(A Message To Young Entrepreneurs)
In 2014, I re-branded my public relations business - the approach, clientele, values and mission - to what is now known as Wilshire Austin. Doing so was all possible through the partnership with and inspiration, motivation and knowledge from Rayyan Islam - aka "R" in my world - who has come to be one of my best friends and greatest influencers.
Now in 2016, he at 25 and yours truly at 32 on opposite sides of the country, we have continued to work together through brainstorming about the "next big thing." And in the midst of the ingenuity exchange, I thought about the should've, could've, would've statements floating around me... but immediately threw those words out the window.
That's because, based upon my own experience, in your 20s you're cooking with one cup of book knowledge, two tablespoons of wisdom and a sprinkle of untethered ambition rooted from innocence.
And because I know R won't mind [doing now, apologizing later ;)] and he being one of my favorite entrepreneurs, I'm sharing with you my heartfelt motivational words that I passed to him about working and playing in your 20s and defeating the unwarranted distractions that sneak into the ranks of success and notariety:
You're on the cusp of being *the* greatest. You're only 25, which leaves you a little bit of room to be wild, risky and be crazy, you know?
But don't let all that get the best of you.
Rayyan, I was on an 8-year on-and-off binger with alcohol and then some. I used it to cope with work, life, emotions... Or numb all of that.
Imagine what you can do without the bad substances. I've been alcohol-free for one month and 18 days and I haven't had this much clarity since I was 21.
I already know you'll change and better the world, I'm right here with you to support and help you.
I spend 2 hours, 4 days a week with kids from Stanford, Wall Street, ambassadors' kids, Israeli Defense Force kids, impoverished kids -- all substance users, but f***ing brilliant. It's the genius kids who do drugs, not the dull ones. Imagine what they could be doing if substances didn't get in the way??
I'm only saying this all because I love you, you've been a driving force in my life, and I want to see you shine and help you if rustyness ever interrupts you. Have fun and conquer while you're in your 20s, but don't let your 20s take the best from you.