If I could give myself business advice when I was in my 20’s, here are my top 5.
1) Learn accounting, compounded interest and start investing in real estate
2) Live below your means and life-style
3) Find multiple mentors and stay in touch with them
4) Read a book a month and rotate between fiction and non-fiction
5) Enjoy the journey, because everything will be ok.
The ultimate side hustle is revenue generating real estate. With a bit of homework on the economics and understanding the numbers, there is not a better way IMO, to generate monthly cash flow, build equity in an asset than investing long term in real estate. Love him or hate him, Grant Cardone, whom I interviewed on SportsBiz Podcast a few years ago, is the most vocal and visible in the space.
Grant provides so much free information on the math, how much to put down, what percentage is needed for upkeep, what areas are the best, how to price out the monthly rental, when to refinance, what's the benefits of interest only mortgages, how to leverage one asset to buy a second and third rental property.
If I held onto my first house that was walking distance to the beach and the commuter line to NYC, I may be retired! But you learn, move on and share the tips for others to benefit. I learned a great deal from Grants advice.
"Your oldest friends are your best friends" and will always be the ones you can't replace with adult friends. Although there are many adult friends you will grow close to during those work years and raising a family together, but none will be able to replace that neighborhood, High School or College buddy.
Mentors are the key not just to a job in sports, media, music or entertainment, they are the key to a long career. It's one thing to land your dream job, it's a whole different story to survive a 25+ career in an industry that you are passionate about and love. No job will be perfect and there will be bosses and coworkers you love and those that are toxic, but a great mentor can help you navigate and survive.
When you reach bump in the road or maybe hit the bottom in your career or business, chances are at one point you will. The people that will be there for you will be the ones that love you the most. When things are great, you are cruising in your life and there seems to be no ceiling, life has a way to knock you back. Those that love you the most will be there to help you backup on your feet. Don't forget them on your climb up.
"Focus where your feet are right now, at this moment. Are you healthy, are you happy, are you in control of your life?" Well enjoy it right now. You have heard it before, so I'll say it again and it's so very true. Tomorrow is not guaranteed to anyone. If today the world is ok around you, enjoy the moment. Your future will be the result of your attitude, effort and the positive things you do everyday. Focus on those areas and the rest will take of itself. It goes by too fast to worry about the things that are going to happen anyways. So enjoy it.
Rob Thompson - A sports, media, and startup founder, author and podcast host. Rob spent most of his career at the NFL and The Walt Disney Company producing grassroots programming for kids and families. Rob is currently the Director of Athletic Development for The University of New Haven and the Founder and Executive Director of GamePlanU.