This weekend I was talking to Loree about advice I would give to the 25-year-old version of myself. I do a lot of thinking as I drive and as I was driving, I gave more thought to the advice I would give to the 18-year-old Stuart. That advice would be 3 simple things.
1. Be loyal
2. Be real
3. Be humble
Be loyal to yourself and to those around you. Among many things, loyalty can be to people, companies or to beliefs. My loyalty is always to Loree first. I tell people no matter what I do for a living, I am a husband first. In the past I have shown loyalty to an employer, but they really didn’t show it to me. That doesn’t mean I am advising you to not to be loyal to your employer, but it should be mutual. Be loyal to your beliefs. If you believe in something strongly enough, stick with it no matter the outcome. Don’t allow someone or something else to jeopardize your convictions and who you are on the inside.
Being real is a no-brainer. Don’t lie! My parents used to say something to effect of, it is easier to feel the pain of the truth than to continue to think of lies to cover things up. They meant that the truth can hurt in the moment but, it is always better to be truthful from the beginning. I agree. Some people are unable to deal with total honesty, either because they don’t want to offend, or they are protecting themselves. Sometimes total honesty may derail things a bit in the beginning but in the long run, I say, it is just better to be honest. Ira Feuerstein from Nextiva believes in a “no bullshit” approach to relationships. When you are being real, it just makes things run smoother. The most important lesson in being real is to be real with yourself, everything else will fall into place from there.
Being humble is the hardest but also, I believe the simplest. There is a song by Tim McGraw written by Lori Mckenna called Humble and Kind. There is a phrase in it that says,
“When those dreams you’re dreamin’ come to you
When the work you put in is realized
Let yourself feel the pride but
Always stay humble and kind.”
When we work hard for what we want and we attain what we have been working for, we deserve to take it in and appreciate it.
When it comes to being humble, I am humbled by the love from my wife, family and the good people in my life that I call friends. Also, I am humbled by the successes I have achieved and failures I experienced. But mostly I am humbled for everything that I have, have had and will have.
I would tell the 18-year-old Stu that life is simple. Don’t over complicate things by not being loyal, real or humble. Stick with those 3 values and you will go far. Now, at 51-years of age I strive to live these values every single day in my life, marriage, business and with all my other relationships.
Thank you for reading this post. It has come from my heart to your eyes. Maybe you can ask yourself and comment, what would you say to the 18-year-old version of yourself?
All the best in success,
Selbst Consulting Group is a full-service operations consulting firm. We specialize in working with business of any size but like to focus on those who are 2 – 20 million in annual revenue. Our process is simple, we prefer to help business owners with one major issue at a time. This way they still have control of their business. The project can be a simple as recruiting a new hire, documenting a workflow or even a drafting and publishing a standard operating procedure. Whatever the operational task, we can help.