Life is a Good Ol’ Boys Club | The One Percent and Occupy Wall Street

Life isn’t fair. It’s one big good ol’ boys club. If you don’t like that life is a good ol’ boys club, it doesn’t matter. If it offends you, it doesn’t change the reality. If that depresses you, get over it.

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Success isn’t about what you know or who you know. It’s about how well you know the people you know. (Tweet That)

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Success in business…and life in general is not about what you know. It’s not even about who you know. It’s about how well you know the people you know.

Life is a good ol’ boys club

Some people read that and fight against it. They fight against reality. They fight against a system that has been in place since the dawn of time.

They march on Wall Street, hold up signs, and demonize the system and its participants. And they wake up the next day to a world that is exactly the same as it was the day before. It’s a world that will never change. And why should it?

You have two options

Occupy Wall Street One Percent

85% of the 1% was once in the 99% and they didn’t get there by marching or holding up signs. They got there by working.
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You have two options in response to the way the world is. Life is a good ol’ boys club, so what do you do?

Option One: Fight it. Join the protests. Live in a tent and don’t bathe for weeks at a time. Put your head down and do life your way. Keep your network small and don’t dare to make friends with anyone outside of your immediate social circles. Call the good ol’ boys (and girls) evil. Proudly be a part of the “Ninety-Nine Percent.” Honestly, the thought of even presenting that as an option just made me throw up a little.

Option Two: Join the club. Wake up and realize that you aren’t going to change the system, especially one that’s not even broken. This option means working hard and working smart. It means getting out of your comfort zone to meet new people, develop new relationships, and then using those relationships for your success. Proudly look up to the “One Percent.” Realize that 85% of the 1% was once in the 99% and that they didn’t get there by marching or holding up signs. They got there by working…hard…and most of all by working smart.

The reality of the world we know is that it is a good ol’ boys club. Who you know and how well you know them is what separates the successful and the unsuccessful. It’s the difference in poverty and abundance.

They don’t teach this stuff in schools, so you have to spend all the time you can yourself learning how to operate in this world. Learn how to network better, how to build better relationships, and how to leverage those relationships for mutual success.

You either join the club, or the club will bury you. Your choice.

Have you joined the club? If not, why? If so, what has it done for you?

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  • Awesome and brave post! I have to say I agree with you 100%.

    It basically comes down to do you believe in Capitalism or do you want a Socialistic country (it’s working out well in Greece, right?). Personally, I believe as a country we have two options: we can try to push the upper middle class and middle class down or we can help the lower class push themselves up. We don’t push people up by giving them freebies, but helping them understand and value hard work, perseverance, and self-discipline. And we help them join the club.

  • Yep!

    But I’m still called to live out James 1:27. Being part of the club helps me in pursuing this calling.

  • Zech Newman

    Great point Matt. I think the marches are a point of envy and jealousy while the other option is focused on what “I” can do. I admit to needing to work smarter :) I get into fire fighter mode to quickly instead of staying in front of my business.

    • Love it. Personally, I am too busy making things happen to march :)

  • Steve Pate

    LOVE THIS POST! in your words BAM!

    I was built into the “club” never knew I had to join and will never leave. I just started listening to the audio book “how to when friends and influence people” and this post melds in perfectly with the first three chapters, its all about how you treat people and understanding what they want!

  • Such plain sense, Matt. I will be adopting this paraphrase of your wisdom: Being offended doesn’t change reality. (Read sermon notes recently about taking offense is a sin!)

    It is interesting to note that when the 1%s leave a site, it is a trashed mess. When conservative organizations leave a site after an event, it is clean. Somehow the mainstream media miss this obvious sign that one group is doing good things and the other is just making messes, chaos and noise.

  • Paige Gordon II

    Awesome post Matt! “85% of the 1% was once in the 99% and they didn’t get there by marching or holding up signs. They got there by WORKING HARD.” -Quit your crying and go out and DO something for a change. Love it!

  • What responsibility do we have to fight against corruption? Jesus made a whip and drove out the money changers who were controlling the Jewish shekel which seriously hindering those who came to offer sacrifices and weren’t allowed to do so with their pagan money. I’m all for relationships, working hard, capitalism, and making a lot of money. But when the free markets are replaced with Crony Capitalism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crony_capitalism), eventually we may end up with the legitimate producers of the world no longer wanting to be part of a rigged game (see Atlas Shrugged).

    To say the current system isn’t broken disregards the reality of corporate influence on politics. Organizations like represent.us have some interesting ideas on how to fix what’s broken and they also do a good job of explaining the broken parts. It’s easy to take the main stream media line on the occupy movement and think they should all go take a shower and get a job (that was my opinion also). There’s also another side to the story which includes trying to save some things which made this country great and we’re unfortunately losing.

    • I wouldn’t call our system much of anything resembling capitalism anymore, but I would easily digress into an economics dissertation and that would be bad for me :-)

      I know what you are saying. But I think when we want change, we have to play by the rules or make new ones. I am reading the biography of Bonhoeffer right now and as much as he was a pacifist and tried and tried to reason with people, including Hitler, he eventually realized Hitler had rewritten the rules. The new rules were power wins. And it would take a bullet to his head to save the world. He didn’t change his values, just his method.

      I still think a lot of them need a shower and a job though :-)

      • So if I’m understanding you, we should to make a lot of money, run our own corporations, and buy politicians who will do things the way we think is best? I guess that’s one way to do it, if the rules have in fact changed. Maybe I’m an idealist who prefers to change the rules to something better, but I guess it does make sense that in order to change those rules to something better, you have to change them within the given system (i.e. the current roles).

        • Taking it away from government/politics for a moment, it’s ultimately about realizing that success is ultimately about who you know, how well you know them, and how you capitalize on those relationships. But it does apply to government as well.

          I just don’t believe the answer ever lies in whining (not saying that’s you) about the system and “the man” when the answer lies in getting out and doing something about it. Truth be told, it doesn’t appear to me that the occupy protesters (as an example) accomplished much. They spent a lot of time and moved a whole lot of stuff around, with little to nothing to show for it. There were much better ways.

          • Eric N Gross

            ….Let’s hear what you think of your whole “Occupy Changed Nothing Theory” (OCNT) four years later. Let’s see…an Occupy activist elected to the Seattle City Council won a $15 minimum wage in 2014, and now two states and several cities have followed suit.

            And then there’s Bernie Sanders.

          • You mean the Bernie Sanders that lost? (Lost to the person that lost to Trump, too)

            As for your other points, if your greatest accomplishment is electing a single person to the city council of the 18th largest city…

            And the minimum wage…that’s working out well. HA!

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  • Eric N Gross

    What a bunch of garbage. Nothing but mindfuck propaganda designed to discredit any criticism of the crony casino capitalist system.

    Hey Matt….ever heard of the Progressive Era? The New Deal? The Civil Rights Era? The environmental movement? These movements may not have accomplished all they wanted, and reactionaries since the Age of Reagan have fought relentlessly to undo the reforms and put the Good Ol’ Boys back in power.

    But now the people are fighting back. From Occupy to the Fight for $15 to Bernie Sanders, REAL CHANGE is beginning to mount. Fools like yourself ignore this reality at your peril….

  • Eric N Gross

    This article is petulant garbage.

    It was written a few years back in response to the Occupy movement, which challenged the capitalist status quo with its narrative of the 1% enriching itself at the expense of the 99%.

    Mr. McWilliams insisted that fundamental social change is impossible, and we should all just join Sauron since we can never defeat him. Actually, he WANTS people to think that change is impossible, precisely because he is terrified that they may begin to think otherwise.

    And sure enough, while the Occupy protests only lasted a few months, the fundamental message of the movement lives on today in the form of the Bernie Sanders campaign. Who will probably upset Hillary Clinton in Wisconsin this week, and very well may do the same in New York State later this month. The establishment is trembling, and now the $15 minimum wage has become objective reality in two states. (Thank a socialist and Occupy activist, Kshama Sawant, for leading the first victory in Seattle!)

    How’s that whole “change is impossible” attitude working out for ya, Matt?