Yesterday I had an amazing blessing. To think that a young man about to turn 30 would come to my home office to ask for guidance was both humbling and scary. He is not your “average Joe.” No, he is charismatic, smart, driven, caring and searching. He, like many of us, reached the point where he was searching for deeper meaning in his business life; he was teetering on the moment when he was going to determine his true career path – corporate life or entrepreneur. He has all the potential to be an amazing entrepreneur and I know he will be.

It got me thinking last night before I went to bed – our successes are as individual to us as our motivations, our fears, our relationships, the trust we have in our creator (or lack thereof), our work ethic, our character, our timing, etc.

I have seen articles before on “what would I tell my younger self.” Each of those articles were a bit different as they were the self expression of the author’s journey into adulthood and what motivated them to build their individual life. After saying a prayer for guidance for my friend, I pondered “what would I tell my younger self” as my eyes shut heavily.

I awoke this morning and I was struck with this:

  • The fear you feel is unfounded and will pass with action
  • That feeling of being uncomfortable, that’s you growing
  • Money comes and money goes; but, real relationships stand the test of time
  • Lead with character
  • When they try to dash your dreams, it’s because they were too scared to pursue their own
  • Understand your true motivations
  • Give of yourself unconditionally
  • Remove ego from the equation
  • Find a purpose higher than self
  • Family always comes first – even in difficult business times
  • Do not worry about situations out of your control
  • In business there is a place for love no matter what they say
  • When it looks too good to be true it is
  • Your gut is your greatest guide – learn to listen to it
  • Never be the smartest person in the room
  • Make reserves for your health and well being – your health is worth more than that extra hour of work
  • The love you have for others genuinely reflects the love you have for yourself
  • Read
  • Learn
  • Listen
  • Reflect
  • Be gracious
  • Say “thank you” and “please”
  • Money is just the scorecard
  • The day you start building your legacy was yesterday – envision what you want to see in the rear view mirror of life today
  • Everyday is a new page in the story of your life – make sure you have written something amazing when the page turns
  • Time is a commodity that you will never get back
  • Smile more, negotiate less
  • Walk in others shoes
  • Winning does not equal success and success is not just winning
  • Forgive others and yourself quickly; but, learn from the situation
  • You are above no job
  • Don’t build a network of colleagues – build a network of friends
  • Put time and care into all you do
  • You cannot do it all so choose wisely
  • Others look to you for guidance whether you believe it or not. Be humble in your guidance and remember back to when you knew less than they do.
  • Sales is relationship building, not just techniques
  • There is no one right way
  • That thing you fear is where the greatest opportunity may lie
  • Learn from your mistakes
  • Never let the creative and the critic in the same room at the same time
  • Ideas are worth nothing without a plan and action
  • Now is “that” moment

You may have read some of these before. I think that is true because in order to lead a successful, character driven life and be an entrepreneur requires overcoming obstacles and fears we all have in common; ego, fear of the unknown, motivations, time management, self sacrifice, etc.

Take some time today and ponder, “what would I tell my younger self?” If you are 30, what would you tell your 15 year old self or even your 21 year old self. It is amazing as we grow older and wiser that our individual truisms might change – that the realization that business was not everything comes into play.

May you find joy today in knowing that you have a bright future where one day you may have the opportunity of a young man or woman standing in your office asking you for guidance you would give your younger self.