Here’s What Successful CEOs Say You Should Do In Your Twenties

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We all live with the best intention, but sometimes it’s hard to define exactly what we should be doing in the run up to our thirties. The best advice often comes from people who’ve already made it, so here’s some stellar advice from successful CEOs.

Be selfish

We keep preaching the importance of looking after number one while you can, make all those important decisions now and look after yourself.
“Be selfish, risk everything and live life on the edge. Before you are 30 you have no real responsibilities and possibly no mortgage/family that you need to support. Be daring and risk it all for huge success.” – Aaron Smith, CEO and founder of KX group.

“…if you’re going to take a business risk, do it before you’re married with kids and mortgage. You’ll be more scared and less gutsy once you have a family and advancing and progression is important early on in your career.” – Bevan Nel, MD of Helping.

Be organised

We swear by thorough organisation here at CGD, we can’t stress the importance of saving, planning and managing your time enough. Building a solid foundation for the rest of your life will help you build good habits.

“Build good habits. Whether it’s time management, work ethic, setting work/life boundaries, exercising, eating well or being disciplined with your personal finances, habits are your baseline. When unexpected moments interfere in your life, it is long established habits that are your saviour. Form them young and they’ll be with you for life.” – Taichi Hoshino, CEO of Monetise.

“Seize the moment, set personal goals early in the game, keep them in check and strive to achieve or surpass those goals. Always remember to reward yourself as you reach each milestone. It’s great for personal recognition.” – Levi Aron, GM of Yumtable.

Start that business now

Whatever you’re dreaming of, just do it. It’s best to ‘fail forward’ and leap into life having the experience of starting something than to spend the rest of your life regretting the business decision you never made.

“Start your own business while you still live at home. It’s a good time to experiment with a business idea, while you don’t have any real expenses. Find a mentor or someone you that you trust to give you advice – outside of family – who has no financial agenda.” – Philip Weinman, CEO of Locomote.

“Start and run a business. No matter how small. If you can learn these skills early, you will learn how to fail with low risk or repercussion. Basic accounting and business skill will support and future endeavours.” – Jo Burston, founder and CEO of Inspiring Rare Birds.


Besides working as a team, saving money and learning the one piece of advice most CEOs had in common was to travel the world. You can get a huge amount of life experience from travelling alone, embracing new cultures and learning new things.

“One of the most important things someone should do before they reach 30 is to travel, they will meet new people and will create new adventures! These experiences will broaden the mindset of any individual to help set them up for their 30s.” – Charlie Wood, country manager for Dropbox.

“Travel the world! Explore new regions and cultures, it creates independence and gives you experience that will have lastingly positive effect on the rest of your life.” – Christian Mischler, COO, CMO and co-founder of Hotel Quickly.

Read more at Time magazine.