Slings & Arrows


A disproportion percentage of you guys are content creators, a function of my training garyvee.

I know this, because I have answered hundreds of questions on how:

  • how do I start vlogging?
  • how do I get online clients?
  • how do I explain to my girlfriend/parents/etc I want to quit my job and chase my passion

But that’s not what you are really asking.

You really want to know how to reduce the pain, embarrassment, negative feedback, and potential failure linked to your decision.

Well, I have an important lesson for you today.

And this applies to everyone, not just entrepreneurs.


You have to choose your pain:

  1. Do you want slings and arrows?
  2. Or do you want to bear arms against a sea of troubles?

What does that mean??

Bearing Arms Against A Sea Of Troubles

Bearing arms means to join the masses and hunker down into mediocrity.

It is cynicism.

  • tax rates are too high
  • insurance is unfair
  • obama sucks / trump sucks / hillary sucks
  • professional athletes are overpaid
  • checkout lines are too long
  • the stock market is rigged
  • rap music isn’t real music!!

It is fear of leading.

It is the dopamine release you feel after complaining.

It is an inability to align your beliefs with action – because you fear looking or being different. 


Slings & Arrows

Slings and arrows are fired from the peanut gallery.

Aimed at the man in the arena.

  • your blog sucks, you suck
  • did you see suzy is trying to start a fashion youtube channel?!
  • you think you can be a personal trainer? you don’t even have abs!!
  • lucy… is… modeling…?? LOL
  • jeremy wants to start a limo company? with a chicken on the hood of the car?!

Slings and arrows are the cost of chasing big upside. Of being different. Of following your gut.

Now, some of these might seem innocuous. But I promise you they are not innocuous to anyone who has felt them. They can hurt.

And even worse, they can slow or prevent action.


Painful Either Way

So, why does it matter?

Seems like whichever option we choose, we get hurt. Right?

We choose the pain of the man’s boot on our throat as zero-to-ninety passes in a blink.

Or, we chase down our wildest intuitions only to suffer the pain of judgement, abandonment, and hurtful words in the process.

You are right, it is painful either way.

But the two courses yield different upsides.


Comparing Upsides

The upside of bearing arms is comfort.

Nothing else.

You get to stay in your bubble, in your comfort zone, and you don’t get the backlash of piercing words and judgements.

Seems pretty meh to me.

On the other hand, the upside of taking slings and arrows is infinite. I mean, how can you put a value on executing against your intuition? I cannot think of a greater high in life.


What Happens If You Don’t Choose

It is important to note that if you don’t choose, you will be forced to take arms against a sea of troubles.

Because you can’t accidentally fall into a position to have shots taken at you.

Ah, shucks, I accidentally wrote this novel that keeps getting mean one-star reviews.

Putting yourself in a position to take slings & arrows is a decision.

And, like I mentioned earlier in this post, this is not just the decision to put content on the internet. This is about taking any kind of risk.

Any time you swim against the current or act against the herd.


A Phrase To Keep Top Of Mind

Slings & Arrows is a phase I want you to keep top of mind.

When your magic card trick gets exposed on your third ever youtube video. Or your ex-boss leaves a comment saying your fashion blog will never get off the ground.

Slings & Arrows.

This is the good kind of pain.


Which To Choose?

The only choice there is.

To be called unqualified. And a douche. And a sellout.

But to take solace in the fact that you chose the right kind of pain, the pain of a flesh wound on the battlefield rather than the pain of an empty heart hiding in the woods, skipping the battle altogether.


Leave a Comment 🙂

I’d like to know if I’m completely insane, or if anyone can relate to this!


PS: I discuss the origins of “Slings & Arrows” in this video and, yes, I am well aware I am using the term out of the context with which Shakespeare intended it. 

PPS: Here is me reading this blog post! If you want more of these, subscribe to my youtube channel.

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