During the filming of #AskGaryVee Show 244, Taylor, a 22 year old fresh out of college, phoned in for advice on how she can build a business. What followed was one of the most important pieces of advice I have recorded and is applicable to almost all my community, but definitely to young people across the world between 20–30 years old.
(I apologize for not being able to embed the entire video here due to the constraints of my free wordpress plan)
Source: Google Images
This conversation really struck a chord with me. Although maybe some of you have already received similar advice from your parents, I strongly recommend everyone in their teens to just spend 15 minutes and listen to this thought-provoking conversation. The advice offered by Gary Vaynerchuk, one of the most successful serial entrepreneur in the world. Here is a topic from the conversation that I thought were worth bringing out:
Key Takeaway : Action
I believe that most of the teenagers today, at the age of about 20 – 30 years old, will more or less face this problem: Seeing other teenagers enjoying huge success while you are still here, lying on your bed endlessly scrolling through your Instagram. Phew, your entire Sunday was over, and wasted again.
Don’t worry, you are not alone. There are many teenagers out there who are like you and they are also having the same thoughts in mind: Craving for success in their early life, but not knowing where to start from. I have heard of many people saying: “By 26 I am going to make it to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list and become one of the hottest tech entrepreneur in Silicon Valley”, and continue to post videos to their Snapchat story. That is not the way things should be done. This is not the way multi-millions business are built.
I used to be one of you who dream to be a billionaire and go to bed without having produced any ideas or actions everyday. Fortunately, I was struck by a simple thought that changed my life forever when I was 13 year old. One night when I was about to drift into dreamland and start my ‘billionaire dream’ all over again, a voice popped up in my mind, saying: What if you keep dreaming of becoming a billionaire everyday and still hasn’t really done anything at all when you are in your 30s ? It was just a brief idea which came across my mind, but it left a permanent effect on me since that day. I know I definitely must do something.
Thus, i began my journey to find out my interest in life and what am i going to do for the rest of my life to earn me a living (Yes, I am lucky enough to find out my passion for investing at a really young age). The first book I read on investing is The Intelligent Investor, the second is Security Analysis, not knowing what sh*t the author is trying to express (only knowing later that what a brilliant mind Ben Graham was! ). But that is how i get started, and I am grateful I marched out this small step. Today, I’ve already grown a substantial amount of knowledge compared to the 13-year-old me, compounding your knowledge is the fastest way to build your wealth. The more I read, the more I realise how ignorant I am and there are more and more knowledge waiting for me to explored.
Back to the topic, which I believe most of you are eager to ask me now: How do I get started ? How to make my life better from today onwards ?My answer, as always, is to start small. It’s almost impossible for one to lay out a 5 year business plan and start to execute the plan on the following day. Even most of the business titans in the world started small, and eventually grow their business into the behemoth they are today. I have what I called, the ‘Yang pathway’ for those who do not know how to get started and create success in their life.
1. Find out things that you are good at and passionate with
Your life won’t be able if you are going to spend your whole life working on stuff you doesn’t like at all. The best bet to a bright future is to explore things that you will always be willing to thrive in from dusk till dawn.
2. Develop your skills and expertise
Now that you’ve found your passion and the next thing you are ready to do is to build up your skill set and enhance your knowledge in that particular field.Aim to be the top 1% in the stuff you’re passionate with. To be honest, it’s not going to be easy and it normally take years for someone to achieve mastery in his field. During the process of developing your skills, you may face obstacles and feel that you’ve reach a ‘plateau’. You feel that you can’t keep going anymore, that is the darkest period in your learning phase. But believe me, all you have to do is just climb up every time after you fell. For example, it often take years for a novice investor to develop his investing philosophy and find out which investing style suits him best (especially in such environment when feedback is slow and not concise). That requires not only patience, but great consistency. Having the ‘roly-poly mentality’ is important for you to overcome this hurdle and confront future challenges.
3. Build a platform to share your knowledge with others / Provide your service to society
Sharing your knowledge and skills with other people is always a joy and also beneficial to yourself because while you’re teaching others what you’ve learnt, you are also reviewing your knowledge at the same time (the Feynman Technique). Say that you are an avid software programmer, and you’ve already mastered multiples programming languages such as Python, Ruby etc. You can develop your own website using your skills and upload lessons or learning tips to the website.
4. Monetise your product
If you manage to grow your website into a community and help users out with the problems they are facing, Congratulations, you are on the right track ! However, a product that can’t bring in any profit still can’t bring you to the place you want to be. This is why the business model is so crucial because it is the key that determines the success of your product. You can bring in revenue by different business models such as a subscription based business model, freemium and etc. Always review your business model to examine its feasibility and keep your users engaged. Facebook is one of the platform that manage to leverage its enormous user base to bring in lucrative profits. Facebook modularise advertisements by allowing advertisers to target customers directly.
I hope that the ‘Yang Pathway’ can provide all the teens outside a sense of direction in their life and get themselves started. I can’t guarantee it’s useful for everyone but at least it can act as a guide for you when you are lost.
Finally, there’s a quote I think that is worth sharing:
The best investment of all time, is investing in yourself