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I'm a former corporate employee who decided to ditch the 9-5 and start my own business.
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I started my first business 8 years ago when I was 31. Looking back I’m glad I started when I did, but I wish I had started even earlier. I started earning a ton of money pretty quickly and was able to save enough money for a down payment on our first home. Throughout my 20’s I struggled with not making enough money – even though I was college educated and working as a professional designer.
If I could get back all of the stupid amounts of money I spent in my 20’s on clothes, handbags and makeup – I swear I would have enough to buy a new car. Looking back, I should never have wasted $78 on jeans when I could barely afford my rent.
Having to only take care of yourself when you’re in your 20’s is a real luxury. These days I barely have time to brush my hair in the morning, but in my 20’s I was able to take hours to do my hair, makeup, and get dressed to go out for the night. Having the freedom to sleep in, stay up late, go anywhere you want on a whim, without having to worry about hiring a sitter is something I wish I had appreciated more when I was in my 20’s
After I graduated college, I spent 6 months looking for a job in my industry. No one would hire me because I had no experience. I felt hopeless and wound up taking a job in a marketing department of a car dealership. It didn’t feel right when I accepted the job, but at the same time I was excited someone finally wanted to hire me. Looking back I wish I had been able to hold out for a job that was a better fit.
Instead of shopping for expensive clothes all the time in my 20’s, I wish I had saved $100 a month. Over time that would add up to $12,000 without interest! At the time, $100 seemed like so much money to put aside, but at the same time I had no problem dropping $250 on a new bag. Looking back, I wished I had been able to see the future more clearly and learn to be more frugal when I cames to meaningless things like clothing, shoes and handbags.
In my 20’s I was able to travel to some interesting places: San Diego, Key West, Maine, Cape Cod, Puerto Rico, Arizona and Utah. Looking back I wished I had taken more trips outside of the country and explored the world on my own.
I think it’s never too late to start a healthy routine, but most of my 20’s I worked out in a gym on and off. I never kept a consistent routine and the weight slowly crept on into my 30’s. Because I grew up being so thin, no matter what I ate, I wasn’t always the healthiest eater. Looking back I wish I had established more of a healthy routine for fitness, diet and mental health.
I’ve always cared too much about what people think, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve somehow learned to care less about what others may think of me. I wish I had this ability in my 20’s and broken out of my shell more.
Growing up I always had one really close friend and a few other friends. Looking back I wish I had invested more time in making friends with a lot of different girls, rather than just one very close friend. In my 30’s I’ve managed to make a lot of friends who are like-minded and share a lot of the same values as me.
Looking back I wish I had started learning something new in my 20’s like pilates, photography or a new language. As I age it’s becoming harder to find time to learn something new for myself. I wish I had spent more time getting really good at something my 20’s (aside from graphic design).
We all have 20/20 hindsight as we age. I’m happy with where I’m at in my life as I’m about to turn 40 years old.
Tell me in the comments – what are some things you would have done differently in your 20’s?
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