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NOTABLE! What would you tell your 18 or 25 year old self?

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The-J

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Relax.
 

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WJK

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Now that I'm 30 and started visiting this forum when I was in my early twenties, I may as well update this thread since it's popped up in my email once again.

I would tell myself the following:

Don't try and learn to become a programmer unless it's what you're truly made to do.

Instead, learn how to sell and learn marketing.

Don't try and reinvent the wheel. Just find a business model that is already working and repeat and do it better. Find something you like, and pursue that. Go be a personal trainer who sells online packages if you're super fit. Or sell microgreens online, or maybe even start a web design agency or market agency if you want. Start an HVAC company, or an equipment rental business. No need to go and start the next SaaS wonder single handedly. You'll waste years of your life attempting that.

Focus on sharpening your leadership.

Get and pay a mentor who's much further ahead of you.

Don't go to college unless you want a trade. Instead buy training you can apply immediately from people who have the results you want to have.

Enjoy the process. Don't make yourself miserable on the journey because you'll burn out and you'll start to weigh the suffering you're creating yourself against the success you want... So make your journey fun. Think of it all as an adventure. Risk is an adventure.

Set a long term big goal but also define shorter steps in a concrete plan but don't get attached to it because that plan will change as you learn new things.

Once you have the cashflow, hire a recruiting company to start finding you people to add to your business. Don't be a DIY kind of person. Be a leader who gets others to do the work.

You're probably going to fail a bunch of times until you figure things out, so just fail forward and do it fast.

Also know you're going to have to change as a person from starter and fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants to manager/leader if you really want to grow your business.
Great advice. You are learning a lot.
 

LordGanon

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Academia is a dead end. It's nice that you love to learn, research, and teach. But it's neither a viable career option nor will it actually make you feel fulfilled.

Quit drinking now, even though you can drink more and work more than anyone else, seemingly without being impaired. You have no idea what hell awaits you.

You got so much potential. More Apollon, and a little less Dionysos. Discipline is key.

Your happiness is not dependent on a woman.

Stop cheating on your girlfriends. It's disgusting and arrogant and hurtful.

Stay far, far away from politics.

You're okay. Stop trying to prove yourself to others.

Statistics are fun. You just don't know it yet. No, I'm not kidding you.

Most important, possibly:

It's not "the world". It's you.
 
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lwg8tr0514

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1. Stop looking for validation in beautiful women/handsome men
2. Stop looking for validation from your parents
3. Stop looking for validation in your friends
4. Stop looking for validation in society
5. A $500(yes I did that back in 1990) car payment for a 1990 Mustang GT is a f*cking stupid idea when you are making 26k a year as a manager in mall shoe store.
 
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James Klymus

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Im 24, about to be 25 in a couple weeks, But lately I've been thinking about what i've learned over the first half of my 20's. Some of my lessons:


Don’t take yourself too seriously. I was solely chasing financial success when I was in my early 20’s, and around the beginning of the pandemic I had an honest conversation with myself, and came to terms that I wasn’t happy only chasing money. I was really caught up in self help and hustle culture, and thought I was so much smarter than all the people who were out with their friends on the weekends. Looking back, I should have spent more time with my friends and taken more social opportunities the past 3-4 years. Will you be the next billionaire if you decide to have a social life and pursue entrepreneurship? Probably not, but that doesn’t matter to me.


Stay out of consumer debt as much as humanly possible, Student loans, car loans, credit cards.The only exception I would personally make is a reasonable mortgage, but even then there would have to be certain circumstances. Don’t confuse this with business debt, such as a loan on a multi unit property. If you read MJ’s books, you should understand that consumer debt is a ball and shackle around your ankle. The more debt you have, the less freedom you have. Drive the old Toyota, live in an affordable apartment/get roommates. It's not sexy, but its a lot better than being a total slave.


Care about your appearance. I used to not care about how I looked, I had a bad haircut, no sense of style, and low self confidence. But something amazing happened when I started hitting the gym, wearing stylish clothes, and getting a better haircut; I had way more self confidence. All of the sudden I was talking to strangers, girls I found attractive, got invited out more, and became an overall social person. People say looks don’t matter, BS. We’re visual creatures, and looking the part is the secret handshake in a lot of social interactions.


Also, be more social. The worst thing that can happen is you get in a momentary awkward situation followed by a “well it was nice to meet you”. Other people have everything we could ever want, and it’s good to have a lot of connections and acquaintances.


Finally, Play to win. You may have heard this phrase before, but what does it mean? To understand it better, look at the opposite side of the coin, playing to not lose.


Playing to not lose: Getting the secure job and the comfy lifestyle, marrying the first girl that you have any sort of connection with, and play it safe. Don’t take any big risks, cause if you fail it’s assumed you’ll never make it back from that failure.


Playing to win: It’s doing the RIGHT thing, not necessarily the comfy thing. It’s making the phone call to the potential customer, facing rejection, investing money into your business instead of a new car or house. It's talking to the girl even if the timing isn’t perfect, or she's with her friends. It’s pushing yourself in the gym. It’s doing what you know is right, not necessarily what’s comfy or convenient.


If you play to win, You will come out ahead of most of the human race. Most of the human race is playing to not lose. That won’t change any time soon either, because playing to win is the exact opposite of what us humans have evolved to do. Now that we live in a relatively safe world, where there is almost 0 risk of starvation, or being exiled from a tribe to fend for ourselves, the play it safe mentality doesn’t really serve us.
 

MaxKhalus

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instead of chasing money, build skills and focus on improving. Success is a result, not a goal.

Many times, I just gave up on doing constructive things because there was a chance to fail, or the payoff wasn't good enough. If I just did it, I would have grown enough to be successful by 20.
 
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WJK

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I wouldn't tell him a thing. He wouldn't listen.
Maybe it only appears that way. But, I can tell you as a parent of four, that kids are listening -- even when we don't know it. My "boys" are in their late 40s and my step kids are in their 20s. As adults, every one of them now quotes us from what they heard when they were growing up. When they were young, we adults were the dumbest people on earth according to them. Now that they are adults, we have gotten SO smart in their eyes.

We're saying and doing the same things that we always have. We're still the same old frugal people that they called the "cheapest people on God's green earth". We still believe in hard work, even when everybody else is partying. We sleep on big decisions rather than rushing into unknown situations. We save for rainy days while others are flouting their stuff bought on their credit cards. Now that our kids must navigate the world on their own, they have gain some appreciation for us as parents and human beings. Go figure.
 

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Ocean Man

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Don't take things too seriously, remember to live. I'm in my 20s currently, but a lot of people tell me that I'm too worried about the future and I agree. I'm putting too much stress on myself. I need to remember that I'm going to be an entrepreneur for the rest of my life and although I want to be a multi-millionaire before I'm 30, I'm not going to stop and retire at 30.

Slow down, have patience, don't rush things and enjoy the process. Enjoy your life and live a little bit. During COVID-19, I'm now in America instead of Korea and I realize that wow, I lived in Korea for the past three years. And those three years have been the best three years of my life. I'm constantly thinking back these days on how fun my life was and how much I took for granted my time there.

I need to be more present and to enjoy what I'm currently doing. Be patient.
 

Martin.G

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Probably I would tell my 18-year-olds self that don't waste your time and start thinking goals for his life. Also read a lot, because life experience could be so small that you miss a lot of things. It's like this forum, if we don't read TMF, or others books probably a lot of us we would not be trying.
 

TheFrancophile

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Oh my goodness! If I only had the possibility of going back in time and talking to my 18-year-old (or even 25-year-old) self... I'd tell him this (I've learned several of these concepts from TMF) :

1) The world doesn't give a damn about your interests, hobbies, passions, or about you - except to the extent you're useful to the world. You'll be rewarded based on the value you contribute to OTHERS.

2) Get a sales job. Nothing will teach you more about life, about influencing other people, and about making money than a sales job.

3) Stop reading about, let alone debating, politics. You're only going to offend a lot of people. Avoid politics like the plague.

4) Stop wasting time watching YT videos.

5) Learn foreign languages as quickly as you can. They'll open an entire new world of possibilities to you.

6) Travel around the world, while you still can, and while you're single (and can therefore travel as a backpacker). You'll learn A LOT about the outside world this way.

7) Get in shape. Start practicing a sport regularly and start frequenting a gym. Also, be very careful with the food you put in your mouth.
 
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Rabby

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Sacrifice the critic on the altar of your ego. Twist the knife.

Build a time machine, travel forward a few decades til you can get your hands on TMF and Unscripted, read those instead of like 500 other books about business, investing, and entrepreneurship.

"Get your a$$ in gear, kid!"
 
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WJK

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Probably I would tell my 18-year-olds self that don't waste your time and start thinking goals for his life. Also read a lot, because life experience could be so small that you miss a lot of things. It's like this forum, if we don't read TMF, or others books probably a lot of us we would not be trying.
Why do you think that process of setting goals is a waste of time? Or is it the actual goals themselves that you think of as a waste?
I'm just finishing up a set of goals I set as a teenager. I'm glad that I had that foresight when I was a young pup to think that way. I just wanted more for my life -- and I spent my life's energies chasing that dream -- also known as goals.
How do you know where you're going without goals?
And how do you know when you get there?
I read and listen to audiobooks all the time. But, that information is sure no substitute for life experiences. My life experiences have been huge. I've lived several lifetimes during my years on earth. I've done more than most people around me. And I have influenced scores of other people through those years.
What have you done during your lifetime?
What do you want to do with the rest of it?
The goals I'm setting now are totally different from the ones that I set when I was young. But, they are no less important. I truely value my life.
 

Martin.G

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Why do you think that process of setting goals is a waste of time? Or is it the actual goals themselves that you think of as a waste?
I'm just finishing up a set of goals I set as a teenager. I'm glad that I had that foresight when I was a young pup to think that way. I just wanted more for my life -- and I spent my life's energies chasing that dream -- also known as goals.
How do you know where you're going without goals?
And how do you know when you get there?
I read and listen to audiobooks all the time. But, that information is sure no substitute for life experiences. My life experiences have been huge. I've lived several lifetimes during my years on earth. I've done more than most people around me. And I have influenced scores of other people through those years.
What have you done during your lifetime?
What do you want to do with the rest of it?
The goals I'm setting now are totally different from the ones that I set when I was young. But, they are no less important. I truely value my life.
I didn't say that setting goals is a waste of time, what I mean is I shouldn't have waste my time when I was younger and have started setting goals sooner. Maybe I wrote it wrong, English is not my main language.
 

djcoax

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I am 44 years old and here's my advice to my 18-year old self.

1. Read this : Hunter S Thompson on Goals -

2. Focus on developing good habits over setting goals.

3. Relax and enjoy life. It goes by extremely fast and people you take for granted might just disappear out of your life overnight. Enjoy their presence. Your circle of friends will never be larger than it is today. Keep the good ones, kick the bad ones to the curb. It's not easy to separate good from bad friends. A good test is to tell them when something good has happened to you. If they're happy for you they're a friend.

4. The present is all there is - start meditating.

5. Stop looking for where to find the party. Be the party.

6. Stop consuming and focus on creating value.

7. Look around and see what you can do for others. We're all suffering in our own way.

8. Take cold showers every day

9. To get out of your mind - get into your body.

10. New Year's eve 2001 - you will meet a woman called Lara. f*cking RUN. Yes I know she's hot. Run for your life and don't look back.
 

Ocean Man

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I'm bumping this thread.

1. Learn the basics of accounting and book-keeping.

2. Keep your business money and personal money separate. As soon as possible. I'm working on this right now but I'm more than three years late. If I started off sooner, it would've made accounting/book-keeping much more easier and in general it's better to keep these two separate.
 

WJK

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I'm bumping this thread.

1. Learn the basics of accounting and book-keeping.

2. Keep your business money and personal money separate. As soon as possible. I'm working on this right now but I'm more than three years late. If I started off sooner, it would've made accounting/book-keeping much more easier and in general it's better to keep these two separate.
I agree. Keep control of your money! It's great advice.

I learned a long time to do my own bookkeeping. I don't steal from myself as a CFO/bookkeeper can. Also, I know what is going on with my money. I know what is coming in and what is going out. I even know my bank balances. It helps me to regulate my cash flow. Yes, at times I have my assistant help me with various involved tasks. But I'm the only one who can access my accounts and data. I know it's my job and my responsibility. I've set up a good, working system to handle everything.

By keeping control, I'm much better able to control my expenses. For example: During the last 21 years, I've monthly been paying the same company for trash service for my mobile home park. We're in a rural area, and they had no other commercial competition who could handle the job. Another company came in this last year. They called me asking for my business. I ask for a bid. They were about 20% cheaper. I took that bid back to my current service provider. I ended up with a contract for this coming year that is approximately 27% less -- about $3,000 per year -- for just that one basic expense. A bookkeeper would have just paid the bill.

I know that no one is going to take care of my money like I do. Not only that, if you don't how to do the accounting, and you have a person doing that work... how do you know if they are doing it right? You are personally responsible for everything that person does because it all goes on your tax return... which you must sign saying the numbers are correct... and you can go to jail if they aren't... and you should have known that they were wrong... You get my point.
 

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mon_fi

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To my 18-year-old self (I'm 26).

1. Get laid ASAP and go to the gym
2. Study computer science
3. Wear earplugs in clubs
4. Cut out sugar and become carnivore
5. Most advice is bs
 

Envision

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Circling back to this thread now at 26 with some of the things I did right.

1. Find Mentors: My mentors shaved decades off my learning curve, I think differently and my businesses have gone way farther with their help.

2. Think Long Term: Don't start a business hoping to just make 10k/mo. It's just as hard to make 300k/mo as it is to make 10k/mo you just need to think long term about your decisions. You need systems, people, and sacrifice short term goals to achieve the latter.

3. Diversify: Lots of people thing you should focus on 1 thing. I didn't I built my ecom company, invested in real estate, got my degree, worked full time. The more you do, the more opportunities you create. You just need to be disciplined
 

WJK

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To my 18-year-old self (I'm 26).

1. Get laid ASAP and go to the gym
2. Study computer science
3. Wear earplugs in clubs
4. Cut out sugar and become carnivore
5. Most advice is bs
You're funny. Your #1 about getting "laid" is a 2 edged sword. What IF you had gotten her PG? Were you ready to a father? What if you had caught something? Did you have good health insurance and the good sense to take care of it? Maturity and good judgment have some perks too!
 

mon_fi

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You're funny. Your #1 about getting "laid" is a 2 edged sword. What IF you had gotten her PG? Were you ready to a father? What if you had caught something? Did you have good health insurance and the good sense to take care of it? Maturity and good judgment have some perks too!
What
 

mon_fi

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Circling back to this thread now at 26 with some of the things I did right.

1. Find Mentors: My mentors shaved decades off my learning curve, I think differently and my businesses have gone way farther with their help.

2. Think Long Term: Don't start a business hoping to just make 10k/mo. It's just as hard to make 300k/mo as it is to make 10k/mo you just need to think long term about your decisions. You need systems, people, and sacrifice short term goals to achieve the latter.

3. Diversify: Lots of people thing you should focus on 1 thing. I didn't I built my ecom company, invested in real estate, got my degree, worked full time. The more you do, the more opportunities you create. You just need to be disciplined

I like #3
 

mon_fi

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I guess no has told you that women can get pregnant -- even during the first time. And you can get all kinds of diseases from getting "laid". Oh well. Now you know.
Maybe I'm gay. What do you know.

I'll stop here cuz this is getting ridiculous and bringing zero value.
 

Process

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For 18 year old self:
  • Learn sales/lead gen. It boils down to volume, messaging and offer.
  • Then learn delegation.
  • THEN worry about finance.
  • Bonus: You can learn much faster from other people with proven track records.
I learned it all backwards as a teenager. (Not 25 years old yet.)
 

WJK

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Maybe I'm gay. What do you know.

I'll stop here cuz this is getting ridiculous and bringing zero value.
You're right. I don't know. What I do know is that life is full of oops moments and missteps. Most young people don't have the vision and foresight to see what can happen when they take on adult activities. You put getting laid as your #1 advice you would give to your younger self. It's a classic young man's answer to the question. I just wanted you to contemplate the issue as to whether you were ready at that time for the responsibilities.
For 18 year old self:
  • Learn sales/lead gen. It boils down to volume, messaging and offer.
  • Then learn delegation.
  • THEN worry about finance.
  • Bonus: You can learn much faster from other people with proven track records.
I learned it all backwards as a teenager. (Not 25 years old yet.)
For 18 year old self:
  • Learn sales/lead gen. It boils down to volume, messaging and offer.
  • Then learn delegation.
  • THEN worry about finance.
  • Bonus: You can learn much faster from other people with proven track records.
I learned it all backwards as a teenager. (Not 25 years old yet.)
Hopefully, you will throw some personal financial education in there. I'd hate for you to waste all those years and come out worse off than when you started. I know SO many young people that are drowning in debt. They blindly walked into that noose never recognizing the danger. It's a trap that can take years and years to untangle -- of you ever do.

For example: I have a tenant who is a senior citizen. He failed to pay his child support. He now, with the penalties and interest, owes over $250,000 and his ex-wife, his children's mother, is dead. The State, who paid her welfare and aid-to-dependent children payments, is still collecting the payments every month out of his pension.
 

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