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What must a 21 year old do to be successful in life?
I know this is a pretty bold claim, so allow me to explain.
I became “Very successful” (meaning a 7-figure business, a thriving relationship, powerful network, and body of my dreams) in my late 20’s.
And I’m actually glad that it didn’t happen sooner.
Because, when you’re in your early 20’s, you don’t really know what you want.
You might think you do, but you simply haven’t been exposed to enough different lifestyles and points of view to know what truly makes you happy.
If you sacrifice your early 20’s working 100+ hours a week to build a business or launch a career in real estate or finance, sure, you’ll earn a lot of money.
But you will also give up some of the best years of your life to achieve a goal that might not be as fulfilling as you think it will.
So does this mean that you shouldn’t try to become successful in your 20’s?
It simply means that success should not be your #1 priority.
Growth and experience should be.
If you spend your 20’s developing the right skills, increasing your self awareness, and mastering the “Meta” skills of life (such as critical thinking, influence, learning, etc.) you will be FAR better off than you would be simply earning giant gobs of cash.
So with all of this in mind, here are 13 ways that you can build lasting success in your 20’s that will serve you for the rest of your life.
1. Define Success (Through Experience)
The first, and most important step you can take to achieve lasting success is to first define success for yourself.
But there’s a problem…
In your early 20’s you haven’t experienced enough of life to know what makes you happy and what constitutes a successful life.
In the same way that you can’t truly know what you want in a romantic partner until you’ve experienced different individuals with different personalities and values, you can’t truly know how to define success until you’ve experienced enough of life to understand what truly makes you happy.
So what is an ambitious 20 something to do?
Simple… EXPERIENCE LIFE.
Try out as many new things as humanly possible.
Work a 9–5 while building a side hustle. Work for a non profit and volunteer with local charities. Build a small marketing agency. Travel the world (more on that later). Apprentice under a wealthy multi millionaire in a field that you enjoy. Pick up different skills and learn about as many topics as you can.
In your 20’s, your aim should be to have experiences that are a mile wide and an inch deep.
Instead of committing to one thing right away, start by trying out dozens of things and seeing what you truly enjoy and what’s worth your time.
Nothing is worse than becoming successful in the wrong vertical.
I have friends who made MILLIONS in their 20’s in real estate, finance, and law and now, as they enter into their mid 30’s they are completely miserable and hate what they are doing.
Sure, they made great money.
But now that they have the beach house, ferrari, and boat, they’ve realized that there’s more to success than money.
So test things out.
Be quick to try something and slow to commit.
There’s no shame in bouncing around in your early 20’s.
It will help you find your passions and truly discover what you love later in life.
2. Become a Social Powerhouse
There is NO skill that is more valuable than the ability to get other human beings to know, like, and trust you.
And in our social media age, this is becoming a lost art.
I had a podcast guest named Steve Sims who makes millions of dollars a year by providing luxury concierge services.
If you have the money to pay for it, he can pretty much arrange anything you want.
A dinner next to Michelangelo David? Done.
Getting married by the Pope in the Vatican? Done.
Chartering a private submarine cruise of the Titanic? Easy peasy.
But here’s the funny part.
He admits that he’s not particularly smart. He didn’t do well in school. And when he was a young man, he worked as a bouncer and a bar tender.
But he understands people. And so he is successful.
He knows how to get people to like and trust him and, as such, he has the keys to the kingdom.
Anything you want to achieve in your life is possbile. If you know the right people and can influence them to help you.
So in your early 20’s, double down on your social skills.
Read every book that you can on psychology, sales, and influence.
Take sales courses and attend social dynamics boot camps.
Hire a voice coach. Go to dating seminars. Learn how to read and influence people and your life will become 20x easier.
This is not an easy skill to acquire, but it’s well worth it.
3. Build Your Dream Body
There is nothing more precious than your health.
When I was in my mid 20’s I sacrificed my health to grow my business and I paid for it for years.
I worked long days, barely slept, ate a crappy diet, and never exercised.
As a result, I had plenty of money, but I was depressed, out of shape, weak, and struggling with all kinds of “bedroom problems” (NOT something you want to deal with in your 20’s).
Do NOT make this mistake.
Building your dream body and becoming as healthy as humanly possible will accelerate every area of your life.
Men and women will respect you more. You’ll be happier, more productive, and make more money (according to science… no really). Every area of your life will improve when you take care of your health.
So before you worry about the balance of your bank account, worry about the status of your waistline and the health of your body.
Luckily, getting into the best shape of your life isn’t all that complicated or hard (once you get the ball rolling).
- Lift weights 4–5 times a week (I recommend Mike Matthew’s Bigger Leaner Stronger Program)
- Eat a whole foods diet (if it isn’t a plant or animal, don’t eat it)
- Drink 1 gallon of water a day
- Supplement with Vitamin D3, Fish Oil, Magnesium, Zinc, and B12 (the most common deficiencies)
- Sleep 8 hours a night (at a minimum)
- And get plenty of time outside.
I know you want to lock yourself in your office and code until your fingers bleed trying to create the next Facebook… But I promise you, it isn’t worth it.
Care for your health now and you’ll thank yourself (and maybe even me) later.
4. Travel as Much as You Can
Your 20’s are the absolute BEST time in your life to travel the world.
You are young, (hopefully) unmarried, don’t have kids (again, hopefully), have no real debt, and no real responsibilities.
My biggest (and perhaps) only regret from my 20’s is that I didn’t travel more.
Travel will make you a better person, it will help you have compassion for your fellow humans, and it will force you to grow and adapt in ways you can’t even imagine.
Oh… And it’s GREAT for business (if you do it right).
Just as an example, my Director of Content dropped out of college at 18 and took an 11 month backpacking trip through South America (before he was working for me full time).
When he started the trip, he was earning about $800 a month. When he arrived in Medellin Colombia, he met 3 entrepreneurs who agreed to work with him and in 2 weeks he increased his income to $4,000/month!
These clients still generate about $20,000/year+ in additional revenue for him and he’s built experiences and relationships that will last him a lifetime.
Travel now while you can, you won’t regret it.
5. Develop Marketable Skills
Another important part of your early 20’s is to consciously develop marketable skills that you enjoy.
Here’s the thing.
In 2018 and beyond no one gives a rat’s ass about your resume. They just don’t.
I’ve never hired someone based on their college degree or previous work experience.
I ALWAYS make my hires based on their skillset and character traits.
I’ve met 20 year old’s who travel the world full time and earn multiple six figures by running Facebook ads for small businesses.
Instead of worrying about your resume, develop high income skills.
Specifically, I recommend:
- Email marketing
- Paid advertising
- Coding and programming
- Business strategy and systems
- Social media marketing
If you pick only two skills from this list and practice them for 2 hours a day each you’ll log nearly 1,000 hours of intentional practice time in a single year.
After a few years of this kind of experience, you will be in the top 1% in the world in that particular skillset.
Think about the price that you can command with that level of experience?
I know copywriters who earn $50,000 per sales letter (that’s not a typo). Literally, they earn what some people earn in a YEAR in a matter of days.
Because they’ve developed high income skills.
If you will do the same thing, you’ll never have to worry about finding a job or new clients ever again.
6. Create Your Ethos and Follow It
In your early 20’s, one of the most powerful things you can do is to decide what kind of person you want to be and then do it.
Who you want to be will change as time goes on, but I strongly encourage you to spend a few days or weeks contemplating the simple question “Who do I want to be?”
What do you want to be known for? What character traits do you want to embody? If you died tomorrow what would you want people saying about you?
You wouldn’t leave your finances or career to chance.
So don’t leave your character to chance either.
Create a bullet proof ethos that clearly states the kind of man or woman you want to be and then create a list of actions and habits required to embody those traits.
A life well lived is a life lived by a code.
Create yours and your life will be far easier.
7. Develop Discipline and Follow Proven Success Habits
At the end of the day, the quality of your life will be the difference between your positive habits and your negative ones.
Positive Habits – Negative Habits = Quality of Life
And luckily, you’re still young enough that you probably don’t have many unbreakable habits in your life right now.
As such, it’s important that you consciously develop the practice of following proven success habits.
Specifically, I encourage all young people to practice:
- Daily exercise
- Daily gratitude
- Affirmations (they’re corny, but according to most studies, they work)
- No Complaining
- No more than 1 hour of TV per day
- Reading for 60–120 minutes a day
- Expressing love to someone in your life
- Getting plenty of sleep
- And living life on your own terms
If you will adopt and practice these habits, you will set yourself on a trajectory for massive success that cannot be stopped.
8. Create Your War Chest
A war chest is simply a savings account that you use to invest in yourself and appreciating assets like cryptocurrencies, real estate, and small businesses.
The best time in your life to build a war chest is TODAY.
You don’t need to spend your money on nice things and fancy crap.
Instead, live well below your means and save 20–30% of your income for your war chest.
Trust me on this.
My war chest was the only reason I was able to quit my job and start my business (I had about $25,000 that allowed me to get my company off the ground).
My war chest allowed me to invest in crypto during the boom back in December and make more than $13,000 in a matter of hours.
My war chest allowed me to invest in a sales coach who helped me 10x the revenue of my business and train a team of elite sales people who helped me grow Knowledge for Men to 7-figures.
My war chest is the ONLY reason I am where I am today.
Start building yours now and you’ll thank yourself later.
9. Educate Yourself on Peak Performance, Psychology, and Real World Skills
In addition to marketable skills, it’s important that you educate yourself on the topics of personal psychology, peak performance, and general knowledge (e.g. science, math, art, history etc)
When you know how to get the most out of yourself and optimize your performance, you can accomplish in a day what takes most people a week.
When you know how to be massively productive and force yourself to accomplish your goals, you’ll make more money, have better relationships, and enjoy more success than anyone that you know.
The best time to learn these skills is now.
Read books by Tony Robbins, invest in online personal growth programs, hire a coach.
Learn to spot and eliminate your limiting beliefs so that you are operating at peak capacity.
Because when YOU are on point, your results will be too.
You’re in your 20’s and you have your whole life ahead of you.
So take a step back, breathe, and RELAX.
Life will go by faster than you can imagine and I’m sure you’ll achieve many of your goals along the way.
But don’t be so caught up in making a living that you forget to make a life.
Enjoy your youth.
Have fun, make stupid decisions (as long as they don’t have permanent consequences), relax and enjoy yourself.
Yes, this decade is important and will set you up for success later in life.
But this decade is the time to truly drink deep from the cup of life and enjoy everything this world has to offer.
The money will always be there.
But the freedom to explore the world and pursue your dreams may not.
I hope this helps you out.
As always, stay grounded.
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