My Last Piece of Advice

Haters

It’s bittersweet closing down my business today. I’m excited for the adventures ahead of me, but sad to leave a profession where I got to help so many good people. Despite all this, it feels right to move on.

I’m grateful for all the people I’ve met and everything that I’ve learned over the past 18 years working in higher education student services. My mind has been blown away by so many of my students’ remarkable stories, diverse experiences, difficult challenges, hopeful dreams, and sincerity for wanting to help people. It’s something I’ve witnessed over and over again, and it’s what kept me going through it all, good days and bad.

Thinking back on all these years, I’ve been racking my brain trying to think of the last piece of advice I can give you as a professional adviser. There are so many pieces of advice I want to pass on, but here’s what I’ve chosen for today.

THERE WILL ALWAYS BE HATERS WHEREVER YOU GO.

DON’T LET THE HATERS GET YOU DOWN.

LISTEN TO YOURSELF AND GO TOWARDS WHAT YOU REALLY WANT IN LIFE.

You don’t have to believe in yourself.

In fact, I think believing in yourself is overrated. It helps, but it’s not necessary. So much of my life has been mired in fear and self-doubt. Still, I managed to create a great life for myself and you can too. I’m not smarter than you. I’m not more brave than you. I’m just a regular person trying to live my best life. I’ve learned that fear and self-doubt don’t go away once you achieve success. They’re always there. But I’ve also learned they’re not meant to be malignant. They’re there to constantly ask you, is this what you really want?

You don’t have to know what you’re doing.

As Socrates said, “I know one thing: I know nothing.” You don’t have to know anything initially–you just have to know what you really want. Read, research, ask people for help. Try, experiment, fail, try again. I had no idea how to run a business when I quit my job at the University of Washington in 2010 and hung out my shingle as a private prelaw adviser. But every day I read, researched, experimented, asked others for help, and over the course of six years, I built a successful and nationally known law school admissions consulting business. I’m not special. I’m not smarter than you. I was just willing to try, try, try, and to learn from my mistakes.

Take it one step at a time.

There’s no such thing as an overnight success. People like to believe there is, but there isn’t. Behind every “overnight success” is a student who studied slowly and thoroughly for 16 years, a guitarist who practiced 40 hours a week for 15 years, an artist who drew every day after school and after work for 20 years, and so many more people like them who were willing to put in the time. Celebrate your wins, no matter how small. Learn from your mistakes, no matter how small. And most of all, keep moving forward one step at a time toward what you really want.

Find at least one person who will cheer you on.

People always say, “If you want to reach your goals, surround yourself with supportive, positive people.” What world do these people live in? Yes, in an ideal world, that would be wonderful. But that’s not always possible. Sometimes the people closest to you (parents, girlfriend, boyfriend, husband, wife, partner, friends, etc.) are the ones most afraid of you changing and going towards what you really want. It sure is nice to have a ton of people cheering you on, but if you don’t have that, it’s okay. You just need one person, one other voice besides your own saying, you can do this, keep going.

So, before I sign off, let me repeat myself.

THERE WILL ALWAYS BE HATERS WHEREVER YOU GO.

DON’T LET THE HATERS GET YOU DOWN.

LISTEN TO YOURSELF AND GO TOWARDS WHAT YOU REALLY WANT IN LIFE.

Thank you for reading. Thank you for teaching me so much. It’s been a blast, y’all. Prelaw Guru OUT.

ps. To keep up with my new adventures, follow me @pegcheng and subscribe to my newsletter at pegcheng.com.

7 thoughts on “My Last Piece of Advice

  1. This is great advice for strivers in every field! I know you’ll follow this advice in your new writing endeavors and will succeed in whatever you do.

    • Thanks so much, Mary! I’m glad you liked my last post and I appreciate your kind words of support and encouragement! 😀

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