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
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.
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
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
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: