To My Former Self

Nathan Rodgers
November 18, 2022

The advice I'd give to my younger self, that I can still take action on today.

As a child of the 80s, I loved the Back to the Future Movies.

In the second film, while Marty and Doc are distracted in the future, Biff steals the DeLorean and takes an almanac with sporting results back to 1955 to give his younger self.

Young Biff uses the information to make winning bets and become extraordinarily wealthy. 

Unfortunately, he is also corrupt and malicious. 

But this idea of being able to go back in time to help out our younger selves is powerful.

Yes, it would be great to back and tell myself 25 years ago to invest in Amazon stock, but beyond that I wonder what advice I’d really give to myself at 18 years old.

It’d have to be advice that that version of me would understand and act on.

So I think it’d be this:

  1. A job isn’t the only way to make money
  2. Start a business of your own 
  3. But also develop multiple streams of income
  4. Then get those streams of income to work without you trading time for money
  5. And be okay with failing multiple times in the process

At 18, I’m not sure if I would have had the courage or wisdom to act on that advice.

(Though I did have a summer business selling books door-to-door when I was 19, so perhaps I would have.)

But even if my 18-year-old self would have ignored me, I hope some later version of myself would have listened.

I started a business at 35, but ignored number 3 and 4: develop multiple streams of income that bring in cash without me having to trade time for money.

Which meant I went all in on a business that, 8 years later, has yet to pay me a dollar in return (thanks largely to Covid).

Not having multiple streams of income that worked without me also meant that while I was building that business, I was drawing down my savings instead of my savings continuing to grow.

Which has led to a lot of stress over the past few years as I build a solo-business while also dealing with medical challenges in my family.

So that is why I’m finally turning my attention to it now. 

I don’t want my future self to look back on the me of today and wonder why he continued to ignore that good advice.

What about you?

What advice would you give to your past self? 

Do you think you would have listened to yourself?

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