I have two beautiful kids, a great stepson, a wonderful husband and a loyal dog. I’m the author of 17 books. I love my career. I’ve run a half marathon. My kids are successful at school and very well-adapted. They enjoy a flexible and amicable co-parenting situation with their divorced parents.
Anyway, the point of this post is not to gloat, but to tell you the top 5 things people have told me over the years and which now at 50+ I’m glad I turned a deaf ear on. Had I listened to them, none of the above, and a long list of other fine things I now enjoy in life, would have happened. There was also plenty of good advice that I didn’t listen to and of course wish I had, but that’s material for another post!
1.- Don’t work more than you´re paid for. I don’t agree with that philosophy, never have and never will. If you want to go places, or simply sleep well at night knowing you did your very best, I suggest you do way more than you’re paid for … Not only will you learn as you go … but will eventually reap the benefits. It may scare or piss off colleagues but so what. I’d rather not mingle with slackers anyway. Like attracts like. Ask any successful person if they work barely enough, and see what they say. It’s easy to be mediocre. As a manager, I’ve noticed those who go the extra mile. The people who matter to your career usually will.
2.- Don’t work on spec or for free. Well, if you love what you do, you just might have to! When I wrote my first few books, they were all on spec. I’ve never self-published and I have nothing against it, but I’ve never had to consider that route. I don’t live off of my books, but I have always been paid to publish them.
I will also write for free for a friend, for a cause or because I want to. And it’s a good feeling. The best part? I have a network of like-minded colleagues who will do the same for me!
Heck, I’m writing THIS for free because I enjoy it. Had it not been for my first ever blog Success Diaries, I would not have learned about blogging nor would I have had my book Diario del Éxito published.
Also Read: What Really Matters in Mid-Life: Thriving
3.- It’s very risky to have a kid after 35. Both my pregnancies and deliveries went fine. Baby number one I had shy of 38 and baby number 2 not long before my 41st birthday. My second baby kind of popped out, 45 minutes after I walked into the hospital. Unfortunately I know many younger moms who’ve spent days in labor … days! I cannot imagine labor longer than a couple of hours.
4.- Don’t have a second child. I’m so glad I didn’t listen! I cannot imagine life without my little monkey, now almost 10. Having a sister is priceless, and I know both my kids are really better off having each other. My own sister is one of my best friends.
5.- Take your ex to court. I didn’t, even when I had to sell my belongings and then some, to pay rent. We have 50/50 custody and I figured the kids would be fed and dressed on their days with him. Even when the judge ordered a measly child support, I didn´t want it. Why not, you may ask. Because the emotional toll of having to ask or battle for that money every month wasn´t worth its value.I divorced for a reason and any kind of tie to my ex husband that isn´t our kids is a tie, and a negative one at that …
My kids have never gone without and, albeit with a titanic effort, I got back on my feet in record time, really. My girls have learned from me what it means to be a strong and self-sufficient woman and they enjoy two parents that can spend time together without having a fight every time!
Well, these are mine … what are the top bad pieces of advice you´re glad you never listened to?