Celebrating Global Tech Talent
4 min read
If you could speak to your younger self, what would you say?
Last year we asked some of the founders on Fintech 2.0 if they would write a letter to their former selves; exploring their regrets, their advice and their reflections on their past selves. (Read the first in our series, and the second). This year for Fintech 3.0, we’re back with Sahil Sethi, CEO and Co-founder of Maji – a digital pension coach that helps you manage your contributions so you can you create a more financially secure future.
So, without further ado, here is Sahil’s letter to his former self.
Sahil Sethi, CEO and Co-founder
How did your A-level exams go? Don’t get too stressed about the results, they’ll be fine and you’ll get into the uni you wanted.
The year is 2021 from where I am sat, and yes, you will find it hard to believe that the world didn’t end due to the Y2K bug – and you are getting a letter from a future you! Now pick your jaw up from the floor and let me share some quick snippets of your future before getting to the real point of this letter:
You will finish a 3 year university degree in 5 years and you will think that you wasted your time studying Computer Science but trust me, the universe has a plan for you
You will get a job in an industry you didn’t know existed before your dad filled in the wrong job application
You will get married to a beautiful girl who you will meet studying the same degree which you thought was useless and have 2 wonderful kids with her
You will give a TED talk that will be on YouTube for the rest of your life!
You will launch a fintech in a global pandemic in a year which will trigger the worst recession in 300 years (No fun in telling you what year this will be!)
Now that’s out of the way, let’s get to the real purpose of this letter which is to share the wisdom gifted by the power of hindsight. There are four important lessons that I would like to share with you to help grow you as a person who is ready to embrace who he is and hopefully get you started sooner on the journey of leaving a positive impact on this world.
Lesson 1: Be yourself and stop trying to conform
The way you think is different and it’s a strength rather than a weakness. Don’t be afraid to share your opinion as the way you see problems and come up with creative solutions is far more sought after than you think. It’s also OK if you feel socially awkward, not everyone is an extrovert – once you learn to be comfortable with this awkwardness and accept it, conversation will become a whole lot easier! And when it comes to what you want to wear, if you want to have an earing or have long hair, just go right ahead!
Lesson 2: Spend more time with your loved ones
Yes you need to do your studies, do your job, go out with your friends, have holidays and achieve a lot in life but amidst all that, remember to spend time with people you love because many of them won’t be around in 20 years.
Lesson 3: Learn from the mistakes and wisdom of others
You are already interested in self-help books and you will start over 20 books in as many years but not even finish 1 of them. Word of advice, finish reading all them….in fact read them twice! It will make you a better leader and prepare you well for the road ahead, you will find a lot of the answers for the questions that frequently pop into your head.
Lesson 4: Do more of what makes you happy
Give yourself time to figure out what makes you happy, try new experiences, say yes more often and once you are closer to understanding what makes you tick…..do more of it!
As I wrap up, I can’t promise you that things will turn out perfectly if you take these lessons to heart but they will hopefully turn you into a better version of yourself by the time you arrive where I am at, giving you an incredible base on which to shoot for the stars.
Enjoy the journey and keep being yourself.