trajectory of my career.

Not entirely logical but that’s certainly how it feels.

That’s why people get so caught up in prepping: business plans, roadmaps, and outlines. That stuff is useful to a point, but most people just use them as ways to avoid doing the real work: reaching out to people, building something people can use, getting feedback and iterating on it…

There were periods when I didn’t write anything for months. So I had to create a weekly system that ensured I put at least something down every other day.

Blog writing two mornings a week. Book writing three mornings a week. Even if it’s just 30 minutes of deep work. That absolutely crushes the alternative of zero minutes of deep work, which was my default state for a while.

Anyway, here are my biggest updates to prove writing this book hasn’t just been one big scam…

  1. I’ve finished all my interviews.
  2. I’ve transcribed each interview and completed round 1.
  3. I have a list of every individual chapter I want to write (one to three pages each).
  4. The first draft should be completed in the next two months.
  5. I’ve decided to self-publish and market it with the help of all of you and by partnering with the folks I interviewed.

To those of you who ordered pre-sale copies for half off, sorry for the wait. I promise it’ll be worth it.

This project has been more fun and fulfilling than I ever imagined when I started this journey. I get to WhatsApp with some of my favorite creators and entrepreneurs. I bond with other friends who are in the midst of writing their first books.

It’s funny. The book is called Do The Thing! That’s the simplest advice. It’s also the hardest thing to do.

If you want to order your own copy before it comes out, here’s the link. I’ll sign it and write a personal note to you.

Now please stop distracting me so I can write.

About my flight…

Dillan Taylor's delayed passport webpage
What I’ve been staring at every day for the last two weeks.

I shared a few days ago that my passport got delayed, along with thousands of other Americans.

The problem? I’m supposed to get on a plane today at 2:40pm and fly to Buenos Aires, Argentina.

For weeks, my passport application status just said, “In Process.” I tried calling their toll-free number to set up an appointment at an in-person passport office. The closest ones to me are in DC, Philly, and the northeast.

95% of the time, my calls didn’t go through. It either went straight to a dead line, or the automated messaging system spewed these words that are ingrained in my head: “Thank you for calling the US Passport’s Automated System. Your call is very important to us. Due to high call volumes, we are unable to take your call at this time. We recommend you call back at a different time. Goodbye…*click*”

But every now and then, my call would go through. And it felt like I won a prize. Bursting with glee, I’d have to calm myself down and remind myself that the war was far from over.

Monday was the first time I got to speak to a human being. Her name was Lori. “That’s my mom’s name,” I said, hoping that would create a cosmic bond between us and force her to send me a new passport that day.

“I don’t give a shit,” Lori replied. Just kidding.

But she told me my only option was to make an appointment. If I showed up to an office without one, they wouldn’t even let me in the building.

“There aren’t any appointments available in DC between now and Thursday,” she sighed.

“I’m willing to drive,” I said. “Are there any openings in nearby states?”

After clicking away at her keyboard, she said the closest one was in…Buffalo, New York. Wednesday afternoon. Seven hours away.

“Book it,” I said without hesitation. She entered my unique code and phone number. I would’ve driven 15 hours. I just wanted a God damn passport.

“Oh shoot,” Lori whispered.

Oh shoot? Oh shoot??? Clearly she means, ‘Oh shoot,’ looks like we’ve actually made a huge mistake and your passport is being hand-delivered to you by Joe Biden along with a new MacBook Pro and free Chipotle for life.

Unfortunately, that’s not what she meant. “Someone just grabbed that appointment,” she explained. “They come and go pretty quick.”

Then immediately, “Oh wait! One just opened up in DC for Wednesday morning,” she cheered.

“Jesus Mary and Joseph, Lori book it!! Do it now! Send it!!!” I was elated.

“…It went away,” Lori said dejectedly.

My emotional state was being kicked around like a hacky sack. It felt like Lori was my only ally and at the same time trying to sabotage me.

“O..okay,” I muttered. Like a defeated and confused child who just wants more waffles but there aren’t any left in the freezer. Lori apologized and I thanked her for her efforts.

That day and the day after were two of the most stressful and anxiety-ridden days I’ve experienced in years. It was kind of a wake-up call.

I never really get stressed. My life is quite simple and highly rewarding. I mean, the thing that has brought me the most mental suffering in years is not being able to fly to a beautiful foreign country on time. What a glorious problem to have.

But I was still feeling it. There was sluggishness in my eyes. It was harder to laugh. I was tired when there was no reason to be.

This whole government passport system is slow and inefficient. But this whole ordeal was my fault.

I knew when my passport expired last year. I had all the time in the world to be proactive and just get a new one. But I waited until I actually had an international flight planned. I take full responsibility. Poor Lori was just doing her job and answering the thousandth phone call from some flustered American trying to leave the country.

New plan: I was just going to take the next open appointment within the next two weeks, then move my flight to whatever day came after that.

On Wednesday morning, I came down to this temporary office space in my friends’ basement. Coffee in hand, I opened up the page I’d been visiting every day. I typed in my info to check the status of my passport and get my unique locator number to give to the eventual person I’d speak with.


Big bold letters. My passport was approved, completed, and shipped.

A wave of peace flushed over my body. All was right in the world.

I called the airline to reschedule my flight. Her name was Sandra. She was super professional and had a lovely Hispanic accent. She told me that since I got the cheapest option, I’d have to just cancel it and buy an entirely new flight.

“Is that the absolute best option for me,” I asked like a sad puppy.

“Let me see what I can do,” Sandra replied. She put me on hold for 10 minutes.

When she returned, she told me she would break the rules and just move my flight. I’ve never felt more grateful for a stranger’s kindness.

My new flight is next Saturday. Nine days from now.

Thank you, Lori. Thank you, Sandra. My guardian angels.

Until then, my close friends are kind enough to let me continue living with them. So long as I scrub the mold and vacuum the ceilings.

I’ll let you know when I get to my destination. ✌️

Buenos Aires, we have a problem

I’m flying down to Argentina this Thursday afternoon. Or so I thought.

I renewed my passport in January and paid for expedited shipping. My new one was supposed to come in the mail last week.

It didn’t.

Apparently, passports are a hot commodity right now. The state department is getting slammed with requests and the nation is experiencing massive delays.

I spent hours on the phone last week trying to get through to someone. The calls either didn’t go through or they would go through and then the automated system would hang up after 30 seconds.

First world problem? Yes.

Incredibly stressful and unsettling? Very much so.

My sole mission today is to figure out how to get this stupid little blue book before Thursday. I’m going to the DC passport office. Even though my passport is being processed by the LA office. And you can’t just show up to an office without making an appointment. But you can only make an appointment over the phone. But there’s no way to get through on the phone.

So I’m going to take a shot in the dark and explain my situation. Maybe they’ll throw me in jail. Maybe I’ll get put on the No Fly List.

Whatever it takes. Stay tuned.

29 life tips on my 29th birthday

No, I don’t feel older. But I do feel wiser.

Here are some things I’ve learned in these 29 years. Hope you find one of them valuable.

1) Learn the names of employees at restaurants you frequent.

Find great servers, build relationships with them, and ask for them every time. It makes them feel validated to have a regular who prefers them, you can tip them well, and you know you’ll always be taken care of.

Ask them about their life. No one does that. 99% of customers don’t even know their name or they forget it after a night.

I went to the Chipotle near my apartment one to three times per week for two years. There was this quiet dude who was always working. His name is Mike and he was taking on extra shifts to take care of his mother who was sick.

Every time I went in there, I said, “What’s up Mike! How are you man? How’s your mom doing?” He’d give me updates and then pile two enormous piles of steak onto my burrito bowl, free of charge.

All it takes is spending five seconds to treat someone like a human being for them to want to go out of their way for you.

2) Ask 3 questions before stating your opinion.

When someone says something you disagree with, hold off on your counterarguments and rebuttals. It’s more important to ensure you know exactly where they’re coming from and why they believe what they believe.

Steelman their argument. Articulate their opinion so that they’re pleased with your summary.

This has three useful effects:

  1. It makes them less combative and defensive.
  2. You avoid arguing with things they don’t believe.
  3. It slows things down and gives you time to decide whether or not you even want to pursue a disagreement.

A simple rule to build this habit is to force yourself to ask three clarifying questions before giving your thoughts. So you believe x because y?

3) In a group of friends, ask: “What impresses you most about every other person?”

When you’re hanging out with two to five people, this is a fun and wholesome game to play. Everyone takes a turn going from person to person and saying what they most admire about them.

No matter how close you are to these people, you’re bound to hear and say things you’ve never heard or said before.

Everyone feels more connected and heartwarming conversation ensues.

4) When you feel the urge to send an emotional text, wait 24 hours.

No one’s ever been told to “stay awake on it.” Get a night’s sleep and see if you want to send that same text tomorrow. You probably won’t.

I’ve saved myself from sending countless passive-aggressive or annoyed one-liners and paragraphs. These kinds of messages never lead to fruitful solutions. They never make the recipient go, “Oh you’re frustrated? I’m so sorry. Here’s why I was wrong and I’ll never do it again.”

All context is lost over text. If it’s that important and the feelings are still there the next day, call the person.

Don’t hit “send” when you’re in a state. That state will pass, but the message can’t be unsent.

5) Have your phone out of sight when watching movies or TV.

Two screens are too many. Just sit and enjoy the story.

Especially if you’re watching with someone else. It’s meant to be a shared experience.

Too much dopamine-searching weakens attention span and makes us less present. Do what you’re doing. If you’re watching a film, watch the damn film.

6) Know what success actually is.

What we think it is: Someone who is really good at something, doing things we could never figure out.

What it actually is: Someone who worked on something for years and years until we all see their polished results.

Just keep at your thing and eventually you’ll be amazing at it.

7) Buy expensive noise-canceling headphones.

Use them for work, to listen to music or podcasts while you cook, or just to quiet the world around you.

It’s one of the best purchases you can make. I suggest Bose.

8) If a book is bringing you zero value or entertainment, just put it down.

I used to have this rule that I had to finish every book I started. Slogging through boring pages was torture. All that rule did was take weeks (sometimes months) away from me reading something I might’ve actually enjoyed.

If it felt like a chore or a battle to get through the last three chapters, stop reading it. There are too many phenomenal books out there for you to be wasting your time on one that sucks to you.

You might hate a book but love it five years from now. But do your present self a favor and spend time diving into writing that fills you up.

9) Status is fun, but it’s a mirage.

Money. Clout. Reputation.

These things aren’t meaningless. I love making great money. I love building relationships with people who have wealth and power.

But these things will never complete us.

How many times do we have to hear rich and famous celebrities tell us being rich and famous does nothing for our happiness and fulfillment? Status can be fun but it will never be the final piece of the puzzle.

If your basic needs are met, if you’re healthy, and if you have loving relationships…and you’re still waiting on more status or success to be fulfilled, you will remain empty.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to make more money or wanting a more interesting life. But real fulfillment comes from spending quality time with great friends and family, learning hard and rewarding skills, and being a grateful and healthy human being.

10) If you hate cooking, pick an easy and healthy meal to make every day.

It doesn’t have to be every day. Most days will do.

I love cooking…for other people. But when I’m home alone, I feel zero motivation to experiment or spend more than 20 minutes preparing a meal for myself. I just don’t care.

So, rather than wishing for more invisible willpower, I just choose a simple and nutritious meal I could make basically every day.

For a while, it was scrambled eggs with black beans and salsa. Protein. Carbs. Tasty.

Sometimes I’d use peri sauce instead of salsa. Sometimes I’d cook sausage instead of beans. Make it flexible and repeatable. This removes the headache of figuring out what to eat for at least one meal per day.

11) Frequently ask, “If I knew I’d die 10 years from now, how would I be living my life differently?”

Then do those things.

12) Set up regular hangouts centered around activities.

An easy way to consistently spend quality time with people and get out of the house.

Love knitting, board games, or walking? Find a friend or a group of people who enjoy it too. Then pick a day to regularly meet with them and do that thing.

Some examples from my life:

Thursday morning swims with a bestie.
Tuesday night chess club.
Sunday rock climbing with the bros.
Biweekly phone calls with my friend living in Rwanda.

We expect our relationships to take care of themselves. Proactively scheduling things is a lovely and efficient way to ensure we actually tend to them.

13) Run errands without your phone.

When was the last time you left the house without your phone?

Next time you have stuff to do out and about, leave the black rectangle at home. You won’t be on-call. You’ll have no choice but to be present and engaged with your surroundings. You’re more likely to spark conversation with strangers.

Feel the peace that comes from spending an hour or two completely unreachable and offline. Nothing to compulsively check. Nothing to experience other than the world around you.

14) Write letters, not cards, as gifts.

Giving a $5 card with a sentence on it is such a common tradition and it has always seemed odd to me.

People do it for “the thought.” But there are so many other, more personal and meaningful ways, to express that sentiment. Namely, taking 5-10 minutes to write a letter.

Outline plainly what this person means to you, what you love and appreciate about them, and how they’ve helped you and made your life better. Then read it to them.

It doesn’t matter if this is on printer paper or on a notecard. It’ll mean so much more to them than a funny card with your signature on it. They’ll remember how it made them feel for years.

15) No one is thinking about you as much as you are.

From your perspective, you’re the main character in the movie. But for everyone else, you’re a supporting character at best and a background extra to most.

Stop obsessing over everything you do and say. Not a single person is thinking about you even 1/10th as much as you are. They’re just worried about being the main characters in their movies.

Go to the gym. Share your opinions. Apologize and improve when you make mistakes and get feedback.

Because no one cares as much as you do.

16) Take month-long breaks from booze and sugar.

Pick a month. I typically do January and October.

You’ll get excellent sleep, eat better, and have more energy and willpower.

Can’t do this? You might have a problem.

It’s crucial to prove to yourself you don’t need something like alcohol to have fun, be fun, or live an interesting life.

17) Keep a list of your friends’ goals.

What they’re working on. What they want most. Their latest wins.

Check in on them and see how these things are going. It takes minimal time on your end and they’ll feel seen and supported.

18) When you’re feeling stuck, answer these 3 questions:

  1. What do you want most right now?
  2. What’s in the way of that?
  3. What’s step 1?

19) No one has ever been rejected into a coma or black hole.

The fear of being rejected is 100x worse than actually being rejected.

Ask that person out. Give that sales pitch. Ask for help.

The absolute worst thing that can happen is they say no. Now you’ve gone from not having that thing to not having that thing. You’ve lost nothing.

20) They’re not texting you back because…

They don’t want to.

People who are excited to converse and engage with us will prove it by continuing to converse and engage with us.

Short texts. No response. Never calling back.

These don’t necessarily mean this person hates you. You’re just not a priority to them right now. That’s okay. It doesn’t make them bad people. It just means you shouldn’t keep exhausting yourself to keep the conversation alive.

The number of times in high school and college I kept texting a girl who clearly wasn’t interested in me…I thought, Maybe if I just send the right text, if I just send the perfect joke…she’ll want to get with me.

Never happened. People who want to talk to you will talk to you. If they put in zero effort, stop being needy and move on.

21) The 10/80/10 rule.

10% of people will dislike you no matter what.

10% of people will love you no matter what.

The other 80% will decide based on how skilled you are, how fun you are, and how delightful you are to talk to.

22) Be an ESPN sportscaster.

Bring up the accomplishments and highlights of your friends and partners. Hype them up. Show them off. Congratulate them in front of other people and on your own.

“Look at this! Let’s see that again! Isn’t that incredible?”

They may seem embarrassed but underneath that, they’ll feel super supported and respected.

23) Never set a secret expectation for someone.

If you want something from someone, tell them. No matter how overt or passive-aggressive you are, they can’t read your mind.

Quiet expectations are a one-way road to resentment, disappointment, and unspoken tension.

Be clear and direct about what you want.

24) Be on time.

It’s the easiest way to show respect for others and yourself. It also relieves the constant burden of feeling rushed and frantic.

Being the person who’s always late to things is a childish reputation to have.

25) Download ‘News Feed Eradicator.’

Hate scrolling on Facebook but don’t want to delete it?

Download this browser extension. It hides your Facebook news feed. No more being hypnotized by the algorithm.

26) Keep a list of your biggest insights.

Realizations, discoveries, mindset shifts. What have you changed your mind about lately?

It’s like finding old photos of who you were and what you were working on in the past.

27) Tell your friends “I love you.”

Especially guys. You’ll wish you said it more when you die.

28) Under 50 and don’t like what you look like shirtless? Prioritize exercise and diet.

It’ll only get harder. Now’s the time.

Hire a trainer. Get someone to help you figure out what to eat.

Give yourself more energy, confidence, and brain power by taking care of your body. If you were responsible for taking care of someone else’s body, would you fill it with sugar, simple carbs, and processed foods? Would you make sure that that body was never active?

Be kind to your future self and take care of your present self.

29) The quickest way to earn someone’s respect is to be able to take a joke.

There’s a difference between bullying and poking fun.

If someone is messing around with you, laugh. Join in on the joke.

This shows people you don’t take yourself so seriously and that you’re secure with yourself. I struggled to take jokes when I was younger because I was wildly insecure. Every jab felt like a missile.

Now, I make fun of myself more than anyone else. Life’s short. Be less serious and more silly. You’re no God.

Final thoughts:

Hope you enjoyed some of these. Hope you disagreed with some of them. Email me and let me know what you think.

See you next year for my 30th!

What are we getting wrong about masculinity?

My guest on the podcast this week is Jake from Rattlesnake TV.

He analyzes interviews and debates with well-known political figures and celebrities like Jordan Peterson, Russell Brand, and Ben Shapiro, just to name a few. His channel breaks down their charisma, debate tactics, and conversational skills so we can learn from them, have better disagreements, and build better arguments.

In just five months, Jake’s channel is rapidly approaching 100k subscribers. We dive into how he blew up so quickly in the episode as well.

Toward the end of the conversation, we discuss masculinity—a topic I’ve been fascinated by this past year. How far does it have to go before it’s considered “toxic?” And what are we getting wrong about masculinity in the west?

I thoroughly enjoyed the conversation. Jake and I have become buds and have been WhatsApping back and forth about content creation and martial arts.

If you’d like to listen to the episode, you can find it here!

Moving out and moving on

First morning in my Annapolis apartment—October 31, 2020.

This is the last time I’ll sit in this chair, at this desk, typing on this keyboard.

In a few hours, my friend will be here to help me pack everything I own into a U-Haul and then a tiny storage unit. I’ll squat at his house for the next week and a half. Then I’ll get on a plane and fly to Buenos Aires.

Packing up the office.

I got sad and nostalgic for a few seconds yesterday when I was taking everything down. But it quickly turned to excitement for the next chapter.

A new question has come to mind when it comes to change: “Did I think I would die with this thing?”

When my roomy told me she was moving out, I couldn’t stay glum for long because I knew I wasn’t going to die with her as my roommate. Just two 57-year-olds drinking Bud Light seltzers and playing Uno.

I sold my dresser and bookshelf yesterday—furniture I had as a child. Did I think I was going to die with those things? No.

That means between now and the day I die, I got rid of them at some point. This is that point.

I built my career in this office. I learned how to make money, create content, and play chess in this office. Now it’s time for me to get to whatever the next level is in another office.

It’s funny. Humans are so good at turning empty boxes into homes. But I was really just borrowing this room. By next week, it’ll be filled with someone else’s life and they’ll have no idea who I was or what I did at this desk.

Anyway, it’s time to move on. My priorities for the next month are simple:

  1. transition smoothly to Argentina
  2. finish the first draft of Do The Thing!
  3. post consistently on the podcast

Onward and upward!

2023 feedback review: my results (part 2)

Connor Russo's bachelor party in the mountains with the bros
Connor’s bachelor party in the mountains, April 2022.

Earlier this week I shared the biggest criticisms I took away from my annual feedback review with my buddy. I’ve already been utilizing the changes I wanted to make and it’s been cathartic.

I didn’t want to do this but I feel it’s only natural I share the more tender and positive stuff. One of my biggest insecurities is coming off as arrogant or self-important…but here goes.

Biggest positives:

1) I practice a growth mindset.

Growth mindset: understanding that skill and talent come from consistent time, effort, and repetition.

Fixed mindset: the false belief that skill and talent are innate and unmovable—you either have it, or you don’t.

It’s the difference between, “I’m just not a musical person,” and “If I sit down and practice piano for 10 minutes a day, I could get pretty good.”

Connor, the guy I do this feedback exercise with, has commented on my lack of perfectionism before. I love to just dive into new projects or crafts, know I’ll be garbage at them, then break through that initial brick wall until I’m actually kind of good.

Theatre, chess, jiujitsu, rock climbing, coaching, content creation…

All these things were pretty painful at the start. I was either cringing at my lack of ability or getting humiliated in one way or another.

In those moments, our 100,000-year-old survival systems kick in. We feel anxious and want to give up. But that’s just a wall to get over.

And once we crawl up and over to the other side (after a few weeks or a few months), that awkwardness and clunkiness turns to fluidity. The problem is that a lot of people simply give up before getting over the wall.

2) I’ve built a life around only doing the things I want to do.

This one really hit when he said it. It’s my central operating system: creating the life I want by helping others do the same.

Joe Rogan is undoubtedly my biggest inspiration in how to live. Let me explain.

Love him or hate him, he lives an incredible life. He was pivotal in me taking control of my life back in 2017. For two reasons…

  1. He was the first real masculine male figure who made being disciplined look really cool to me. Listening to his podcasts and YouTube clips gave an energy of, “Hey man. I love you, but you have got to get your shit together! You could be so much better than you are, and you owe it to yourself to start moving in that direction.”
  2. His career was the first crystal clear example I’d seen of only doing the things you love and making great money from that. He’s a podcaster, comedian, and UFC commentator…and he has worked at these for decades and figured out a way to become rich from each passion.

In short, Joe’s work ethic and results made me think I could get good enough at the stuff I enjoy to make a decent living. I particularly loved his career trio: three different pursuits which offer tons of overlap and variety at the same time.

I’m actively trying to model that myself. My trio is:

  1. life coaching
  2. writing
  3. podcasting

If I just do these things for the next 30+ years, that would be my dream career.

Anyway, it sounds almost childish. I just want to do the things I want to do, get better at those things, and repeat that process until I die.

I don’t really set goals. I don’t care about getting a certain amount of money or subscribers or clients. I just want to keep podcasting, writing, and coaching.

If something changes, I’ll pivot. But until then, the train keeps moving.

3) I’m an active listener.

Connor said, “When you listen to people, you make them feel seen and understood, never judged…which is sadly super rare in people today.”

I make a lot of eye contact and often reflect people’s words back to them. What’s funny is I don’t really notice any of that in myself. It must be programmed into me from 1300+ coaching sessions and hundreds of hours of interviewing people.

The biggest gift we can give people is curiosity. Asking people questions and follow-up questions is one of the best ways to make them feel good when they speak with you. It’s a heart-warming way to connect with other human beings.

Connor had a lot of other insanely kind things to say. But these were the three that meant the most to me.

We do this kind of feedback review each year. I’d highly recommend you do something similar with your friends. It can be as simple as two questions:

  1. What’s something I can improve?
  2. What impresses you about me?

What do you want feedback on? What answers are you scared to hear?

Let me know your thoughts.

2023 feedback review: my results (part 1)

Bro love. ❤️

This is Connor. He hated me in middle school, is the reason I run my own business, and has been one of my best friends for 15 years. He and his wife run a kick-ass climate tech studio and startup.

Each year, we do a feedback review where we answer deep and critical questions about one another. (Here were my biggest takeaways from last year’s review.)

2023’s questions:

  1. What’s something you haven’t told me for fear it might hurt my feelings?
  2. How do you wish I was more like you?
  3. How do you wish you were more like me?
  4. What impresses you most about me?
  5. What would you say at my funeral/eulogy?

No feedback is complete without an action item. So for each critique, I came up with ways to change. Here’s how it went…

Biggest criticisms:

1) I’m ugly.

Just kidding.

*1) I send people sociopolitical links they’re not interested in.

I don’t feel identified with the conservative label. But most of my close friends are more liberal or left-leaning than I am, so it makes me feel like I stick out a bit.

And since I rarely seek confrontation and am rather agreeable, I tend to avoid potentially tense or divisive discussions.

But sometimes I let my opinions peep through. And when Connor brought up the fact that I have sent some podcasts and clips or made some brief comments, I realized something about myself.

I have a habit of sending people links. I tell myself and the person I’m sending them to, “Hey, I think you’d find this fascinating.”

But I discovered what I really meant was, “Hey, here’s something I wish you understood and internalized. Hope ya like it!”

It’s been my cowardly way of indirectly debating and making arguments. As though watching a 40-second YouTube short and avoiding any sort of long-form conversation would bring insight to my friends.

Worse yet, I’ve been coming to conclusions about what I think my friends’ opinions are. I thought, I have liberal friends. They must be blue-haired, mega-woke granola people.

But I have zero evidence to even begin to back that claim.

Change #1:

I called a few friends to apologize for hiding behind links, promising that if I had anything to say I’d just say it myself. I don’t have to have someone else make an argument for me in a podcast or YouTube video. I can construct my own opinions.

Furthermore, I realized I crave two contradictory things at the same time:

  1. I want to have open and honest discussions and debates with my close friends about divisive topics.
  2. I absolutely don’t want to have those conversations. I just want to chill with my friends.

One friend made a great suggestion while I was on my apology phone tour. I can pursue conversations like those by simply stating, “Here’s something I’ve been thinking about lately. Can I get your thoughts on it? I’d love to workshop it because it’s something I feel super passionate about.”

Respectful. Light. Welcoming…Instead of, Hey watch this clip, it’ll expose how stupid you are! Lmk what ya think. 😉

2) I hold people to the high standards I hold myself to.

In terms of honesty, communication, and discourse. And well, they don’t feel like high standards to me. They just feel normal and reasonable.

Firstly, I refuse to lie in any way.

I was basically a compulsive liar when I was younger—lying even about small and insignificant things—and it created a world of chaos for me. I had to remember what I said to each person in my life. And worse yet, when you lie all the time, you slowly begin to believe the lies you tell others, building a false world for yourself.

On top of that, one of my most significant life principles is open and candid truth-telling.

I will always tell my friends, family, and colleagues what is on my mind—so long as I can do so in a respectful and valuable way. I don’t just blurt out every thought that pops into my head.

I tell my close friends what they’ve done to make me feel hurt. I tell my family what they mean to me. I give brutally honest feedback to my fellow coaches (with their permission).

And I want others to do the same for me. Hence this entire feedback review.

Lastly, I try to remain kind and compassionate toward people even when they’re not in the room.

One thing I pick up on quickly is how often someone talks about others who aren’t currently present. Gossip is an enormous turnoff for me. It drains me and it makes me question how often the gossiper talks about me when I’m not around.

My goal is to praise others when they aren’t in the room. I’m not naive, but I try to remain positive and grateful basically 100% of the time.

All this is to say…I often expect these same values and practices from other people.

When one of my friends suggests I lie, I’m shocked. When I learn someone feels a certain way about me, I get frustrated that they haven’t brought it up to me yet. When I hear someone gossip, I think less about them.

I’m proud of these values but I don’t want them to make me feel disgusted toward the people in my life.

Change #2:

First, be mindful. Remind myself that my principles are mine and I’m not in charge of other people.

Second, continue being the change I want to see in the world. When someone lies, ghosts, or gossips…don’t judge or shame them in any way. But instead advertise what you would prefer: uncomfortable honesty, candid conversation, and praise. Lead by example.

In other words: make these boring and wholesome alternatives sexy again. It won’t guarantee people will become more like you, but it will continue to create a more positive atmosphere.

3) I don’t collaborate enough in disagreements.

This last one combines #1 and #2.

Not completely understanding the other person’s beliefs + feeling my way of thinking is supreme = subpar debates and discussions.

I love diving into potentially divisive and radioactive topics: race, gender ideology, sexism, etc.

But I have only been able to do so consistently with friends I already agree with. That makes me sad because I want to be able to talk about anything with anyone. It also means I stay in my bubble: not having my ideas challenged enough and not considering opposing opinions.

Part of this is due to the naturally uncomfortable nature of having these conversations…especially with friends. If you’re at a dinner party with four buddies, would you rather play CatchPhrase or debate police brutality in America?

But a huge component is my own lack of collaboration and questioning. I want to dive headfirst into my thoughts and point out other people’s errors. Folks love that.

When someone says something I disagree with, my internal emotional reaction is, That’s ridiculous, let me set this person straight. Turns out no one is interested in being “set straight” or educated.

People just want to be heard and understood. So…

Change #3:

First and foremost, I need to make it clear to people that they are completely free to share their thoughts and opinions without my judgment or condescension.

I can ask way more questions before I share any of my own ideas or counterarguments. Above all, I can find common ground.

Where do we completely agree? Where do our perspectives divert? What values and desires do we share?

I need to address these things before turning into a professor. No one wants to be lectured at. No one wants to attend a TED Talk against their will.

Finally, I have to get better at steelmanning.

Strawman fallacy: attacking a weak or incorrect version of someone’s argument, often straying from the actual points the person is making.


  • “You care about climate change? So you just want us to stop driving cars and having babies?”
  • “You’re pro-law enforcement? So you think cops should just be able to do and say what they want to innocent civilians?”
  • “You think pornography is bad for society? So you think we should shame women in the industry?”

Steelman argument: debating with the best possible interpretation of someone’s argument.

When you steelman someone, you articulate their opinions to the point that they agree with you. “Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying.”

It’s hard to do this, especially when we vehemently disagree with someone. But it’s the best way to have a fruitful conversation.

I’m going to practice doing this. I can’t unload my thoughts before steelmanning the person I’m speaking with.

It took a few days for these criticisms to really sink in and for my defensive nature to fade. But I’m excited to put these changes into practice.

Later this week, I’ll share the positive feedback I received in part 2.

Here Be Barr | The Ultimate Guide to New York City

Jon Barr on The YouTuber's Guide to the Galaxy podcast

On this week’s episode of The YouTuber’s Guide to the Galaxy, I interviewed Jon Barr.

He’s a NYC vlogger and travel creator. I discovered his channel when I was considering moving to Brooklyn. To anyone looking to learn more about the culture and variety of New York, Jon’s your guy.

His channel currently has 340k subscribers. We dove into how he went from a burnt-out sportscaster to a full-time traveling filmmaker.

We cover: what it’s like to be a full-time content creator with a newborn baby, how Jon started his channel, how Casey Neistat changed the YouTube space, Jon’s protocol for when homeless people approach him, what stereotypes of New Yorkers are untrue, how long it can take for a video to go viral, and much more.

Side note: The more I do these interviews, the more I realize how insignificant superficial metrics like subscriber count are.

What I mean is…I keep reaching out to people who have tens or hundreds of thousands of subscribers and thinking they’re higher-quality human beings than me. Then, we hop on a call and have a conversation and I realize they’re all just kind, humble, and humorous people.

When they treat me respectfully, I think, Wait, but I only have 134 subscribers. I’m scum compared to you. Why are you treating me like your equal?

Even though that’s exactly how I’ll treat newer creators when I have hundreds of thousands of subs.

More and more YouTubers are agreeing to be on the podcast, which I think will make it easier for more and more YouTubers to agree to be on the podcast. I’m having so much fun.

If you want to listen to my conversation with Jon, here’s the link.

Email me any and all feedback you have. 🫶

How to Not Die Alone (book review)

Logan Ury's book How to Not Die Alone

“Dating is harder today than ever before. We define our own identities, unlike our ancestors whose lives were defined by their communities. We have thousands of options at our fingertips, which makes us question our decisions. We’re uncomfortable making big decisions. Social media makes us believe that everyone else is in happier, healthier relationships than we are. We don’t have relationship role models. We’re bombarded with messaging that we have to get this right, and that the ‘right’ answer exists at all.”

Logan Ury is a data scientist at Hinge and this book is her Magnum Opus. It’s designed as an actionable and practical guidebook for dating better and dating often.

With years of data research and personal stories from her dating coaching clients, Logan breaks down how single people often get in their own way…starting with the three dating tendencies:

1. Romanticizer: You want the soul mate, the happily ever after—the whole fairytale. You love love. You believe you are single because you haven’t met the right person yet. Your motto: It’ll happen when it’s meant to happen.

2. Maximizer: You love doing research, exploring all of your options, turning over every stone until you’re confident you’ve found the right one. You make decisions carefully. And you want to be 100 percent certain about something before you make your choice. Your motto: Why settle?

3. Hesitater: You don’t think you’re ready for dating because you’re not the person you want to be yet. You hold yourself to a high standard. You want to feel completely ready before you start a new project; the same goes for dating. Your motto: I’ll wait until I’m a catch.

Here are some of my biggest takeaways…

• seek Life Partners: people trustworthy and reliable, and who will stay with you for the long haul; avoid Prom Dates: individuals fun in the short term, but who ultimately let you down

• superficial qualities like looks or money matter less in long-term relationship success than people think they do—lust fades and people adapt to their circumstances, the same is true for shared hobbies and similar personalities; what to look for in a Life Partner: emotional stability and kindness, loyalty, growth mindset, personality that brings out the best of you, skills to fight well, ability to make hard decisions with you

• in the end, a relationship is about what happens when you two are together—focus on who you’re being when this person is around, you can even ask your close friends, “What am I like when you see me with my partner?”

• the Monet Effect: when we see only a rough sketch of someone, our brains (hoping for a great outcome), fill in the gaps with flattering details—then when we discover their inevitable flaws they seem worse than they actually are…then we look for something better, feeling like the grass is always greener just over the horizon

• dating apps cause us to focus on the wrong things—we value what gets measured and apps can only measure superficial traits, so they exacerbate our shallowness; apps overwhelm us with choices and make us indecisive, they create a habit of relation-shopping: comparing and contrasting people as if they’re potential purchases

• to meet more people in real life: go to more events, get set up by friends and family, and build the habit of connecting with strangers out and about

• 10 steps to better dates:

  1. shift your mindset with a pre-date ritual
  2. choose the time/date of the date thoughtfully
  3. opt for a creative activity
  4. show your work, let your date know how much effort you put into the date
  5. play
  6. skip the small talk
  7. be interested, not interesting
  8. limit phone use, keep it out of sight
  9. end on a high note
  10. use the post-date 8 to shift to the experimental mindset

• the post-date 8 questions:

  1. what side of me did they bring out?
  2. how did my body feel during the date?
  3. do I feel more energized or drained than before the date?
  4. is there something about them I’m curious about?
  5. did they make me laugh?
  6. did I feel heard?
  7. did I feel attractive in their presence?
  8. did I feel captivated, bored, or something in between?

• f*ck the spark—instant fireworks is not a sign that this relationship will be happy and healthy, it could actually distract you from red flags

Every single person should read this book. Every person in a relationship should read this book so they can gift it to their single friends. ❤️

Friendly feedback

A bunch of people looking at graphs for feedback

One of my besties and I do an annual feedback review. The goal is to be as honest and exposing as possible. Crying is encouraged.

I try to use different questions each year. Here’s 2023’s:

1. What’re you hesitant to tell me for fear it might hurt my feelings?
2. How do you wish I was more like you?
3. How do you wish you were more like me?
4. What impresses you most about me?
5. What would you say at my funeral/eulogy?

These reviews always teach me something I didn’t know about myself. They also prove that openness and being candid don’t kill us but in fact, make us stronger.

I’ll report my lessons learned in a few weeks.

I should care about this thing, but I don’t—What do I do?

Dillan Taylor with his family standing on a cliff.
West Virginia, 2022.

For all of my 20s, I would list family as one of my top priorities. But there was a problem.

It wasn’t.

From 18-23, I was a lost soul trying to find his way at college. My priorities were getting drunk, acting in plays, and scrounging endlessly to find ways to eat and pay my late bills. Then I failed school and didn’t know who I was, what I wanted, or what skills I could offer the world.

And from 23-26, I was reborn and dove headfirst into self-improvement. I started making money, working out, and building the habits for a strong and capable life. I did all the things I wanted to do and weeded out the things I didn’t. I pushed myself to new and scary heights. I crawled out of the hole of a life I dug for myself in my early 20s. I learned sales, started podcasting and making videos, and became mindful and stoic.

But something was missing.

In all those formative adult years, I never once felt like a good son, brother, or nephew. I would say I valued family, but my actions told a different story.

I called and visited when it was convenient or fun for me. I avoided helping my mom out with simple things around the house. I would say I was going to do things and not do them.

The strange part was that I knew this wasn’t the way. I felt slimy every time I told my mom I’d help clean out the attic, and then would stay at a friend’s house and show up hungover in the middle of the afternoon. It was draining and deeply disappointing to everyone involved. And she would say so.

This all tugged on one of my deepest-held fears: Am I going to be a neglectful dad? Will I be incapable of sacrificing my own desires for the sake of my family?

Then three huge things happened that changed everything:

  1. I moved out of my mom’s house.
  2. I started a life coaching business.
  3. My grandpa started to decline.

In the summer of 2020, my friend from middle school reached out and asked if I wanted to get an apartment with her. She was also living with her mom at the time.

Dillan Taylor and his roommate when they were in middle school
Me and my roommate in 8th grade lol, 2008.

We moved into the apartment where I’m currently typing this blog in October of that year. I felt closer to my mom and sister almost immediately.

The place is only 16 minutes away from their house. But the space between us created room for us to miss each other.

But I still didn’t genuinely feel like I wanted to make quality time with family a priority. And that scared me. What was wrong with me?

My mom has done more for me than any other human being. Why didn’t I jump at every opportunity to help her with whatever she needed? Why didn’t I actually care?

Cut to April 2021. As part of my life coaching certification, we each got paired with a coaching partner. My partner, who is one of my closest friends today, was coaching me.

I came prepared with a question: How do I change how I feel about my family?

I was sick of my actions not matching up with my words. If I didn’t change my habits, I knew I’d regret it forever.

I wanted my mom to tell people that I made her life easier, more fun, and less heavy. I wanted my sister to see me as someone she could come to for anything. I wanted my dad’s side of the family to view me as an active and present member of the family.

So I asked my coaching buddy, “How do I change my mindset? Is it possible to alter how I feel emotionally? Can you force yourself to be motivated to do something you don’t feel compelled to do?”

He held space for me. He asked me incredibly powerful and thought-provoking questions. He helped me find the answers I already knew that were hidden beneath the surface.

By the end, everything was clear.

“I’ve been going at this all wrong,” I said. “You can’t just force your mindset to change. I have to change my behaviors first and let the beliefs come afterward.”

My emotions and motivations were out of my control. What I did, how engaging I was, how often I showed up…These were completely within my control.

So I added family time to my weekly system. When planning my week on Mondays, I couldn’t finish without having some form of quality time or conversation. Phone calls. Lunches or dinners. Visits at my mom’s.

What felt like a chore at first quickly became activities I thoroughly enjoyed. I wanted to do things with my mom. Our conversations were more fun. We laughed more. I was curious about how I could help her.

That’s been my journey these past two years. I’m about to turn 29, the age my parents were when I was born.

All those years I blew my mother off. I can’t get those back. While I’ve forgiven myself, it’s still my deepest regret. But I can do everything within my power to be a great family member now and from here on out.

When my grandpa started to noticeably decline in 2021, I changed my habits around driving down and visiting my grandparents. Once every two or three months. Because of that, I got way more hours in with them before my grandpa passed away last month.

Dillan Taylor and his grandpa sitting on a boat in Lake Gaston
Lake Gaston, 2010.

If I didn’t do that, I’m positive I’d be thinking, I should’ve spent more time with him. I should’ve shown more appreciation while I had access to him.

But I didn’t. While I was down there with my dad, grandma, and aunts, all I felt was, I’m so glad I’m here. I’m so grateful I prioritized seeing him more this past year.

And I feel the same about my mom and sister.

Something heavy just happened with that side of my family—a story I’ll share in the coming weeks. But I was thrilled to see that my immediate responses have been: How can I be there for my mom? How can I make things easier for her? How can I show up for my sister?

These aren’t things I felt in my early 20s.

I got coached last week. She asked me, “Do you think your mom would say all the things you want her to say about you…today?”

With watery eyes, I replied, “Yes. I think she would.”

I hope that’s true.

Key takeaways:

  • Words are lovely, but you are what you do consistently.
  • You can change your values and motivations by changing your behaviors first.
  • Live in a way that would make the people you love say great things about you when you’re not around.

Interviewing a “canceled” person

Meghan Murphy on The YouTuber's Guide to the Galaxy

On the latest episode of The YouTuber’s Guide to the Galaxy, I interviewed Meghan Murphy.

Meghan is a writer, journalist, and podcaster. She’s the editor-in-chief at Feminist Current, a website and podcast dedicated to protecting female spaces. She’s also the host of The Same Drugs, where she and her guests tackle sociopolitical topics like gender identity, race, censorship, and modern feminism. She’s also been on the Joe Rogan Experience a couple times to tell her story.

This is the first time I spoke with a “canceled” person. Meghan was banned from Twitter back in 2018, starting with this tweet:

She has since been let back on Twitter after Elon Musk bought the company. I should note that the Taliban has never been kicked off the platform.

Meghan was so fun to talk to. She has a bubbly sense of humor and is incredibly resilient when it comes to speaking her mind and maintaining her authenticity.

We dove into her criticisms of gender ideology, cancel culture, porn, hookup culture, and third-wave feminism. I’ve never really recorded myself talking about these things and must admit I was a little nervous. But it’s people like Meghan who inspire me to talk openly and honestly about potentially radioactive topics.

In our conversation, we discuss: the 3 tweets that got her originally banned from Twitter, what feminism really is, the overprescription of anti-depressants and ADHD medication, the pros and cons of being an independent creator, what it’s like to be “canceled” and lose friends because of that, and finally, Meghan tells me what a woman is.

Check out the episode here! It was a fun one.