Success is the best revenge: When you make a good nemesis!

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Did you know that success is the best revenge? It’s true at work. It’s true at the gym. And it’s true in your bank account. 
And having a nemesis is hella motivating. That’s what this is about. Making your own Lex Luthor. A skill that helped me achieve everything.

So I want to tell you:

  • My own revenge-success stories 
  • Three reasons you may need a nemesis to push you
  • And what to do if you don’t have one (including what you can do for bonus points)

Whenever someone tells me some zainy money-making strategy (that takes hours of work per week), I think to myself “heheheh. Just watch this, grasshopper” and I get extra motivated in my own saving and investing antics. 

Recently, I bumped into my old gym rival. (Super nice guy, love him to pieces, but rival nonetheless) and I got extra motivated to up my own workout routine. 

You likely know that I don’t have a lot of love or a lot of mental space for most people. I save it all for the people I truly care about. My inner circle. That’s one of the reasons I don’t display my wealth via stealth wealth. Too many annoying detractors trying to absorb my time. I really really really care about protecting my time. 

But here’s the part that might blow your mind. 

When someone does become a friendly nemesis of mine, I don’t try to bring them down. I raise them up. Bringing people down is just weak ol’ crab mentality. I give them tips, I help them out, I introduce them to people… And then I crush them with an overwhelming victory. I know success is the best revenge.


The genesis of my money success.

It was a friend who first suggested I look into real estate investing about ten years ago. A week later he said “Nah, it’ll never work. Give up you won’t do it either” and dropped the whole ordeal. 

Oh I will make it work I told myself and proceeded to find the perfect house that has now quadrupled in price and has given me a consistent cash flow for a decade. 

My family said “rentals are the worst investment you could ever make” and spent weeks sending me horror stories of things going wrong for landlords. Yeah, it was disheartening, but it only drove me to find ways to mitigate risk and to be the success story. 

I now have a huge rental portfolio and I’m retired early. But I don’t rub it into anyone’s face. Success is the best revenge and you can make it positive all around!

Why success is the best revenge

I have learned the value of a good detractor and how success is the best revenge. 

I recently crushed a gym nemesis of mine (with success, not with a kettlebell). My COVID  home workout routine was awesome and now I am leagues ahead of him.

He was doing pull-ups and after he finished his 3 sets of 5, I just happened to do 3 sets of 12 nearby. Oh, you bet we caught each other’s eyes afterward.

That warmed my heart in a way that only crushing someone can.

The awesome feelings of winning come and go, but the benefits I got from pushing myself are here to stay! 

The best part of this is that we are friends and that’s how I cultivate my nemeses to be.

Why you need your own awesome nemesis

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a seething toxic mess. We rip each other every time we cross paths. We work out together sometimes but we compete. Oh hell yeah, we do.

Here are three reasons why success is the best revenge when you have the right nemesis:

1 – They motivate you.

Everyone needs a good nemesis to push them. Moriarty and Homes, Picard and Q, The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin. Where would these guys be if no one challenged them? WWE would certainly be boring.

Where would the Rock be without Stone Cold Steve Austin? Success is the best revenge.

Oh, nothing’s as motivating as when someone doesn’t think you can do it. 

Especially when they say “that’s not the right way to do it.” (To be fair, I have a lot of experience ignoring BS life rules. Mostly by checking if they make any sense.) I guarantee that I would be far less successful if I didn’t have someone I was internally competing with

Your nemesis doesn’t even have to be a real antagonist in your life to fill this role. It can be a friend, like my gym buddy Quaddy McPants. (And they don’t even have to know you’re competing with them, although mine does.) 

Anyone who thinks you can’t do it, that your method sucks, that it will never work. Prove them wrong. 

Quick aside: Real revenge is bad. 
Purely pursuing revenge is a short-sighted way to live life. However, creating your own Stone Cold Steve Austin is good. 
If you’re stomping down on people or sabotaging them just to stay on top – you are a jerk. You want them to rise so you can try to rise higher.

2 – It makes success taste even better.

Have you ever watched Friday Night Lights? Remember when Permian was making that comeback against Dallas Carter High? That was awesome. 

When you face a struggle but push yourself through it you will appreciate it far more. We don’t appreciate the things that come easy. So a good rival will force you to push yourself to beat them. 

It’s only good when you challenged yourself to get there. That’s why success is the best revenge.

3 – It’s the final outcome that counts. 

It’s not just about winning. Your win is better because you are now successful. You didn’t just run someone over with your car. You’ve achieved something. 

This is the best part and the reason why real revenge is stupid. If you drag one person down, sure you end up on top. But you suck. There are billions of people better than you. You didn’t achieve anything. You didn’t improve yourself or your situation. 

It’s not about dragging them down to be second best. It’s about pushing YOURSELVES to be the best ever. And only a good nemesis can do that for you. 

No nemesis? I got you covered. 

Here’s the secret to making one, so you can reap the success is the best revenge benefits.

No, don’t call them a name in front of their spouse. (I tried that. But it made for a bad nemesis.) Challenge them openly. If someone has similar interests to yours – challenge them. 

  • I bet I can add more to my squat in 2 months than you, Mr. Quaddy McPants.
  • I bet my stock index funds will beat your zany scheme in one year.
  • I bet my excel sheet will be prettier than yours!

Bonus points if you toss in a “In fact, I’ll bet you $5! *chuckle*” It’s not about the money. It’s about the drive. 

A friendly bet is sure to create some rivalry. 

Ready for some bonus points? 

Remember what I’ve been saying. Your nemesis has to present a challenge for you. If they suck, you’ll suck. Choose someone whose accomplishments you actually respect. 

But if you want some huge points – choose someone who is wayyyy better than you. You’ll get to push yourself harder than you’ve ever pushed yourself before PLUS you’ll get to be the scrappy underdog. Everyone respects that “make it happen” attitude when you’re genuinely committed to make it happen. (Plus, maybe your nemesis will take you under their wing and teach you all their secrets – which you will later use to CRUSH THEM!) 

Not into the open challenge thing? 

Suit yourself. 

You can have a secret nemesis too. Just make sure you don’t actually hate them. That can make you obsessive, and that stuff’s not healthy. 

You don’t have to declare your challenge openly and you don’t have to declare your wins either. Intrinsic rewards are all the rage these days anyway! 

If your secret rival is eons ahead of you, good. They’re proof that you can get there too. And after you can get there, you can surpass them. 

TL;DR – Success is the best revenge 

  • Winning a rivalry is fun and the success lasts forever
  • If you have a hard time pushing yourself, a friendly nemesis might help
  • Help your nemesis get better so you can be even better. Remember, if they suck, you’ll suck. 
  • And real revenge is bad. It just makes you a jerk. But having your own Stone Cold Steve Austin will make you The Rock. 

I’d love to hear if you’ve ever been motivated by a challenge or if your own experience with “success is the best revenge” Leave me a comment below!

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