I'm getting old...
As I was watching my students graduate, it randomly hit me that I graduated 20 years ago to the week. I've been navigating through this thing we call life for 20 years. Oh, the stories I would tell and the advice I would give that 17-year-old kid who was really clueless about the world. The kid who struggled finding a career and purpose until his late 20s; even though it was there all along. The kid who hid his creativity for so long since he worried what others thought.
Fast-forward...20 years...I've decided to share the advice I'd give this 17-year-old kid in my new book "Life is an Adventure: 40 Lessons I Wish I Learned at 20". Since it's taken me twenty additional years to learn these lessons, I wonder where I'd be if I would have learned these lessons before graduating high school.
I'm confident these lessons have the potential to change the direction of your life whether you're 17 or 47. The book is interactive with plenty of white space to journal, make lists and draw. I'll be posting periodically about the progress, but hoping to release it before the end of 2017!
Start Something That Matters is a beautiful story about the founding of the company TOMS Shoes. The founder Blake Mycoskie documents the journey on taking an idea and turning it into a business. But, he doesn't stop there...he gives back. For every pair of shoes he sells, he gives a pair to a child in need.
Below are my Top 5 Takeaways + 1:
1. Stories are powerful! Mycoskie explains in the book that a "good story transcends boundaries, breaks barriers, and opens doors. Facts are important, but story matters." To sell products or your view point it is important to tell that story every opportunity you get.
2. Face your fears! Mycoskie reminds us fear will be with us everyday, but it is important to face it and understand what the true fear is. The truth is we will make mistakes and its OK. As hard as it is, don't worry about what your friends, family members or coworkers think.
3. Imagination trumps money! Just because you lack money and resources doesn't mean you don't start. Mycoskie suggests "bootstrapping" and improvising to pull your plan together. Don't be too comfortable. Take a calculated risk.
4. Keep it simple! Think simple. Mycoskie discussed the Apple product line, specifically the iPod. "Simplicity can apply to an idea, a goal, or a mission."
5. Giving is good business! You've probably heard the old adage, "it's better to give than to receive." Mycoskie stresses the importance of giving early not getting overwhelmed and listen to those you give to. Listening will allow you to truly know a person's needs.
BONUS: The timing is never right!
Mycoskie quotes Tim Ferris who wrote The 4-Hour Workweek, "For all the most important things, the timing always sucks." If you are waiting for the perfect timing, you'll never take a risk and make things happen.
is an English Teacher, Registered Yoga Teacher, writer, journalist, former Scholastic Inc. Blogger, aspiring entrepreneur, and founder of The Writers App.