10 Things I Wish I Had Known in My 20’s – Tips for My Younger Self

I am currently 34 but my life has changed a lot and is dramatically different than it was 10 or 15 years ago. Today, I wish I could go back in time and tell my younger self a few things that would help me tremendously, however, that’s not possible so I hope you can learn from my experiences.

1.You Cannot Save Your Way To Prosperity.

Growing up, I always tried to save money to do things myself, to not splurge on restaurants or unnecessary things. In many ways, I’m very proud of that because it taught me a good lesson of even making the most of other things when you don’t have a lot. However, eventually, my father-in-law, Tom, shared a story at a point where he realized that he could not save himself into wealth and instead just had to make more money so he could get the things and do the stuff he wanted to do.

That really rang home with me, up until then, I was just comfortable where I was at and I was just trying to make as much out of what I had as possible. That meant I never really got the things that I truly wanted but just the things that were at an extremely good value ratio, things that were on sale, things that were good deals, things from vintage stores that are very inexpensive. Now, once Tom shared his experiences, it really dawned on me, rather than just trying to save more money and do the things I don’t really want to do simply because they’re inexpensive, it is better to simply make more money so you can get exactly the things you want and do exactly the stuff you want without having to compromise.

To me, this was almost a liberating experience because I knew where my path was going forward. So if you feel stuck at where you are at, maybe just working harder where you are is not the solution, maybe you simply have to change the game and do something completely different, even if that means a pay cut in the beginning but ultimately, it may lead to more prosperity and ultimately, freedom.

If someone offers a hand, especially if it’s family, you take it.

2. If It Makes Financial Sense, Set Aside Your Pride.

It’s a lesson I learned in my early 20s. My wife was doing a day job and I was working on the Gentleman’s Gazette and I was not really contributing anything to our household income. Then, my wife lost her job and we could have gotten by taking low paid hourly jobs but her parents offered to help us. Initially, I wasn’t happy with that because I have always been raised to be very independent but we thought about it and agreed to take them up on their offer to help because it enabled us to pursue the things we wanted to do. My wife got an MBA and I continued with Gentleman’s Gazette which eventually would lead us to financial independence. I realized that starting off on a good financial foundation was more important than my personal pride.

So what did I learn from it? If someone offers you genuine help, take them up on it, especially if it’s family. That may also mean that living with your parents is your best option even though you could afford an apartment but at the same time, if you live at home, you may be able to pay down your student loans more quickly. On the flip side, that means you never want to take advantage of other people and you really want to work towards a point where you can thank them for your help but discontinue it simply because you can now support yourself. I find that doing this in a very planned manner enables you to just rely on help for a short amount of time and then really stand on your own feet which can feel very liberating and accomplished.

Princeton University
Princeton University

3. College & Graduate Schools Are Not Always Worth It.

I know it’s a hot topic right now with rising costs and more students graduating with tons of debt. Personally, I went to law school in Germany but a year in, I realized I hated it and after the internships, I also never wanted to work in law, however, at the time, I would have created all of the debt if I would have just dropped out so I just stuck with the school. Looking back, if I had just started my business right then and there, I’d probably be much further ahead today, I would have also learned a lot very early on, at the same time, I would likely not have met my wife because I met her during an exchange semester in 2006.

That being said, for someone weighing going to college or not today, I think it really pays to ask yourself “Why am I going to college? Do I just go so I can party hard and have to wait until my grown-up responsibilities set in?” Or do you maybe just go to college without knowing what you really want just because everyone else in your peer group is going. If those are your main motivators, maybe this is not the time for you to go to college. After all, these are two very expensive reasons and you may end up with debt for a very long time.

YOU can!

4. If You Can Dream It, You Can Build It!

Growing up, I was never really exposed to entrepreneurship. My parents were employed, their friends were employed, and I simply didn’t know anyone who was an entrepreneur. Because of that, I thought naturally, my future would be as an employee, however, it took me some time to realize that I never performed my best when I was an employee but I was much more content and satisfied when I was working for my own. Looking back, deep down, I knew I wanted to do something by myself but I simply didn’t have the guts or to believe that I could do it. So if I knew that if I can dream it, I can build it, I probably would have started my business earlier.

5. Abort Mission if Something Isn’t Working for You.

It can be relationships, it can be ideas or business ideas, or just something that you’re working on, maybe a job. Personally, I ended up graduating from law school in Germany even though I knew I hated it a year in. Then when I came to the US, the economy was bad and I told myself that if I want to be attractive in the job market, I need to have a degree from an American University. So the easiest way was to get a Masters of Law from an American University, of course, in law school, even though it was something I knew I didn’t like.

If you take a step back, you can see it’s this sunk cost trap. You already invested money in it, it has gotten you so far, and it’s now easiest to just take that next step in that same direction even though you know it’s the wrong direction. I’ve seen it over and over again with friends, they get to a certain level, they adapt to a certain lifestyle and to a certain paycheck, and now they’re afraid to take the pay cut and pursue something they really want to do simply because they’re afraid that it would throw things off and they don’t know how to pay for their bills but honestly, they would be happier if they would just pursue their passion and not the paycheck.

6. Thinking Too Much or Too Little About the Future Can Hurt You.

Yes, it’s good to think about the future but to also live in the present. For example, when I met my wife, Teresa, we were both broke. I was going to school in Germany, I had to go back and if you would look at it from a very objective rational point of view, looking at the future, you’d probably say there are probably no chances for this to go well. Well now, I’ve been married to my wife over nine years, we have a daughter, we have a successful business, a house, and we’re extremely happy together. So sometimes, it pays to really live fully in the moment and take it step by step if it feels right.

7. Life Can Sweep the Rug Out from Under You at Any Time.

In 2012, both of my parents were diagnosed with cancer within months of each other. My mom had breast cancer, my dad pancreatic cancer and we thought they were going to die. At the time, we didn’t have much money but probably just enough for a plane ticket to go over there and spend the rest of their lives with them together, as I thought. Fortunately, as events turned out, they are both in remission now, they’re both alive and happy but having a little buffer that allows you to either help out people that are very dear to your heart or just visit a family member when you really needed is extremely available and it just shows you, you can prepare for the future but you can never really prepare for all the eventualities. So again, it’s good to plan but live in the moment and understand that you can’t just prepare for everything out there and you have to take things as they come to you.

8. You Can Teach Yourself Anything.

I probably would have second-guessed my desire to go to law school if I knew that I could learn things at first and figure out if there was something that I want to pursue or not. That being said, aside from law school, I’m pretty much self-taught. I never knew anything about websites when I started the Gentleman’s Gazette so I learned it. I learned about WordPress, about SEO, URLs, servers, hosting, and how the whole internet works. With the Internet today, you can truly learn anything, there’s a course for everything, there are free resources, just like the Gentleman’s Gazette where we teach you how you can become a gentleman and dress up and become your best version of yourself. Even today, I’m a big believer in learning.

9. Consult Mentors & Organizations.

You should consult mentors or organizations with like-minded people that can really help you grow from a business point of view but also personally. I started the Gentleman’s Gazette in 2010 and for the first five years, I was pretty much on my own. Eventually, through a meet up that I went to twice, I met someone and he was part of an organization called Entrepreneurs’ Organization and they had an accelerator program helping smaller businesses. It costs $ 1,500 a month and at that point in time, I had never spent that amount of dough on anything in terms of training, however, it was a fantastic experience where I could learn from experts in their field as well as peers that were in the same shoes and had the same problems as I did.

10. Delegate, Delegate, Delegate!

It’s particularly true for entrepreneurs but honestly, it is true for anyone out there and it’s one of the ways to truly become happier. When I moved to the US, my mindset was that I could either pay someone to do things or I could just do it myself and save the money. So I would always end up doing things myself, sometimes it would take me way longer and I did a much crappier job than if I would have just hired it out. Time is the only truly limited resource we all have and if you can free things up and let experts do the things, you can focus on what makes you really happy or makes you more money.

Sven Raphael Schneider wearing suits
Sven Raphael Schneider looking sharp in suits

BONUS TIp: Dress Up a Bit More Than Everyone Else.

Now, that’s a bold statement and of course, there is no point in showing up in a tuxedo outfit to a baseball game but what I rather mean by that is you can always dress up in your environment a few notches up.

What life lessons do you wish you knew when you were younger? We’d love to hear from you!

Gentleman’s Gazette


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Megan Barton-Hanson wows in incredible bikini selfie after admitting low self esteem left her wanting to die

MEGAN Barton-Hanson has left fans reeling with a jaw-dropping bikini shot where she showed off her body confidence, writing: “Thick thighs save lives.”

It’s a remarkable turnaround for the Love Island star, who once suffered so badly with low self-esteem that she found it “painful” to look at herself in the mirror and hit such a low she asked her mum for permission to die.


Megan declared: ‘Thick thighs save lives’ alongside this stunning shot[/caption]

The 25-year-old posed alongside pal Charley Marven, pouting in the white swimwear beside her pal, who was dressed in a similarly dazzling bikini.

Her picture comes as Megan admitted she “wanted to give up” after hitting rock bottom when a relationship crumbled before last year’s Love Island.

She told The Sun Online’s Big Interview: “I just didn’t know what my direction was. I was a little bit lost. I was like: ‘What am I going to do now?’

“I think I had turned 21. I was just so unhappy and kept thinking: ‘Why do things keep going wrong in my life?’”


The Love Islander has been sharing stunning snaps on Instagram[/caption]


She posed in a bright pink swimsuit for this promo pic last week[/caption]

Megan added: “I went to my mum and basically asked for permission, saying ‘I really don’t want to be here anymore’ and she didn’t know what to do.

“I feel so guilty to this day putting that pressure on her but I am just so glad that I was open and honest with her.”

Her mum dialled medical emergency helpline 111 and she now sees a therapist once a week to help her cope with depression.

Earlier in the week Megan had explained how she was bullied at school so brutally that she ended up begging her mum to let her have cosmetic surgery.


Megan shared this shot ahead of appearing on The Full Monty: Ladies Night[/caption]

She told the Mirror: “Every morning I woke up and didn’t feel good. Looking in the mirror was painful almost.

“At school, kids can be so nasty. It was getting to me every day. I’d tie my hair back and my ears stuck out. Boys would make comments.”

Megan added: “It was difficult convincing my mum. She’s like: ‘You’re so young, you won’t care, it’s only because you’re going through that awkward teenage stage.’ When she saw how much it was bothering me, it was a no-brainer.”

Speaking about how celebrities are often expected to seem sunny, she told The Sun: “I feel people don’t think people in the public eye don’t get down or sad.

Getty Images – Getty

Megan is backing the Where’s Your Head At? mental health campaign[/caption]

“When I first came out I was worried because you are given this amazing platform and you feel this guilt for feeling down. You shouldn’t.

“People need to understand that just because we are in the public eye, we are not invincible. We still have days where we are down.”

Megan is now supporting the Where’s Your Head At? campaign about mental health and encouraging her fans to speak more openly about the subject.

Other Love Island stars including Alexandra Cane, Rosie Williams, Laura Crane, Jack Fowler, Samira Mighty and Alex Miller are also backing the campaign.

Got a story? email digishowbiz@the-sun.co.uk or call us direct on 02077824220.

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Congruency: Does Your Outward Self Reflect Your Inner Self?

does your outward self reflect your inner selfA friend was just describing an old exercise she was told to do when she was just starting out. Put on your work clothes, do your work hair and makeup, and stare at the mirror for twenty minutes (20!) and ask yourself: Does your outward self reflect your inner self? Is your appearance congruent with your personality?

I thought it was fascinating — and that it would be fun to discuss here. My own answer sort of adds an additional twist — I strive to be put-together and polished in my work appearance, in part to make up for shortcomings. When I was just getting into law, my “true self” was probably represented by a memorable law school outfit of red flared cords, a pink button shirt, Converse, and my shortish hair in pigtails. So the GOAL for me in getting dressed for work was to obscure this wackadoodle, creative, DGAF part of myself and strive to pass as someone trustworthy, serious, and respected.

Another fun question: Has the goal in getting dressed or putting yourself together changed over the years? For example, like a lot of women, by my late 30s I started to realize with a shock that I looked tired and old unless I paid careful attention to skincare, makeup, anti-frizz products or hairstyles, and so on. This is not to say that hours need to be devoted to these concerns on the daily, but that it’s worth it to find the right lipstick, at least one good “rejuvenating” skin product, a hip pair of eyeglasses, etc.

So, over to you, ladies: 1) What is your goal in getting dressed or putting yourself together? 2) Is your appearance congruent with your personality? 3) Have you ever dressed to compensate for shortcomings? 4) How have your goals in getting dressed or putting yourself together changed?

Psst: In the past, we’ve talked about how you may want to celebrate a “weekend you” and when you should show personality at work.

Picture via Deposit Photos / dynamicfoto

The post Congruency: Does Your Outward Self Reflect Your Inner Self? appeared first on Corporette.com.



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