8 HARSH TRUTHS You Wish Your 18 Year Old Self Knew

18 year old advice

If you had a chance to go back to your 18 year old self with the knowledge that you know now..

What would you do differently?

I thought this question was very interesting so here are the 8 harsh truths I would tell my 18 year old self to make sure that I live the life that I want.

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1. College Is Unnecessary

Now I am not hating on college.Find out the harsh truths you wish your 18 year old self knew.

It’s great if you want to be a doctor, dentist or lawyer.

It’s great for learning much needed social skills with peers your age.

But if you already know what you want out of life, its not your best bet.

If anything..

It will only confuse you.

For example, ever since I stumbled upon Tony Robbins and accidentally read his book, I knew that I wanted to travel the world, inspire a bunch of people, and live a life that was like an action adventure romantic comedy movie.

But what happened while I was in college?

I lost sight of my dream.

I was put in an environment where I was told to be “more realistic.”

And I was judged on “how smart” I was by the letter on my report card based on topics that I was not passionate about.

“Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein

So to your 18 year old self..

Understand that you have far more potential inside of you that no professor could EVER see.

You have the ability to impact thousands, and one day millions, with your message.

So don’t waste 4 years of your life learning information that you don’t even need to live the life you want.

Instead focus on self education over formal education.

Never stop learning.

And never stop sharing.

2. Parents don’t always know what’s best

Here’s the thing about your parents,

They are human beings.

They have their fears, they have their worries, and they make mistakes.

And sometimes, even though they want what’s best for you, THEIR option is not always YOUR best option.

Even though I have one of the most supportive moms you can ever imagine, when I chose entrepreneurship over a stable job, she did not really understand my decision.

She came from a family of entrepreneurs from the Philippines and even though they were wealthy at one point, they ended up losing most of their wealth due to poor decisions and habits.

So in her mind, she had the belief that having a job was the only way to succeed and live a stable life.

One of my biggest fears in life was disappointing my mom.

But looking back..

If I would have based my decisions on my mom’s approval, then I would have been disappointed in myself.

So to your 18 year old self.

Even though there are people in your life that you don’t want to disappoint.

At the end of the day..

The only person that you shouldn’t disappoint is yourself.

3. Everyone giving you advice doesn’t know what the hell they’re doing

When you’re on your path..

It will feel like everyone will have some type of say or some type of opinion in what you are doing.

They may even judge you and tell you that your business will never work, you’re not smart enough, or you don’t have what it takes to succeed.

Fuck those people.

Don’t EVER let them impose THEIR OWN limiting beliefs on you.

They will NEVER have the courage and  the spirit you do.

So to your 18 year old self..

When people that don’t have the results you want give you advice..

Ignore them.

Their 2 cents don’t matter.

4. Be more unapologetic

Stop asking permission from people whose opinions don’t matter on how you should live your life.

Become more unapologetic in your approach.

Most amateur entrepreneur’s biggest sticking point is that they struggle to go after what they want.

They are worried about what other people think.

They are worried about what they might say.

But at the end of the day, their words won’t pay your bills.

Lions don’t lose sleep over the opinions of sheep.

So why should you?

So to your 18 year old self.

Know what you want.

Create a plan.

Take all out massive action.

There is no need to apologize to people that don’t understand your dream.

And don’t let these small minds tell you that your dreams are too big.

Become more unapologetic in your approach.

You can ask for forgiveness later.

5. Radical honesty is the only way

There are 20% of people in your life that cause you 80% of your happiness.

On the other hand, there are 20% of people in your life that is the cause of 80% of your pain.

Your goal is to attract as much of the people that bring you the most amount of happiness while telling all of the people that bring you all your pain to f*ck off.

The best way to do that is to be radically honest with other people.

Tell people exactly what is on your mind.

And have no filter.

Even though a lot of people won’t like you for this..

It won’t matter because those people were not meant to be in your life.

So many people are worried about telling people what they want to hear; But very few, actually tell people what they SHOULD HEAR.

To your  18 year old self,

If you can adopt this mentality of radical honesty earlier on, then all of those people that have caused you pain in your life would have never had the chance to because they wouldn’t have stuck around in the first place.

6. Spend more time with people that make you uncomfortable

How do you grow in the gym?

You lift heavier weights than you’re used to.

How do you grow in life?

You spend more time with people that make you uncomfortable.

Because you become the average of the 5 people you spend the most time around.

To your 18 year old self,

Pick the 5 people that make you the most uncomfortable. And spend all your time with them.

  • Who are the people that have the confidence that you want?
  • Who are the people that have the results you want?
  • And most importantly, who are the people that aren’t afraid to tell you what you are lacking with radical honesty?

The more you can spend time with these types of people, the faster you will grow as a person.

Will it be hard when they tell you the things you don’t want to hear?


But the same hammer that breaks glass forges steel.

7. Focus on getting rich (And get used to failing A LOT)

There are many people that will lie to you and tell you that money is not everything.

But in this economy, it’s up there with oxygen.

So earlier on, you want to position yourself where you have a higher chance of becoming rich.

That way, you never have to worry about money ever again.

And even though money can’t buy happiness, what it can do is give you options.

How do you get rich faster you ask?


Fail faster.

The person that can fail the most earlier on will succeed the fastest.

To your 18 year old self,

Find a way to make money fast (preferably online)

And fail as fast as possible.

Fail 10 times faster than your competition.

Because every single time you fail, you learn. And with that knowledge, you are building up the reference experience to succeed when your opportunity comes.

8. Get into a business that will be around for more than 10 years

Fun fact: No matter how much success you might achieve earlier on, understand that 96% of business will not survive past the 10 year mark.

So when focusing on your cashflow business,

Start thinking of ways to create a business that can beat the 10 year mark.

The best way to do that is by having that business focused on your personality.

Because as long as you survive and actively give value to people, you will always have income coming in.

Here is what I mean by that.

So most entrepreneurs make money by relying on paid traffic.

They will either go to Google, Facebook, or Amazon and run some ads to get their product in front of the right people.

But what happens when they stop running ads or the advertising platform changes something in their policies?

They are out of a business.

But then you have Michael Jackson.

In 2016 alone, he made $825 Million.

Yet he died on June 25, 2009..

How is that possible?

Because his business was tied to his personality.

To your 18 year old self,

Once you start making your first dollar from a cashflow business, begin IMMEDIATELY to start working on your personal brand.

Create a YouTube channel and start a blog because every single piece of content you create will last forever.

Will success happen overnight?


But remember, it took Michael Jackson years of providing value to the world for him to start experiencing the benefits of it.

Your personal brand is no different.

QUESTION: What’s a harsh truth you would tell your 18 year old self? Comment below!

Hopefully this helps

Your fellow freedom fighter

Mike V.

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About the author 

Mike Vestil

Mike Vestil is an author, investor, and speaker known for building a business from zero to $1.5 million in 12 months while traveling the world.

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