This project changed my life…
After quitting my consulting job in NYC and moving to Medellín, Colombia to pursue my dream of working for myself, it was time to start figuring things out fast…
I was fed up with the fluffy, BS self-help advice that you see online. I wanted valuable, practical advice that I could apply to my life and start figuring things out.
So, I started reaching out to my role models — people who had already achieved the success I was after.
I sent out a few emails without expecting much in return (as my roommate can attest based on my shouting outbursts of “YASSS! Ray Romano emailed me back!)…
But, after a few weeks my inbox was flooded with life changing insights. Before I knew it, I had heard from 75+ millionaires, Olympians, New York Times bestselling authors, super bowl champions and more…
Their insights truly changed my life.
It is now my mission to provide their insights to as many twenty something dreamers as possible.
This post is the result of 300+ emails sent and 100+ hours of research to connect with these world class individuals. It was a ton of fun.
I couldn’t be more excited to share this with you…
World Class Contributors
- Adam Bornstein: award-winning fitness and nutrition writer, founder of Born Fitness
- Adam Braun: founder of Pencils of Promise and New York Times bestselling author
- Alex Pirouz: business strategist and columnist, founder of Linkfluencer
- Alexi Panos: inspirational author, artist and philanthropist
- Amy Purdy: bestselling author, Olympic bronze medalist snowboarder and social entrepreneur
- Andrew Horn: speaker, social entrepreneur, founder and CEO of Tribute
- Andrew Warner: founder of Mixergy, the #1 startup podcast
- Andrian: entrepreneur, writer and founder of The Quintessential Man
- Arianna Huffington: author and co-founder of The Huffington Post
- Barrie Davenport: certified life coach and founder of Live Bold and Bloom
- Benny Hsu: developer, blogger, podcaster and traveler
- Brett McKay: entrepreneur and founder of The Art of Manliness
- Brian D. Evans: Inc. 500 serial entrepreneur, business coach and founder of Influencive
- Briana Scurry: two time Olympic gold medalist, world cup champion and female soccer legend
- Bronson Taylor: serial entrepreneur, startup advisor, author and co-founder of Growth Hacker TV
- Bryan Clay: 4 time US national champion and gold medal winning decathlete
- Chelsea Dinsmore: owner and chief inspiration officer of Live Your Legend
- Chad Yesilova: Education professional and marketing expert
- Chris Ducker: serial entrepreneur, keynote speaker and bestselling author
- Chris Guillebeau: world traveler, speaker and Wall Street Journal & New York Times bestselling author
- Coss Marte: founder of ConBody
- Daniel DiPiazza: founder of Rich20Something
- Daniel Pink: New York Times and Wall Street Journal best selling author
- Danielle LaPorte: bestselling author, entrepreneur and speaker
- Darius Foroux: author, blogger and personal development expert
- Dave Asprey: creator of Bulletproof Coffee, host of Bulletproof Radio and NYT bestselling author
- David Allen: world leading expert on personal and organizational productivity
- Derek Flanzraich: founder and CEO of Greatist
- Erin Willett: contestant on The Voice, The Biggest Loser and musician
- Guy Kawasaki: Silicon Valley-based business/tech guru, author of thirteen books
- Henrik Edberg: award-winning personal development blogger
- Jake Ducey: internationally recognized author, speaker and millennial motivator
- Jason Khalipa: CrossFit athlete and Crossfit Games champion 2008
- Jasper Ribbers: AirBnB expert, bestselling author, speaker and full-time traveler
- Jeff Goins: bestselling author
- Jenny Blake: bestselling author, career and business strategist and international speaker
- Jeremy Foster: photographer, traveler and blogger at TravelFreak
- Jesse Krieger: serial entrepreneur, speaker and bestselling author
- Joel Runyon: founder of Impossible X and blogger at IMPOSSIBLE
- John Lee Dumas: entrepreneur and founder of Entrepreneur on Fire podcast
- Jordan Harbinger: entrepreneur, podcaster and founder of The Art of Charm
- Josh Coffy: digital marketing expert, speaker and founder of Flight Media
- Kevin Kruse: keynote speaker, leadership columnist and New York Times bestselling author
- Leah Hynes: lifestyle & business coach and co-founder of The Connection Effect
- Lewis Howes: author, entrepreneur and podcaster at The School of Greatness
- Ludvig Sunstrom: author, podcaster and personal development blogger at Start Gaining Momentum
- Marie Forleo: lifestyle expert, bestselling author
- Mark Divine: former Navy Seal, bestselling author, founder of NavySeals.com and SEALFIT
- Matt Brimer: Co-founder of General Assembly and Daybreaker
- Matt Hearnden: self-awareness blogger, writer
- Matt Karsten: full-time adventure travel blogger and photographer
- Matt Michaelewicz: international business expert
- Mike Vardy: writer, speaker, productivity strategist and founder of Productivityist
- Nathan Chan: publisher of Foundr Magazine
- Nathan Latka: software entrepreneur and podcast host
- Nazrin Murphie: lifestyle & business coach and co-founder of The Connection Effect
- Neil Patel: expert online marketer and co-founder of Crazy Egg, Hello Bar and KISSmetrics
- Nick Loper: author, entrepreneur and founder of Side Hustle Nation
- Nick Onken: renowned photographer and philanthropist
- Noah Kagan: marketing expert, taco expert and Chief Sumo at AppSumo
- Paul Angone: keynote speaker, millennial expert and bestselling author
- Preston Smiles: award-winning motivational speaker and author
- Ray Romano: award-winning comedian, actor and star of Everybody Loves Raymond
- Raymmar Tirado: artist, entrepreneur, sales expert and writer
- Ronnie Charrier: traveler, photographer, social media consultant and blogger at Many Many Adventures
- Ryan Holiday: marketing expert and bestselling author
- Sam Briggs: CrossFit Games champion and ‘World’s Fittest Woman’ in 2013
- Scott Dinsmore: entrepreneur and founder of Live Your Legend
- Scott Panchik: 4 time CrossFit games athlete
- Sean Kim: founder of The Growth List
- Sean Ogle: entrepreneur and founder of Location180
- Shawn Achor: NYT bestselling author of the Happiness Advantage and happiness researcher
- Simon Sinek: bestselling author of Start With Why and Leaders Eat Last
- Spencer Brendel: social entrepreneur and founder of PlayHard GiveBack
- Stephen Warley: lifestyle designer, productivity coach and founder of Life Skills That Matter
- Steve Kamb: author, entrepreneur and founder of NerdFitness
- Steve Weatherford: loving husband/father, health & fitness icon and super bowl champion
- Tim Bourquin: former police officer turned multi-millionaire entrepreneur, co-founder AfterOffers.com
- Tom Bilyeu: co-founder of Quest Nutrition and host of InsideQuest
- Tor Refsland: digital strategist, coach, entrepreneur and blogger
- Vince Poscente: Olympian, speaker and bestselling author
- Yaro Starak: author and founder of Entrepreneur’s Journey
“What is the ONE thing you wish you could tell your twenty something self?”
This is what 75+ millionaires, CEOs, Olympians, Super Bowl champs and more said…
(if you want the entire list, you can click here to get it)
Scott Dinsmore: entrepreneur and founder of Live Your Legend
Surround yourself with people who inspire possibility because the fastest way to do the things you don’t think can be done is to hang around people already doing them.
Scott Dinsmore unfortunately passed away in September 2015 at the age of 33. Scott Dinsmore impacted millions of people and was committed to helping others find work they loved through his global community, Live Your Legend. His TedTalk, How to Find and Do Work You Love, has been viewed by millions of viewers from around the world.
To honor Scott Dinsmore’s memory, I have dedicated this project to him.
Chelsea Dinsmore: owner and chief inspiration officer of Live Your Legend
Embrace the uniqueness of who you are and give that back to the world. There is exactly one version of you on this planet and that means you have something so uniquely you to offer. Being unapologetically you, is the best gift you can give to yourself and everyone around you.
Chelsea Dinsmore is the owner and Chief Inspiration Officer of Live Your Legend, a community whose mission is to change the world by helping people find their passion and build a career around the work that only they are capable of doing. Live Your Legend hosts monthly in person meet-ups in over 200 cities across nearly 60 countries, focused on creating in-person connections with like-minded living legends.
Arianna Huffington: author and co-founder of The Huffington Post
If I could go back in time, I’d introduce my 20-something self to a quotation by the writer Brian Andreas: “Everything changed the day she figured out there was exactly enough time for the important things in her life.
Arianna Huffington is the co-founder, president, and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group, and author of fifteen books. She has been named to Time Magazine’s list of the world’s 100 most influential people and the Forbes Most Powerful Women list. Visit Arianna’s website here.
Ray Romano: award-winning comedian, actor and star of Everybody Loves Raymond
Don’t be afraid when things get shitty. Cause they will. And it’s gonna suck. But that’s okay. Just don’t be afraid because if you keep moving it always gets better.
So I guess that’s my advice: allow the hurt but not the fear… and keep moving.
One more thing. Don’t touch that squirrel you thought was dead. It’s not.
Ray Romano is an acclaimed actor, comedian, screenwriter and voice actor. He is best known for his role on the Emmy Award winning sitcom, Everybody Loves Raymond.
Bryan Clay: Olympic gold medalist and decathlete
If I could tell my 20ish year old self one thing it would be “Hey, don’t worry, you’re going to win the GOLD!”
But really, the advice I would give is that it’s ok to make mistakes, they are what shape you and make you the person you were created to be.
Keep your feet planted firmly on your foundation, know what you believe and who you are, and things will turn out alright.
Bryan Clay is a 4 Time US National Champion, 3 Time World Champion, the 2004 Olympic Silver Medalist and 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist in the Decathlon, earning him the historic title of World’s Greatest Athlete. Follow Bryan on Facebook, Twitter,Instagram and his website.
Steve Weatherford: loving husband/father, health & fitness icon and super bowl champion
If you want to get what you’ve never gotten in life, you have to do what you’ve never done.
It starts with a vision. It starts with accepting what is wrong in your life, appreciating what is right, but being aware of what is wrong and what you want to improve. That’s your vision.
Your goal is to change something about that. So then you need a vision, a goal, a plan, and the most difficult part – where 90% of people fail – is the execution.
People come up with New Year’s resolutions all the time. But the difference between the people that make those resolutions and the people who change their life with those resolutions is that those people have consistent execution.
Identify what your vision is, where you see your life going. Then you need to develop a goal that coincides with getting you to that vision through a plan.
Then, it’s time for you to separate yourself from everyone else… Go ahead and execute.
Steve Weatherford is a dedicated husband and father, avid health & fitness role model, a nationally recognized philanthropist, and a super bowl winning punter. He won Super Bowl XLVI with the New York Giants. You can follow Steve on Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram.
Shawn Achor: NYT bestselling author of the Happiness Advantage and happiness researcher
I wish I had known that success would not lead to happiness, but happiness would lead to greater success. I often thought if I got the next good grade, or got into the right school, or got the right job, or got the bestselling book, THEN I would be happy. But success is a moving target for the brain, so every time we have a success, our brain changes the goalpost.
Only after working with Harvard students for a decade and becoming a positive psychology researcher did I realize that the greatest competitive advantage in the modern economy is a positive and engaged brain. And fortunately, happiness is a choice, it just requires dedication, practice, and perseverance.
When we are positive, every business and educational success outcome rises.
So my advice is seek real happiness (not just pleasure) first, and your chances of success rise dramatically.
Shawn Achor has become one of the world’s leading experts on the connection between happiness and success. His research on mindset made the cover of Harvard Business Review, his TED talk is one of the most popular of all time with over 13 million views, and his lecture airing on PBS has been seen by millions. He is the author of New York Times best-selling books The Happiness Advantage and Before Happiness.
Sean Ogle: entrepreneur and founder of Location180
Your twenties will set the stage for the rest of your life. If you spend it all wearing a suit and tie and climbing the corporate ladder, there’s a good chance that’s what you’ll be doing until retirement.
Take calculated risks. I quit my job to move to Thailand when I was 24. Worst case scenario? I run out of money, come back and get a new job. At that age (and even at 30 or later), you still have plenty of time to build up a career – and that global travel will only make your resume look better.
Best case? You live the rest of your life on your own terms.
Bottom line, your twenties are the time to take a chance on what you want to do. Your older self will thank you.
Sean Ogle is an entrepreneur and owner of Location180 where he helps people achieve ultimate lifestyle freedom by creating businesses that allow them to live anywhere in the world.
Daniel DiPiazza: founder of Rich20Something
I wish I would have taken the time to enjoy my journey more. I’m now starting to catch my breath and do this much more often.
Just taking a second to look up from the chaos and say “wow…this thing is actually working” is pretty phenomenal. Even when we’re having a bad week. Or a bad month.
It’s all gone very quickly. Seems like only yesterday I was squatting down with a notepad and saying to restaurant guests “what can I get you?” I’m realizing now that life will continue to move this fast. This isn’t abnormal. This is normal. Life is here…then it goes. That’s it.
If I could start over again, I’d remind myself to remember and appreciate where I am, not just constantly long for some far-off place I want to be…which, incidentally, I’ll never get to if I’m always pushing the finish line forward.
Yeah, there are more “actionable” strategies that would have been helpful as well in the beginning. Things like copywriting, or setting up websites and all that crap. But I think when it comes down to it, our perceptions of success are always based on where we are going, not where we are now. So if I’d started out already being good at all these things, by comparison, I would still feel scared, anxious and unsure of myself, as all new business owners do.
In taking more time to appreciate my journey, I no longer have to worry about being perfect, I can just focus on doing my best, and over time I know I’ll be a lot more satisfied with my results.
Daniel DiPiazza is the founder of Rich20Something, where he teaches young people how to start businesses that they care about and live happier lives. He is a featured contributor for Business Insider, Huffington Post, Inc, Entrepreneur and more. Follow him along with 250,000+ others on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook
Adam Braun: founder of Pencils of Promise and New York Times bestselling author
Understand that money can be used to buy things or experiences. Those who spend on experiences live the richer of the two lives. Travel as much as possible outside your comfort zone and always challenge your assumptions.
Adam Braun is the founder of Pencils of Promise and the author of the New York Times bestseller The Promise of a Pencil: How An Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change. Visit Adam’s website here.
Steve Kamb: author, entrepreneur and founder of NerdFitness
If you don’t plan on trying to start your own company right away or going it alone, don’t chase the money with a corporate gig you don’t really like.
Go to work for a small company that you respect/admire and learn as much as you can from them – don’t worry about the job title or how much they pay you, just get your foot in the door and then bust your ass.
Sleep on friends couches if you have to, live as cheaply as possible, and learn about what type of work makes you feel fulfilled.
More money and a company car don’t matter when you aren’t enjoying yourself or making an impact – but it’s tough to go back to a different lifestyle once you start spending money on things you don’t need to try and get happy!
Experiences trump possessions every day of the week, so don’t be afraid to take risks.
Steve Kamb is the rebel leader at NerdFitness where he helps desk jockeys, nerds and average joes level up their lives. Steve has been featured by Forbes, Men’s Fitness and many more. Steve recently authored Level Up Your Life: How to Unlock Adventure and Happiness by Becoming the Hero of Your Own Story.
Amy Purdy: bestselling author, Olympic bronze medalist snowboarder and social entrepreneur
The sooner you embrace your differences and the the things that make you unique, the happier and more successful you will be. We often times try to be something we aren’t which covers up who we really are. We all have a light to shine, don’t hide it, embrace it and share it with the world.
Amy Purdy is a world-class snowboarder, Olympic bronze medalist, New York Times bestselling author and founder of Adaptive Action Sports, a nonprofit helping physically disabled individuals participate in extreme sports. A near death experience at the age of 19 left without both her legs, but thankfully alive after being given only a 2% chance at survival. Less than a year after having her legs amputated, she returned to the sport she loved, snowboarding. Since then she has also made it to the finale of Dancing with the Stars and toured the country with Oprah sharing her remarkable story. Visit Amy’s website here.
Marie Forleo: lifestyle expert, bestselling author
Forget about the elevator speech and enjoy the beach. Just keep growing, keep focusing on serving more people, improving your skills and everything will be just fine.
Marie Forleo is a marketing and lifestyle expert and a bestselling author. Through her personal website she reaches over 500,000 readers in 195 countries worldwide. She leads dynamic training programs that teach individuals to succeed in business and life. Marie is the author of Make Every Man Want You: How to Be So Irresistible You’ll Barely Keep from Dating Yourself!. She was interviewed by Oprah and Tony Robbins and has mentored young business owners at Richard Branson’s Centre of Entrepreneurship in South Africa.
Ryan Holiday: marketing expert and bestselling author
Remember that you are not special. There were a million other kids on this path before you and there will be another million after. Most of them either went nowhere or turned out to be nothing. Even the successful ones might still flame out or be assholes. What does this mean? It means don’t get high on yourself. Don’t tell yourself a story. Be quiet, work hard, and stay healthy. It’s not ambition or skill that is going to set you apart—notice I didn’t mention those things a single time. It’s safe to assume you’ve already got them covered. What will set you apart, what is rare, is humility, diligence and self-awareness.
Ryan Holiday is a strategist and writer. He was the director of marketing for American Apparel where his campaigns have been used as case studies by Twitter, YouTube, and Google. Holiday has written 4 previous books, most recently The Obstacle Is the Way, which has been translated into 17 languages and has a cult following among NFL coaches, world-class athletes, TV personalities, political leaders, and others around the world. Visit his website for his favorite book recommendations.
Kevin Kruse: keynote speaker, leadership columnist and New York Times bestselling author
Life is about making an impact, not making an income. And ironically, the more value or “impact” you make, the more the money will come. So don’t try to think up a product or service that will make a lot of money; think of who you want to serve — what market do you want to serve. It’s about who not what. Fall in love with a market, and continue to serve them in all the ways they need.
Kevin Kruse is a keynote speaker and New York Times bestselling author of 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management. He is a Forbes Leadership columnist and was named to the Top 100 Business Thought Leaders list by Trust Across America. Visit Kevin’s website here.
Neil Patel: expert online marketer and co-founder of Crazy Egg, Hello Bar and KISSmetrics
Focus. I tried to do too many things instead of focusing my time and energy onto one thing. If I did that I would have been much further along in my entrepreneurial journey. There is barely enough time in the day to run one business… It doesn’t make sense to run two or three at the same time.
Neil Patel is the co-founder of Crazy Egg, Hello Bar and KISSmetrics. He helps companies like Amazon, NBC, GM, HP and Viacom grow their revenue. The Wall Street Journal calls him a top influencer on the web, Forbes says he is one of the top 10 online marketers, and Entrepreneur Magazine says he created one of the 100 most brilliant companies in the world. Visit Neil’s website here.
Derek Flanzraich: founder and CEO of Greatist
My late teens/early 20s were when I most felt the pressure to be like everyone else. I wish I remembered then the only way to build something different and succeed differently is to, well, do things differently in the first place.
Derek Flanzraich is an entrepreneur on a mission to help the world think about health with a healthy attitude. He is the founder and CEO of Greatist. Greatist is currently the fastest-growing media site in the digital health space, with nearly 10 million unique visitors per month.
Daniel Pink: New York Times and Wall Street Journal best selling author
Anytime you think you’re the smartest person in the room, you’ve just proved that you’re not.
Daniel H. Pink is a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author and has written five books about business, work, and management. His books have sold two million copies worldwide and have been translated into 34 languages. Visit Dan’s website here.
Brett McKay: entrepreneur and founder of The Art of Manliness
There’s never a perfect time to do anything, so go ahead and do that thing you’ve been wanting to do. Also, achieving goals is a lot more underwhelming than you think they’ll be. Quit thinking you’ll be happy once you’ve achieved them. Enjoy the process. Finally, focus on being useful, not important and you will go far.
Brett McKay is an entrepreneur, author and the founder of The Art of Manliness. The Art of Manliness is visited by millions of men all over the world, and aims to encourage readers to be better husbands, fathers, brothers, citizens.
Andrew Warner: founder of Mixergy, the #1 startup podcast
Quit feeling that you’re too young for anything.
I remember paying a design firm over $1 mil to furnish my office back when I was in my 20s. My one request for them: “make the office look so impressive that people don’t know that a 20-something guy runs this place.”
What a mistake. Instead of feeling like my age is something to hide I should have either used it as an asset or ignored it completely.
Andrew runs Mixergy, the #1 startup podcast, where he invites proven Entrepreneurs to teach how they built their startups. On Mixergy, he has had the founders of Wikipedia, Groupon, LivingSocial, LinkedIn, and over 600 other fascinating start-ups.
Paul Angone: keynote speaker, millennial expert and bestselling author
Don’t chase your dreams, grow one. Plant it in good soil and consistently water it. Then trust that life will spark life underground. Success in your 20s is about consistency, humility, and many other unsexy words that won’t make the Twentysomething Hallmark Collection. Keep grinding and plowing the ground. And while you do, remember this: The possibility for greatness and embarrassment both exist in the same space. If you’re not willing to be embarrassed, you’re probably not willing to do anything great.
Paul Angone is a millennial expert and sought-after speaker and organizational consultant. He is the author of two books All Groan Up: Searching For Self, Faith, and a Freaking Job! and 101 Secrets For Your Twenties. He is the creator of AllGroanUp.com, a place for twenty somethings asking “what now?”, which has received millions of visitors from over 190 countries. Visit Paul’s website here.
Preston Smiles: award-winning motivational speaker and author
I would tell my 20 something self to slow down and remember. I would tell myself and anyone else growing up now that the carrot that you’re chasing in the form of money, love, relationships, fame, sex, cars, and popularity is an illusion.
True freedom comes from falling in love with the self.
That success must first be defined, and then designed based on your highest passions.
That you can live a life of fun, fulfillment and personal power without selling your soul and chasing what society deems important.
And most importantly I would tell myself that no matter what the question, love is the answer.
Preston Smiles is like nobody in the speaking or personal development world. Breaking all the rules, Preston Smiles is carving out his own path as an emerging Next Generation Thought Leader. Winning the Millennial Mentor Award by Elixir Magazine, and recently launching his book LOVE LOUDER, Preston is a force to be reckoned with. Generating millions of views with his message of LOVE, AUTHENTICITY and CREATIVITY, Mr. Smiles is making a huge impact with his loyal social media tribe, using his unique gift to make complex ideas simple and relatable. Visit his website here.
Simon Sinek: bestselling author of Start With Why and Leaders Eat Last
“You don’t have to know all the answers, and when you don’t know the answer, you don’t have to pretend you do.”
Simon Sinek teaches leaders and organizations how to inspire others. He is the author of the global bestseller, Start With Why and the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller, Leaders Eat Last. He is best known for popularizing the concept of Why and for the talk he gave that became the third most watched talk of all time on TED.com. Visit his website here.
Adam Bornstein: award-winning fitness and nutrition writer, founder of Born Fitness
Don’t fear failure. Embrace it and use it as a guide. You’ll waste so much time trying to determine the perfect situation, instead of “learning by doing.” Failures feel like a step back, but if you learn from them, they actually can accelerate the process, narrow your focus, and help you determine what you will do best to have the most impact and success.
Adam Bornstein is a New York Times best-selling author and an award-winning fitness and nutrition writer and editor. He is the founder and CEO of Born Fitness and Pen Name, a consulting agency. He was formerly the editorial director for Livestrong.com and fitness editor for Men’s Health. He has contributed to and been featured in The New York Times, Fast Company, GQ and more.
Coss Marte: founder of ConBody
Whatever your expectations, whatever you want from the streets or dealing drugs, know that you can obtain those things in the right way. All you need to do is transfer those skills that you’re using in the streets as a way to build whatever it is that you want. If you want it, just put it in your head and you can make it happen…
If I had a mentor at that age that would have told me step-by-step how to get out of the streets and achieve whatever I wanted to obtain the right way, I think I would have been on a much different track in my life…
Taking that short term risk [on the streets] could have you end up anywhere, or have everything taken away in seconds, it’s just not worth it…
By the time Coss Marte was 23 he was making as much as $30,000 per day and more than $2 million a year selling drugs in NYC’s lower east side. He got busted and during his sentencing his prison doctor told him he would die within five years from a heart attack. He was 5’8” 230 pounds. After 6 months, Marte created a new style of working out in his prison cell and lost 70 pounds. After being released in 2009, Marte founded ConBody, a bootcamp style fitness program that helps people get fit, fast.
Jesse Krieger: serial entrepreneur, speaker and bestselling author
It takes the about same amount of energy, work and effort to accomplish any goal big or small so Think BIG and make sure you’re playing the game that YOU want to win… not the game someone else wants you to be playing. Walking the road of entrepreneurship can be lonely at times, especially when you see other people your age achieving their goals and you’re still having hit-or-miss successes, but do not give up under any circumstances because your dream and your vision are too important to be discarded.
The good news is that you’ll eventually meet others similar to yourself. Help them, ask questions, become friends and support one another.
Success as an entrepreneur is a team effort, and way more fun than going it alone.
Jesse Krieger is a serial entrepreneur, speaker and bestselling author. He has been featured on The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Business Insider and more. He is the founder of the publishing company, Lifestyle Entrepreneur’s Press. Visit Jesse’s website here.
Jordan Harbinger: entrepreneur, podcaster and founder of The Art of Charm
My advice would be not to go to college unless I was learning a trade. Soft skills are important and some learned in college but more learned while working in the real world and figuring out what you actually want to do. Most people just go to college because its “the next step” after high school. What they SHOULD be doing is working abroad, becoming fluent in another language and culture, reading a ton and starting side gigs to earn income on the side while finding meaningful work. College seldom, if ever, provides the opportunity to do that.
Jordan is an entrepreneur, podcaster and founder of The Art of Charm. Forbes named him one of the 50 best relationship-builders anywhere and Inc. Magazine calls him “the Charlie Rose of Podcasting.” He teaches people how to dramatically enhance their social lives, personally and professionally.
Ronnie Charrier: traveler, photographer, social media consultant and blogger at Many Many Adventures
What would I tell 20 year old me? Go see the world and really talk to the people that you meet.
Listen to their stories and appreciate the miracle it is that you’re both sitting in that specific spot and that specific time having a conversation.
I didn’t really start traveling until I was 25 and it wasn’t until that part of my life started that I realized just how unpredictable and random and breathtakingly beautiful it can be if you’re looking for it. There will good days and bad days no matter what you do and the only thing you have any real control over is your attitude each day.
Barrie Davenport: certified life coach and founder of Live Bold and Bloom
If you feel fear, anxiety, and uncertainty about your life, recognize these feelings are usually not grounded in reality.
Even if you’re afraid, figure out what you feel passionate about, what excites and motivates you, by going out and trying things that stretch you. Use this time of your life to soak up new experiences, new people, and new ideas.
Follow your own path, even if it’s not the one you thought you’d take — or you were expected to take by others around you.
Lean into what life offers you, and try not to resist when opportunities present themselves. It’s all a great adventure, so enjoy the ride.
Barrie Davenport is the founder of BarrieDavenport.com and creator of the top-ranked personal development blog, Live Bold and Bloom, which is read by millions of international readers. She is a certified life passion coach, helping others find and live their inner passions in a way that creates a fuller, happier, and more purpose-filled life.
Jasper Ribbers: AirBnB expert, bestselling author, speaker and full-time traveler
Never let the fear of failure keep you from taking action. Failure is nothing more than a stepping stone towards success.
It’s essential to fail a number of times in order to learn what doesn’t work. Since we have to fail first anyway, we may as well fail fast. So instead of fearing it, embrace it as an integral part of the road to success and achieving your goals.
Jasper Ribbers is an AirBnB expert, bestselling author, entrepreneur, speaker and full time traveler. He has been featured by Men’s Health Magazine, BBC and more. He is the founder of the travel blog, The Traveling Dutchman.
Erin Willett: contestant on The Voice, The Biggest Loser and musician
There are going to be part of this life that suck, and parts that you’re going to fail at. But, you have to have to be grateful for them because you’re going to learn something from them.
When I was that age, I would let things that I didn’t get right the first time around break me or discourage me, so much so that it would prevent me from ever trying that thing again. But I would tell myself to just keep pushing through those struggles and know that there are still lessons to be learned and positives that come from those moments. Be grateful for everything, even the sucky parts.
Erin Willett is a singer and songwriter who appeared on NBC’s The Voice in 2012 where she was a semi-finalist on Team Blake. Most recently Erin appeared on The Biggest Loser where she lost an incredible 87 pounds and placed fifth. Erin recently shared her brand new single, “Out of the Darkness”, an original song and music video discussing her incredible journey. Visit Erin’s website here.
Nick Loper: author, entrepreneur and founder of Side Hustle Nation
The actions you take today are your foundation. And that’s not to say you’ll be doing the same things 10 years from now or even 5 years from now, but the connections you make, the skills you learn, and the assets you build will give you a platform to stand on.
Even if it feels like you have to start over from scratch down the road, you’ll still have your foundation. This is tough, because it’s at once the big-picture long-term view, and the day-to-day actions that pay the bills. Be kind, be helpful; it’s a small world.
Just because graduation came and went doesn’t mean it’s time to stop learning. The most valuable skills I’ve learned have all come outside of school.
Nick is an author and online entrepreneur featured on The New York Times, Forbes, Fortune, and speaking at a TEDx event. His latest role is as Chief Side Hustler at Side Hustle Nation, a growing community of aspiring and part-time entrepreneurs, where he also hosts the top-rated Side Hustle Show podcast.
Ludvig Sunstrom: author, podcaster and personal development blogger at Start Gaining Momentum
Start commonplacing immediately and force yourself to write something every day, until it becomes as natural to you as breathing. Write–even if it’s only a few bullets to summarize the day and put your thoughts into order.
If you can make just 3 observations or takeaways from each day, that scales over time and really has a positive impact on your ability to learn things and cope with challenges.
Ludvig Sunstrom is a personal development blogger and author. He is the founder of the personal development blog, Start Gaining Momentum, and co-host of the top-ranked Swedish podcast, The 25 Minuter. Visit his website here.
Darius Foroux: author, blogger and personal development expert
Listen more to your gut feeling.
Darius is the author of Massive Life Success and founder of Procrastinate Zero. On his personal blog, he writes about obstacles in daily life and how to get the most out of your personal life and business.
Brian D. Evans: Inc. 500 serial entrepreneur, business coach and founder of Influencive
Your ultimate success is inevitable. It won’t come at exact times you want it, nor exactly the way you want it. You will “fail” many times, but that’s sort of the point.
The success will happen. Your success will be much better than you ever imagined, in ways that you may not even be able to see right now. In fact, it’s already happening, you just have to believe in it.
Take a close look at the way in which you use language. Instead of “trying” to do things, just do them – remembering that success will happen, is 100% inevitably, and you can’t do anything wrong.
Finally, check in with your body and make sure that what you believe inside is reflecting right on the outside. Stand up with confidence for everything that you believe in. Don’t make yourself smaller, and remember that you and you alone hold the secret to success.
Brian D. Evans is an Inc. 500 serial entrepreneur, columnist at Business.com, business coach and founder of Influencive, BDE Ventures, Startup Guild and others. His advertising and consulting agency, BDE Ventures, recently ranked #172 on the Inc. 500 list of fastest growing private companies in America. Visit his website here.
Jason Khalipa: CrossFit athlete and Crossfit Games champion 2008
I would tell my 20 year old self to keep my eyes open. Enjoy the process. All of the ups and downs have led me to where I am today. Learn everything I can from the downs to not have it happen again. Embrace the ups and always stay humble and hungry. I’d remind myself that no amount of money is worth your integrity….always be ethical.
Jason Khalipa was the men’s CrossFit champion and “World’s Fittest Man” in 2008. He has appeared on the CrossFit games podium several times since then. He is a CrossFit athlete and coach, founder of NC Fit and a loving husband/father. Follow him on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
Jeff Goins: bestselling author
You will find yourself most contented when you think about yourself the least.
Jeff Goins is a full-time writer and bestselling author who lives just outside of Nashville, Tennessee, with his wife and kids. He has authored four books and frequently speaks on writing, creativity, and making a difference. His website, Goinswriter.com, has been visited by more than four million people from all over the world.
Alexi Panos: inspirational author, artist and philanthropist
Be YOU. Stop comparing yourself to some idea of who you think you “should” be, and start living up to who you are. The world is waiting for you to show up as ALL of you — so stop hiding. Stop trying to fit in. Stop trying to be a sheep when you were born a lion. Own your gifts, your quirks, your unique brilliance and shine it so brightly for the world to see; be so unapologetically you that it gives others permission to do the same. You only have ONE life in this particular incarnation; don’t waste that time trying to be anything other than who and what you are.
Alexi Panos is an author, entrepreneur, artist and philanthropist well known for her inspirational online content, books, experiential speeches and international workshops and events. She is the co-founder of The Bridge Method and The Bridge Experience. Visit her website here.
Matt Hearnden: self-awareness blogger, writer
Stop being who you aren’t.
I know you want to stop being who you aren’t. But wanting it isn’t enough. You have to make choices.
Do you know what you’re doing when you’re pretending to be something you’re not? You’re telling yourself, and everyone else, that the real you isn’t good enough.
Is that true? Are you not good enough?
Of course it isn’t true. I know you know it isn’t true.
Also – whether you’re the real you, or whether you’re pretending to be someone you’re not… some people aren’t going to like you. That’s reality.
What better excuse do you need to be who you really are?
Matt Hearnden is an author and writer whose content has been featured in The Huffington Post, Thought Catalog, Positively Positive, The Good Men Project, Medium, The Art of Charm and more. He writes mostly about self awareness and I suggest you visit his blog for more.
Andrew Horn: speaker, social entrepreneur, founder and CEO of Tribute
For me, questions have always sparked the most meaningful, lasting change.
When someone hears advice, they can intellectualize it and “get it,” without ever internalizing it. When someone answers a question for themselves, the insight is understood on a deeper, more personal level and will act as a guide and source of motivation for longer…maybe even their entire life.
So rather than provide my favorite piece of advice, I’ll provide my favorite questions and personal truths below…. If you want to be happy and create meaningful work, start asking yourself (and the people you meet) these questions:
- What do I care about?
- Who do I want to help?
- What do I do that brings me energy?
- What am I naturally good at?
- What do I want to be really good at?
“I’m figuring it out” is a much better answer than “I don’t know.”
One of the reasons I finally dove into the internal journey was because of something a friend of mine asked me around the same time I was graduating, he said “you don’t need to figure it out now, but if you don’t figure it out at 21, you’ll have to do it at 31.
This helped me realize that the yearning for these answers will never go away. Why wait?
I’ve learned that the questions will stay the same, but your answers will change. The important thing is that you keep asking.
Embrace the journey and always remember that the easiest way to find fulfillment is simply helping another human. If you want to change your life, change someone else’s.
Andrew Horn is a speaker, serial entrepreneur and currently the founder and CEO of Tribute. Tribute makes it easy for people to send meaningful collaborative video montages to the people they care about on special occasions. He is on a deep mission to spread gratitude around the globe and already has tens of thousands of people using the site. Follow Tribute on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube and Pinterest.
Henrik Edberg: award-winning personal development blogger
If I could give one piece of advice to my 20 year old procrastinating, pessimistic and unconfident self it would be to just take one small step forward at a time and focus only on that small step and nothing else.
Because one small step at a time can quickly become a new habit that sticks with you. Because by just taking one small step forward with a project or outside of your comfort zone you can over time go on a journey to complete a book or getting into much better shape. But also to move forward on a positive path inside of you to build confidence and optimism in yourself and in what you can do with your time here in this world.
That’s at least been my experience. And sometimes I wish that my 20-year old self could have learned this simple but so powerful thing a little sooner.
Henrik Edberg is the creator of and writer at the popular personal development blog The Positivity Blog. Each week he writes in-depth articles and newsletters on happiness, social skills, productivity and self-esteem for more than 60,000 subscribers.
Bronson Taylor: serial entrepreneur, startup advisor, author and co-founder of Growth Hacker TV
Every failure is a brick; If you collect enough bricks you can build an empire.
Bronson Taylor is a serial entrepreneur, startup advisor, instructor, author, and the host and co-founder of Growth Hacker TV, where the experts on startup growth reveal their secrets. His products have been featured on Mashable, ReadWrite, The Next Web, and many other places. Visit his website here.
Tom Bilyeu: co-founder of Quest Nutrition and host of InsideQuest
Set the bar ridiculously high, to the point where you’re almost embarrassed saying out loud how much you’re going to achieve from your life. Tell everybody they can expect that level of performance from you, then exceed all expectations. That’s it. That’s the only path to success.
Tom Bilyeu is the co-founder and president of Quest Nutrition, the second fastest growing private company in North America on the Inc 5000 for 2014. He is also the host of the podcast, InsideQuest, where he interviews deconstructs world class, highly successful individuals.
Mike Vardy: writer, speaker, productivity strategist and founder of Productivityist
You need to know more about what you’re interested in so that you can get better at it in a way that makes sense to you.
Nurture yourself with that interest and start the journey to mastery today.
Every day you’ll make measured progress and gain knowledge…and that knowledge coupled with maturity and experience will lead to wisdom. And when knowledge and wisdom begin to intersect you’ll be further ahead if you have more knowledge in the area of interest you want to dive into.
Dive deep because that’s where the treasure is. The best way to dive deep is to learn more. The best way to learn more now is to read more. Then you’ll start doing things better because your intentions will be clearer and your attention will be focused.
Mike Vardy is a writer, speaker, productivity strategist, and Founder of Productivityist. He is the author of The Front Nine: How to Start the Year You Want Anytime You Want, The Productivityist Workbook, and Beyond Trying. You can connect with Mike on Twitter at @mikevardy.
Raymmar Tirado: artist, entrepreneur, sales expert and writer
Honestly, the one thing I wish I knew back then is that life is really just one crazy ass game of make believe. The difference is that in this game there is an unlimited budget, we play for keeps, and most people don’t even know they’re playing. It’s how religion works, it’s how politics works, it’s how sales, marketing, and business as a whole works, and it is most certainly how the media and our social structures work. I’m not saying it’s the right way, just telling you how it is and letting you know that you should learn this early.
So to the 20 year old version of myself: Stay humble, try new things, and never save any energy for journey back home. Forget about the doubters, keep your head up, and always believe in yourself. Forget about what everyone else wants you to believe in and focus instead on how you can influence the world in ways that challenge others to challenge themselves. This is the key to separating yourself from the herd and becoming everything you are on the way to becoming. Stay strong in your individuality and soon others will start believing in you as well as in the things you do. Surviving that journey and showing others the way is what being a leader is all about.
Raymmar Tirado is a writer, artist, and entrepreneur. A design school dropout turned growth hacker, Raymmar’s work has been featured on the Huffington Post, Elite Daily, Medium, and a number of other national online publications. he is also the founder of ray.do, a software startup focused on disrupting the world of online advertising. Learn more about his work at Raymmar.com.
There’s a lot more where that came from. 75+ in total.
I have just one question to ask you guys, and I think it’s the only question that matters. And it’s what is the work you can’t not do? Discover that, live it, not just for you, but for everybody around you, because that is what starts to change the world. What is the work you can’t not do?
Want a free ebook containing ALL 75+ pieces of advice I received?
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