5 Things Every Success-Hungry 20-Something Needs To Know

by Ross Simmonds

Throughout the last few months, I’ve seen countless tweets and Facebook updates from friends, peers, colleagues and acquaintances referencing the infamous quarter-life crisis.

It’s that awkward moment when you look in the mirror and question what you’re doing with your life.

It’s that moment when you start questioning your career choices, degree choices, partner choices and other various life choices you can’t actually change.

And that’s the key point. You can’t change what has already happened. You can’t change the past. You can only influence the future.

As you go through life, it's important to look back at what you've accomplished, the mistakes you've made and successes you've had.

Look closely at the new connections you’ve made, the friends you’ve lost and growth you’ve made as an individual. Ponder your decisions and what you could have done differently.

Learn from your mistakes and be committed to accepting the past as just that. Look forward to a future of promise and potential.

This is just a friendly reminder that you’ve got this. Whatever you want to accomplish, do it. Focus and keep these few things in mind as you tackle this challenging thing we call life:

1. Realize "FOMO" Is The Enemy

In case you somehow haven’t heard of this acronym, FOMO means Fear Of Missing Out. It’s built on the idea that some of us make choices solely because we don’t want to miss out on something.

You don’t want to miss out on a great party, great event or an experience your friends might have without you.

In this new digital world, we're constantly glued to Facebook so we don't miss any updates from our friends. This thought process is the enemy of discipline, and it will keep you from having a healthy social life and achieving your goals.

It’s important to be disciplined with your time. Be selective about the number of times you say, "Yes," to events and be smart about those you do attend.

Recognize that you don’t need to know everything in real time and it’s okay to wait until tomorrow to check Facebook, Instagram or that recent Snapchat.

At this age, there are many opportunities to hang out with friends and attend events. And, while it’s important to strike a balance between work and play, recognize that spending too much time playing will hold you back from living the life of your dreams.

Strive to find a balance and be committed to saying, "No," more frequently. At first it might feel awkward, but good friends will understand and support you as you chase success.

2. "No New Friends" Is A Stupid Motto

When Drake came out with this song, teens and 20-somethings started proclaiming they don’t want any new friends. And, that’s the dumbest thing I’ve heard in my entire life.

I’m sorry to be so blunt, but let’s get serious: Business and life are both all about new relationships and the experiences we share together.

It’s about building together, learning together, laughing together and succeeding together. If you limit your network and circle to those currently around you, you'll limit your own growth and future happiness.

Being connected is paramount for success; it’s one of the most overlooked realities throughout college, but it’s a reality each of us must accept and deal with.

In a world where building your network doesn’t only happen at fancy golf courses and networking events, it’s easier than ever to build strong relationships.

Through tools like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, you can establish meaningful relationships with professionals you admire and respect.

Don’t limit yourself to your existing circle. Go beyond that and challenge yourself to meet people who are smarter than you, think differently than you and are interested in different things than you.

A diverse network of connections is a great way to grow without much work. I have friends who have interests or careers in architecture, mechanical engineering, fashion, meteorology, education and the military.

This wide range of interests gives me a chance to get out of the social media bubble and better understand the reality of others.

It also gives me a chance to learn about things I typically would not spend the time to understand. And, it’s all because I embrace the idea of new friends. Our relationships are what matter most. Happiness exists in rewarding relationships and experiences, not material wealth.

3. It's Okay To Fail (As Long As You Learn From It)

Failure isn’t as bad as you might think. It’s okay to butcher an introduction if you learn from it and it’s okay to bomb a pitch if you can learn from it.

The key of failure is recognizing the importance of learning from your mistakes and identifying how you can improve the next time.

That’s really the biggest differentiator between those who are constantly moving forward and those who stand still.

People who allow their pasts to cloud their futures are too blinded to see their own potential (Tweet This).

It's this insecurity that stops us from trying new things, saying hello to strangers or leaving our jobs for new opportunities. Don't make that mistake.

It’s easy to get down on yourself because of your failures, but it’s important to realize this probably happens because you’re comparing your behind-the-scenes footage to everyone else’s highlight reels.

Comparing yourself to others is a sure-fire way to sink into a pity party and hold you back from getting up and moving forward.

4. You Are The Best Investment You Can Make

RRSPs, stocks, bonds: All of these things can make for great investments. While each of them come with a risk, there's one investment you can make that is pretty much risk free: in yourself.

Investing in your knowledge, growth and personal development is the best investment you can make. When you invest in yourself, it's a long-term investment that will have a lasting impact on your entire life.

Investments you can make in yourself vary from a gym membership so you can stay healthy, to a handful of entrepreneurship books from Amazon so you can gain new knowledge.

As you continue moving forward into 2015, think about the skills you want to gain along with your existing weaknesses in order to see where you should invest.

The investment doesn’t always require finances, either; many investments simply require a time commitment.

5. Greatness Only Comes Before Hustle In The Dictionary

I talk to many 20-somethings who have dreams of success, but they lack hustle. Somewhere along the way, many of us forget that hustle comes before success.

You need to be willing to put in the hours to master your craft and the time to make the connections that will get you where you want to be.

It’s not enough to spend four years in college and expect everything will be handed to you; you need to work for it. You need to earn it. You need to hustle and get what you feel you deserve.

If you’re going to hustle, you have to start taking personal responsibility for your career.

You need to take responsibility for your failures and successes and you need to stop making excuses for why you’re not where you want to be. You need to put in the blood, sweat and tears with the intent of being successful.

Dedicate 2015 to the hustle. I guarantee that when you’re done, you’ll look back at and see one of your most lucrative years yet.

So what's on your list of things to do for the rest of the year? What things will you finally commit to doing? What risks will you take? Please share in the comments!

Ross Simmonds writes at, where he shares a research-backed studies and his personal perspective on entrepreneurship, life, communications and technology.

To get his thoughts and insight delivered directly to your inbox to help your career and life go from 0 to 100, join his free newsletter.

This article was originally published on