To The New Graduate That Thinks They Need To Have it All Figured Out
I am hesitant to even write this blog post because I don’t want to demotivate anyone that is graduating this week and is hyped up and ready to take on the next chapter of their lives. If you just graduated high school or college and you know exactly what you want to do with your life, where you are going, etc. then just ignore everything that I write next in this article. Bu also know that none of what you have planned will probably work out the way you see it in your mind now. And that’s a really good thing. So, keep reading anyways!
To the rest of you graduating this month I want to give you a little University of Jimmy Rex knowledge. I say all of this fully recognizing that 1/3 of everything I say you are probably going to want to ignore. But the rest of it, well I’ve learned a few things and I’d like to share.
I don’t have all the answers, but I have spent the past 19 years since I graduated grinding away in the school of life and surrounding myself with the brightest minds in the world.
What I want you to know is this… You are going to be ok! But we don’t want to just be ok, I know! We want to have an amazing and extraordinary life. And my entire purpose of writing this article is to show you how that only happens over a long period of time so that you can quit stressing every damn thing that’s happening to you at 18 or 22 years old.
So here is the number one thing I want you to know…
You have time to do whatever you want. But it takes time. Quit rushing your life and missing out on all the beauty that surrounds us daily.
I’m going to start by giving you my timeline of my own events for the first 10 years of my life after High School:
June 2000 - Graduated High School
- Spent the next 6 months completely screwing around. Trying to get girls to stop on state street and talk to us by holding up a sign that said, “Will make out for food” and stealing political yard signs from all over the city and placing all 400 of them on our friend’s front lawn!
Nov 2000 - Left for Mexico on a mission for my church
- In this time frame I didn’t do one thing that on paper was advancing my life in school or work. Every minute of every day was spent helping others.
Jan 2003 - Started college at a local community college
- I didn’t even try to get into a real college. You know how you can tell if your college is kind of a joke? When anyone asks you were you go to school, you tend to always use the word “just” before saying it. “Hey Jimmy, where are you going to school?” “I’m just going to Salt Lake Community College.”
Jan 2003 - Started selling meat door to door and eventually start my own business
Sep 2003 - Started my second semester of college at UVSC (This was before it was a full-blown university UVU)
Dec 2004 - Graduate with my associates degree from UVU
- I did get my associates degree after 2 full years but not before the following things happened in college:
A. I got sent home from class for watching a playoff baseball game on my mini tv
B. A professor sent me out in the hall for 10 minutes twice in one semester
C. Another professor gave me a note telling me how bad I was misbehaving
D. I got suspended from intramural sports for calling the umpire a dumbass after he missed a blatantly bad call. (They told me I couldn’t come back and play until I spoke to a school counselor. To my knowledge I am still on a suspended list somewhere?)
Jan 2005 - Start selling real estate
Dec 2006 - Having sold over 150 houses my first 2 years I celebrate by buying my 12th house for my
“portfolio” (Zero down loans made it much easier to be this reckless.)
April 2007 - Shut down the meat company with $120,000 debt I owe to about 8 creditors
Dec 2007 - Honored as one of the 2 finalists for Sales Person of the Year on the Salt Lake Board of Realtors
April 2009 - Quit real estate for 4 months because the market had crashed
I had no money, I was upside down about $250,000 on 2 houses, and I hated watching everyone go through the housing crisis.
May 2009 - Start summer school at UVU working on my bachelor’s degree
Sep 2009 - Start selling real estate again
June 2010 - Start working with investors
I was getting house debts paid off (No longer owned the houses but I had to take on the debts in order to sell them.) Finally get all my meat debt paid off, get credit cards paid off.
So, to recap my life 10 years after I had graduated high school: I was dead broke, I had an associate degree from essentially a junior college, I owned zero houses and I was renting a bedroom in a 2-bedroom condo in west Orem. I hadn’t been on a vacation outside the country since 2005 and I had spent the past 5 years working on average about 65-70 hours per week. Yes, I was seriously contemplating every life choice I’d made for the past 10 years.
YOU TELL ME… HOW FAR BEHIND WAS I? HOW FAR BEHIND ARE YOU?Listen to me closely… YOU ARE EXACTLY WHERE YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE!
I share that with you because I hear young people all the time talking about how far behind they feel on life. They stress so bad what their life will become if they don’t get into the exact college or career they want. They don’t want to be a slave to their jobs and they don’t want to live a “boring” life. I agree with all of that. I agree with Gary V and Grant Cardone and the “hustle” and “grind” to be a millionaire! The reality is this, give yourself permission to not need your path to be anything. You don’t need to get into any school to validate your intelligence. You don’t need to have a career in your 20’s that you are forever able to call your dream job. You don’t need to be married or have a passport full of stamps. What you do need to do is enjoy the damn journey!
Through all the ups and downs in those 10 years I had after high school I can tell you this, I enjoyed every damn minute of it. Even when I didn’t know I was. Learn to laugh at yourself. Learn to get comfortable being uncomfortable. I wouldn’t necessarily want to go through those 10 years again. Even typing it out gave me a little anxiety. But know this, most people way overestimate what they can do in one year and way underestimate what they can do in 10.
So, as you are graduating and moving into the next phase of your life, quit worrying so damn much! Life isn’t meant to be this serious, none of us are getting out of it alive anyways!
A few things to end this post on, and this is probably where you should focus your attention from this article. Here is a list of the things I was learning in those 10 years that I didn’t even realize. Find ways to learn these 8 things!
1. Serve other people - This brings more joy than anything else you can do
2. Get uncomfortable - There is no shame in trying something and failing, secretly all your peers think it’s amazing you are even trying and wish they could do the same
3. Meet as many people as possible - I joke about going to UVU and in reality, my academic experience was a joke, but I spent that time throwing parties and meeting 100’s of other people that have become close friends and clients.
4. Go immerse yourself in another culture - This is so important to get outside of Utah or wherever you grew up and see the world through other eyes
5. Know that when something doesn’t go the way you wanted; you are being given a gift
6. Spend your money on experiences not things
7. Try several different jobs - if nothing else you will realize how much you love the one you are in now
8. Find ways to give back - Always look for people and organizations that can use your help and give it freely
Congratulations again on graduating. I can tell you this, every great thing that has come to me in life came after I experienced a major change. Don’t be afraid of it!