The 3 Things I Wish I’d Known At Age 18
By most standards, I received a great formal education.
My mom is a lifelong educator, and had me reading above my grade level from the very beginning. I was used to getting As and Bs in every class assignment and test and on every report card.
Even in middle and high school, once I’d started wearing contact lenses, became “cool” and stopped caring about grades as much, I was still well-equipped to achieve “C” grades with minimum effort.
That same mindset — I know enough to get by without really trying — took me through four years at Penn State, from which I graduated in 2004 with a business degree. So, how was it possible that after 17 years (ages 5-22) of formal education, there were some really important absolutely required skills that I not only didn’t have, but were never even offered to be taught to me in school?
That’s for another day. For now, here are the three areas that, over my last 14 years of “real life” living, I wish had been offered somewhere between kindergarten and my senior year internship.
I would think that, if I spend eight hours a day in a place behind force-fed information, that would be a great foundation of knowledge to build the rest of me life on.
I’ve published over 7,000 videos, 800 podcast episodes, 14 books, and (probably) millions of snaps/stories since 2005, and not one minute of what I’ve shared was taught to me by a school teacher. My most valuable “continuing education” has been reading books and conversing with people smarter and more experienced than me.
I once heard that most people never read a single book after completing school. That’s more than a mistake — it’s a flagrant foul against your success.
School does not provide even 3% of what you need to know to be successful in life. Take control of your education. Start with my Recommended Reading List, with is roughly 200 books deep and always growing.
I played basketball at an NCAA division 3 school, a level where most athletes don’t even dream about becoming professionals at their sports. I finished school and had no agent, no teams offering me deals, no game film, nothing. Warren Buffet would not have considered it a sound investment to bet on my pro prospects.
I played pro ball for 9 years, more than every one of my 47 college teammates combined. How?
I learned how to market and promote myself. How to minimize my defects and accentuate my positives. How to take my success and turn them into must-see, can’t-miss events. I knew how to make myself stand out amongst (literally) hundreds of thousands of players who wanted the same jobs that I ended up having.
Selling gets me on stages as a speaker. It creates business partnerships. Sales got me my girlfriend.
School should teach sales from Day One. But since they don’t, you better learn. Today. Or, settle for the scraps in life.
A degree was not the best or even second-most valuable resource I got from college. The first would be my basketball skill & connections for basketball; the second, which is directly related to those connections, would be the relationships I built.
Of my closest friends, 80% of them I met in college. Parents advise their children to pick colleges based on the connections and relationships they could possibly build there (or so I’ve heard).
You know how they say, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know? Here’s the deal: Who you know — relationships — is the key to getting your foot in the door. What you know — skills — determines how long you last. Thusly, no matter how much skill you have, if you don’t know the right people, who have the right information and connections, you’ll never get your chance. Sad but true fact.
You need friends, connections, and relationship-building ability. Luckily for you, I have a course that teaches it.
Not knowing isn’t cool anymore. It will cost you; as a matter of fact, it’s constant you already.
Questions about any of these? Reply and ask me.