5 for 5: Successful Entrepreneurs Share Life Changing Advice for Recent Graduates and Young People

Congratulations to recent graduates everywhere. I know this is a weird time, but tough times don’t last, tough people do. Don’t let this crisis take away from your major milestone and continued growth in this next chapter of your lives.

In a time where social media has put everyone’s life on blast, there’s so much pressure to pursue status and construct the perfect “Instagrammable” life. This often leads people to making decisions based on short-term optimizations and fear disguised as “practicality.”

But when you realize you’re about to spend at least 40% of the rest of your life working, you might wanna think twice about what you work on, who you work with, and why.

Conventional wisdom says get a job, work hard, save money, keep your head down, be safe, repeat. But you might not wanna sell your dreams so cheap, because life can be so much more.

Don’t just take it from me though. Here’s what Eric Thomas, Simon Sinek, Tim Ferris, Gary Vaynerchuk, and Kevin O’Leary have to say. They’re 15+ years in and at the top of their industries for a reason. The first principles in this article explain why.

My personal favorite is #3, lmk yours!

1/ Don’t be average in anything you do, by Eric Thomas

As a rule, always do more than you’re paid for. And soon you’ll be paid for more than you do. When faced with an unfamiliar challenge have the mindset of committing first and figuring the rest out later.

This means getting into the weeds. Knowing the details of your work. Being a hustler who volunteers themselves when the team needs something. Many millennials are entitled and avoid “b*tch work” in lieu of “impact.” Don’t be that person. Be the one they count on

2/ Purpose>Passion, by Simon Sinek

Start with Why (See Ted Talk by Simon Sinek), then focus on How and What. Too often people get hung up on following some prescribed path, but they have no idea where they’re going. The destination is more important than the route. Even if the route seems wild

Passion is a feeling you get from working hard on something you care about. When you work hard on something you don’t care about it’s called Stress.

Don’t aim for passion bc its nebulous. Passion comes from the result of working on your deepest purpose.

Discovering your purpose is a continuous process of discovery, trial, error, and refinement. It’s ok to not know what it is exactly from jump. But pick a direction and go for it. Knowing what your Purpose IS NOT is just as valuable as knowing what it IS.

3/ Learning>Earning, by Tim Ferris

Making money is the result of adding (then capturing) value to society. To make money you have to have high value skills. The best way to develop high value skills is to find an apprenticeship where you can learn from people who have mastered their craft.

Any gap btw where you are and where you want to be is often bc you either don’t have the right knowledge or don’t know how to use the knowledge. So don’t focus on the outcome of a job, focus on the skills/relationships/etc that you gain in the process. Bc that COMPOUNDS

Take a few years to develop the core competencies that will allow you to build the life you want.

Buck to the 1–2 year compensation driven company hopping we often see in tech.

When considering a new opportunity, take salary out of the equation and optimize for exponential growth/development. Whenever your growth rate starts to plateau, you know it’s time for a new adventure.

Play a bigger (infinite) game.

4/ Be RISK ON in your 20s, by Gary Vee

Ambitious high achieving millennials often take the most conservative job out of college to play a status game (e.g I-banking, Consulting, etc).

But your 20s is the best time to take risk given you have such little overhead and nothing to lose.

Taking risk and learning in the heat of battle is often the best way to learn. Experience is the best teacher. Knowledge is just a rumor until it lives in the muscle.

Buck the prescribed path and create your own story.

5/ Work for yourself, by Kevin O’Leary

The only way to create real wealth is through equity. You’ll never get wealthy through wage slavery/selling your time. As @nntaleb said, a monthly salary is just as addictive as heroin.

To better understand the first principles of wealth creation, see Naval Ravikant’s ‘How to Get Rich (without getting lucky)’ thread or his podcast which is a deep dive into all the concepts he shared in the original thread.

Beware of the golden shackles.

Marketer | Designer | Founder. Sharing my favorite projects and insights