Dear 16 Year Old Steve,
The world isn’t perfect.
I know how you feel, you are at the earliest stage in life where you are fighting hard to be successful and to prove people wrong. The chip on your shoulder from not making the basketball team last year, the daily hurting inside from your 8th grade teachers giving you unwarranted detentions and putting you down in front of the class. I get it, it totally sucks right now but you will prove doubters wrong in a big way in the future.
Sadly, the chip on your shoulder and the need to prove something to people won’t ever go away, it will sometimes drive you to madness.
First some bad news ,you will experience great tragedy that you need to overcome in your early 20’s, someone close to you that cares deeply about you will pass away abruptly but he will always be there for you. (*Spend as much time with LEN as he is the father figure that you have always looked for.) This event aka Hurricane Sandy will have a long-lasting impact on you.
I know right now your feeling a sense of mis-trust for people overall, but your MOM is the one who will never let you down. She is your rock, but the friends you have or the people who you claim to be your friends there is something I need to tell you about them that you won’t believe. It is that you probably won’t see or hear from them in your later adult years, cause your on a completely different path then most of your peers.
You recently found out about this thing called “online marketing”, crazy how a couple days of detention in the computer lab can lead to such an amazing discovery. I know how excited you are that you made your first $1,000 online, who thought it could be so damn easy right??
Good news! No more shoveling snow, busing tables, or lieing on job applications about your age, or selling illegal stuff to shady people (sorry mom). You have opened up a pandoras box, that will give you a form of financial security for the rest of your life.
I know you always wanted to be an NBA basketball player when you grew up, but you will stop growing at 6 “3” and you won’t ever get any hops, (get used to slapping back board) sorry about that. Entrepreneurship though will be your main calling.
Also, being able to buy your MOM stuff that she never could afford like furniture, jewelry, and other items will be one of the greatest feelings you will ever feel.
You will though learn very shortly about how FAST money will corrupt both yourself and the people around you. It is very important that you understand the importance of being HUMBLE, you will very soon make a bunch of stupid purchases and waste a lot of money to feed your ego and a selfish need to feel important.
Some other sad news, you will lose all of your money you made as an entrepreneur multiple times and get it back and lose it again. You will take a bunch of stupid risks but your deep belief in yourself and your problem solving ability will allow you to constantly get back on your feet. You will also learn very early on some key lessons, mainly that money doesn’t bring happiness, and that real happiness is having a positive impact on people’s life. In the future, you will build business’s around the people that you care most about.
You will also mature at a lot of slower rate than your peers. Whereas some of your friends will get married, have kids, and have families at a very young ages, you won’t do any of that, you will instead struggle to settle down.
I know how much you hate traveling right now, and all you like to do is sit in front of the computer and code but in the future you will struggle to stay in one place and will spend a good portion of your time seeing the world. You will also stop coding and forget everything you taught yourself. I hope you put your seat belt, because you will have some crazy adventures ahead.
Some advice before we part ways, tell the people that you see on a daily basis how much you love and care about them because they really do love you. Also always remember that you have a bright future ahead and tomorrow is always a new day, some days are seriously going to suck but remember tomorrow will always be better than today.