Photo by Willian Justen de Vasconcellos on Unsplash
I'm 27, own a 6-figure online business, traveled to 14+ countries, and met countless unforgettable human beings. Here's 20 rules for your 20's that have made mine unforgettable, divided up by five important categories.
- Say “I love you” more: Especially to the guys out there. Please tell other men in your life that you love them.
- Lean into awkwardness: Is it awkward for you to say “I love you” to another man? Lean into it. We need to get very comfortable with awkwardness, or else we’ll never do anything bold.
- Relationships take time to foster: Just met your future mother-in-law? It was weird, right? Don’t worry, it’s supposed to be — relationships take time to foster.
- Disagreements aren’t a bad thing: When I was in France I learned French people enjoy debate, and they don’t take things personally like Americans. Let’s learn a lesson from them.
- You don’t owe anything to anybody: We’re not slaves. We deserve to forge our own paths in life, and if those who are close to us don’t like that, then they don’t deserve to be close to us.
- Consider investing in Index Funds ASAP: Index funds that replicate the stock market are a great thing to invest in as a young 20-something. Anyone who has ever put their money into an S&P 500 index fund and left it alone for at least 20 years would’ve ended up profiting. That’s why.
- Target high-interest student loans first: Have extra money to pay off debt? Target loans with the highest interest rates first.
- Read I Will Teach You To Be Rich: This book by Ramit Sethi changed my whole life. His investing advice will probably make me hundreds of thousands of dollars by the time I’m retired.
- Better yet, read every finance book you can get your hands on: Read everything. It’s only your future we’re talking about here. After 3–4 books, you’ll probably know most of what you need to know about investing and finance.
- Start a side-hustle the day after you graduate: Better yet, start it before you graduate. It could be a blog, a drop-shipping business, or a marketing agency. In 2–3 years, you might just have a money making machine.
- Leverage your “Youness” to get ahead: Your “Youness” is the most powerful weapon you have at work. Be yourself. As a writer, leveraging my “youness” (brash, conversational) has been one of the big reasons anybody follows me.
- Create your own job: My friend Todd Brison created his own position at the company he worked for. He pitched his bosses on an idea he worked on during lunch breaks and they created a whole new position for him. Be creative at work.
- Respond at the right time: Responding to people on social media at 1 AM when you’ve had a long day isn’t a great idea. Respond to people when you’re in a good mood, not a bad one.
- To be different, you need to act differently: Want to be great? Don’t fall into that long line at the bar every weekend. To be different, you must act differently.
- If you were to die tomorrow, would you be happy with how much time you spent with loved ones today?: Ask yourself that question every single day. If you’ve said “no” a lot lately, you need to make a change.
- People, not success, will bring you happiness: What matters more than success? Being a good friend. Being a good partner. Being a good parent. Being a good son or daughter. People, not success, will bring you happiness in life.
- Travel to feel, not to see: After years of traveling, I’d much rather sit and drink a beer with locals than see the sites nearby.
- Relish mistakes on the road: Mistakes will be made on your trip — it’s inevitable. Relish them. Some day it will make for a funny story.
- Solo traveling is a must: The ultimate test for a 20-something. Can you survive by yourself in the world? When you realize that you can, you almost become invincible.
My last rule? Stay true to where you came from.
Never forget where you are from. Go back to your parents often. Go back to your hometown often. You’ll never regret spending more time with your parents.