Think Different Theory

Do You Have to Be Rude to Get Rich?


In today’s episode, I’m going to take apart the idea that in order to make money someone needs to be a mean jerk. This is something that a lot of people believe to be true, but before the end of the show, I will have showed you that it’s totally misleading and that being a good person is the best way to go


Someone once sarcastically implied to me that I could not a good person and still make money and be successful, especially in my industry, but with my brother Kyle as a great example for me, I proved them wrong in the end, and I would like to help you ensure that you not only make money, and succeed, but also leave a great legacy.

Here are the key topics discussed in this episode:

  • Leaving a great legacy (01:14)
  • Succeeding despite being a good person (03:59)
  • Treating people with respect no matter what (08:20)
  • A great example (09:46)
  • Leading with love (12:16)
  • A case and point from Kyle Forti’s life (15:00)
  • The occasional cost of being a good person (19:04)


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March 20, 2019


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00:00          I heard someone say, “Do you want to be a nice, good person, or do you want to be successful and make a lot of money?” This just boils my blood. We’re going to talk about this, and I would highly recommend you strap in, you tune in, and you listen to this podcast episode because I really want to break down this and show you that you don’t have to be a jerk to make a lot of money and be successful in life. Let me discuss.

00:34          You are now entering a new paradigm.

00:34          Here’s my issue. I wanted to find the answers to life’s biggest questions. Things like, how do I become happy and live with purpose? How do I make more money doing what I love, and what does it mean to be truly successful in all areas of life? My name is Josh Forti @JoshForti on Instagram, and I ask life’s biggest questions and share the answers with you. My goal is to help you find purpose, happiness, and open your mind to new realms of possibility by helping you think differently about everything you do, know, and understand. On this podcast, we think different, we dream bigger, and we live in a world without limits. This is a new paradigm. Welcome to The Think Different Theory.

01:14          What’s going on guys? Welcome back to another episode of The Think Different Theory. My name is Josh Forti, and we’re on episode number 40. And in the last episode, we talked about the death of my brother, and what I was going through that time. And, I want to talk in this episode and make a shift. I don’t want it to be too sad and depressing. I’m not going to get super emotional on you. I’m really trying to to get better right now. It’s been a hard, hard week with everything. We batch these out over a week in advance, so it’s still kind of fresh in my mind, but I want to focus on this episode and talk about the legacy that Kyle left behind, but more importantly, how Kyle loved, was nice, and was still successful.

02:08          Kyle in my eyes was one of the most successful people that I knew, not only financially, although he did well for himself there, but also from a perspective of just being a good person, and from loving others. And, I’m going to just start off right away by setting kind of the tone for this podcast episode. I heard somebody say, “Do you want to be nice, and a good person, or do you want to be successful, and make a lot of money?”, and I’m very passionate about this particular topic because it’s just… it’s not one or the other. If your business model or your life structure is, “Hey, I have to be a jerk, rude, stuck up, selfish, not a nice person”, whatever you want to call it, in order to make money and be successful. And if you are a nice, good, kind person, you’re not going to make money and be successful.

03:10          I disagree with you because while money and building a business and a company is important to me, that does not trump being good, nice, or kind. Simply by being good, nice, and kind doesn’t mean that you cannot make a lot of money and you cannot be successful in life. That’s just ludicrous and ridiculous. And if there was anyone that was an example of this, it was Kyle. And, it’s something that I strive to do in my life and in my business, and I hope that for those of you that have been following me for a while, I really hope that this comes across this way, because, guys, I don’t say this to brag, I don’t say this to…, you know, like toot my own horn here. I’m really good at sales. Alright? I’ve closed hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales. I bet you I’ve closed over a million bucks in sales.

03:59          I don’t know the exact numbers, but I’ve closed a lot of dollars in sales before. And, if there’s one thing that I believe in over everything else when it comes to treating people or dealing with people, it’s treating them with respect, and love, and loving people, and loving humans. Now, I’m not saying be a pushover, but I really want to dive into this topic, so let’s dive in here. I think that there is a stigma or an assumption in the business world, that if you are nice, if you are kind, or if you’re quote, “a good person”, you cannot be successful in business, or that you would make more money if you were a jerk, you would make more money if you just were like, ripped people apart. And I know that there are people out there, people that I respect, people that I should say, follow and have learned a great deal about business from, that are that way, that literally treats people like crap. That if they disagree with them, that they rip their head off. I’ve worked with these people, right? That they will just like, “If you don’t pay me money, I don’t listen to you.” Right? “Why are you so stupid and asking stupid questions?” And that is just ruthless and rude, especially in the online space, because we simply label everyone that disagrees with us as a hater. Alright? And I just…, it irks me and drives me the wrong way. I encourage debate and I have strong opinions, but that doesn’t mean that I’m rude. And that’s what I think we need to talk about here today. Okay?

05:36          People think that if you hold strong opinions, that you’re a jerk. And, if you are nice, you’re a pushover. My brother was a very successful business owner. Kyle was in the political world when he started his career and got more involved into the…, like PR world, he did a lot of PR related things, sold a lot of advertising, whether that be Facebook ads, TV, radio, print things. He did a lot with the political spectrum. He did a lot with the Colorado local government. City ordinances and things like that. He was on the foster care board. Kyle was very successful, very influential, and yet was one of the most like, kind and loving person…, people that I ever met. And anyone that had met him would tell you the same thing, and just because he disagreed with you, or you disagreed with him, he didn’t just write you off as a hater.

06:38          And I learned a great deal from this, or about this, from Kyle. When I was younger, I was terrible at this. When I was younger, 18, 19, 20, and someone would disagree with me, I would just shut them down. I treated them horribly, and Kyle was the person in my life, along with others, but I would say Kyle was probably one of…, if not the biggest person in my life, that showed me how to love people, and still disagree with them. And I want you to think about that. I was…, gosh, I wish I could tell…, like, guys, I was the type of person that would just like, crack jokes about people that disagreed with me, about how they were never going to make it, or how they were losers, and I mean like, just terrible things. Not because like, I was a bad person, but because I didn’t know any better.

07:24          And because I honestly thought that that’s what people did. And when I first got started into the internet marketing space, everybody around me was doing it. I was that person. And I just thought that that was normal. I just thought that that’s what you did, but what I learned from Kyle, and when I watched him as an example in my life, in front of me, it was him treating people with respect, even though he disagreed with them. And my mom taught us a lot too, and my dad as well. And I watched people do this, but Kyle was the one that actually did it in business. And Kyle and I, we’re in two totally different fields. Like Kyle worked with a lot of corporate clients. Kyle worked with a lot of…, you know, people that wore suits and ties all day. Not My type of clientele at all, but even when he disagreed with them, he…, you know, at first, I was that person that was like, “Oh, Kyle. You’re just being politically correct. Oh, you know, if you love someone or you’re not…, you know, if you don’t take a strong stance and call them out on their crap, you’re just being politically correct.”

08:20          Right? And I would say things, stupid things like that, but as I grew up and as I watched how these things unfolded, and as I got involved in business, I would watch as Kyle would treat people that treated him horribly, Kyle would treat them with respect. Kyle would not yell back at them. People would trash and bad mouth Kyle, for things that he didn’t even do, and he didn’t trash them back, even though he had every right to, even though he had all the evidence on his side, even though he could have very easily, he didn’t.

08:52          He treated them with respect. And, that’s something that I learned so greatly from him. And so, going back to that topic, especially in the world today, we oftentimes think that either you’re a jerk, or you’re a nice person, and if you’re a jerk, that’s what it takes to be successful. And if you’re a nice person, you can’t be successful. You ever felt that way? Have you ever heard this? That like, “Oh, if you’re a nice person, you get shoved over.” You know, you get shoved over and walked over. Being firm in your beliefs, being firm in what you do, being good at what you do, is totally different than being a jerk, then being rude. I’m very good at what I do, and there’s a lot of people that I know that are very good at what they do, and if somebody disagrees with me, I can respectfully disagree with them.

09:46          Now, one of the things that’s very important to remember here that I learned, is that you cannot control the other person’s reaction to a situation. And this is where people really mess up and get it wrong. Right? There was a lady that I was dealing with, who we had come to an agreement, and I was going to do some work for her. She had hired me as a coach, and she was in a coaching program. And, I delivered everything on our side of things. And, we had documentation of it all or whatnot. And, she wasn’t happy. And, she went and called me terrible names, and said terrible things about me, and you know, processed a refund, and wrote awful letters to, you know, Stripe about me saying that we didn’t do this, or this, that and the other. And you know what I could’ve done, I could’ve got on there, and I could have just blasted her.

10:41          I could’ve been like, you know, just potentially like ruined her reputation in the online space. Right? By posting some of the screenshots that we had, but I didn’t. What did I do? I wrote a letter to PayPal explained the situation, showed why I was in the right, and then went and let it go. And, she went online and posted a bunch of negative stuff about me. And you know what, I could have gone on there, and I could’ve been like, “Oh yeah”, and blown up and been a jerk to her, and I would have been totally justified to do that, but guess what? Then that speaks and has a poor reflection on me. I cannot control her reaction. I cannot control the fact that she gets mad at me.

11:29          I cannot control the fact that she’s saying negative things about me, but I can control how I react to that. And that’s what defines kindness. That’s what defines grace. That’s what defines being a good person. That’s what defines doing the right thing. Now, of course, there are certain lines that once crossed you have to step in and do something. I mean, if she were to go through and threatened legal action, and like you know, whatever those things were, then obviously I would have to step up and do that, and take care of that issue accordingly, but every single situation that you go into, no matter how big or how small, you have the choice to do something and respond out of anger, or out of grace, out of love, or out of hatred, right? And you have to think about that when you enter this.

12:16          And so this notion, that you have to be a good person…, I mean you have to be a jerk, or you have to…, you know, treat people poorly, or be all serious, and not be kind and loving, in order to make money, is ridiculous. And for me, if my option is to be a kind, loving, good person, or get rich and successful, I will choose a kind and loving person every single time. But I have news for you, and it’s pretty awesome. It’s not an either/or, it’s a both. You can be successful, you can make a lot of money, and be an amazingly good person, and you can love other people. And you know how you do that? You lead with love. You lead with treating people with respect. There’s a verse in the Bible, it says, “You’ll do to others as you would have them do to you.” The golden rule, right?

13:08          It’s from the Bible. I believe that. And, in the beginning, right away, it might look like you are losing. It might look like the person that’s being a jerk, or an A-hole, or whatever, is winning and killing it, but at the end of the day, that doesn’t mean that it’s the right thing to do, and it doesn’t mean that just because one thing works, that something else is not going to. Just because being a jerk works, and I would venture to say that in the long run it doesn’t, but let’s just say it did, that doesn’t mean that being nice and being a loving, kind, gentle human being doesn’t work. And, when it comes to being a kind, gentle, loving human being, that doesn’t mean that you’re a pushover and that you can’t hold your ground, and stand up, and be a manly man or you know, a firmly strong woman.

14:04          It doesn’t mean that at all. It simply means you know how to hold your ground, or make a sale, or stick true to your beliefs, or follow through on what you say you’re going to do, with grace and with love, and without degrading another human being. Is it hard to do this? Absolutely. Yes. It is very hard at times to be the bigger person. It is hard at times to turn the other cheek and to go, “Nope, I am not going to react” It is hard not to get on and roast people when you have every reason to. And you know what? People do it all the time, and we live in a world where it’s encouraged. There are dis-tracks and rap battles, and you know, so many different things in our mainstream and society, from music to Facebook posts, to big-time influencers, just destroying other people, making fun of and belittling other people.

15:00          It’s something that is normal in our society, but that doesn’t make it right. And let me tell you something. I know a lot of people that were just as influential, if not more influential, than my brother Kyle, that had probably more successful in his field and in his industry, financially or influentially. But guess what? If they died, and if they were to pass away, God forbid, the influence that they had would have been nothing of the impact that Kyle had with his life. There wouldn’t be thousands of people writing articles about them. There wouldn’t be thousands or hundreds, or even thousands of people showing up to his memorial service and funeral, or their funeral. Why? Because if you’re a jerk, if you don’t treat people with respect, at the end of the day, people remember that, and people remember how you made them feel. And guess what? All the money in the world is great, but if you can’t treat someone with respect, if you don’t know how to disagree with someone with love, what is there…, like what’s life all about then?

16:07          Just making money? No. So the next time that you hear someone say, “Do you want to be a nice person or do you want to make money?” And that’s very common in my industry, right? Do you want to be a nice person or do you want to make money? Look at them and go, “I choose to do both” because you can do both. And my brother was an example of that, and I strive to be an example of that. And there are people that are out there that do that. We’re not the only two. There are lots of people out there that are doing it, there are lots of people that you can look up to and see that, but sadly they’re becoming less, and less, and less. And in order to change that narrative, it starts with us. You know, it’s really easy to say, “We need change in the world”, but it becomes a whole lot more personal, and it’s a whole lot harder, when someone says, “Well, why don’t you become that change when nobody else is doing it.” And I’ve had to take hard stands. I’ve been at events, and in fact, there was an event I was at. This is a great story for this. It’s very fitting. There was an event I was at. It kind of was…, it was probably within the last six or seven months or so, that all of us influential speakers if you want to call it, we’re hanging out. And we were chitchatting. There were five or six or seven of us in a group. And, they were being super derogatory, and you know, what they were saying wasn’t necessarily incorrect, but they were just saying things that were just awful.

17:38          And they were just saying things that were just like…, I looked at them and I went, “You know, if you said this on stage, people would probably laugh”, because it’s funny to make fun of and put down people that you don’t like, but at the end of the day, if I partake in that, then if I’m doing those things like, is that what I want to be known for? Is that what I want my legacy to be known for? Like being derogatory and putting people down, being a jerk to those people. No. And it doesn’t make them bad people. I’m not trying to bash anybody, right? But I look at them and I go, “What the heck?” And I stood up and I looked at them and I said, “Guys, this is wrong. I’m not going to be a part of this. And I got ridiculed for it, and I got laughed at, and they’re like, “Oh, Josh, the goody two shoes.”

18:21          I got called names for it, but at the end of the day, I took a stand and I went, “You know what? No.” And that was hard. And it’s really easy to stay in those circles, because, oh, you’re making connections, or you’re networking, or you’re hanging out with those people. You got to prove yourself or whatever. But when you partake in those things, and you do things that are against what you stand for, then you can’t be mad at anybody else for doing it. And, I just really want to encourage you, and remind you to say, what is it that you believe? What do you want your legacy to be about? What do you want to be known for? I want to be known for love. I want to be known for caring about people. I want to be known for caring about people more than anything else.

19:04          And you know what? At certain times, that might cost me money, at certain times that might cost me some sales, but I can tell you something, that in the grand scheme of things, and in the long run, being kind, caring, and being a good person, always wins out over the jerk. It just does. And you’re going to feel way more fulfilled. And you’re going to have such a bigger impact, and you’re gonna feel so much better about yourself, and people are going to respect you so much more. I am not saying it is easy, but I’m saying it’s possible. It takes work, it takes dedication. It takes being a very strong man or a woman, but you can do it, and I promise you that there are some other people out there doing it because Kyle was the person that did it. Kyle was the person that taught me about it.

19:50          I am a living example of someone that’s trying. I fail. I mess up sometimes, but I’m trying. I’m trying my very, very best to be that loving kind person, and be an example of someone that is not a jerk, that will treat people with respect, that would cheat people with love, and still make sales, and still hold my ground, and still stay true to what I believe in. That not be a pushover. To take a stand for what I believe in, but do it with love, but do it with grace, and build a successful business with it, because it is possible. I believe it and I’m showing you how it’s done. I hope this helped. I hope this was encouraging to you. Love over hate, good over bad, loving people and just being a good person, and really caring over not caring and being derogatory every single time.

20:39          As always, hustle, hustle, God bless. Do not be afraid to think different and don’t be afraid to take a stand. It’s hard to make a stand. It is. People will ridicule and laugh at you for it, especially when it’s easier to be negative, to be derogatory, to be a jerk, but don’t cave. Stand your ground and do it with love. Do it with compassion and change the world. I love you all and I will see you on the next episode.

Take is easy fam. Peace.

21:14          Yo, what’s up guys? You’ve been listening to The Think Different Theory with myself, Josh Forti, which I like to call, “A new paradigm of thinking”, and real quick, I’ve got a question for you. Did you like this episode? If you did, I want to ask a huge favor. See, the biggest thing that helps this podcast grow, and that will spread this message of positivity, and making the world a better place, is if you leave a review, or rating and subscribe to the podcast. What that does is, it basically tells the platforms that this is out on, that you liked my stuff, and that I’m doing something right. So, if you could take like three seconds out of your day, and subscribe, leave a rating and a review, I would be forever grateful for you. Also, I want to hear from you. I want to know your feedback, your ideas, and your questions for future episodes. So be sure to hit me up on Instagram in the DM @JoshForti or via email