I was confident (arrogant?), brave (stupid?) and never thought for a second that I wasn't going to get my way in life.
Now I'm (much) older, I'm a lot more calm and I know that the art of gentle persuasion holds so much more weight than being bolshy and forceful.
As a forty-something year old with a whole lot of good and bad experiences under my belt there are a few things I'd tell my 15 year old self so I thought I'd share them with you.
1) Rome wasn't built in a day.
I was always quite impatient wanting everything there and then. As I've gotten older I can clearly see that some of the best results take weeks or even months to come to fruition. While always having the end goal in mind, I focus on making the steps as productive as possible and learning and growing from each one rather than just rushing straight to the finish line.
2) The bad times will always, ALWAYS come good.
I remember something going quite badly wrong in one of my first jobs when I was 18 and I didn't know what the hell to do! Rather than face up to it, I tried to hide it which is never going to work and by the time it was discovered it was so much worse than if I'd have just been honest in the first place. That was a difficult time for me as it was one of the first times I'd really let a situation get on top of me. Since then, there have been hundreds of situations where things have gone wrong but experience has taught me that your ride the storm and things will come good again eventually.
3) Stay true to yourself.
While I had a strong personality I often used to do things for attention or to get a laugh or quite often, just because other people were. There is no way now I'd do anything that wasn't true to me. I have successful businesses but I haven't' got where I am today by following the crowd that's for sure. Learn from each other, feed from each other but ALWAYS follow your own gut.
4) Not everyone knows what they're doing.
A lot of people can talk the talk but when it comes to walking the walk people disappear off into the shadows. I used to be really impressed with people's conversation and jargon but, and only really recently, I've become very aware that a lot of people just can't back up their chit chat. Actions speak much louder than words now and I rarely put my confidence in someone (particularly in a business capacity) unless they can prove they know what they're doing!
With the benefit of your experience now, what would you tell YOUR 15-year-old self?