My favorite writers are people who seem like they’re talking with you and not at you. As I pored over Paul Angone’s thoroughly entertaining “101 Secrets For Your Twenties,” it felt like Paul and I were locked into a heart-to-heart conversation.
You know, the kind you have with a buddy at 2:30 am in the back corner of a deserted IHOP, and you just let it all fly. The anxiety, frustration and confusion of our twenties sprinkled with talk of life’s big plans and what might be.
Paul says his book isn’t a step-by-step plan but “a conversation starter and instigator to prompt us to think, speak and believe differently about our lives.”
He’s right. There’s no roadmap to deliver us seamlessly from 20 to 30, but it sure helps to take advice from people who have been-there-done-that (Paul is 29).
Paul touches on a range of subjects in “101 Secrets” — career advice, relationships and even his views on faith — and for the purposes of News To Live By, which is all about career development, I want to pass on several of his bite-size (yet filling) morsels of job wisdom.
#11 Lousy Jobs are The Twentysomthings Rite of Passage
Yep. We can’t reach the promised land without a bit of wandering and self-discovery. The journey is what our twenties are all about.
#22 “The grass is always GREENER on the other side, until you get there and realize it’s because of all the MANURE.”
No job is perfect and even if you do quit, learn as much as you can until you clear your desk.
#23 Build the brand that is YOU
Paul says a a personal Web site is surefire way to distance from the pack, display your skills and define who you are. One of his many killer quotes: “Don’t passively wait for a company to discover your potential. Prove it to them right now.”
#25 Your 20s will produce more failure than you’ll choose to remember. The key is, when you fail don’t begin calling yourself a failure.
Another powerful quote from Paul: “Failing means you’re simply finding a more profound way to be successful.” Dust yourself off and try a new, more enlightened path.
#44 The Freshman Fifteen is nothing compared to the Cubicle Cincuenta.
Stagnation is a dangerous pastime.
#58 Everyone is too busy putting a PR spin on their own lives to care too much about yours
Paul believes we are all consumed with our LPA — Level of Perceived Awesomeness. As he says: “Don’t live for them. Live for you. Focus on achieving your own Personal Records and not on posting your own PR.”
#78 The WOMS (World Owes Me Something) will receive exactly what they deserve
The only thing we deserve is the chance to prove our mettle. Everything else comes through grit and determination.
#99 Success in your 20s is more about setting the table than enjoying the feast.
#99 in Paul’s book but #1 on my list. The line above sums it all up: use your twenties to pave the way for the life you want. Accept that you’re playing the long game, and don’t expect an immediate return.
A final quote…this one from Maya Angelou: “All great achievements require time.”
Hopefully, “101 Secrets” can bring you closer to whatever it is you’re chasing.
For all 101 of Paul’s “Secrets”…buy the book here.
© 2013, Danny Rubin