I remember in college I had a part-time job as a pizza delivery driver. I would spend 4+ hours, 3 days a week, delivering pizzas around my local neighborhood. It was my first job and it was pretty laid back. I would be listening to music, driving around the neighborhood, delivering pizzas and getting the tips were not that bad.

After a couple months, I got sick of listening to music and I started looking up podcasts to listen to. On iTunes most popular podcast, I saw the Joe Rogan Experience and I started to download a few episodes to listen to. The Joe Rogan Experience is a long-form conversation hosted by comedian, Joe Rogan, with friends and guests.

One of the episodes was an episode with special guest David Choe, one of the richest artists in the world. David Choe became an “overnight millionaire” by taking stocks on Facebook as a form of payment from Sean Parker instead of cash for an art job.

I loved the episode so much, I started to listen to David’s podcast DVDASA.

The Tip That Changed My Life

One of David’s podcast episodes was called “The Solo Ranch Series”. It was different than his long-form conversations with guests. Instead, it was David recording the episode by himself on a ranch. In the episode, he talks about how he became rich and his story.

Everyone says he got “lucky” by taking the stocks as a form of payment instead of cash. David asks was it really luck? He described the painstaking challenges of becoming that good of an artist to where Sean Parker reached out to David to paint the Facebook office.

In the episode, David lays down a blueprint to emulate his success. The podcast episode was exactly what I needed to hear at the point in my life. In his slew of tips and advice, one tip stood out like a sore thumb.

“Don’t Ask”

Dave screamed into the podcast microphone.

“Don’t ask. Do not ask for permission. This is not how you live. Okay. You take charge. Just **** do it. Take charge. This is your life. You could sit here and ask a million people for their opinion. Do what you need to do. Don’t ask”.

I was raised in an Asian household where I spent most of my youth looking for my parent’s approval or my friends/ families, and this concept was so foreign to me.

It rattled my world. How many times have you asked your family or friends for their approval instead of just taking charge and doing it in your life? Maybe you wanted metal roofing installed in your house but you decided to ask all of your neighbors, families, and friends to see if it was a good idea first.

This is David’s point. Don’t ask. It is your house. It is your life. Stop asking for permission.

With this advice, I reevaluated how I lived my life. “No more asking for permission”, I promised myself. The following semester of college, I took the semester off and backpacked Thailand. This time abroad has set the tone for the rest of my life. I started to take control of my decisions and stopped asking for permission first. Years later, I can say this had been the most influential pieces of advice I ever received.

If there is one tip I would like to pass along to everybody, it would be “Don’t ask”. This is your life. Take responsibility for it and go do what you want with it.