Let's be real – navigating the 20-something years can be tricky.
Today I'm chatting with Carron Brown, the Vice President of Creative Brand Experience at Warner Media. Throughout her career, Carron has specialized in creating award-winning marketing and branding strategies for WarnerMedia, Universal Pictures, HBO Max, AT&T, NBC, Wells Fargo, and more.
With so many accolades, I wanted to know some things she wished she knew when she was in her 20s. From the outside looking in, you would assume Carron has had it all together her whole life, but even she had to learn some tough lessons.
Not much of a reader? Listen to the full conversation on The Colors of Her Success Podcast!
Lesson 1: Take the time to put your ladder up against the wall you actually want to want to climb.
Carron: With all of the social pressures, it's easy to make life decisions that you don't want for the long term. You may take jobs that you know aren't aligned with your true passion. You may feel the paycheck is just a little better, and it's going to get you where you want to go a little faster; therefore, you're willing to make concessions. Though it may feel good for a short period, you won't feel satisfied in the long run.
So, if you take the time to put your ladder up against the wall you actually want to climb in the industry you want to be in, the reward is much more fulfilling in the long run.
Lesson 2: Don't be afraid to be broke in your 20s
Carron: I know that sounds funny, but seriously. There is no better time to be broke and following your bliss than in your 20s. Sometimes it's hard to believe this while you're in your 20s. However, I guarantee you some of your best memories and experiences will be from those days when you had to hustle to get it done. Not focusing on money allows you to make decisions that align with your passion, setting you up on a much more stable foundation for the long run.
Lesson 3: Quiet your mind and allow your soul to speak.
Carron: It's not until you're able to quiet your mind that you'll get those words of wisdom from deep in your soul. When you feel that you cannot go any faster, you can't go any further, and you're feeling unfulfilled, you have to go inward. Check-in with you and quiet it all down to really align with your purpose.
Lesson 4: Have a personal board of directors, but always consult your inner mentor.
Carron: When I look back on being in my 20s, I was scared of vulnerability. I didn't feel comfortable putting together a personal board of directors for big life decisions. I never wanted to seem like I didn't have it together or that I needed help. As a result, I feel I couldn't go as far in my 20s because I was trying to do everything on my own. I also want young people to know that many of us listen to our inner critic so much that we don't know that we also have an inner mento. I encourage everyone to acknowledge the inner critic because once you do, it will start to quiet down and let your inner mentor become louder.
Lesson 5: Going slowly is sometimes the fastest way to get to where you're going.
Carron: I ran track in college, and I have always been a sprinter in every aspect of my life. For so long, I was going so fast and would not slow down. I was running everywhere, trying to do everything and be everything to everyone.
I've looked up recently and realized that I'd come so far in my career that it's no longer about wildly sprinting ahead. As you progress, it becomes about precision and not about speed. You don't always have to sprint. You don't always have to feel frantic. When I slowed down and focused on the top three things that I wanted to be great at, I started going faster on the lane I wanted to be in.