In preparation for the for-women-only Titanides Women's Success Accelerator in Delray Beach on October 17, each speaker was asked to write a letter to her younger self, which will be turned into a book that all attendees at the event will receive. Here's what I wrote -- hope to see you there. And read more here: https://www.facebook.com/titanides.live
Dear Young Ilise,
They say youth is wasted on the young and I do think that’s true. You were young, impetuous and arrogant and you had no idea what you’re doing. For that you are forgiven.
But if there is an opportunity for others to learn from your mistakes, here is my advice:
Don’t pretend. Don’t pretend to be something you’re not, to know something you don’t or to understand things that make no sense to you. There’s no reason to pretend and worse, it can be very damaging. There are plenty of mistakes you could have avoided and opportunities you could have taken advantage of if you hadn’t been so afraid to let on that you didn’t get it. Instead you nodded as if you did. You weren’t fooling anyone.
Get help. Don’t go it alone. Yes, we all have to have our own experiences, but we don’t have to make all the mistakes. Guidance – good guidance from someone with no stake in your success – is priceless and worth every penny because it will save you years of error. However, to be guided, you must trust – not everyone, of course, but the decent ones, who actually do want to help you. That means you have to open your eyes, be vigilant and exercise quality control over what gets in and what doesn’t.
Focus on learning. If only you had known how important learning is. Learning is everything. Nothing else matters. Your biggest client doesn't matter. Writing books doesn’t matter. Speaking engagements don’t matter. The only goal should be to learn from absolutely every experience and then move on to better.
And of course it’s never too late to learn any of these things.