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Postcards to my younger self

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My teenage self. “You know, you really are a jerk sometimes. Your mom is raising four kids by herself and you can really be a selfish little brat. Start helping her, dang it!

“Remember to thank the good people at the restaurant. They gave you a job and fed you. Working fulltime at the age of 13 is going to do more to help you succeed than almost anything else. Yes, even just washing dishes is going to help you build character.

“Identify and get close to people with a way bigger vision of themselves than anything you are comfortable with. Your vision is way too small. Stunted, really.

“Later on, you are going to love a really nice suit and a really great tie. No — really. Stop laughing!

“Don’t listen to people who tell you street smarts trump book smarts. Don’t listen to people who tell you book smarts trump street smarts. These things aren’t mutually exclusive, and combined they are more powerful than either alone. Go to school.”

My early-20s self. “Get out of bed before the sun comes up and get busy. The fastest way to win is to hustle. Don’t hang out at night partying with your friends. Do the work that matters instead.

“Talent by itself isn’t enough. Confidence and marketing provide a surer, straighter path to success. Double down on marketing and promotion.

“Did you ever do anything about that whole ‘school’ thing we talked about?

“You are a leader when you decide to be, not when someone gives you permission. Just start leading.

“And, dude, you might want to get those headaches checked out at some point. It could be something serious. Just sayin’.”

My late-20s self. “Life isn’t a race. Take your time. You can accomplish a lot and enjoy the experience at the same time. You won’t get to go back over this ground again.

“Write down everything, every story. You are going to wish you could recall all these places, faces, names and lessons later on.

“Dang, boy! That wife is yours is something special! Don’t botch it up!”

My 30s self. “Look, people have been having babies for three-and-half million years. You aren’t going to screw it up worse than anyone else has…I hope.

“Twins. Really? Well, now, isn’t that going to be interesting?

“Your work and your job aren’t the same thing. Don’t confuse them. Spend more time doing your work than doing your job. You don’t know what I mean? Well, think about it until you figure it out.

“Don’t be so judgmental. Everybody is dealing with his or her own pain, fears and life. Who made you their judge?

“You can’t just pay people and not lead or manage them. It doesn’t work that way.”

My early-40s self. “Get started. Don’t wait for permission. Share what you know with people who need it.

“More margin! More margin!

“You only have these little people in your house for a few more years. Love them and prepare them to be healthy, happy grownups.

“Make your mark, man!”

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S. Anthony Iannarino is the managing director of B2B Sales Coach & Consultancy, a boutique sales coaching and consulting company, and an adjunct faculty member at Capital University’s School of Management and Leadership. For more information, go


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