20 Thoughts on NOT Wasting your 20s
The twenties is an amazing decade of your life, unique in its own way.
It is the time when you work your ass off and build a solid foundation for a prosperous life.
Do it right and everything is going to be ten times easier.
Get it wrong and it will feel like an uphill battle for the rest of the time.
In this article, I want to share some thoughts on how to make sure you make the most out of this period of your life.
I should know…
I wasted a big chunk of it doing stupid, unproductive, useless, or just irrelevant things. Hopefully, I did some things right too, so I was able to get into my thirties blasting. Yeah!
So, here are my thoughts, in no particular order.
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1) Learn, learn, learn, and then learn some more. Looking back it is amazing how ignorant I was about life, business, relationships, and everything in between. Never stop learning; the day you do is the day you stop growing, which is the day you start dying. Books about wealth building and books about business should be on your top priority.
2) Look at what people do, not what they say. People are an amazing species. They will say something, and then turn away and do the exact opposite. For this reason, you need to observe what people actually do, and not what they say. Dig deeper than just listening to someone words.
3) There is no balance. Success is never the result of having balance. In order to accomplish anything that has value, you will have to stir so far from balance, it won’t even be a joke. Do you think Travis Kalanick built Uber and Elon Musk became a billionaire by “living a balanced life”? Exactly.
4) Get down to working because overnight successes take 10 years. If you wish to achieve something significant, you need to start early and keep at going. The first results will come at around 3 years, the next level at 7 years, and your pinnacle after 10. Then you just repeat the process.
5) Take care of your body, It’s the only place you have to live. Jim Rohn was right, this is our permanent home and palace. Food, exercise, sleep – that is the trifecta. The next one in order is stress. Take care of those on a daily basis.
6) Learn how to sell. Ahh, you said the “S” word! Of course I did. Selling is perhaps the most useful skill you are going to acquire. Do you think Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, the wealthiest people on the world can’t sell? They are master salespeople (on top of being geniuses).
7) Own less. You don’t need to own a house, you don’t need to have a car. Smart people have figured it out for us, it’s called the “Sharing Economy”. Alright, when you are worth 7 figures and more, you can get a Ferrari, but until then, save your capital to grow your businesses, don’t tie it up on non-productive assets and liabilities.
8) “Become a Millionaire. Treat Money Like a Jealous Lover.” Grant Cardone said it best: “Millions wish for financial freedom, but only those that make it a priority make it. Money loves getting attention and hates being ignored or mistreated. Unless you are very lucky to get rich and stay rich, you will have to make financial freedom a priority. Money is like a jealous lover when ignored it will leave you for someone who gives it the proper attention.” Word!
9) Associate with the right people. You are the average of your 5 closest friends. So, who are those going to be? Lazy folks with no future? Or driven individuals that are going to kick-ass in the years to come. You know what to do.
10) Have some fun along the way. Granted, not everything should be just work, work, work. It is called “Work hard, Play hard”. The problem is that people tend to forget the first part. Trust me, when you have some solid income, it is going to be way much more fun.
11) Save and Invest. Few people save, even fewer do both. That is why everyone seems to be struggling. The first step is to create high income. Then, you save the majority of it. Finally, you cautiously invest. Easy. OK, not that easy, but it’s the only way. Start early and it becomes easier.
12) Don’t have a baby yet. I am speaking mainly about the boys here, the girls are in a different situation with this. This will change everything and will make things two orders of magnitude harder. Do some rational thinking to determine what the best age to have a baby is.
13) Double down on what is working. Sometimes you are going to discover something that works unexpectedly well. That might be a business model, a marketing channel or something similar. When you do, double down on it! There will probably be a short time window before the masses catch up. Don’t stall!
14) Travel. When you the opportunity to travel, just grab it. It is something that will literally shape your brain, life and worldview. Be curious and explore.
15) Prolong the pain. What? Prolong it? Yes, prolong it. If you are feeling pain, it means that you are doing something hard and difficult, thus valuable, and that you are growing (assuming that you are not a dumbass that just wants to hurt himself). That means that you are on the right path and you will be liberated soon. Is it painful to work 10+ hours per day, seven days a week, on your business? Yes. Keep doing it.
16) Be positive. It is scientifically proven that positive people are more successful, happier and lead more fulfilling lives. It doesn’t pay to be a negative person. Same goes with who you associate. Drop the dead weight.
17) Acquire social skills. It is painful to watch young people that can’t interact like normal human beings. Yes, it is a skill, and yes it can be learned. So take the extra time and effort to do it. Bonus points: read some evolutionary psychology books. Under the hood, we are still the same apes living in the Savanna desert.
18) Give value plentifully. It is weird how it works. When you give value to the world, you get it back in ways you could never expect. This does not apply only to friends and family, but also business partners, customers, and even random strangers.
19) Learn how to work productively. We don’t have enough time, not during the day, neither during our lifetimes. For this reason, we have to be as effective as it goes. Build a solid daily ritual and introduce field-tested productivity techniques into your workflow.
20) Start your legacy. Note that I am not saying “leave a legacy”. It is already hard enough to do all the things I talked about above, leaving a legacy at the same time would be impossible. Having said that, you can start thinking about what you wish to leave behind in this world and how you want people to remember you.
I hope those help. If you apply them, I am confident that you will be on your way to success.