Roosevelt’s “The Man in the Arena”

New policy: People who have never written a book don’t get to tell me how to write my books. Anyone that’s never published a book doesn’t get to offer me their advice on how to publish a book. Folks that have never operated a business are not allowed to give me their opinions on how I should run my business. Going forward, those who do not adhere to this policy will be politely but firmly told to sit down and shut up.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Theodore Roosevelt, Citizenship in a Republic, Paris, April 23, 1910 

I’m the one with skin in the game. It’s on me to make my career work, because if I can’t then the bills don’t get paid. There’s a reason I went back to college for a business degree, studied hard, and graduated summa cum laude. I’m the one that’s been earning a living solely with the things I write and publish for five years. Don’t try to give me directions to a place you’ve never been.

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