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What I Would Tell My Younger Self

My Teenage Self

You know you really are an asshole sometimes. Your Mom is raising four kids by herself and you can really be a selfish, little bastard. Start helping her, damn it.

Remember to thank the good people at the restaurant later on in life. They gave you a job and fed you. Working fulltime at the age of thirteen is going to do more to help you succeed than almost anything else. Yes, even just washing dishes is going to form your character.

Identify and get close to people with a way bigger vision of themselves than anything you are comfortable with. Your vision is way too small. Stunted, really.

Later on, you are going to love a really nice suit and a really great tie. No. Really. Stop laughing.

Don’t listen to people who tell you street smarts trump book smarts. Don’t listen to people who tell you book smarts trump street smarts. These things aren’t mutually exclusive, and combined they are more powerful than either alone. Go to school.

My Early 20’s Self

Get out of bed before the sun comes up and get busy. The fastest way to win is to hustle. Don’t hang out at night partying with your friends. Do the work that matters instead.

Talent by itself isn’t enough. Confidence and marketing provide a surer, straighter path to success. Double down on the marketing and promotion.

Did you ever do anything about that whole “school” thing we talked about?

You are a leader when you decide to be, not when someone gives you permission. Just start leading.

Uh, dude, you might want to get those headaches checked out at some point. It could be something serious. Just sayin.

My Late 20’s Self

Life isn’t a race. Take your time. You can accomplish a lot AND enjoy the experience at the same time. You don’t get go back over this ground again.

Write down everything, every story. You are going to wish you could recall all the places, the faces, the names, and the lessons later on.

Damn, boy! That wife is yours is something special! Don’t botch it up!

My 30’s Self

Look, people have been having babies for a three and half million years. You aren’t going to screw it up worse than anyone else has . . . I hope.

Twins. Really? Well now isn’t that going to be interesting?

Your work and your job aren’t the same thing. Don’t confuse them. Spend more time doing your work than doing your job. You don’t know what I am saying? Well, think about it until you figure it out.

Don’t be so damn judgmental. Everybody is dealing with their own pain, their own fears, and their own life. Who made you their judge?

You can’t pay people to not have to lead them or manage them. It doesn’t work that way.

My Early 40’s Self

Get started. Don’t wait for permission. Share what you know with people who need it.

More margin! More margin!

You only have these little people in your house for a few more years. Love them and prepare them to be healthy, happy grown ups. Make your mark, man!

Your Turn

What would you tell your younger self?


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Comments

comments

  • marc zazeela

    Anthony,

    I would tell my younger self to live by the golden rule. I would tell my younger self to appreciate every moment of every day. I would tell my younger self to enjoy the journey as much as the destination.

    Cheers and Happy New Year.
    Marc

  • Bridgette Gregory-O’Connor

    I would definitely tell my high school self to not worry about what other people think, be bold and *do* things, not just think about them.

    • http://www.thesalesblog.com S. Anthony Iannarino

      Perfect advise for a lot of us at that age . . . and for people quite a bit older, too.

  • Kathy Davis

    Hi Anthony, I use this question all the time with my patients who need to quit smoking, lose weight, or are neglecting their health in some way.
    When I ask something like, “what would your 65 year old self have to say to you about your current smoking habit?” the reply is always:
    “He’d tell me to quit.”
    Definitely makes people think a little differently about what their health future holds. Thanks for your reflections,
    good stuff!