• David Hrostoski

It’s Bad for Business

Here’s a riddle for you:

What’s one thing you’ll never hear from someone trying to sell you something?

Answer: “There’s nothing wrong with you.”


It’s bad for business.

“There’s nothing wrong with you,” isn’t an emotionally compelling marketing message. Given the standard sales page formula, it could very well be the textbook definition of bad business.

“Sell to emotion, then justify their purchasing decision with logic”—that’s how you make the sale.

Except, it’s a lie.

Not that it doesn’t work—it does.

It’s just factually untrue. You are, indeed, already okay.

You don’t need to scale your business to six figures in 90 days.

You don’t need to fit in your high school swimsuit by summertime.

And you certainly don’t need to heal your trauma to reach an emotional utopia that was never real in the first place.

You’re okay right as you are sitting here now.

That’s “the scandalous secret that industry insiders don’t want you to know.”

But if that’s truly the case—which it is—now what?

What happens when you see through the rampant manipulation that drives sales in nearly every industry? What happens when others begin to see through it too? What happens when the majority of people no longer respond to the “formula”?

As of now, there’s an open outlet that anyone with the right words can plug into. There’s a market for whatever you might want to sell, as long as you know what to say and where to say it.

But for how long?

I wish I could say that manipulation was isolated to a small group of malicious marketers trying to ensure their safety through some sleazy tactics. But those tactics drive far more than the sales of information products.

As Ukrainian flags flood social media, it’s only becoming more obvious how deep this kind of emotional manipulation goes.

These moments are eerily reminiscent of medical masks on Zoom calls, black squares on Instagram, and pronouns on Facebook—our society seems to move in a homogenous block of “goodness.”

The moment you deviate from it, you’re demonized by that mob.

Simultaneously, you’re free from it.

Once you’re even a few steps outside of that block of culture, those walking in lockstep with the current narrative start looking more and more insane.

You begin thinking for yourself again—and, oh, how quickly thoughts can change when untethered from the narrative.

That distance comes with some frustration—some bargaining with reality to try to get those you care about to “wake up”—and some inevitable waves of grief from realizing that you can’t actually save anyone, no matter how convincingly you learn to articulate the insanity or how many facts you might have on hand.

But no matter how much it might hurt in the short term, that kind of clarity will always be worth it.

That’s true even now, in the short term.

There’s no one that experiences cognitive and emotional freedom that truly wishes to go back simply to “fit in.”

Fleeting moments of longing for a past that we’d never actually choose, turn to a resolve to continue forward even more deeply into the “fringe minority.”

But there’s more here than just short term freedom.

The tides are changing.

Can you feel it?

The loudest population right now might be cheering on a war they would never support if it weren’t so trendy.

But those of us on sitting on the outskirts of that conversation, silently observing, are growing in numbers.

There’s a substantial population that has entirely opted out of the manipulation at hand.

To them, The Great Reset is not an inevitable future—it is the brainchild of darkness itself and the beginning of the tyranny it seeks to maneuver.

They’re rational thinkers—not those who proclaim out of the necks of their sweater vests that God is nothing more than an existential crutch. No, true rational thinkers who see beyond the reductive philosophies of the mob and into a world of nuance.

This growing population lives in what we call The Second Paradigm.

It’s the place beyond the manipulation of the mob, beyond the matrix of right and left, and right and wrong—rooted firmly in the experience of being human.

Those who plug into the open outlet of the larger population are finding it harder and harder to manipulate the way they used to.

Nigerian princes with unaccessible piggy banks have turned into elaborate schemes with fake Amazon refunds, screensharing, sprawling call centers, and Best Buy gift cards.

“Jesus is coming back” has turned into a network of NGOs that funnel multigenerational wealth into an organized effort to dismantle the free world and consolidate power into a dictatorship welcomed and even demanded by the manipulated morality of the general population.

The schemes are more elaborate now, not for fun or by coincidence, but because they must be.

Those that sit on the sidelines, building ever increasing solidity to the latest innovative forms of manipulation, are growing in numbers.

As it does, the population of those manipulated shrinks.

Every time culture moves in lockstep, every time the same psychological levels are pulled, a small percentage of people simply stop responding.

What happens when you see through the rampant manipulation that drives sales in nearly every industry?

You opt out.

What happens when others begin to see through it too?

They opt out too.

What happens when the majority of people no longer respond to the “formula”?

Those who have succeeded at the expense of others can succeed no longer.

There are still few voices brave enough to telegraph where they truly stand.

But if you’re seeing what I’m seeing, a substantial number of people are standing outside of that mob—far more than its ever been.

They may be a bit disoriented, unsure of where to go next, and still largely putting their psychology back together from years of abuse both from their government and from the marketers in every industry who learned the Devil’s game to play it themselves.

But how long can it possibly take for this “fringe minority” to put their psychology back together?

How long before they realize they’re actually in the majority, and that power is a contract no more valid than the pieces of paper we call currency?

How long can manipulation make the world go round?

I believe we’re at a tipping point and that the world in 10 years will be indistinguishable from what we see today.

I also believe that those we call The Cutting Edge—those now watching from the sidelines, developing their inner solidity, and refining their intuition—have a substantial place in that world.

The tides are changing. I can feel it, now more than ever. Can you?

We may have little proof today that the lights have been dimmed on us, and those closest to us may firmly believe that nothing has ever changed, but we know what we know—and those who know are growing.

We’ll never know for sure what we believe to be true until we watch the world change with our own two eyes.

Then, we will sigh the sigh of relief that may be decades in the making.

But, in the meantime, at least we are free.

What’s one thing you’ll never hear from someone trying to sell you something?

What you already know to be true:

“There’s nothing wrong with you.”

And those who attempt to tell you otherwise, those who have sold themselves over to a world that is rapidly crumbling, will not be rewarded for long.

The tides are changing.

Those who have changed in advance will not have done so in vein.

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