I was recently asked, “What do you think someone should learn before they turn 30?”
It’s a great question… an important one.
And a question I wished I had asked back yonder to someone old (like me)… someone with actual experience and results to draw from…. and someone who cared enough to tell it to me straight, no holds barred.
Thinking about it now… man, how many painful missteps I could have avoided and how my journey would have been accelerated if someone older, wiser, who cared, told me straight, what I will be telling you.
I ask you, if you know anyone sub-30… that you care about, be sure they read this…
And if you are post-30, don’t think for a second that you are off the hook. All of this, we all need reminding of… and I am going to say right now, as we get further into this mini-adventure, I’m betting you are still struggling with some of these life challenges and need this advice even more urgently than your younger brethren, so please go deeply with us as we traverse this adventure.
What I know now…
That thing you went through recently… called school. Yaaaa, that wasn’t your (real) education.
School is just a place adults send you during the day while they go out to work, make a living and pay for all the food, shelter, books, and sports uniforms you were going to want. It’s like government subsidized day care.
Now, they DID kinda hope you were taught HOW to learn… and how to get along in strange tribes of other humans. If you survive that, that will be useful later in life.
Formal schooling is more of a maturation phase, rather than teaching you what you need to know to prosper out in the wild.
You’ve probably already figured out that most everything you studied in school, is well, pretty much useless out in the wild of the real world.
So, on behalf of the older generation… sorry about that.
It’s kind of a crappy set up, I know.
And we should have fixed it by now, buuuut we haven’t.
#1 Advice Before You Turn 30
So, now… if you want to succeed, live well and do work that matters… you have to begin your (real) education. That begins RIGHT NOW.
It starts with the discovery of yourself… Learning about yourself… and working on your SELF. This is called self-improvement. Without it, you’ll be left behind.
Discovering your unique strengths and identifying those limiting weaknesses that could sabotage and hinder your ability to succeed will be critical.
The Skills You Must Develop
You’ll need to develop actual, useful skills.
Skills used out in the marketplace… in the real world.
Now if you’re asking… and I hope you are… Which skill should you start with? That’s a great question.
Here’s my answer: I suggest starting with SALES.
Learning to communicate confidently, empathetically and influentially…
Learning to present, persuade, overcome obstacles and deal with rejection…
In my view is one of the most important skills you can ever gain.
Even if you don’t want to be in “sales” you will quickly learn that EVERYTHING in life is sales. I mean everything. Full stop.
Develop this skill and its like obtaining the key to the vault. With it you can open the door… and there is an endless supply of abundance inside.
I don’t care if you want to be an engineer, a coder, a game designer, an architect, a doctor, an artist, an interior designer, a project manager or domestic engineer… every single endeavor you can think of requires you selling your ideas, your opinions and influencing others. Everything.
The Best Work Does Not Always Win
You have to understand, that the best products, the best ideas, the best work DOES NOT win. When dealing with human beings, it comes down to which products, ideas and work is better communicated, marketed and sold… that WINS. Period. Full stop.
You want to accelerate your heroic journey?
Enjoy the life most people will only admire and envy from a distance? Go do an apprenticeship. Go get a job in sales. Preferably something hard to sell and something that has to be sold live and in person – face-to-face or over the phone.
Now, it doesn’t have to be for the rest of your life, but go do it for a year or two. Face the process of what it takes to win friends and influence people.
The rest of your life will be better for it, I promise. WITHOUT this muscle of this essential skill, I am afraid you will struggle with most everything… and never be strong enough to rise above your peers and live the life you were meant to live.
I implore you, do not neglect the development of this vital skill.