The myth about money

Let’s role play for a minute, shall we? 

So you just got a job. A good one. Like, really good. Hell, this job is SO good that you have a killer salary for a killer company. And best of all? It’s well known! Your company is frequently in the news and YOU, my friend, are often in the spotlight. You get kudos from high school friends you haven’t heard from in years. Hell, they don’t understand the hard work you do day after day, but who cares? You’re living the dream! 

Oh, but here’s the catch – because this company is frequently in the news, your job performance shows up in the headlines. Like, a lot. I know, it’s not fair because the rest of your friends with jobs don’t get news stories written about them on both good and bad days. But hey – this is part of the job, right? 

So you have a bad day. That makes the head lines. All of a sudden you’re under fire. It doesn’t matter the fact that you had one of those nights you couldn’t sleep the night before. And no one really gives a shit that you went through a break up. All they see is that you didn’t do your best. And boyyy are they letting you hear about it! 

Also – don’t bother trying to defend yourself via social media. This just opens you up to criticism. Yup. Criticism from people who will never relate to you because all they see are the headlines. They don’t see the lifestyle that surrounds it. 

Of course, this is YOU we’re talking about. And this is just a pretend fantasy, yeah? So why don’t we go ahead and both cut you some slack. We KNOW you’re a good person. You’re just a good person who is human. You make mistakes, but we know you’ll bounce back. 

…..did ya get all that? 

Good. So now let’s cut these guys some slack:

Your favorite baseball team that got eliminated from the playoffs 

-The well known athlete on your favorite team who keeps getting injured and “isn’t worth that salary.” 

-The goalie who got pulled in the 2nd period because he gave up five goals. 

-The athlete who made a butt load of money after being traded to your city but has yet to produce anything. 


Because let’s be honest: You and I aren’t living their life style. You and I haven’t lived a day in their shoes. You and I are different than they are. You and I have different joys and sorrows in life that trigger us in different ways.

And please, don’t buy into the myth that making an obnoxious salary means you’re allowed to be criticized. It’s bullshit and it’s hurting you to believe it.

Let’s be kind and send love to those we really want to be succeeding in the first place

Let’s go get ’em, friends.

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Thanks for reading!

By the way, I’m Tony. I live in Chicago. (Duh.) I’m an actor and blogger living right up the street from Wrigley Field. 

My blog is here to help others take control and live a more authentically positive life on their terms. Since working with a coach and learning more about personal development, I’ve started sharing my learnings with others. (I have a lot…)

If we’ve never meet – shoot me a tweet!  Would love to hear how you found this 🙂 

Wanna see more? Check out my actor website or YouTube channel!

Wanna make sure you never miss a post? Click the “Follow” button in the right corner to enter your email and subscribe! 


3 Things to Try When You Don’t Want To Be Productive

Sometimes we don’t feel like doing the “very important” things we need to do. 

And it’s okay when it happens. 

Like when it happened to me. Yesterday. 

The context: I had plans to go to a coffee shop to do some important work. I specifically picked the location because of how close it was. (And I had a free coffee coupon.) 

What happened: I didn’t make it. I was practically there, but unfortunately I arrived to find the Chicago Police Department blocking off the area before I could get closer. 

What I did from there: I went back home. 

Great story. I know. (Minus the police part. Except I still don’t know what they were protecting me from…) 

What happened next: I got home. I settled in. Made some coffee, and got to work. 

…except I didn’t work. 

In fact, I kept procrastinating. I was checking things I didn’t need to check, then getting upset at myself for not being “better and productive.” Which certainly didn’t help. 

While I tend to get a lot done in the mornings, this just wasn’t happening yesterday. Fortunately I eventually got out of my rut, but it took some time – time that I would have rather spent – well….being productive 😉 

Here are a few things I did that can also help you, should you find yourself in this situation: 

  • Forgive yourself. You’re not a terrible person for not wanting to get things done. You’re human and you’re just not feeling it. You can spend time analyzing why, or researching how to be better. Or….you can just forgive yourself and instead accept however it is that you’re feeling. 



Another gem of a mantra card I got from the wonderful Dallas Travers


  • Give yourself permission to “do it wrong.” I was at an awesome workshop last week. We got tips on how to be a more productive entrepreneur. We were specifically told “not to work from our bed”….so guess where I worked from? (Hey. It worked.)  


  • Let it go. I ditched my running order of how the day was going to go. I even removed some things from my list for the day. I picked out the non negotiable and went from there. 

Do any of my entrepreneur friends out there like to switch things up? How has this worked for you in the past? Please share below – we got other readers who would love to hear 🙂 

Have a kick ass rest of your week. 

Let’s go get ‘em.

***   ***   ***   

Thanks for reading, friends. 

If you don’t know me – I’m Tony. I live in Chicago. I’m an actor and blogger living right up the street from Wrigley Field. 

My blog is here to help others take control and live a more authentically positive life on their terms. Since working with a coach and learning more about personal development, I’ve started sharing my learnings with others. (I have a lot…)

-Wanna make sure you never miss a post? Click the “Follow” button in the right corner to enter your email and subscribe! 

-Wanna see more? Check out my actor website or YouTube channel

Dear Actors…..

Hi. It’s Tony.

You might know me, you might not. (Either way it’s cool.)

I just wanted to share some thoughts with you as a 29 year old actor, still working day jobs, and very much looking forward to…not working day jobs. I’m not where I want to be yet. And I have my share of “Am I doing this right?” days. That said – I know I’m exactly where I need to be and exactly on the right track.

Three years ago, I started reading personal development books. “Tony… I’ve never heard of personal development.” Here’s the Tony-version: Personal development involves books, materials, and other types of formal/informal training that either give you a better understanding of yourself or of others. You’ll learn about these things in a positive and productive way. With consistent application, you become more realistic about your goals while remaining optimistic about the obstacles. 

Personal development has changed my life in a lot of ways. But if I had to sum it up in one word, it’d be this one: confidence. I feel better about myself. I feel better about how I look. I feel unstoppable when it comes to my goals. It’s pretty bad ass. And because of personal development, I’ve found I bring a better “Tony 2.0” to my acting career. I’m unapologetic for who I am as a person, so I’m unapologetic when I audition. I’m more confident when presenting myself. And if I mess up in class – eh. It makes me more human. Not a bad thing at all. 

This wonderful thing I found isn’t something everyone knows about. I see a lot of people who could be crushing it in their field, if only they had more confidence. But fear not, friends. I got good news: Personal development can be learned by anyone. In fact, you’re hearing this from a guy who use to loathe reading. (Unless the title started with “Harry Potter and….”) 

So if you’re not a reader, not into personal development, and haven’t yet gained that confidence that you year for, I’ll share a little secret with you that I picked up. This is just for you. And it’s this – You are awesome. 

Seriously. You’re a badass. Think about it: You’re purusing an acting career. You’re here for a reason. And unless you find yourself hating the stage, hating the camera, or dreading the thought of your friends and family all crowding on the couch to watch your debut on Chicago Fire, please know you’re doing the right thing and you’re on the right path. (Especially if you think you’re, like, way behind from where you should be.)

So do yourself a favor – realize right now – yes, RIGHT NOW – that you’re a badass and don’t need to apologize for any “imperfections” that may or may not exist. You’re not doing the class a disservice by bringing your weird interpretation to the role. You’re not bothering the casting associates who are sitting in for your general call. If they are bothered, it’s because they need a career change – not you. So take charge. Acknowledge your inner awesomeness. You. Fucking. Deserve it. 

It’s time you acknowledged it. Actually, you should have started this yesterday, but I’ll cut you some slack. So please. There’s a lot of people out there waiting for you to show up, be you, and even pay you for doing what you love. 

Let’s go get ‘em. 


PS – If you’re a Salem State University student, please hear these words…but also realize you’re on the right track. After sitting in and chatting with you guys this past week, I’ve found that you guys are well aware of just how fucking awesome you are. Kudos, my friends.

***   ***   ***

Tony is a theatre and film actor living in Chicago, just up the street from Wrigley Field 🙂 He loves helping others to become the happiest version of themselves so that they can live more fun, fulfilled lives on their own terms.

He also loves to write blogs on how to do this. 

Contact him for a free one-on-one to see if he can help you with your own mindset and happiness in life, or to inquire if he can do some writing for you!  You can reach him

PS – Rumor has it that he loves when you hit that “share” button for friends and family to see 😉 

How to (Professionally) Put Yourself First


Experience #1:

It was a shit day. And it was only 10:06 am.

My internet bill was unusually high. I had two emails informing me of projects I participated in that needed fixing. An employer was asking me to come in early. Oh, and then my bike got a flat….I wasn’t exactly feeling “authentically positive,” like I strive to be.

I got another call from the employer. They were requesting a new time change for the day.

“Oh sure! No problem.”

This wasn’t the answer I wanted to give. I don’t like changing my schedule. But I wanted this job. And I needed the money. After realizing the other things I needed to get done that day (not to mention a new thing where I had to fix my bike,) I realized this wasn’t going to work. I called back the employer, requested an alternative time, and worked out a compromise.

Experience #2

Different day.

I got a text before bed from a different employer. It said my weekend shifts had been reassigned and that I would now be working in the suburbs. Since I don’t have a car, I typically avoid these shifts. I replied back, respectfully declining the assignment. They answered with an offer to reimburse me for travel. I started to realize that not only was this a longer shift (aka – more money) but it could score me brownie points with the company.

I almost took it. But again, I remembered other responsibilities I had that day. I respectfully declined again….they offered me back my original shifts.

Putting yourself first

It’s easy to think we have to do what others want. I find this goes double when we’re younger and “working our way up” to some of our goals (particularly financial ones). We don’t want to upset or offend. We really don’t want to lose potential income. But in both these experiences, I realized that I could make double the amount of money I was currently making, but still go to bed stressed out with things like scheduling and less time on goals and personal projects.

I needed to take charge. Even if it meant earning less.

When you find yourself wanting to put yourself first – that’s okay. Remember to a) be professional, and b) be upfront with your communication. And c), realize that as you do this, you’re exercising a form of self care that will allow you to better serve others.



Note: You can also put yourself first by going to the movies for the first time in six years…though you might be surprised that the seats have gotten MUCH nicer….also, “Hidden Figures” is awesome. 


Go get ‘em, friends.

****    ****    ****

Tony is a theatre and film actor living in Chicago, just up the street from Wrigley Field 🙂 He loves helping others to become the happiest version of themselves so that they can live more fun, fulfilled lives on their terms.

He also loves to write first person blogs on how to do this. 

Contact him for a free one-on-one to see if he can help you with your own mindset and happiness in life, or to inquire whether or not he can do some writing for you!

PS – Rumor has it that he loves when you hit that “share” button for friends and family to see 😉 

What to do when you feel like you’re undeserving (like I did last week)

It’s funny how quickly we can talk ourselves out of something we want. 

I personally experience this a lot when it comes to what other people will think of me. 

“You want to do…what?” 

“Why do you think you deserve to to that?” 

“You do realize you’re a [insert reason here why I can’t have that thing I’m asking for because I’m too young, too behind in my career, etc], right?” 

Of course, these are all thoughts I’ve made up in my head. And yet, they still come to mind quite frequently. 

Which is why I was surprised to find myself turning my bike around to head into the Steppenwolf box office Sunday night. 

It was Opening Night for “Straight White Men.” It wasn’t on their calendar. They weren’t selling tickets. Yet there I was, dismounting my bike, and peeking through the glass to see if the box office was even open. 

They were. 

The following is a close description of what I said upon walking up to the window: 

“Hi! Okay, like, I know this is a long shot, but like….and I know you aren’t exactly selling tickets for tonight’s press opening of Straight White Men but like…do you, maybe, have anything available for tonight’s show?” 

…they didn’t. 

I exited. As I did, I recognized the playwright, Young Jean Lee, exiting the theatre. She was with two other people dressed nicely. They all looked very important – much more importantly than the guy who just asked for tickets to opening night of the show that wasn’t even being advertised. (Side note: This, of course, was my perspective given my situation.) There I was – a non union actor with a non union agent, with a laundry list of Chicago acting goals in his journal back home, who was walking behind them out of the theatre. 

Needless to say – I was not exactly feeling on top of the world. But here’s the crazy part – the box office staff responded in a manner I was NOT expecting:

“Yeah man! Sorry, I got nothing for tonight. But like, yeah! I mean…please come back and see us!” 

He almost seemed apologetic for not having anything for me. For not having any seats for the show that wasn’t even on the calendar. 

Here’s the thing, friends: We come up with all sorts of reasons in our head why we aren’t enough and why we don’t deserve our big, crazy, ridiculous goals. The goals that are literally triple the size of our checking account. And yet, sometimes we still get a kind reply – or an apologetic reply – that it’s just not our time yet – from the Universe. (Or the dude from Steppenwolf Box Office. I need to get his name.) 

Our goals do not dictate our awesomeness. We are awesome and deserving exactly where we are today. 

Oh, and wanna know the best part? 

I may or may not have crashed their after party. Here’s a recap: 

-I mingled with a few of the actors.

-I had an ever so short interaction with playwright Young Jean Lee. 

-I had an awesome chat with some of the costume team.

-I was told by one of the designers from the New York team, “You’re going to be on this stage one day.” 

Here’s the thing: These were nice, awesome and inspiring people. I’m willing to bet they’d be just as nice to any other actor in my position. And yet, it helped. It made me feel deserving. 

But let’s pretend we didn’t crash the after party and didn’t get this reassurance from people we respect and want to emulate. The words I heard that night that gave me so much confidence were something I could have chosen to feel confident about regardless. 

I want you to feel confident regardless of your situation too. 

You are awesome. You are deserving. If you have an opportunity – please take it. 

Sound good? Good. 


Let’s go get ‘em. 


Tony is a theatre and film actor living in Chicago, just up the street from Wrigley Field 🙂 He loves helping others to become the happiest version of themselves so that they can live more fun, fulfilled lives on their terms. Contact him for a free one-on-one to see if he can help you with your own mindset and happiness in life at

PS – Rumor has it that he loves when you share his content with friends and family.

Sometimes It’s Better To Keep Your Mouth Shut…When Discussing Goals

Have you ever been drunk at a party? 

As much as I pride myself for building better habits, surrounding myself around more positive people, and becoming the type of person who can reach those big and awesome goals…I’d be lying if I said no to the above question. If you haven’t (or if you just don’t want to admit it), let me paint the scene for you: 

You’re having a great time. Such a great time that you’re suddenly willing to share some gossip with a friend. You even preface it with, “I really shouldn’t be telling you this…” but because you’re in such a great mood, you just have this feeling. That feeling tells you, “Yes. You are right. You should share this information. All other reasoning is irrelevant.” 

Of course, eventually your reasoning comes back. But even looking back you can go back to that feeling and justify why you did what you did. “Oh dear..I shouldn’t have done that. But I can absolutely see why I did that…” 

Now, let’s talk goals. 

Right now there’s a big, juicy goal I’m working on. I can’t believe I’ve even set this. It’s that big. And it’s not cheap. And yet, just last week, I found myself setting up an appointment as an initial first step to making this goal come to fruition. I was feeling awesome, you guys. 

Unfortunately though…I got drunk at a party. 

Okay, no. I wasn’t drunk. I wasn’t even at a party when this happened. And yet I got that same feeling that I could trust someone with this valuable piece of information. So I prefaced it with, “You know, I shouldn’t even been saying this….” and off I went. 

No sooner had I finished sharing this, another person chimed in: “Why wouldn’t you just do [insert the name of something much more reasonable and affordable] instead?” 

The truth was, I had considered this option. Many times. And it doesn’t even compare. It’s like saying, “No, let’s skip getting that amazing bacon double cheese burger from 5 Guys and just make one at home using a frozen patty, microwave some bacon, and use the bread we already have. It’ll be cheaper.” 


Yet, on my bike ride home, all I could think of were the following: 

“She was right, Tony. You really should just do the cheaper option.” 

“Why are you considering that expensive option? How the hell will you ever afford that when you’re having trouble affording more reasonable things?” 

“Have you considered that this just might be a stupid thing for you to want, given your situation?”

And so on and so forth. Until….wait a minute…


From “You Are a Badass” by Jen Sincero

What happened to that joyous, energetic feeling that I had a week ago? Why did that suddenly dissolve? And why am I being such a jerk to myself for wanting something that makes me happy? 

Here’s why you don’t share big and awesome goals with people: They don’t have the same understanding that you do. They’re not bad people. They just don’t think the way you do. You could explain every tiny detail with them and they still wouldn’t get it. They might hear your words. But they won’t digest the message. People who don’t aim for big and awesome things like you do aren’t going to hear your words. And that’s okay. 

But you’re not off the hook. 

Here’s the thing about setting big goals: If you’ve made the decision in your mind that you’ll do whatever it takes to get there – you’re going to get it. And when you do, you’re setting an example that it’s possible.  

Set that goal. Let others laugh at you. See how many people are laughing when their mouths are hanging open because they can’t believe you got what you wanted. 

Go after big things. There’s other people who are going to benefit other than you, my friends. It’s a beautiful thing. 


Having positive mantra cards, like these ones given out by Dallas Travers for her Thriving Artist Circle members, have been a big help 🙂 

Let’s go get ‘em. 

You Can’t Find What You’re Not Looking For

I was biking and I was in a great mood.

I was focused on the fun night I had, as well as my final stop I before getting home. It involved pizza. Before getting there, I stopped at an intersection. I started to proceed, when I noticed another biker was heading in my direction

…relax. It’s not that kind of story 😉

Neither of us came remotely close to the other. I was just surprised because I admittedly wasn’t on the lookout for bikers and was more focused on cars. Furthermore, this rider was biking on the sidewalk –  the last place I was expecting to see him.

I’ll fully admit I’ve found myself frustrated whenever someone comes “out of nowhere” and into my path.  “Why didn’t they see me coming?!”

And that night on my ride home, I figured out the answer: They don’t see me coming. They don’t see me coming because they’re not looking for me.


On the other hand, if you know you’re looking for pizza, sometimes you’ll find yourself going home with extra slices, on the house…thanks Big G’s! 


What are you looking for?

With anything in life, you can’t find what you’re not looking for. And yet, we constantly find ourselves frustrated when we don’t make progress with our goals. The truth is, a lot of us don’t know actually know what we’re looking for. We have a general idea of what success means to us. We then hope it comes our way. If it doesn’t, we get frustrated.

Why this doesn’t work

There’s no direction. It’s vague. We make the mistake of hoping for success to just show up. While this may be a possibility, it leaves us with wishing and hoping.

There’s no path for us to take. If we’re wishing and hoping, we’re essentially hoping to win the lottery of success. We’re sitting there waiting, rather than taking action ourselves.

You can see why this mentality leaves us frustrated with a lack of confidence.

Some examples

During my waiting tables days, I scored a phone number from a cute girl. I was thrilled. After a few exchanges, it didn’t appear anything was going to come from it… I was less than thrilled. I expressed my frustration to a coworker. “Well Tony, what are you hoping comes from this? What is that you want>” he asked me

….I didn’t have an answer.

I was just wishing and hoping something awesome would happen. Maybe she’d ask me on a date. Maybe it would lead to a fling. Maybe her mom was one of the top talent agents in Chicago (that would have been awesome.) I had no idea what I wanted.

To give a more practical example, I see a lot of this happen with actors: Many theatre and film artists who are “struggling” are actually very talented. That said, they lack a sense of direction. They’re hoping for success without knowing things like what field they want to pursue (stage, film, etc.) Knowing what you specifically enjoy about acting and how you want to pursue it will give you a sense a direction. This allows you to take action while you’re waiting for that top talent agent in Chicago to call you back. (You can always take a break from submitting and try dating…)

It’s incredible how we don’t get what we want because we don’t know what we want. And if we don’t know what we want, we won’t know where to look or what to look for.

So friends, let’s all do our part to gain a better perspective. Figure out what you’re looking for. Once you do, you’ll feel a confidence boost just knowing that you have action steps you can take.

Go get ‘em.

I’m Giving You Permission To Give Up

Today we’re going to talk about giving up.

This is different than when you’re in a bad mood and thinking irrationally. We’re talking, you had a great night’s sleep, a healthy breakfast, and didn’t hit any traffic on your commute to work. You’re want to giving up. You could literally let go of that big and awesome goal you’ve had for years right now, no problem.

Disclaimer: I don’t like this topic.

I want everyone to go after their crazy, awesome life. At the same time, author Brendan Buchard made me realize something in his book “The Charge.” (This is one of those moments where I’m quoting a book I haven’t read yet, so forgive me for paraphrasing. And thank Ross Grant for sharing this topic on his periscope recently.) Brendan talks about the different ways we “break out of the cage” and start taking action towards that crazy awesome life I’m always promoting. The part that really hit me was when I learned that “not everyone has broken free from the cage.” And then there was this part:

“….not everyone will.”

That phrase broke my heart. I believe all of us have potential. I will always promote going after your goals regardless of your current situation because there really are no limits to what we can achieve.

And yet, there are some who will still never, ever take these messages to heart. It kills me.

Some of you may have heard the expression that you can “lead a horse to water, but you can’t force it to drink.” So here’s my message to those of you who don’t want to take a sip of water. (Side note: You’re missing out. This is damn good water.)

That crazy awesome goal of yours? Just let it go.

Sure, it would be great to lose weight. It would be great to work a job that makes you happier. But let it go. You’re not doing anything about. So let it go.

Goals are supposed to make you feel good. If you’re thinking about a goal that you’ve been putting off for years, it’s lingering in your head and making you feel guilty. And let me tell you something about guilt: It’s heavy. You’re carrying it around with you all day and it’s not serving you. It might even be hurting your relationships because you’re resenting those who are actually doing something about it. Let it go.

Of course…..I won’t end on that note. Come on. It’s still me here who is doing the talking. You do have another option: You can finally do something about it.

You can take the plunge or start small. Hell, if you start small and keep up consistently, you’re going to have the wheels spinning before you know it. Eventually it’ll be more painful to stop than it is now to get started.

But if you’re not, do yourself a favor. Let it go and release the guilt that you’re carrying around all day. It’s not worth it.

The choice is yours.

Go get ‘em, friends.

That Negative Voice Inside Your Head

Let’s talk about that pesky negative voice inside your head.

Voices in my head (Steve B)

You can tell the “great ideas” voices they can stay. 

You know that guy (or girl) who keeps telling you that you’re not good enough? That you’re not capable of losing weight? That you’ll never be the type of person who can eat healthy five days out of the week? Or that you’ll never be able to achieve financial freedom because being a starving artist is just “part of the job?”

Tell him to shut up.

Tell him that you’re taking control. This might be hard for some of us who have a really pesky guy telling us lies right now.

(Seriously. My guy keeps telling me it’s okay to eat that chocolate bar I’ve been saving. And that I’ll never have a rockin’ body. #lies)

Here’s the tricky part: Sometimes this voice is sneaky. He gets so subtle in the ways he plants ideas and thoughts into our brains that we think they’re perfectly legit. I mean, why would there be a tiny person in our heads? That’s just silly….okay yes, it is silly. And it’s much easier to believe that we’re incapable or unworthy of achieving our big and scary goals

Allow me to share some of my own examples from this week:


Me: Oh man! Courtney Rioux posted this sweet vlog last week. It lead to a bunch of “aha” moments that I could write about all day! I should share this concept and what I learned from it with the rest of my friends.

Pesky negative voice: Really Tony? Think about that for a moment: You’re going to write a blog about a vlog. And you’ve already shared it, like, five times already. Plus lots of your friends already know Courtney. This is a terrible idea.

Me: Oh wow. I guess you’re right.


Me: Oh man! I have another chance to book work for tomorrow. Unfortunately I scheduled an important phone call. I’ll have to politely turn it down.

Pesky negative voice: Really Tony? That person you need to call doesn’t need to talk to you. Yes, you made a commitment to chat with them. But you’re really being a failure with your finances by turning down work. Just remember you did this when you’re broke next month and complaining that you can’t do anything fun.

Me: Oh wow. I guess you’re right.


Me: Oh man! I’d love to do something fun within the next few days. Even if it’s low key.

Pesky negative voice: Really Tony? You don’t deserve to do anything fun. Get back to work and pretend like you’re being productive again.

Me: Oh wow. I guess you’re right.


That last example may have been a little extreme. I wanted to share that one because on really bad days, that voice can be very convincing by saying very little.

Start to recognize the negative voice in your own head. Figure out what areas he is affecting your confidence. Remember that HE ISN’T REAL and that you’re an awesome, amazing human being.

Who are you not to be

I shared this on my facebook page yesterday. ERIC THOMAS is my favorite. He’s inspired me to the point where I listen to him every morning….and again at night.

While I find his messages incredibly powerful, perhaps you don’t. That’s okay. If this is the first you’ve heard of him, it’s harder to relate.

Perhaps you can relate to me a little better. And if that’s the case, hear my message:

You matter. You’re amazing. Don’t you dare let anyone else tell you otherwise – real or not 🙂

Go get ‘em, friends.