Open Letter to All 2018 Graduates

Dear Graduates: You have worked hard for your degree; now the fun really begins. Your degree is important because without one you will feel like you are missing something, even though people like Jobs and Zuckerberg have reached the pinnacle of success without a degree, it’s good to put that notch in your belt so that when people ask you where you went to school you don’t have to say anything cute like “hard knocks”. Be proud of your school and what you have done for a moment, but only a moment; like I said now the fun really begins. So here you go Grads, my formula for success, my gift to you. Rule # 1 – Your relationships in life are the most valuable assets you will ever have, so get good at creating and maintaining relationships with people. PUT DOWN THE SMART PHONE and CONNECT. Your ability to make and maintain meaningful relationships with people are more valuable to you than knowledge or any paper wealth you might think of as valuable right now. That kid in your math class or that friend in your science lab may be the strategic partner you need to take your idea from concept to reality so connect with him or her. Be a friend first by thinking of others and THEIR needs first. Don’t do it for you, do it for them, and in turn your life will be blessed. Rule # 2 – Your ability to teach yourself new things and adapt to a world that changes daily at warp speed will make or break you. The world is changing around you as mutating technologies change the world that we know. Many are left bewildered as their comfort zones erode around them in new world of constant change. GET COMFORTABLE WITH CHANGE. It’s the one thing you can count on going forward. Rule # 3 - Learn to save and invest early. Young people have the gift of a long time horizon and can take advantage of the miracle of compound interest, but it’s usually older people who realize and learn this miracle after it’s too late. Don’t waist yours. Live below your means. Pay yourself first. Learn about free markets, portfolio engineering and prudent investing. STAY AWAY from the Wall Street hucksters. Do not give blind faith to anyone with your money. YOU are responsible for your American Dream. Rule # 4 - Express gratitude everywhere you go and in everything that you do. Realize the miracle of life and the blessing of living in the greatest country on earth during the renaissance of all human endeavors. You have the American Dream right in front of you. It’s your birthright, go live it. Rule # 5 – Guard your mind. Avoid negative people, negative TV and negative conversations. Avoid them like the cancer they are. Don’t try to rehabilitate them. GET AWAY from them. NOW!! Rule # 6 – Learn to set GOALS. Magical forces move you toward your goals and dreams if you have them, but no marksman can hit a target that he does not have. Failing to set goals is making the choice to just see where the winds of life will send you. This is OK for the masses, but not you. Only 3% of people have written goals. Be the 3. Rule # 7 – Let go of your fears. Old people on their deathbeds regret that they did not take more risks and that they held on to past grudges. Guard yourself against regret. There is no “do-overs” at that point in life. A mentor of mine said “feel the fear and to it anyway”. Learn the difference between prudent risk taking and speculating and gambling. Life’s successes come with some level or risk taking. Don’t be afraid. Rule # 8 - Take responsibility for your outcome in life. Your success or failure will not be because of your family, degree, or the luck that you have; rather it will come from your own desire and commitment toward perseverance. Life can and will get hard. Suck it up. Say this over and over until it resonates. “If it’s to be, it’s up to me”. The world DOES NOT owe you a living contrary to the contemporary culture that we live in today. Now go give your parents some hugs and kisses for putting up with you and go out there and CHANGE THE WORLD!! – We need you

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