Lessons I wish someone had told me

A few weeks ago, a professor friend invited me to speak with his students at Texas Christian University.

But I wasn't sure what to talk about.

What do young adults care about these days? TikTok?

They care about the same things you do, my friend assured me: how to find the right career, where to live, and their people.

They want to know how to craft a meaningful life.

Now, I'm not exactly sure what I'm doing going forward. I'm just winging it. But there are a few things I had to learn the hard way.

I shared a few with the students. We had a great conversation, so I thought I share them with you, too.

Below are 15 of those learnings. What would you add?

Chisos founder Will Roman speaking in TCU classroom

Lessons I wish someone had told me

1. Figure out which game you’re playing.
- If you’re driven to achieve, make sure you actually want the prize.
- Challenge the traditional metrics of success (prestige) and make your own.

2. Life (and career) are a series of experiments. The linear path is a myth.

3. You will suffer. So make sure you’re suffering for something that matters to you.

4. Get married after age 24, but before age 34. Have kids. Lots of them.

5. Make a small number of high-conviction bets to build wealth.
- Except for birth, you achieve wealth through Time x Risk x Being Correct
- Build conviction by crafting a thesis based on your unique perspective.

6. Find a wave and ride it.

7. Ultimately, the value you create for others is what matters in most scenarios.
- You don’t need permission. Credentials don’t matter.
- Your background/limitations/hardships are not an excuse.

8. Optimism, obsession, and raw horsepower are how things get started.

9. Cohesive teams, the right combination of calmness and urgency, and an unreasonable commitment are how things get finished.

10. It’s actually easier to do hard things that really matter.

11. Moving quickly is a competitive advantage. So is focus.

12. Being “real” is magnetic to the right people. And repels the wrong ones.

13. Think long term. Relationships are all that matter in the end.

14. You will meet a person and like 95% of them. You can figure out how to accept the 5%, or work on changing the 5%—but risk messing up the 95% you like.

15. All the old cliches are rooted in truth passed down through generations.