If you want to be successful and live life on your terms by the time you’re 30, here are fifteen things you should start doing in your 20’s to make it happen.
1. Be 1% braver everyday
Everyone has fears – it’s what makes us human. But fears hold us back from achieving our goals. If you want to be successful by the time you’re 30, identify the fears that are in your way and work towards conquering them one at a time, no matter how hard it may be.
2. Accept yourself completely
Don’t tear yourself down. You are your own gift, if you choose to see it that way. Most people look at the negatives, but it’s all a matter of perspective. Your vulnerabilities can be your greatest strengths.
3. Do high risk, high reward things
After 30, if you settle down, it’ll be harder to do this. Do it in the prime of your life instead.
4. Don’t do two things at the same time.
I was always pulled in more than one direction. The moment I focused on one big thing my chances at success dramatically increased.
5. Do something that makes you uncomfortable every day
The more you start doing things that you haven’t done before, the more you realize how much you can actually do. Every new thing changes you and adds to your identity. Doing more of the things successful people do will eventually turn you into someone successful.
6. Stop being jealous
If someone works hard and gets their results, be happy for them. They have also shown you what can be done if you put your mind to things. They have demonstrated the hard work for you. All you have to do is do what they’ve done, but in your own unique way.
7. Build laughably small habits
We all know that having good habits is what separates the successful from the aspiring. Unfortunately, most of us are too lazy to stick to good habits. The secret for success is doing really small things consistently, every day.
I do 60 push-ups every day. I started at 30. Now I can pump them out in under a minute. I also learnt French for a year, doing short, 15 minute lessons on my phone. Laughably small? Yes. Exponentially powerful? Definitely.
8. Build an audience
The fact of the matter is, you’re never going to achieve success on your own. There is always going to be a group of people who support what you do, whether it be within an inner circle — e.g. friends, family, and spouse — or an outer circle — which would be your audience.
It takes time, so it’s important to start now. Write, make videos, make music … do whatever you want. Use sites like LifeHack.org, YouTube, and SoundCloud to build your audience. Go where your people are.
9. Talk to the elderly
This is something Gary Vaynerchuk did. It helped him get perspective on his life, goals, and dreams. Hearing their regrets will make you realize how little time there really is to waste, and their experienced advice will be priceless.
10. Minimize distractions
There is way too much choice in the world to do everything. If you want to be successful by the time you’re 30, you have to cut back. Spend less, waste less, and use less. Focus on producing instead.
11. Have a mentor
Someone who’s been there and done that can lead you in the right direction and make sure you stay on the right path. It doesn’t have to be a professional mentor. It could be a family member who’s been successful, or an older friend; as long as you trust them and their counsel.
12. Fall in love with boredom
Work when it’s difficult. When it’s cold. When you’re bored. It’s during these quieter periods that you forge the work ethic that can support you and your lifestyle when you’re successful. Don’t shy away from it — lean into it instead.
13. Do side projects
If you can’t give up a stable job, don’t. It would be irresponsible to do so if you have bills to pay. Just make sure that you work on your side projects at any opportunity that you can. Make it your goal to turn them into something that can one day replace the day job.
14. Get your personal finances under control
Don’t load up on credit in your 20s. That’s possibly the worst thing you can do if you want to become successful. Pay off your personal debt and get smarter about how you manage your money.
15. Stop periodically to check your progress
While it’s good to get to work and start hustling hard towards your goals, you must make sure you’re heading in the right direction, too. That’s why you need breaks. Stop and breathe and you’ll allow yourself to re-focus and stay on track.