I was on Reddit the other day. Oh, who am I kidding. I’m on Reddit like 130 times a day. Anyway, someone posted a topic asking about what actionable advice did you wish you were told sooner. Here is a collection of my advice,  some good advice from that topic, and other advice I’ve been given over the years.

  1. If you are trying to start a business and also working for someone else, put your business first. It doesn’t mean you have to burn a bridge or do a bad job, just realize that if you are going to run your own business something has to give. If you put your all into your job, what energy will you have for your own business.
  2. Create or do something that will give you passive income. Then do more to grow it. Even if that income is just a few hundred dollars a month. That’s money in your pocket for little to no work.
  3. College is mostly for people who want to work for someone else. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go to college. But for the most part college will teach you how to do a job. Not how to run a business.
  4. Not going to college isn’t the end of the world. There are plenty of other ways to learn.
  5. If you are going to buy a house, your mortgage payment should be less than 1/2 the amount of money you make in a month. This also applies to office or retail space, but your loan payment should be 1/4 or less of what you make.
  6. If you are going buy a house. Save about 40% of the loan. 20% for the down payment. 20% for emergency house stuff (new roof, furnace, a/c, etc), also add to it each month. Again this applies for office or retail space.
  7. The friends you keep, reflect deeply on your life. They reflect on who you are and how you will act. Example, if you are around negative people, you too will become negative.
  8. People will tell you not to do something because they are afraid, can’t do what you are trying to do, or they don’t want to see you succeed. Don’t listen to them.
  9. Invest in stocks, bonds, 401k/retirement plan. Invest often but only with money you can afford to lose. Also, it’s never a bad time to invest.
  10. The stuff you own doesn’t define you, your actions are what define you.
  11. That having the money to buy something doesn’t mean you can afford it.
  12. Pay yourself FIRST, make do with what’s left. It means you should take care of your needs first, like buying food, going to the doctor, etc before paying your bills. You shouldn’t not pay your bills, it just means if you aren’t taken care of, how can you take care of someone else.
  13. Learn the meaning of and how to utilize compound interest.
  14. Understand APR and other related issues with borrowing money or credit.
  15. It’s always okay to ask advice and help.
  16. Integrity is very important and will get you so much farther in life than you can possible imagine.
  17.  Avoid “lifestyle inflation”. Just because you are making more money doesn’t mean you have to buy that new car or house.
  18. Focus on lasting relationships. This is really important for not only for your personal life but also your business life. It even extends to your customers.

Personally, I’ve struggled with #1 for a very long time. It wasn’t until I started to put my business first did I really start to succeed. I thought that working for someone else would help me save enough money to breakout on my own but all I did was help them succeed all the while putting my dreams on hold. Besides #16, it is the one piece of advice I wish I listened to right away.

Do you have any actionable advice? We would love to hear it!