Saying "Yes" So You Can Say "No."


Getting to work with college students is awesome.

Their enthusiasm keeps me fresh,

their cheapness reminds me how little I actually need to spend...

and they always teach me cool stuff about the internet.


They seemingly always have big plans for the future,

like all young people should have for their lives.


It's good to think big,

it's how you get to great places.


But like I finding myself telling them often,

people never find themselves in extraordinary circumstances by luck.


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But there's a difference in dreaming big on where you'll end up

and on being naive about where you should start.


Let me explain:

In order to get to great spots,

you'll have to succumb to a level of crap + learning before.


It's sad, it's terrible... and I hate to tell you that it's true.


But I can also tell you that'll you be better for it.


You take on projects just for the sake of experience

you won't get compensated in a way that seems adequate for the amount of work you do,

you'll spend thousands an extra degree just to get hired,

and, at many times, you won't get the credit that you might deserve.


You'll say "yes" to doing things that you won't like

for the sake of adding it to your resume and skill set.


Great things take journeys to achieve,

and the road to hard work

takes equal parts scrappiness + big thinking.


So be open to saying "Yes!" to hard work, random jobs, all types of experience...

Because if you're waiting around for a job

that keeps you away from sweating the small stuff...

how will you ever be able to prove you can handle actual problems?


Even the best jobs are mainly made up of unglamorous, mundane moments...

speaking from the lady who is about to spend thirty minutes on hold with the bank

as she assembles sack lunches for tomorrow's day trip.


It's great to look down the road and see jobs you admire,

but remember the journey that got that person to where you went.


For me, it was cookie decorating, awkwardly cold-calling, long hours setting up trade show booths and using all my mental copy-writing a press release that wasn't terrible.


None of which was entirely awesome,

but that's okay...

because now it feels even better to work hard in a job that I love.


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Keep yourself open to working hard and new things...

so that, sometime down the road, you can start saying "No"

to the things you don't want because those better options have opened up to you.

Don't let your youth hold you back,

don't feel sorry for yourself for paying your dues.

Use the optimism and the endless energy that the rest of us envy

to push yourself harder than you want...

it's never easier than where you are now to get ahead.

Small choices you make now

have BIG impact later.

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So go on, all you young whipper-snappers,

get your hands dirty in some unglamorous job

and work so hard that you can really do what you want

when you're done.


I promise,

you'll never  look back and regret it...

you'll only come to regret not trying harder

when it really mattered.



another dreamer