4 Secrets of Success I Wish I Knew When I Was 18

These would have literally saved me *thousands* of hours.

4 Secrets of Success I Wish I Knew When I Was 18
Image from author’s Instagram.

These would have literally saved me *thousands* of hours.

If you’ve been following my journey for a while, you’d know I’d always wanted to be a writer.

After my board exams in 12th standard, I didn’t even know writing was a viable career option. In my mind, the only way to go ahead was to take up a career in medical or engineering (the only two options my parents offered back in 2011), and keep pursuing my passion on the side by releasing a new book every few years until one of them became a bestseller of Harry Potter proportions.

Today, I know different.

I gave ten years of my life to engineering (4 years of BTech, 2 years of MTech, 1 year for GATE preparation, and 3 years of job+PhD).

In September 2021, I switched careers to finally pursue my lifelong dream to become a full-time writer.

In this post, I want to share the four secrets I wish I’d known when I was 18. These would have saved me ten years of my life. In addition, had I started a career as a writer back in 2011, I would have been a billionaire by now. You can calculate how much money not knowing these secrets cost me!

Read on, and don’t forget to share your thoughts by leaving a comment.

1. Skills matter more than formal education

Things might have been different ten years ago, but in today’s world, most employers don’t care about your qualifications.

Even if they do, at the end of the day, it’s your skills that will help you climb up the ladder, not what your degree or CGPA says on paper.

I spent so much time studying engineering, but never took a single creative writing class. And yet, today, I am a full-time writer, while I doubt I’ll ever use my engineering degree again.

If you’re reading this, polish your skills, and work on them so hard that very few people in the world can replace you. It doesn’t matter what your chosen skill is. What matters is how hard you’re willing to keep working on it.

2. Passion matters more than talent

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: passion doesn’t stop at loving something with all your heart.

True passion is when you love something so much, you’re willing to lose sleep over it. You’re prepared to work your ass off and be so determined to see results, that Fate has no option other than to bestow them upon you.

Talent without constant up-gradation is meaningless.

No matter how *gifted* you are, if you don’t keep working on your skills, you’ll be overtaken by this fast-paced world.

The drive to constantly keep working on your talents will only come when you are truly passionate about something.

Read more on how to find your passion here:

What To Expect When You Find Your “Passion” and Start Earning From It
It’s not a single step, it’s a long journey

3. There’s more than one way of reaching your goal

When I was younger, I thought the only way to become a successful writer was to write a bestselling book.

Today, I barely make ₹1000 ($15 US) per month from my book sales, but my other writing ventures pay my bills month after month.

You see, if you have a passion and a set goal, the path to reach that might not look like what you first imagined. Mine was I wanted to be a full-time writer and spend my days doing nothing but reading and writing. And that’s exactly what I do, even though my books aren’t super successful.

The key element here is that you need to be flexible and open to other alternatives that might fulfill you.

4. Small failures pave the way for big successes

I tried writing books, but even selling 10,000 copies didn’t make me rich.

I tried making YouTube videos but haven’t earned a single penny after 150+ videos.

I tried podcasts but it was too hard and gave up after 5–6 episodes.

I tried doing paid writing gigs but the pay was too low and the work too hard. I lost interest and eventually gave up.

Nothing worked until I started writing on Medium in 2020. Then, I started my content marketing business in 2021, and things have never been the same.

Can you say I got lucky? Sure, I did. But this “sudden” stroke of luck is backed by seven years of trying and failing. If the 2015 version of me knew I would need SO much hard work to reach where I’m today, I might probably have given up before starting.

But I didn’t, and here I am. If you feel you’ve been constantly working too hard and getting paid peanuts for your job, don’t lose hope. Every person has to go through a journey to finally reach where they’re meant to be.

If you give up now, you’ll never know what amazing heights you’re capable of reaching.

And so, summing up, here are three takeaways for you:

  1. Success takes time and patience and much more hard work than you think.
  2. If you haven’t found what “clicks” yet, keep experimenting.
  3. If you feel lost or demotivated, keep your end goal in mind and let it fuel you further ahead.

Only the ones who don’t give up can taste true success. Agree? Let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment below.

And now, I need your help

The most common question I get in my DMs is:

“I love writing & want to be a writer. But I don’t know where to start. Can you please guide me?”

I just launched a 5-Day Live Training Program to help writers who have BIG dreams but aren’t sure how to take the first step.

Do you know anyone who might benefit from this? If yes, please connect me with them. Let’s crush our dreams together!

Most writers give up because they never received the support and guidance they needed in the first few months of their journey. I almost gave up because of this reason.

Now, I don’t want any new writer to give up on their dreams because of this. I need your help in spreading the word. Share with your writer friends and let’s make the world a better, easier place for every writer who dreams of making a living through their passion.