James Altucher, Blogger, author, social media, investor, wall street and easiest to ask on twitter, has some advice for a 20-year old. I have an excerpt here:
If you want to make money you have to learn the following skills. None of these skills are taught in college. I’m not saying college is awful. I’m just saying that the only skills needed to make money will never be learned in college:
– how to sell (both in a presentation and via copywriting)
– how to negotiate (which means win-win, not war)
– creativity (take out a pad, write down a list of ideas, every day)
– leadership (give more to others than you expect back for yourself)
– networking (a corollary of leadership)
– how to live by themes instead of goals (goals will fail you)
– reinvention (which will happen repeatedly throughout a life)
– idea sex (get good at coming up with ideas. Then combine them. Master the intersection)
– the 1% rule (every week try to get better 1% physically, emotionally, mentally)
– “the google rule” – give constantly to the people in your network. The value of your network increase linearly if you get to know more people but EXPONENTIALLY if you and the people you know, get to know and help each other.
– how to fail so that a failure turns into a beginning
– simple tools to increase productivity
– how to master a field. You can’t learn this in school with each “field” being regimented into equal 50 minute periods. Mastery begins when formal education ends. Find the topic that sets your heart on fire. Then combust.
– stopping the noise: news, advice books, fees upon fees in almost every area of life. Create your own noise instead of falling in line with the others.
If you do all this you will gradually make more and more money and help more and more people. At least, I’ve seen it happen for me and for others.
I hope this doesn’t sound arrogant. I’ve messed up too much by not following the above advice.
Don’t plagiarize the lives of your parents, your peers, your teachers, your colleagues, your bosses.
Create your own life.
I wish I were you because if you follow the above, then you will most likely end up doing what you love and getting massively rich and helping many others.
I didn’t do that when I was 20. But now, at 46, I’m really grateful I follow the above rules.