Creativity Magazine

The Old “What Would You Tell Your Younger Self?” Question

By Mrstrongest @mrstrongarm

The Old “What Would You Tell Your Younger Self?” QuestionThe Old “What Would You Tell Your Younger Self?” QuestionOne way to get your name out there (and your brand) is to respond to reporters’ questions via HARO (Help A Reporter Out).blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

The basic idea: someone’s writing an article on a given topic, and they’re looking for input from “experts.”blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

No guarantee your response will be used, but if it is, it’s a good way to show potential customers you can speak to a subject and write a coherent sentence or two.blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

Usually I respond to questions on design or marketing or branding, but I sometimes range further afield.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Like the time a reporter was asking people to share their “CEO nugget.”blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Huh??blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

As sole employee, I am the CEO of Mark Armstrong Illustration, but what’s this “nugget” business??– I ain’t no gold miner!blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

The nugget was explained this way: If you could hop into a time machine, what would you tell your younger business self? What are the biggest lessons learnt since you started entrepreneurship?blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

I started Mark Armstrong Illustration back in 1989, but I thought back further than that. And I surprised myself.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

This is what I wrote:blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

I’d explain that you run into two different kinds of people in this world: can-do’s and naysayers.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

I’d explain that one of life’s great temptations is to become a naysayer: to join the crowd and fit in. You’ll be welcomed with open arms, too, because misery loves company.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

And it’s easy: you never have to take risks, and put yourself on the line. You can be “above it all,” and sneer and laugh at the people who are striving, and trying to make a difference.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

I’d explain that naysaying is a trap, self-sabotage, and that you must avoid naysayers at all costs.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

I’d tell myself to stay positive and be proactive.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

When in doubt, act.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Don’t cede your life to circumstance.blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

Being a nay-sayer is self-sabotage, plain and simple. You can’t move forward because that means taking a risk– and that’s something a nay-sayer will never do.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Being a nay-sayer and an entrepreneur? That’s a non-starter, and/or a recipe for disaster.blank vertical space, 24 pixels high


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