Advice from my 25-Year-Old Self that’s Worth Taking to Heart

  • May 10, 2021

Do you ever think it would be fun to go back in time and talk to your 25-year-old self? Having recently celebrated my birthday (spoiler alert: it was not my 25th), I thought I’d give it a try.

My 25-year-old self was a fresh arrival in beautiful Vancouver, BC, where he was managing investor relations for an independent brokerage house. Here are a couple of pieces of timeless advice that he had for me (and you!):

1) Know your role — and do it well. To be effective at his job, my 25-year-old self didn’t have to be an expert in the mining industry. All he had to be an expert in was getting the presidents and CEOs of brokerage firms to agree to meetings with his boss to discuss new opportunities. Whether you’re at work, crewing a boat or playing a team sport, make sure you’re clear on what your role is — and what success looks like if you do it well.

2) Over-deliver to make yourself memorable. One of my 25-year-old self’s greatest coups was organizing a dinner that brought together the heads of every major brokerage in Vancouver. It was one of those magical evenings that ended with the most reserved person in the room lopping off the tops of champagne bottles with a machete. Rather than resting on his laurels, my 25-year-old self got up early the next day and had personalized trophies made and delivered to each dinner guest, congratulating them on surviving the evening. The real prize of the night? The relationships and goodwill my 25-year-old self had fostered with the leaders of some of the most influential brokerage firms in Canada. From that point onward, he knew they would always take his call (see #1 above).

3) Be your biggest and boldest self. I couldn’t do what I do today as an entrepreneur, business owner and investor without being highly confident by nature. But I still have moments of doubt, like we all do — especially in today’s complex and dynamic environment. My 25-year-old self reminded me to focus on what you can control and to play BIG — that’s when the best outcomes are realized.

One final piece of advice from my 25-year-old self: do all of the above while having as much fun as humanly possible. Life’s way too short not to!