If I could travel back in time, what would I tell myself when I was 20 years old? Would I do the obvious investment tips, or would I tell myself the important things, the most important things?
- Be true to yourself.
- Never fear.
- Have faith in your vision, in your dreams.
- Start investing in real estate right away.
- Don’t worry about what others say.
- Plan… Stick to the plan.
- Be disciplined with your life, schedule, and body.
I have 6 children so in a way I do get to have these conversations. I give them freedom. I don’t want them to be co-dependent on me. I want them to develop their own interest. I want them to become their own little people. I want them to be confident and pursue areas where they are talented and have passion.
My son, Tucker, just graduated from high school. He is going to college and pursuing a science/biology degree. He also has a passion for acting, directing and comedy. I know that he will be successful in anything in life where he has a passion, but I want him to have a “burn the ships” mentality. I want him to go 100% after his biggest passion. Once he has success in that area, he can use his resources to also pursue other interests. I think the problem with myself when I was younger was that I thought I could do anything and everything and it took me awhile to focus on one thing. That one thing was the law. Within that career field I pursued estate planning and elder law. Once I established myself in that field, I was able to also acquire and manage real estate, pursue my passions for business, writing, video, media, and marketing. All these things are passions of mine. However, I couldn’t have pursued them all at once. To quote my long-time business coach and friend, Bob Demers, “You can only hit one homerun at a time.” Sometimes my focus is better than others. When I am laser focused, I can attack complex tasks with ease. However, I must settle, think, meditate, and plan to achieve that level of focus. I am trying to impart this lesson on a younger version of myself, Tucker, right now. I want him to focus on one thing intently. I want him to not make the mistakes that I made. However, if he is like me, he may have to learn life’s hard lessons for himself. Regardless, I know that he will be amazing because he is already.
Instead of what would I tell my younger self, perhaps the better question is:
What would I tell myself today?
This is an important question, conversation, and reality check to have with ourselves in the mirror from time-to-time. Let’s review the earlier advice I would give my younger self and see if that applies to me, right now:
Be true to yourself. Absolutely!!! Be true. Know yourself. Know that your aims are true. Know that you are enough for any situation. Know that in the end, everything will be okay, no matter what.
Never fear. Never fear others. Never fear what they think. Never fear criticism. Never fear failure. In fact, do bigger things now. Things you fear. Fail!!! Fail faster!!! It is the quickest way to learn. It is the quickest way to find the right answers.
Have faith in your vision, in your dreams. Your ideas, your vision, your dreams are the only thing that is truly yours. You don’t have to patent them because they live inside of you. In fact, you should share them with the world. Be like Jesus in this way. Don’t argue with others over your vision. Just present it. Bring it to life. The more attention, positive or negative, you get, the more energy will surround your creations.
Start investing in real estate right away. I never wanted to be one to sit around and lament the property I “could have” bought for $5,000 back in 1942. If I run the numbers in my head, my gut tells me a deal is right, I do it. There are even an infinite number of ways I can fix a mistake. I DO NOT believe in bad deals. The failure comes in not acting, analysis paralysis, or just not having the guts to believe in yourself (revert to #2, Never Fear). The worst thing that could happen is I learn, and that is actually a great thing, so there is zero downside to action. I wish I had woken up, conquered my fears, and been more disciplined younger and I may own 100 times the real estate I own today. However, I don’t like this type of thinking. Looking backwards hurts my neck and I want to keep looking forward. I also know that without going through life exactly as I have done so thus far down to the minutest detail, I would not be the person I am today, and I am cool with myself. I am grateful for my successes and for my failures.
Don’t worry about what others say. This is a HUGE one. I spent so much of my earlier years really caring, dwelling on, and giving myself a hard time about what others said or thought. I felt it as if it were a physical force. I stressed over it. I worried about the comments and thoughts of friends, spouse, parents, coworkers, other lawyers, judges. I played them back repeatedly in my head and gamed out strategies to control what others thought and their perceptions of me. The BIGGEST freedom my soul has ever known is not caring at all what others think (revert to #1, Be true to yourself… NO ONE ELSE!!!).
Plan… Stick to the plan. Plans should be flexible, but I take that as a given. The point is to have a target, a goal, a bearing so you know where you are headed. You can strategize the steps to getting to that goal over time and you can limit your time in which to achieve those goals, but life happens. When life happens that doesn’t mean you scrap the plan, that means the plan is a source of stability, a framework or skeleton by which you can play jazz around it while life happens and while progressing toward your goal. Setting goals and planning is something I spend a large amount doing in many areas of my business and personal life.
Be disciplined with your life, schedule, and body. I find that the older I get the more my vices negatively affect me. Part of my life has become self-evaluation and identifying what habits and behaviors positively and negatively impact my life. I work well on a schedule and making lists. I know this so I schedule most everything. I function best when I routinely workout. I function best when I sleep adequately. The biggest areas I am working on right now is nutrition and sleep. The more tuned up I can stay the better I preform personally and professionally. The more impact I can have on my family, my clients, and my team at the office.
I would encourage you to also evaluate your life. What would you tell your younger self? What would you tell yourself today? I am a planner. It is not only what I do for myself in my personal life, but it is what I do professionally for others as an estate planning and elder law attorney. One of the ways we can have a big impact on our own lives and the lives of our families is by getting our affairs in order both during our lives, planning for big life events like long-term care, and leaving a legacy for our children and grandchildren. Imagine if everyone did this. Imagine if all our ancestors would have done this. The only person I can control is myself. I would encourage you to have that “mirror” conversation with yourself and evaluate if you truly have a plan in place?
If you would like to sit down and have a conversation with me about planning I would be glad to make it easy. In under an hour, we can usually flush out goals and develop a great plan to protect your hard-earned money and property. Click the link below to schedule your FREE consult today.
Estate Planning & Elder Law Attorney