How To Earn Fuck You Money (Yet Why You Don’t Need It)
The Power Mrs Nader & Peter Thiel Share
We think financial independence protects us from the big-bad-world. But it’s the same illusion a 3-year-old has thinking their security-blanket protects them from the big-bad-wolf. Even when your financial independence protects you from an evil corporation’s long line of litigation-loving lawyers, they find other ways to attack you. They will slander you in the press.
“Bring it on,” you say? They were warming up. They’ll go after your family. As Nassim Taleb explained; “General Motors, in the campaign against Ralph Nader (who uncovered flaws in their products), desperate to stop him, resorted to harassing Rose Nader, his mother, calling her at three in the morning–in the days when it was hard to trace a telephone call. Clearly it was meant to make Ralph Nader feel he was guilty of harming his own mother.”
We’ve been talking about financial independence. But there’s another kind of financial status you dream of: fuck you money. If financial independence is the bodybuilder who feels tough, fuck you money is the martial artist who is tough. Peter Thiel is an entrepreneur and investor who was a founder of PayPal and the first major investor in Facebook. I don’t know if Thiel practices martial arts, but his money has a black belt in judo, jiu-jitsu and kickboxing. His fuck you money is earning fuck you money in interest.
As Ryan Holiday described in his book Conspiracy, Thiel’s wealth helped him destroy a media empire. Thiel took offence when a scandalous blog, part of the appropriately named Gawker empire, outed him as gay. True as it was, Thiel felt they invaded his privacy. But he didn’t act like the financially independent and start a war of words. His real fuck you money would speak louder than any Twitter fingers ever could. Thiel waited, with his lawyers in the wings, until Gawker slipped. Gawker published a private sex tape of wrestler and American icon Hulk Hogan. Thiel secretly funded Hogan’s lawsuit. The lawsuit won, Thiel bankrupted the Gawker empire. Gawker slipped. Thiel made sure they fell.
We think it’s only the elite Peter Thiel’s of the world that can stand up to corporate bullies. Mrs Nader shows us we’re wrong. Her story continues, “It turned out that Rose Nader was herself an activist and felt flattered by the calls (at least she was not left out of the battle).” Rose Nader didn’t have fuck you money. She had a fuck you attitude. Fuck you money promises comfort when adversity arises, while a fuck you attitude promises the ability to handle the discomfort of adversity, even relish it. Everything you think fuck you money promises you in the future, a fuck you attitude gives you right now.
The empire destroying fuck you that Thiel delivered, rested upon a foundation of decades of living with a fuck you attitude. When Thiel began working at a prestigious law firm, he said fuck you to the typical career path of an ivy-league graduate. He quit. His attitude continued. This time he quit managing a successful hedge-fund to to say fuck you to the very financial system he was part of. He founded PayPal. If he never said the early fuck you’s and took the risks of leaving his law firm and hedge-fund positions, while we can assume he would have made many millions and achieved financial independence, he wouldn’t have earned the billions that helped him destroy Gawker. Those who get real fuck you money, take the risks with a fuck you attitude long before getting the money. The attitude comes first, the money follows. With a fuck you attitude, you’ll find you don’t need the fuck you money. But you’ll be more likely to get it.