What Advice Would You Give Your Younger Self?

Back in August 2015, we launched Product Hunt LIVE, a series of conversations between the Product Hunt community and thought leaders around the world. Over the past nine months, we’ve hosted hundreds of interviews, featuring thousands of questions.

Interestingly—and perhaps unsurprisingly—many of the questions asked by the Product Hunt community revolved around advice. Of those questions, one of the most popular ones was: What advice would you give to yourself at 15- or 20- or 25-years-old?

Below, you’ll find some of the most compelling answers to that question. Here are the bite-sized nuggets of wisdom our LIVE Chat guests—from singers to pro basketball players to venture capitalists—want to share with the world.


Steve Kamb: Eventually never happens.

Eventually never happens. If you want to travel, start saving now. If you want to do something, start immediately. You don’t need to wait until you’re better at it, or until you’re more confident, or until the “timing is right.” You need to start and learn and fall and adapt and adjust. That’s where the growth happens. — Steve Kamb, Owner, Nerd Fitness


Tracy Chou: Be Intentional About Who You’re Spending Time With

Keep working hard, but to be intentional about the time you’re spending on work versus play and who you’re spending time with. On the last point — someone recently gave me a useful framework to consider the people you interact with: 1s are people you love being with, that give you energy, that make you excited about life. 3s are people that just take and never give, they drain you. 2s are in between. Only spend time with 1s. — Tracy Chou, Software engineer at Pinterest


Steven Sinofsky: Balance breadth over depth.

There’s a time for depth, and a time for breadth. The “advice” is not that one is better, but to make sure at any given time, the right one is being done. — Steven Sinofsky, Director, Product Hunt


Ryan Leslie: Nurture relationships.

Stay grounded, meet as many people as possible, and nurture relationships — they are the most valuable resource. — Ryan Leslie, Singer, songwriter, rapper, and entrepreneur


Eoghan McCabe: Be real, and people will want to be around you.

Focus on what you’re passionate about. Be real, and real people will want to be around you and work with and for you. Work hard and enjoy every day. Success and great things will follow. — Eoghan McCabe, CEO and Co-founder of Intercom


Micah Baldwin: Stop living like today is the last day you have.

I have always lived in the moment, so I have never thought about tomorrow. I would tell my 25-year-old self: Start a 401k and a Roth IRA, and stop living like today is the last day you have. It’s all poetry to say live in the moment, and would be great if we were fruit flies, but we aren’t. We live long. we should live like we live long. — Micah Baldwin, Founder (6 companies), Failure (2 companies), Venture Advisor to Crunchfund and mentor to Techstars, 500 Startups, and more.


Michael Skolnik: Invest in friendships.

I would tell myself to really invest in friendships. Show up for important events — weddings, birth of children, death of parents. Get on a plane, get in the car, get on the train, and just show up. —Michael Skolnik, CEO of SOZE


Tony Hsieh: Be unapologetically true to yourself.

Be unapologetically true to yourself (both in business and in life), and if you are constantly broadcasting who you are (the real you, the inner you) to the world, over time your people will find you. — Tony Hsieh, CEO, Zappos


Matt Mullenweg: Be okay with things building up over time.

Be okay with things building up over time. Something I didn’t appreciate until recently is that there any many productive decades ahead with which to build the things that I feel need to exist in the world. One of the best things I did then was avoid any press or capitalization on my age (to the extent I could) because youth is an ephemeral asset and just a novelty in business. — Matt Mullenweg, Founder of WordPress, Automattic, Jetpack, and Audrey Capital


Chase Jarvis: Start meditating.

Start meditating. It makes everything better. — Chase Jarvis, Maniac Photographer, Director & CEO of CreativeLive


Kathryn Minshew: “No” is often just the starting point.

The best piece of advice I ever received was that “no” is often just the starting point, and most careers worth having involve a fair amount of determination, grit, and just general “try try again”-ing. — Kathryn Minshew, Founder & CEO, The Muse


Ann Friedman: Know that it might take a long time for your paid work and your passion to overlap.

Surround yourself with people who encourage you to make and do the things you want to do — ideally, work with those people to make things outside of your day jobs. Even if you don’t find an audience or a following for these side projects, keep doing and trying new things and putting them out into the world. Be kind and supportive to your peers. Know that it might take a long time for your paid work and your passion to overlap. — Ann Friedman, Words and charts at NYMag.com, LA mag, ELLE, & more


Cindy Gallop: Don’t give a damn what anyone else thinks.

Know that the only one who can make things happen for you is you. And don’t give a damn what anyone else thinks about what you want to do — just go do it and make it happen. — Cindy Gallop, Co-founder & CEO, MakeLoveNotPorn


Peter Shankman: Take care of yourself

There won’t ever be a startup as important as you are. If you’re not taking care of yourself first, you’ll never amount to greatness. Seriously. If you take anything away from what I said here today, make it that, ok? — Peter Shankman, CEO, The Geek Factory, Inc.


Looking for more great advice? Join us for an upcoming LIVE Chat on Product Hunt: