Back in 2016, I wasn’t doing too great. I wasn’t sure what path to pursue in my career, money was becoming an issue, and I had no idea what to do next.
My two options at that stage were to take a job again, but at a startup (which I thought would be more exciting) or to go overseas to teach English.
I decided to meet up for coffee (read water) with one of my first mentors, Simon Hurry, to get some guidance on the decision. But what was supposed to be a conversation about work ended up becoming one of the most pivotal moments in my journey.
(Don’t you love how the Universe always has better ideas?!)
Obviously, I had a lot of resistance against taking a full-time job again, but here’s what Simon said next (I get goosebumps every time I relive this moment):
“Taking a day-job is fine, as long as it’s helping you develop the skills you need to pursue your own path later, and/or helping you build relationships you can leverage down the line.”
Never before had I thought of a job as a way to load up on specific relationships and skills, before moving on when the time was right to develop new ones. It was always just something I did to make money.
And while I ended up pursuing none of the options I mentioned above, those words have stuck with me and informed my decisions ever since.
Side note: If you want to quickly establish or strengthen a mentoring relationship, actually implement what they tell you!
Although I didn’t realize it back then, Simon’s words laid the foundation for what I now believe is my most important message.
And that message is this:
The two most important assets in your life are your relationships and your skills.
Nothing else matters.
(Of course, your health is a non-negotiable.)
Quite simply, whenever I’ve been in a tricky situation, it’s my relationships and my skills that have gotten me through.
It’s the reason I’ve been able to break free from the conventional path and create a life that excites me.
It’s how I’ve been able to connect with powerful, inspiring people from across the globe.
It’s how I’ve been able to become friends with and work alongside my mentors, who have invested in my growth and allowed me to travel around the world.
And it’s the one piece of advice I’d leave behind for my kids, if nothing else.
No matter what else is going on in your life, if you consistently focus on building relationships with the right people and developing skills that the world needs, you’ll win.
And the best part is that both of those are within your control.
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