My advice to young driven people, part one

“Start as you mean to go on”, I think that’s how the old adage goes anyway. With the launch of my new corner of the web, albeit quite a basic one, I wanted to start to jot down a few more thoughts. So please do keep checking back if you enjoy. I’m not sure how often I’ll be posting.

I was reflecting over the weekend about the advice that I would have wanted as a 16 year old who was trying to put a dent in the universe.

How do you get from no experience, no connections, no nothing to establishing your path?

How do you get from where you are now to truly being free to focus on your passion each and every day?

It’s pretty daunting when you think of it; furthermore, everyone will have their own context. I can only give some basic colour, which ultimately has to be a “catch all” to make the article applicable to as many of you as possible. If you want any specific advice, do feel free to reach out.

Also, please remember that all of my content is only my advice. Never blindly act or listen to one person’s advice — me included. It’s on you to apply what I’m saying to your own variables and make a call.

Righto, enough waffle.

Give more than you receive.

Us millennials get a hard time; yep that’s right, I’m in there alongside you, I’m 28 as of writing this.

If you do a quick Google there’s a plethora of articles calling us the “me, me, me generation”.

When I first discovered this “millennial shaming” trend I was cynical; after all, it is a topic that makes for great clickbait — my old managers would have been jumping over one another to click those articles!

With an age gap of nearly 50 years between employees in some companies you can see why so much contention has arisen; there are a broad range of perspectives, needs and attitudes floating around the office.

Baby Boomers (1946 – 1964) think Generation X (1965 – 1981) needs a stronger work ethic, Gen X sees the Boomers as self-absorbed workaholics – and everyone thinks Generation Y (1982 – 2000) is selfish and self-entitled.

With all of this confusion, it just demonstrates that if you want to get ahead, you’ll need to build out some advantages; don’t conform to expectations and stereotypes.

You’ll need to out-think and manoeuvre the rest of your cohort. Whilst impressing, learning from and leveraging your relationships with the Baby Boomers and Gen-X.

Something that has stood the test of time for me is going above and beyond.

If you’re applying for a summer internship at a startup, there’ll be tonnes of competition. With my startups and those which I’m advising, they’re getting around 200-300 applications for each role. That means you need to set yourself apart.

Don’t just blindly punt your CV in, thinking that your school name or grades will be suffice. Take the time to write a cover letter, including stuff specific to that company. Better yet, put together a small bit of analysis or something you think would be useful to the company — I guarantee that’ll get you in the door to a face-t0-face interview. Then it’s over to your interpersonal and salesman skills!

If you’re a little bit ahead in your entrepreneurial career; the same can be applied. You should be aiming to build up some positive goodwill toward yourself. E.g. when you next meet Bob, he’ll remember the time you helped him out of that tough spot etc.

This sometimes can be interpreted as coming across as fake, and playing the game. But trust me, be kind enough days in a row and it starts to actually change you into a kinder, more generous person.

So don’t go for the “hold my avocado” approach; be generous, think smart and work smart.

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash