“You can’t do that,” she told me.

Cindy was a VP in the marketing department.

I was on my way to see the CEO of HBO. I was a junior analyst programmer in the IT department.

A very exciting job. I made $40,700 per year. It was 1995.

I lived on a foam futon and shared a room with a chess hustler from Washington Square Park. The toilet only worked randomly.

I had one suit, which I kept in a garbage bag next to my futon and took it out every morning.

I was very popular with the ladies.

She said, “You can’t just walk into his office!”

The CEO was my boss’s boss’s boss’s boss’s boss’s boss.

People say “can’t” when they wish they could. Or something cliche and smart like that but not that.

I had an idea I wanted to tell him. If you can make original TV series on HBO, why not an original web series?

This was 1995.

He said, “Go for it.” So I did it. I did a web series called, “III:am” on HBO for the next three years and even shot a pilot for HBO.

I used that first idea to launch my first company. My first clients were AmericanExpress.com and TimeWarner.com.

Parents say “Don’t!” to little kids.

And sometimes people say “shouldn’t” when they don’t really know but they think they know better than you.

But if someone says “can’t” it’s at least worth a “screw you” to try to do it just a little bit. Why not?

It’s so worth it to just drive one person crazy.

At the very least it’s a story 23 years later.

It reminds me of this football play.

This quarterback shouldn’t! No he didn’t! No he won’t!

But he did.

To watch the video I made for this article, click below.


James Altucher is the author of the bestselling book Choose Yourself, editor at The Altucher Report and host of the popular podcast, The James Altucher Show, which takes you beyond business and entrepreneurship by exploring what it means to be human and achieve well-being in a world that is increasingly complicated. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

Image courtesy of Laurie-Anne Robert.