You Don’t Need to Be Rich to Be Yourself

You just have to stop caring what people think

Niklas Göke
5 min readOct 5, 2019


Photo by Arthur Ogleznev on Unsplash

I spend disproportionate amounts of time thinking about other people’s potential. In fact, I think so much about other people’s careers and happiness that it’s a miracle I’ve gotten mine somewhat in line at all. Or, maybe, it’s exactly because of it that I did. I don’t know.

I just can’t help it. It’s like I was put here to figure out what people were meant to do and then point the way up the right hill. I’m wrong a lot, of course. It’s not always a healthy habit. But still… For some reason, I’m able to tap into people’s psyche well enough to conjure recommendations that feel like they’re worth sharing. Like I can’t not share them.

I realize this is a lousy job. 99% of the time, what I say will fall on deaf ears. Worse, I get rolling eyes, polite but skeptic nods, and a great deal of folks thinking I’m a lunatic, entitled, or just plain annoying. But those 1%? The 1% who dare try another approach or consider listening to their heart? Worth every second. That’s a weird bit of math, but it works for me.

Wanna know why? Here’s a secret: It doesn’t matter what I tell them nor if they take my advice. What matters is that the conversation gives them the courage to stop giving a damn what people think. To say, “Screw it, I’m gonna do what feels right for me for once.” Without that, no subsequent potential-fulfilling can happen. That’s the first step I need you to take. We all need you to take. Maybe, it’s the only one.

In the first episode of the hit show Billions, the main billionaire in question, Bobby Axelrod, considers buying a house so expensive it’d make him look bad in public. When an adversary tells him not to, he replies:

“What’s the point of having ‘fuck you’ money if you never say ‘fuck you?’”

There’s something funny in there about billionaires rarely using this power they’ve so arduously acquired. What’s even funnier is a related line from a movie also dealing with this topic.

In The Gambler, Jim Bennett must take a huge risk just to get off scot-free. After he does and wins, he leaves the building and starts walking. One of his former creditors pulls up in a car and offers him a ride, which he…



Niklas Göke

I write for dreamers, doers, and unbroken optimists. Read my daily blog here: