Pinnacle Wealth Managers help clients at every stage of life—from youth to retirement. Earlier this summer, we asked our Wealth Managers what financial advice they would give a recent graduate. This week, we’ve asked them to offer one piece of general life advice—what do they wish they’d been told when they were young?
Here are their responses.
Take Responsibility For Your Life
Develop a sense of ownership. This refers to accountability for your own quality of life and satisfaction. Your college years probably followed a clearly defined path. Now, no longer insulated in an academic setting, you will need to make many meaningful decisions yourself. Ask questions, seek out advice from those you respect, and question conventional wisdom when it does not ring true to you. In doing these things, you will carve out your own path—one best suited for you.
Don’t be afraid to take some risk while you’re young. Try a few different jobs in your 20s or early 30s, if you are undecided on your career path. Try to determine just where your interests lie, and then narrow down possible career paths based on your interests.
When you’re 21, it seems like everything is a big deal. Don’t worry, it’s really not. As an extension of that, don’t be afraid to change your employment situation in your 20s: This is the perfect time to find out what kind of job, company, or industry is the right fit for you.
Remember that “a horse never won a race that it didn’t enter.” Don’t be afraid to take some risks. And if you want to start your own business, find a way to do it.
Be accountable for your actions. When you make mistakes, apologize and do everything you can to make amends. Try to determine what caused the mistake, and do everything you can to avoid repeating it. And forgive yourself.
Life is about balance. It is important to work hard—especially in the early years of your career—but try to remember to find a balance where you can still enjoy life. “Work Hard/Play Hard” is a good motto to keep in mind.
Do What You Love
Do what you love, and the money will follow. In the meantime, do whatever you can to make ends meet while you keep working at the thing you love.
Try to find a career that you enjoy. If you can find a job that combines what you love with a way to make money, that is great. If you can’t do that, find something that you at least like and continue doing what you love as a hobby.
Explore what you want to do now, while you’re single and less encumbered. Once you’re married with kids, you’re no longer able to be as flexible.
Don’t Let Others Live Through You
The thing that I wish I could have told myself when I was 21 is to stop worrying about what anyone else thinks and just go after what you really want in life. Do what will give you the most long-term happiness. I self-sabotaged many opportunities because of a fear of rejection and low self-confidence. To paraphrase Ayn Rand, never live for the sake of another person, nor ask another person to live for yours.