Jeffrey Epstein : The Dangers of Unchecked Power

Opinion 

Jeffrey Epstein was a sick man. This article is no way justifying his despicable behavior, but it’s my perspective on how vast amounts of money, power and wealth are likely creating more Jeffrey Epsteins than we know about.

When I was living in LA back in 2015, I dated a gorgeous and voluptuous 26-year-old girl that told me that she was used to dating multi-millionaires and billionaires – neither of which I was. This is probably why on our first date she told me to take her to the Four Seasons for cocktails. At the time I was making pretty good money so I was able to afford it, but it was far above the scale I normally would spend on a first date. Thai restaurants are usually good.

Four Seasons Rooftop
You can tell the drinks are expensive here

Second date was the super trendy Hollywood restaurant The Nice Guy which was of course, her choice. It was so trendy in fact that numerous paparazzi were stationed outside as celebrities were always expected there (they gave us a glance but no photos of us were taken).

The Nice Guy Los Angeles
You can tell the drinks and food are expensive here

Our third date was Toca Madera, an upscale Mexican restaurant in Beverly Hills. I don’t know why anyone would want to spend $300 on Mexican food which is essentially tortillas, meat and cheese but we were paying for the “experience” or “to be seen” I suppose.

Toca Madera
You can tell the Mexican food and margaritas are expensive here

It was after this third date and about $1,200 spent across 3 meals that we spent the night together. I don’t think I necessarily did anything right that night except for hitting that 4-digit monetary threshold.

As I got to know her I was curious about the habits of the rich and powerful men she dated. I too had just started making some significant income so I thought this information could be a peek into my potential future. Since then, the concept of chasing money has been de-prioritized in my life. Freedom & health are the new focus.

Some things she told me about herself : she was asked to be in JAV (Japanese Adult Videos) after she dated a porn producer. She had a rich boyfriend that sponsored her breast implants because he wanted every girl he was dating to have them. In his defense, over 75% of men prefer fake boobs (sorry ladies – it’s true). Likewise, I am sure 75% of women prefer men to have six packs lol. Oh how reality and expectations differ. She lived in Beverly Hills and drove a brand new Lexus. I don’t remember what her job was but that’s probably because she never had one to mention as my memory is pretty solid.

2020 Lexus
I’m sure she’s driving the 2020 Lexus somewhere around Los Angeles today

Over the next few weeks I was very curious and intrigued by the billionaire lifestyle and essentially what I learned was that the ultra-rich people are called the 1% for a reason. They live in a world that 99%+ of the planet would never understand. Here is why in my opinion, this gets dangerous.

The 1%
99%+ of us will never understand the lifestyles of the 1%

Flashback to fall 2001 and I had just stepped foot on a college campus for the first time. I joined the journalism team in an attempt to network and meet new people. It worked because I met a guy named Matt who would ultimately become one of my best friends throughout college. I also officiated his wedding in 2015. The first night on campus we got invited to a frat house. I didn’t have any experience with alcohol in high school except for the prom night after party. After two beers (Natty Light), I felt weird meaning drunk. It was a scary moment so I left the party and ran home through the dark campus. The next night I had two beers and my body had quickly adapted to that amount of alcohol. No fear!

Natty Light
Sure Natty Light might have fewer calories but does it really matter when you’re drinking 20 of them?

Eventually it was three beers, and then beer pong, and then experimenting with mixed drinks, jungle juice, shots, helicoptering bottles of Bacardi, innovative drinking games meant to encourage extreme alcohol consumption. The point is that as time went on, I needed more and more alcohol to not only achieve the same buzz but also to chase a new high (or low). Eventually came the blackouts which in hindsight was a very stupid and irresponsible point to have hit, but I was 18 with no experience with alcohol and no adult supervision for the first time in my life.

College campuses are a dangerous place for what are essentially children. There is limitless access to alcohol and no guidance. As a professor once told me, the worst thing that happened to the college education system was increasing the drinking age from 18 to 21. This made drinking something that had to be done secretly, away from adults and hidden from authorities. This incentivizes students to get as plastered as possible in secrecy before going out to the frat parties or nightlife.

Kegstand
If you’ve gone to college, you’ve certainly done a keg stand. Completely unnecessary.

The point is, what initially took me 2 beers to “feel good” eventually became 20+ drinks. And it wasn’t just “let’s have a drink.” It was “let’s create ridiculous drinking games like Edward 40Hands, Kings card game, beer pong, flip cup, Around the World, Alcohol Olympics” and many more. To the average person who never attended college (which is a luxury in itself), we must have looked like savage animals. Alcoholics we all were but when everyone around you is doing the same thing, this behavior becomes normalized. See where I’m going with this? I bet Jeffrey Epstein wasn’t the only one in his circle touching young girls.

Edward 40 Hands
Such a ridiculous and unnecessary game

Let’s go back to the girl I dated. So I asked her what older billionaires were like in bed. I assumed that they would do things like have sex in fancy villas, private jets or personal beaches. Instead, what she told me blew my mind. One of the older gentlemen she dated was so numb to the feeling of sex (sex is more accessible if you’re rich, wealthy and powerful so it’s easier to achieve tolerance to it), that he handed her a pizza cutter and asked that she use it to cut into his chest flesh while they had sex. He needed to bleed to feel anything. Pain at this point, was a welcomed sensation. This is how far he had to push stimulation to achieve any sort of pleasure. This is some Black Mirror type of shit. Most of us are going to read this story and think “WTF” but if sex is as obtainable and accessible to you as a cup of coffee at a bodega and you’ve had that lifestyle for 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 years … you might start needing to “up the ante” and start getting into what mainstream society would deem “stranger things” and at what point does that end? 

Pizza cutter
This seems normal

The point is that overexposure to any sort of stimulant whether it be alcohol, drugs or sex, can push the mind to a place that 99%+ of the world will never understand. This is how drug addicts hit rock bottom or die from an overdose (or sometimes they were sold a contaminated mix). Also throw in the fact that the ultra-wealthy can afford to operate above or outside the law, so they too engage in harmful behaviors in secret and away from authorities just like 18-year-olds on a college campus. With no supervision or authority in addition to limitless access to a stimulus, you’re enabled to push your behavior to extreme limits, almost free of consequences. Until you push too far.

I am not stating that we need to be under constant surveillance. I am merely observing how 99% of us can not and will never understand how you can go from a normal citizen to an abhorrent criminal worthy of a lifetime jail sentence. My opinion is mixed on the death penalty – although it seems Jeffrey Epstein administered the death penalty on himself.

The 1% seem to have it all but maybe “having it all” can also lead to having too much. As Biggie said, “mo money, mo problems.”

Mo Money Mo Problems Biggie
Mo Money Mo Problems is right

Now I’m not saying that everyone with vast amounts of money and power are pedophiles or sex addicts, but I would imagine that there are far more Jeffrey Epsteins in that economic class than we could imagine. Their wealth and power not only enables them but also protects them. 

To the undesirable young man who has a hard time getting laid, it might take as little as nightclub twerks to bring him to orgasm. But over time as he makes more money, builds confidence, develops his sense of humor, starts lifting weights and eats healthier, it takes more than a good twerk to achieve orgasm. Push this to the extreme – for example, a man worth $500 million with a private island, mansions, status, rich and powerful friends – and what exactly will it take? How far is that person willing to go achieve that high? Jeffrey Epstein showed us an example of these limits.

My relationship with alcohol has improved as I got older. As physical fitness and overall health have taken priority, I don’t drink as many nights a month as I used to and I also haven’t blacked out in a long time. I was able to identify that my drinking behavior was irresponsible and I was able to make a dramatic U-turn. But this comes from a decent level of self-awareness. This is where having external checks in place is helpful. That friend who says, “Hey Jimmy, maybe you’re drinking too much” or “Hey Jeffrey, maybe you shouldn’t be getting massages from underaged girls.”

transformation
Self-Awareness is one of the most important characteristics of a human. The ability to pause, reflect on your behavior, identify the problems and adjust accordingly. Evolve or die.

If you surround yourself by like-minded or similarly wealthy and powerful people, perhaps this behavior is normalized within that group. “If everyone around me is doing it, then it must be OK.” Sounds just like the college drinking problem.

It’s difficult to prescribe to a billionaire that they should “stay grounded” or be “down to earth” when they possess the means to hop on a private plane and go to their private island, but understanding how tolerance works and the increased need for more extremes to achieve the same or greater buzz can help us potentially understand or at least see the warning signs of bad behavior. Getting massages from underaged girls would be an example of bad behavior. 

Jeffrey Epsteins private island
Jeffrey Epstein’s private island. Must be nice to be rich! Or is it?

I am disappointed that Jeffrey Epstein “committed suicide” (in quotes because is that what really happened?) as I am sure some of his victims would have liked to see justice delivered, but maybe they’re happy that this monster cannot hurt or traffic another underaged girl ever again. I would like to imagine that if I ever became ultra-famous or hyper-rich I would be able to stay grounded and down to earth. All of us would like to imagine that would be the case but as we’ve seen with Jeffrey Epstein, money and power can create a slippery slope.

***

What did you think about my perspective on Jeffrey Epstein’s behavior? Leave a comment or you can e-mail me adam@befreemysheeple.com. If you enjoyed reading/watching this, you can follow me on Instagram, @adamfrancisco & @befreemysheeple.

The Definitive Guide to Dating App Etiquette (2019)

 

If you’re single (or even if you’re not), dating apps are a significant part of dating culture and for many people it’s the primary way to meet people. I use dating apps (I’m only on Bumble, Tinder, OKCupid) for 2 reasons:

(1) you know (almost) every user is in-market to meet someone (whereas in the real world when you approach someone you don’t know what their dating situation is so you’re going in cold)

(2) it’s like Amazon – you can swipe right until you find something you like (I still think dating apps need to include a swipe right percentage so you know if the person just swipes right on everyone or is actually a methodical swiper -I go back and forth between both methods based on my existing pipeline)

AdamFrancisco Tinder
My actual Tinder profile – feel free to DM me on Instagram if you’re interested lol

Although over half the women I’ve dated I met in real life (at places like Starbucks, on the street, at a bar), I’ve been using dating apps on and off for the last 15 years or so (yep, OKCupid is that old), I’ve met hundreds of women through dating apps. You would think by now that dating app etiquette would be in a pretty good place but sadly it’s not. I still see women committing so many basic dating app sins that I felt compelled to write a definitive guide to dating apps. I did not want this to seem one-sided so I opened up the conversation on my personal Facebook and it turns out that men are just as guilty as women are. 

This guide applies to all genders although it is being written in a heterosexual dating tone (as I am a straight male). If you’re guilty of committing any of these unforgivable dating app sins, do not fret – there is still time for you to correct your flaws! These tips are in no particular order.

The Definitive Guide to Dating App Etiquette (2019)

Always include a full body shot

One of the gravest sins that you can commit on a dating app is not including at least one image that clearly shows your full body. You don’t have to have a 6pack or a perfect body, but we want to have a general sense of the overall physical appearance and body type that we’re talking to. Personally, going to the gym, exercising and looking healthy are all very important to me so I typically date women that reflect this lifestyle as well. If you’re not including at least one picture that shows your body, the first thing that I think is that this person lacks self-confidence and that’s not somebody I want to meet (no matter how beautiful their face is). Regardless of your shape or figure, you’re going to be somebody’s type. Plus, we’re eventually going to see what you really look like if we meet up so show off what you’re working with and don’t set people up for DISAPPOINTMENT.

As my friend Fellippe says, “Masterful angles can hide weight … while the camera adds 10 pounds, a good angle takes off 10 pounds up to a maximum of 60 pounds.”

Adam Francisco Bumble
If you like what you see, you can DM me as I am always single

Keep your photos updated

This one should also be pretty obvious but I have heard from many women that a lot of men will include pictures from when they were younger, skinnier, fitter, had more hair, etc. Some guys in their 40s will go as far as including pictures from college. Um…what? This is 100% false advertising. I personally keep all of my photos updated as of 6 months. A good rule of thumb would be to remove any photos that are older than 365 days. You can pretend to be younger and fitter and skinnier and hairier all you want, but when you meet up in real life, you will be exposed and they will be DISAPPOINTED.

Me in 2007
Cute, but this photo is 12 years old

Have you recently undergone a drastic physical change?

Let’s suppose that in the last 3 months, I stopped going to the gym and that I exclusively ate bacon cheeseburgers and pizza for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Or if I treated every day like it was a #tacotuesday. You would imagine that I would likely suffer from significant weight gain and muscle loss. This would be considered a dramatic physical change and one that I should update my dating profile with. If you’re expecting a guy with a semi-decent 6pack and I show up with a dadbod, you’ll be DISAPPOINTED. 

And let’s be honest – if you hit the gym hard and started focusing on your macros and micros in the last 3 months – you’d sure as shit be showing off your new and improved body. Do the same thing, even if you changed for the worse. Luckily, women are more forgiving about a man’s physical appearance than men are – we demand perfection even though we don’t even expect this of ourselves. It’s a sick twisted world we live in!

Another example of a dramatic physical change would be if your style went from glam to goth. If I’m expecting a woman with bright, colorful nail polish, the latest earrings from Kay Jewelers and the hottest fashion from Forever 21, and yet some goth girl shows up with all-black everything and white facepaint, I’d be a little shocked and probably DISAPPOINTED. Granted, the goth look can be hot, but if this is not what was shown to me on your dating app, then that is probably not what I want to see IRL. Stay woke!

As my friend Tara says, “I generally swipe left on guys who have photos from when they were in high school or 22. Not sure why guys have such old photos of themselves. It appears they want to say ‘this is what I looked like 20 years ago when I was hot with hair and muscles’ but I don’t care what they looked like before.”

transformation
I changed for the better

Stop putting other people in your pics

This one really confuses me. Unless you are absolutely without question the best-looking person in your group of friends and this has been validated by numerous third party research studies DO NOT INCLUDE PICTURES WITH YOUR FRIENDS. Seriously. I don’t understand when a woman has a picture with her friend as the first pic. First, this causes confusion : which one are you? Secondly, what if your friend is better-looking than you are? I still might swipe right on you but only because I am willing to take the chance that I can somehow meet your friend and not you. It also speaks volumes about your photography skills – can you not take or find a good picture of yourself when it’s just you? If you must include your friend(s), at least blur out their faces so we are less distracted.

As my friend Tara says, “I also hate when men have photos with other attractive women in their photos. It’s like saying ‘this is the type of women I want and can get.’ It just seem ridiculous.” While I do agree with Tara, the truth is that one way to get a woman’s attention is to be seen with other beautiful women. However, it sounds like this doesn’t work on a dating app versus real life.

dan bilzerian
God bless this man

No baby pictures (unless it’s yours)

Yes, the rule of not putting pictures of other people in your pics extends to babies as well (unless it’s yours). I can understand the theory of putting a picture with a baby in it – if you’re a guy you’re trying to trigger a woman’s maternal instincts (which by the way in 2019 not every woman impulsively reacts to). You want them thinking “awww wouldn’t he be a great father” but the truth is a majority of men (especially in their 20s in cities like NYC) aren’t even close to considering the possibility of starting a family so what are you doing bruh??? Put the baby down and calmly hand it back to the parents. 

And if you must include a picture with a baby for whatever reason, please make sure to clearly mention that the baby is not yours. And then maybe also explain why you felt compelled to use it.

No babies
I love babies just not on dating apps unless it’s yours

List your honest height proactively

I’m a little over 5’10.” With sneakers on, I’m almost 6’0″ so I list my height on dating apps as 5’11” which I think is more than fair. Plus, I hear women automatically assume a guy is lying by at least 2 inches. I can’t tell you how many times a woman has shown up on a date and said “oh you’re actually tall.” Babycarrot – I’m 5’11” just like I said I was on the app. “Yeah but most guys lie by a few inches.” Gentlemen – stop lying about your height. This creates DISAPPOINTMENT.

And ladies – if you don’t include a full body image – we should be entitled to ask your weight (but only if you ask us about our height first).

Height
Kevin Hart might be 5’2″ but his money is very, very tall

Yes to dogs!

Do you own a dog? Do you own 2 dogs? If so, 100% absolutely yes include them (cats not so much – they don’t really love you). If you don’t own a dog, borrow one. Dogs are awesome.

Awesome dog pic - Raindrop and Flex
@raindropandflex

No filters

Yes to dogs but no to dog filters. Sure – the dog filter makes you look attractive. Spoiler alert: it makes everyone look more attractive. Science. This doesn’t mean you should be using it on your dating apps! The next time I see a girl with the dog filter on her dating profile, I am going to ask if she can wear the filter when she shows up to our date and if she shows up without it I am going to leave the date immediately just to prove a point (unless she’s still pretty in which case I will likely stick around, buy her dinner and drinks, treat her to a wonderful and lovely evening and hope that I can see her again and again and again up to 3 months).

dog filter
This girl seems beautiful with or without the dog filter

Write a bio

I think guys generally care less about this then women do. I rarely read bios but I have noticed that ever since I added a bio to my dating profiles, my match rate has skyrocketed. Not only does this tell people a little but about yourself, but it also provides built-in icebreakers. Someone is more likely to match and message you when they feel like they know a little bit more than what they see and have something in mind to say. And come on – how amazing is challah-peño???

As my friend Swagata says, “Actually write something interesting in your profile. I skip the people who provide little to no information. To me that signals that they are too arrogant or want a hook-up only (which is ok, but say it), or they’re hiding another relationship.”

Bumble Dating Profile

Be honest about what you’re looking for and what you aren’t

Here’s something I wish I told myself in my 20s : communication and honesty will make your life infinitely easier!

Now – for the men that have a hard time meeting women or they are simply put, undesirable, they are incentivized to misrepresent themselves whether it be by lying about how much money they make, how successful they are, how tall they are, or what they are looking for on a dating app (“I want to start a family.”) To the gentlemen that are desirable and confident and can quickly find new options, they are less incentived to lie (but some still do as they want the shortest path to success).

What I have found from personal experience is that if you tell women you’re just looking for something casual, it generates the following outcomes:

(1) They’re no longer interested as they’re on that marriage mission. That’s great! Saves everyone time but also importantly saves men money as despite it being 2019 and women having jobs in America men are still expected to pay for the first few dates. The inequality of equality. “Reparations” as my friend Anna Louise calls it.

(2) They appreciate and respect your honesty. Some women will still be wiling to date you because you’ve at least tempered their expectations of what it is and can’t be or they’re just (surprise!) looking for the same thing as you are.

The worst thing to do to somebody is to waste their time. Another spoiler alert – women are just as interested in having sex as men are. Not all women are against casual sex or sex outside of a relationship. If that’s what you’re looking for, own it and be honest about it and I promise you that you’ll have a lot less drama in your life as you won’t be DISAPPOINTING people.

Honesty
The code to live by

Are you living in the city or just visiting?

As a world traveler, I find one of the best ways to explore a city in a non-touristy way is to match with a beautiful local women and have them show you what they do and where they go. This also works in the opposite way – now that I am currently back in my hometown of New York City, I am constantly matching with women that are in town for a few days and want someone knowledgeable (and cute) to explore the city with. As mentioned above, women can also be interested in casual flings and hanging out with visitors is super fun for both the host and the tourist! As you see above, I am very clear that I live between Thailand and New York City. This immediately creates the context that I am likely not a “settling down” or husband candidate. And that’s 100% the truth. I am a non-monogamous free spirit that lives in the moment by a code of communication and honesty.

Don’t just say “hi”

This is just a lazy approach.  Sure, smiling and saying “hi” might work in real life (if you have a nice smile and you aren’t creepy), but have you ever seen a woman’s match list on Tinder??? Every woman I know has 100s of unread messages in queue. The fastest way to stand out (besides being ridiculously good-looking) is to come up with a creative icebreaker. Some of you guys are tip-toeing the line of attractiveness and a good introduction or icebreaker can be the make-or-break. Same goes to you women. I had over 250 matches after Pride Parade (as so many people were concentrated in a small area) and unless the girl was an absolute smokeshow, I just wrote “hi” back to the “hi”ers (they set that precedent) and the exchange usually ended there.

Hi Stranger
Imagine if this dude messaged you and just said “hi”

No dick pics

I shouldn’t even have to list this one but I am going to. Unless your girlfriend specifically asks you to send her a dick pic, don’t do it.  There is no circumstance on a dating app (except maybe Grindr from what I hear) where sending a dick pic should be in the realm of acceptable behavior.

NEVER SEND A DICK PIC. The only time a dick pic is acceptable is if you have a nice picture with your friend Richard that you want to share. A cock pic is OK as long as it’s referring to a chicken dish you’ve cooked.

As my friend Katie says, “NO DICK PICS should be the first and second rule. And probably mention it again at the end for good measure. I would caveat it with ‘No unsolicited dick pics’ but dudes are pretty dense when they define what ‘unsolicited’ is. ‘But she said she was attracted to me so that totally means she asked to see my dick!’ No, no she did not.” She definitely did not my guy.

Roast chicken dish
Beautiful cock pic

NO DICK PICS

There you go Katie. Again for good measure.

BONUS VLOG

I finally had a chance to check out The Vessel in NYC. I kept seeing pictures of it when I was in Thailand. It was definitely worth checking out! They have free tickets daily but they’re usually sold out in advance so you can just buy a flex pass online here for $10/ticket here.

***

What did you think about this guide? Do you have any additional tips to share? Leave a comment or you can e-mail me adam@befreemysheeple.com. If you enjoyed reading/watching this, you can follow me on Instagram, @adamfrancisco & @befreemysheeple.

Be Free My Sheeple!

5 Things That Insult My Soul (Part 1?)

 

A few days ago my friend Mike put up an Instagram post that really resonated with me and of course it featured the super hot actor/legend Keanu Reeves (I still need to see John Wick 3). This meme does a fantastic job of explaining why I had to do everything I could to not only escape a traditional 9-5 job, but stay away by any means necessary: it insulted my soul.

The key phrase to me here is “things that insult their soul.” It got me thinking about all the things in society that insult my soul. This might be a Part 1. We’ll see.

Limited Vacation Days

Unless you believe in reincarnation (the jury is still out on this one), the truth is that we probably only live once. If we lived twice I would just spend this life working myself to death so I can just be on vacation my entire second life (and this is sadly how we look are pre-retirement life and post-retirement life).

The average life expectancy in America is 78.69 years (as of 2016 according to WorldBank). This means you’re alive for  28,721 days, 20 hours and 24 minutes. That’s it. If you manage to live 10 years longer, you add 3,650 days to your life. Congrats.

The average person (sheeple) will spend almost 5/7ths (71.4%) of their lives (from 21 – retirement) working (with the exception of the average 2-3 weeks vacations + national holidays). While many sheeple don’t work weekends, they are still limited geographically on where they can go in those 2 days so they’re forced to “vacation” somewhere relatively close to where they live. If you live in New York, going to Los Angeles for a weekend almost isn’t worth it (as 14 hours will be spent traveling). Even your days off are still being greatly affected by your company. You’re tethered by an invisible leash!

The idea that a company or person is in control of how you spend your most precious, limited and disappearing resource (TIME) is insulting to my soul. I’m sure many of you have experienced asking your boss if you could use a few vacation days well in advance of the 2 weeks notice (which is also a joke in itself), only to be hit with the following responses:

“Do you really need to take those days off? Things are so crazy around here.”

“Sure you can take the days off but things are so crazy around here that you’ll need to stay on top of your e-mail.”

“Ugh <rolls eye> fine.”

To me it’s insulting that I not only have to ask someone that isn’t a direct family member “Hi, can I have some freedom?” but that these limitations are not only built into the corporate contract and culture but accepted by almost all of society. There has to be a better way to live and I am a huge proponent of society shifting towards 3-4 day work weeks or remote work culture. Create your own career people!

Corporations are Legal Pyramid Schemes

Sure there are some technical differences between corporations versus pyramid schemes (being that corporations usually sell or create something of actual value – perceived or real), but this doesn’t take away from the fact that the person at the top gets to reap all sorts of beautiful rewards while the little people at the bottom are killing their souls for scraps. “May the sheeple work 50-70 hour weeks, sleep in the office and accrue no overtime or bonuses! But here’s a meaningless award or trophy with no value except to trick the sheeple that they’ve been rewarded! Good sheeple. Now stay in line.” 

If I am working, and especially if I am working hard and long hours for someone else, the only reward and trophy I want is either cold hard cash or hot sexy cryptocurrency. Gift cards, trophies, recognition, gold stars, titles without raises are all meaningless trash and laughable insults. This is why I love being an entrepreneur and have the ultimate respect for entrepreneurs: They’re doing things on their own terms without the stability of a steady paycheck (I haven’t had one of these in 3 years) but with a greater future reward in mind (and the present reward of freedom!). And if that reward never comes, at least it’s on their own terms. May we all be masters of our own destinies! Classic video below.

I’ve experienced being the victim of corporate greed myself when I was the 3rd employee of a start-up that got acquired after 6 years, only to find out that nobody in the company got a single dime on the acquisition … except for the CEO. He of course received a cool 7-figure payday as a bonus for the acquisition. “To hell with everyone else that poured their hearts, souls and sweat into the company. Thank you for your time and goodbye! P.S. Your stock is considered underwater meaning your shares have drowned and they cannot be resuscitated…like your souls.” 

Having a Boss

Even a simple thing like having a boss insults my soul. I’ve been extremely fortunate to have had great bosses during my 9-5 career (in case any of them are reading this…Mike R, Rekha, Dana S, Jackie M, Erica P, Doug B, Bob S, Yolanda L, James K, Seth I, Jay D, Mag M … thank you for being great bosses!)

But as I got older (into my 30s) and realized that my time on this earth is limited, fleeting and quickly vanishing and with no guarantee that I’ll be healthy and able for all of it, I no longer wanted to report to a boss. Instead I wanted to partner with good people. “There are good ships and there are bad ships but the best ships are partnerships!” While of course every company needs leaders that can guide the team and make the important executive decisions, I believe every employee of a company needs to be more vested in the success of a company whether it be shares that will actually have value during an acquisition, or every employee receives overtime for extra hours or bonuses for extra productivity. To work on a salary with no upside is so foolish. We’ll talk about math in a second.

To understand why having a boss insults my soul, you must read the definition of boss:

noun
a person in charge of a worker or organization.
“union bosses”
verb
give (someone) orders in a domineering manner.
“plump old battle-axes bossing everyone around”
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want anyone in charge of me (boss, girlfriend or wife). We are born free people and we must do everything in our power to maintain our freedom (and not the illusion of freedom). I also don’t want someone to give me orders in a domineering manner (at least not in a corporate setting). 

Working on a Salary

I will admit that the idea of a steady paycheck is extremely tempting, but if that paycheck doesn’t have aggressive CASH bonuses built into it, I am not touching it. Let’s do some basic math so you can understand how little a $100k salary in New York City really is.

After paying all of your taxes (and without making any retirement contributions), your weekly take-home paycheck is $1,416 (I rounded up – you’re welcome for the extra 14 cents).  If you work a 40 hour workweek, you’re getting paid $35/hour. That’s not bad! But the facts are that many salaried employees work significantly longer than 40 hours. If you’re working 50 hours a week, you’re making $28.32/hour. If you’re working 60 hours a week, you’re making $23.60/hour.

Factor in rent (which likely takes up 40%+ of your salary), and you’re looking at a cool $14-$21/hour, slightly more than a Starbucks barista! And you haven’t even eaten yet or attended any happy hours, weddings, gone on vacations, did laundry, gone on dates, purchased Tinder Gold, etc. 

A pay structure that caps off your income via a salary without any upside for the employee is so one-sided in favor of the corporation that it should insult your soul. The only way I would personally accept a fixed-salaried job is if I was paid vastly more than the market rate to the point where the corporation would look at my salary and think to themselves “can we really afford this?” If your salary is making them blink, you’re on the right track. If a company wants good people and wants people to stick around, pay them. If you consider yourself a good or hard-working employee, go out and get what you’re worth. Your company isn’t taking care of you? Find one that will. Just like a relationship! Or be like me and avoid them at all costs! Ha ha!

People that are blindly loyal to a company are the same people that will lose their job as soon as profits are down. And companies will escort you out of the building same day. I’ve seen this happen to too many good people and it’s because they put their destinies into someone else’s hands. Insulting!

Men Still Being Expected to Pay for the First Date in America

Now this one is going to be a bit controversial but YOLO! I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about this one and here’s where my mind has ended up:

Men working and women being housewives used to be the tradition. This is why men paid for the first dates – they had the income that women didn’t/couldn’t have. In exchange, women would care for the home, the husband and the children (which let’s not lie – this is a tremendous undertaking by itself!)  To me, this makes complete sense. But then something happened…

Women fought so hard for gender equality and equal pay and respect in the workplace (which I do think is a beautiful thing). A country is stronger (and more taxable) when everyone is producing! And while yes, we still have a long way to go in America before we have true equality (a number of things have to happen first which I’ll talk about in another post), compared to the rest of the world, we’re doing a damn good job!

Most of us were not alive during these times

So now we’re at a point in a society where women are doing really well financially (here’s an article about the truth about the gender pay gap).  The glass ceiling is on it’s final breath, and women have (mostly) broken free of the tradition of men providing. Yet…we are still expected to pay for the first date. And god forbid we ask to split the bill or we can’t cover it! We all know the odds of getting a 2nd date plummet down to almost zero. 

While this concept of “I want equal pay and I want you to pay for the first date (or dates until you’re my boyfriend)” insults my soul, I also understand that the American/Western society is still in a transitional phase trying to make sense of men and women being equals in a corporate setting so I admittedly still do participate in this tradition (enthusiastically in Thailand, reluctantly in America). Personally, I do enjoy treating someone to a nice meal, but I just don’t like the expectation of me having to pay.

The mindset of “I want that old tradition but I don’t want that old tradition” is inconsistent and therefore insulting to my soul.

I also jump back and forth between America and Thailand (where my dollar-based income is worth significantly more than a baht-based income) so I find myself comparing dating norms and cultures. To me, the Western man in Thailand paying for almost everything makes sense where the monthly average income is $800/month, but in America, not so much anymore. 

And as far as splitting things, I think incomes need to be taken into account. If a woman is making $200k and the man is making $100k, the woman (in a relationship) should ultimately be paying closer to 2/3rds of everything. If they truly like each other and we consider genders to be equal (or have the desire to be equal), this just makes sense to me. Anyone who says otherwise is thinking emotionally and not logically or factually. Stay woke.

People Who Don’t Like Dogs

And finally, here’s light-hearted one that I think we can all agree on: people who don’t like dogs insults my soul. I dated a girl in Los Angeles once that was guilty of this inhumane offense to humanity. She was absolutely stunning. Beautiful face, perfect skin, balayage hair (my favorite), fun to hang out with…but…she didn’t like dogs. I realized this a few months into dating when her true colors started to come out and she admitted she didn’t want my dogs sleeping in my bed with us. I could understand this request if my dogs were golden retrievers or I had a twin bed but I have a yorkie and a shih tzu and my bed was king size. There was more than enough room for everyone. If anyone was leaving the bed (and my life) sweetheart, it’s you. Please do make sure to close the door gently.

Raindrop and Flex
@raindropandflex

Also, before my dogs were medical support dogs (and I couldn’t bring them into restaurants), I would tie them up on posts outside of restaurants (and of course I would keep a close eye on them the entire time). Well one day I must have made a mistake with the knot because when she came to meet me for lunch, she casually sat down and after 5 minutes finally said, “oh by the way, Flex isn’t tied up on the post.” I almost had a heart attack. I ran outside to double-check the knot and she was right – Flex somehow slipped out. Luckily for me he’s super trained and attached to his sister Raindrop so he didn’t move, but he could have! And that’s what killed me. When it comes to human error with dogs or babies, a matter of seconds can be the difference between life and death. I would expect the person I’m dating (or just any human) to do one of a few things in this scenario:

(1) immediately tie Flex up correctly 

(2) grab his leash and summon me to come outside

(3) pick him up and bring him inside the restaurant, to hell with no pet policies

(4) urgently run inside the restaurant and tell me to fix the leashes.

To do nothing for 5 minutes and then casually drop the fact was so…careless and inhumane that I had to do the humane thing and break up with her…over the phone of course: “I am breaking up with you because you do not love dogs.” I’ve never heard someone get so offended by such an accusation but facts are facts baby-carrot!

***

So there you go. This might be a Part 1. I’m sure I’ll think of other things that insult my soul. But really anything that limits my freedom and anyone that doesn’t love dogs not only grinds my fears, but deeply insults my soul. I would love to hear what insults your soul. Leave a comment or you can e-mail me adam@befreemysheeple.com. If you enjoyed reading this, you can follow me on Instagram, @adamfrancisco & @befreemysheeple.

#GoutAwarenessDay (May 22nd) – Be Free from Gout!

 

I just found out that May 22nd is Gout Awareness Day. I guess they really have a day for everything. Now they just need a “Gout Awareness” Awareness Day lol.

This is what gout feels like

As many of you know I suffered my first gout flare up a little over a month ago in Vietnam when I was eating fresh fish everyday. Many fish  contain a chemical called purines which the body processes through the kidneys as uric acid. When there’s more uric acid than your body can handle (due to purine overload or kidney problems), it can pool in your big right toe and this creates crystals that causes pain that I’ve never knew existed. Holy moly!

5 weeks later I am fully recovered and able to do things like running, squats and lunges again. And it feels great! To help my audience prevent a gout flare-up or to manage the symptoms during one, I put together a last minute video about gout so everyone can be free from gout.

Keep in mind that gout is hereditary but things like nutrition and lifestyle can cause flare ups. Your best bet is to live healthy and prevent it from happening in the first place!

***

Do you suffer from gout as well? Leave a comment or you can e-mail me adam@befreemysheeple.com. If you enjoyed reading/watching this, you can follow me on Instagram, @adamfrancisco & @befreemysheeple.

Be Free My Sheeple!

So I Have Gout…Now What?

 

I’m sitting in the hospital waiting room in Nha Trang, Vietnam to get x-rays and blood tests to see what’s wrong with my big toe on the right foot, and on the TV screen I see a list of medical-related video links.

befreemysheeple nha trang hospital
None of this seems good

“Endoscopic carpal tunnel release.” I’m guessing this has something to do with carpal tunnel syndrome and repairing the tendons by releasing the stress?

“Proximal humerus percutaneous aiming system technique.” This sounds like a kill feature in one of Iron Man’s latest armors. “Activate humerus percutaneous aiming system.”

befreemysheeple Iron Man Tony Stark
“Activate humerus percutaneous aiming system”

While I don’t know what some of these words mean, none of them sound good. They all sound like medical procedures to repair or fix a body part that is no longer working properly or is broken. Kind of like my big right toe.

I’m 35 and I just found out that I had my first onset of gout. My blood results came back and I’m above the normal range for men (not scarily above, but comfortably above). They say symptoms first appear in men 30-50. Well I had all the symptoms and let me tell you that this was one of the most intense pains that I’ve ever felt. It was so bad that I needed wheelchair service from Vietnam Airlines. I could not put any pressure on my foot.

  • Intense joint pain – it felt like I had a broken toe
  • Lingering discomfort – 3 days later and I still can’t walk properly
  • Inflammation and redness – my right foot looked like a tomato
  • Limited range of motion – I couldn’t move my big right toe more than 10 degrees
befreemysheeple gout
Yeah, this looks normal

They also call it a disease of decadence or “King’s disease” because “people have incorrectly linked it to the kind of overindulgence in food and wine only the rich and powerful could afford” (link). And this makes sense because I have been living like a king these past 6 months on the beaches of Thailand and Vietnam. While I haven’t been drinking too much alcohol, my diet recently spiked in seafood during my time in Phu Quoc. The overload of purines from seafood likely caused my big right toe to blow up like a balloon and heat up like a heat pad.

Fortunately for me, while gout is one of the most physically painful things I’ve experienced, it is an illness that can be managed through diet, hydration, vitamin c, and exercise. I am looking at this as motivation to get myself into even better shape to minimize another attack. There are silver linings to everything in life.

Finding out that I am now in for lifelong battle with gout is a stark reminder that my time on earth as fully-functional, healthy being is not going to last forever. My youth and relatively good health, will slowly crumble away like removing pieces from a completed puzzle. New health issues are certain to arise in my future and I’ll think to myself, “remember when I just had gout?”

Our greatest assets – youth and health – are fleeting, a slowly but surely diminishing resource. Every second alive we are one step closer to our inevitable deaths. The grim reaper is coming for all of us. As my brother once told me (I’m sure he heard this from someone else), “we are all dying the second we are born.” The cruelty of existence. Sigh.

This is a why it’s important to never lose focus on the present because this is all that’s guaranteed. Minimizing stress and maximizing health and happiness should be everyone’s goal. The less stress you have, the longer your life expectancy is. The more you exercise and focus on having a clean diet, the longer your life expectancy is. And if you’re healthy today, be grateful and be thankful and use it. Don’t waste it sitting in an office 60 hours a week. If we weren’t supposed to travel, we would have roots instead of feet!

 To have a career, or live in a city, or to be in a relationship that isn’t making you net happier will slowly kill you.  Health above wealth, experiences over appearances. And as my friend Alicia said:

befreemysheeple alicia

Bonus Vlog!

 

***

Do you suffer from gout as well? Leave a comment or you can e-mail me adam@befreemysheeple.com. If you enjoyed reading/watching this, you can follow me on Instagram, @adamfrancisco & @befreemysheeple.

Be Free My Sheeple!