I'd stress to my younger self the importance of personal connections. I was a very shy, anti-social kid (redheaded, freckles, homeschooled, tendency to cry a lot...all those awkward things) and it took me far to long to grow out of it. My siblings didn't help out very much either, and I didn't turn it around socially until I was 16 or 17. By the time I was in college I had learned that who you know is often more important than what you know, and I forced myself out of my comfort zone. This has paid dividends over the next 10 years, and I have been tapped several times for leadership roles without asking for those positions, but simply because people now see me as a leader, and not just a smart kid who can help with their homework. Now I see people 5-10 years younger to me living their lives in a virtual world, and it saddens me what they are missing. My wifes brother sent over 7000 texts last month, 7000, that's one every six minutes assuming he never sleeps. The poor kid can't carry on a normal conversation, or focus on a task long enough to accomplish anything. The sad thing is this isn't abnormal, he is actually considered quite outgoing amongst his friends.
As for money and investing, there is not actually much I could have done better. I supose a focus on building my own business instead of college may have led me down a different path. Also, always focus on VALUE, and growth of value when making an investment. Focus on being able to save diligently, if you can't save diligently you'll never have the money to take advantage of a deal when it presents itself to you. Next, patience, you need not go looking for investments, take your time and the investments will come to you because you will be the one everyone knows has some capital saved up. Finally, have some humility, work whatever jobs com along to you and learn all you can from those jobs; those little skills may be very important one day. There are many things I may have done differently, but in the end most things have worked out well so far.
Well, it is hard to put my thoughts all together here, but maybe here is the crux of the matter. Don't be too proud to learn anything from anyone; you never know when those skills and relationships will come in handy. Don't lose yourself in a false world where you can avoid you place, you'll miss most of life, and you'll end up gullible to any huckster that comes along. Finally, if everyone else is doing it, be suspicious; it may not be a bad thing but then agian it may be.
Jack of all Trades
Precinct Commiteeman Precinct 5 Rock Island Co Illinois