I don’t think there’s one of us who gets to a certain age and doesn’t think about how they would do things differently. What if you knew then what you know now? Where would I be if I could go back and give me advice when I was younger?
I certainly wish I could. Here is the letter I’d send to me in the early 2000’s.
I’m you, from the future. I’m older, greyer, and since I know you’re wondering, yes, you do start balding like your dad and uncle. Don’t worry you have a few years until that happens. Here’s a tip: grow your hair long and get better looking glasses. Trust me, it’s a good look while it lasts.
You might be wondering why I’m writing you this letter. Don’t worry, there’s not some Terminator future and you’re not John Conner. Far from it.
I’m writing you because I want to tell you all the things I wish I knew earlier. You have time that I don’t and you can do better than I did.
Side note, this must be what it feels like to be a father.
If I’m honest, I know you’re stubborn and you’ll find your own way to do things, but maybe you’ll listen to yourself.
Here are the things I wish I knew when I was your age.
1 – You think about other people more than they think about you
That’s right. I know you’re building your apparel company, Aesthetic Apparel, and I know you have designs in the hopper. I also know you have a catalog, a wholesale price list, and samples.
I also know you’re scared of going out there and selling to stores.
What if they say no? What if they laugh at the designs? What if I look foolish?
Yeah, what if? What’s the worst that can happen?
An author you don’t know yet named Tim Ferris talks about Fear Setting where you consider the worst possibilities and it takes the fear away.
Here’s the thing: people think about and judge you far less than you think.
Get out there.
2 – Selling Is an Asset
On the note of getting out there, here’s another important tip: Learn. To. Sell.
Marketing and sales are the two highest impact things you can learn. Period.
Everything else comes second. It doesn’t matter what your service or product is, assuming it’s a decent product, if you can sell, you can make money.
Don’t worry about judgment, Chase the “no’s”. Every no is closer to a yes. The more of both you get the closer to more yes’s you are.
3 – Start Writing
Write like your career depends on it, because it does. Learn copywriting, storytelling, and marketing.
And while you’re at it, start writing about your journey. Publish your work wherever you can and build an audience. Build an email list because you are in the golden age of email newsletters and publishing.
That writing can help you sell, and bonus, when you’re known you can be a speaker, which pro tip; people will pay big money for.
4 – Learn to Code
Software is the future. You have good ideas, and not everything has been built.
To be honest, I’ve seen less capable people build our ideas and make tons of money with it. Also it’s very difficult and expensive to find engineers to work your ideas.
No matter how those projects do, you can get paid a lot as an engineer.
And trust me, you love it.
5 – Time Moves Faster than you think it will
You’re young. You have years ahead of you. Yes, you have time to make some mistakes and recover.
But time moves quickly and keeps speeding up. Before you know it 5 years will pass and it will feel like a heartbeat.
Start investing now and start taking massive action towards your career goals. Get off Centerfuse, StumbleUpon, Fark, and Digg and get building.
6 – Don’t underestimate what you can do in 5 years.
People overestimate what they can do in a year but underestimate what they can do in five.
Start now and keep moving forward. In a few years you’ll start to see some serious momentum and you’ll wish you started earlier.
How do I know? Because I wish I had.
And that’s why I’m writing you this letter.
You have time and you have everything you need. Go get to building the life you dream of. You’ve got this.