After Brian Wong skipped four years of school and graduated college at age 18, he co-founded a company that would receive more than $32 million in venture capital funding and land clients like McDonald’s and Pepsi.
The now 25-year-old CEO and start-up co-founder of mobile advertising app Kiip fast-tracked his way to success. And he wants to help you do the same.
In his new book, “The Cheat Code,” Wong shares over 70 “cheats” to getting more out of your career and life. CNBC highlighted nine of the most poignant tips below.
1. Learn how to compartmentalize
If you’re dealing with personal problems or stresses, leave it at home, Wong says.
“If your boyfriend dumps you, somebody steals your credit cards, and your best friend is the reason your boyfriend dumped you, show up [for work] like it never happened,” he writes.
“Walk it off.”
2. Stomp out fear
For this CEO, addressing your fears head on is the only way to become the best version of yourself.
“Don’t be afraid of what you can’t do,” he writes. “Appreciate what you’ve got — which is, by the way, more than most people have had since the dawn of civilization — and go from there.”
If you’re facing a tough meeting or a difficult interview, Wong recommends taking a minute to ask yourself, “What’s the worst thing that can happen?”
3. Pitch yourself
Business is always personal, the CEO says.
“Your goal should be to get people to invest in you, not your project,” he writes.
4. Know your strengths
“No matter who you are or what you do in life, you have a superpower — and by that I mean something you do far better than most people,” Wong says. “If you’re not using it, you’re crazy.”
Take some time and figure out what your strengths are, or ask someone close to you, Wong recommends.
5. Tune out
If emails, texts and social media posts stress you out, you’re not alone.
“This information overload is causing short-term memory loss, higher stress and worse health,” he writes. “Stop trying to be in touch with everybody all the time.”
Instead, leave the phone at your desk or resist the urge to post on social media.
“Don’t feel like you’ve got to notify the world every time you have lunch.”
6. Stop comparing yourself to others
“It’s a waste of time to compare yourself to the upper echelon of the whole world,” he says. “You’ll always lose and when you do, you’ll feel like a loser.”
The CEO recommends instead that young people focus on improving themselves.
“If you can be a better you every day, you can win the race.”
7. Present yourself in the best way possible
“Like it or not, presentation matters,” he writes. “Your brand is only as good as its presentation: how it looks, sounds and feels.”
And it’s not just the way you present yourself. You should also be thoughtful about how you present your work to your boss, Wong writes.
8. Get out more
Get out from behind your computer screen, the CEO says. There’s no substitute for meeting people and gaining new experiences.
“It’s easier, of course, to stay in the comfort of your own cocoon,” Wong says. “But to fully understand the world, you have to get out and be in the world.”
“When you suck it up and hit the road, your worldview grows — and with it, your consciousness.”
9. Go to museums
To get inspired about your career and your life, Wong recommends surrounding yourself by art and history.
“Museums are one of the greatest cheats of humankind,” he writes. “They’re specifically designed to cut to the core of greatness.”
The young CEO says that it’s his favorite recreational activity.
“It’s inspiring, if you let it be.”
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