Gini Dietrich

Advice to Your Younger You

By: Gini Dietrich | June 16, 2011 | 

It’s Facebook question of the week time (clap, clap, clap)!

This week, the question comes from Ryan Cox, who actually asked 10 questions about a month ago.

I chose my favorite of the 10 to answer, but may answer others in coming weeks if you people don’t get over to our wall and ask a question.

Nancy Davis! I think we need the Louisville Slugger again!

Back to Ryan.

He asks a really good question and I’m super curious to hear how each of you answer it (which you will do in the comments, after you watch the video, of course).

He says,

What are three things that if given the chance to be 20-something again, you would whisper in the ear of the 20-something Gini and say, “This is really really really important in business, spend more time learning and practicing.”?

My answer is in the video below (if you can’t see it in your Reader, click here and it’ll magically appear). I also have a funny little story to tell you about someone’s opinion on these videos. I was seething at first; now I think it’s slightly humorous. Ahhhh. People.

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. Join the Spin Sucks   community!

  • lisarobbinyoung

    I’m still learning this: Patience, patience, patience.

  • I would tell myself to listen more and talk less. I would also tell myself not everyone is my friend, or has my best interests at heart. I would tell myself also to take advice, not just brush it off. I thought I knew everything, and what I did not know is amazing.

    Today, I have learned that standing up for myself is still hard. I get a lot of practice with that one though. I really love the question of the week. What kind of camera do you use for video Gini?

  • CarmenKrushas

    Hmmm… Things I would have told myself at 20… To learn better workplace social skills. Simple, but very hard when put into practicum. But those that take a very open approach to their team members ideas and motivations to better the business typically become better leaders through their development.

  • ryancox


  • CarmenKrushas

    Oh and I would add this great quote that comes from David, “piss or get off the pot”. Meaning come to the table ready to discuss or don’t show up as you’re weakening your team.

  • I personally LOVE Gini-off-the-cuff. Pardon me for using the word, but it doesn’t get more authentic. Ignore the wankers, Gini. They’re generally obsessed with “practicing” anyway.


  • margieclayman

    Only 3 things? Geeze…let’s see.

    1. Don’t get so wrapped up in other peoples’ drama. It doesn’t usually get you anywhere.

    2. Admit when you need help – be honest with yourself AND other people

    3. Get on Twitter now! Do it do it do it!!! 🙂

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  • ginidietrich

    @MargieClayman LOL! You can start by beating up @DannyBrown!

  • ginidietrich

    @GeneneMurphy Why thank you!

  • ginidietrich

    @MargieClayman BTW, it wasn’t @dannybrown who said that. I think beating him up just sounds fun.

  • MargieClayman

    @ginidietrich Aw, I could never beat up @dannybrown. He’s all the way in Canada! 🙂

  • DannyBrown

    @MargieClayman @ginidietrich Who’s Gini?

  • Hmm… I feel overwhelmingly under qualified to comment based upon the premise that I only recently celebrated my 26th birthday, but perhaps I’ll approach this in a hypothetical future reminding myself to of the important things I ought to be doing now. (Oh… and any guidance from the crowd out here would certainly be welcomed and appreciated). (Aside: After I finished writing, I realized that I was supposed to only list 3. Sorry, but meh, it was a hypothetical anyways. I’ve got decades to edit down my list).

    1. Find a mentor – you own a small business with your father; therefore you’ll not always know when to speak up and argue against your ‘partner’, but there will be times, despite your inexperience, that you will be right. You need someone with whom you can vent about life and business, with whom you can bounce ideas, and with whom you have no other vested interest other than friendship

    2. Invest your money and your time wisely. Always, and I repeat, always seek to acquire new skills and fine tune those you already posses

    3. Talk to people. It’s amazing how just conversing with strangers builds your confidence. It will help make you more at ease delivering pitches and addressing large audiences. Plus, you never know when that next conversation shared on the train commute will yield a potential business partner, friend or significant other. Talk to poeple

    4.Never underestimate the value of honesty and keeping your word.

    5. Smile more…see, already feeling better about the coming day aren’t you?

    6. Meet for coffee. 50 emails pale in comparison in value to one 30 minute conversation over coffee and breakfast

    7. Take ownership. As soon as you recognize that no one but YOU can effect YOUR mood and that YOU have ultimate responsibility for everything that happens to YOU, you will be empowered to accomplish anything

    8. Imitate no one. Be yourself. People don’t write biographies about men and women who copied the success of others

    9. Never order seafood on Monday night. Simple knowledge, it’s terrible quality.

    10. Take pride in your wardrobe, but don’t let your fashion define you. You define your fashion.

    11. And lastly, get those damn shoulders back, chin up, grin (not too big like a damn goof ball though), and walk with a swagger. IF you don’t believe in yourself, no one will. Now go work your ass off and stop reading this memo… hell, it’s just a hypothetical anyways

  • Chris_Eh_Young

    @margieclayman I know a guy in Canada that’s not too far from @DannyBrown if you need one. LOL @ginidietrich

  • ChristinaPeden

    As a 20-something who will be entering a PR grad program in the fall, I’m not really in a position to give advice to my 20-something self, but Gini, I just wanted to say– screw the haters! I love that you’re just yourself in your videos, and that you’re not putting on some stuffy, over-rehearsed show for us readers. I mean, heaven forbid you actually seem like a real human being (sarcasm heavily intended)! Keep up the great work and ignore the naysayers.

  • PRKimberly

    I’d tell my 20-something self to:
    1. “Just Do It!”
    2. “Quit Analyzing It!”
    3. “Just Do It!”

  • MargieClayman

    @chris_eh_young I’ll have my people call your people 🙂 cc @ginidietrich @dannybrown

  • ginidietrich

    @lisarobbinyoung LOL! Crap. I should have said patience too. I have none.

  • ginidietrich

    @NancyD68 I had a boss who used to tell me, “No one will look out for you but you.” It’s so true. I also love the “take advice.” I thought I knew it all, too. 🙂 As for the camera, it’s just a Flip HD.

  • ginidietrich

    @CarmenKrushas Is that a nice way of saying, “Learn the politics of a company”?

  • ginidietrich

    @ryancox Now come on! You have to answer it, too!

  • ginidietrich

    @CarmenKrushas My mom says that, too! I love it!

  • ginidietrich

    @JonAston Thanks Jon! I don’t have time to practice, anyway. What you see is what you get. xo

  • ginidietrich

    @margieclayman LOL! Your younger you could have invented Twitter if you told her that!

  • ginidietrich

    @JamesDBurrell2 Um. This is 11. But really, #9 is the best one.

  • ginidietrich

    @PRKimberly Go Nike! 🙂 I could use your advice from #2. I overanalyze everything. It might be a female thing?

  • ginidietrich

    @ChristinaPeden Ha! Thank you! I definitely don’t have time to rehearse and then record and then edit and then airbrush and then… So what you see is what you get.

  • Finances. Ugh. Really now, what’s the third one? 😉

  • And as for the Linkedin person…can they please get a life? They’re just jealous that you rock your videos Gini style.

  • @ginidietrich @ChristinaPeden And we love what we get!

  • @ChristinaPeden I’m with you Christina! Wondering where you’ll be entering your grad program. You look like a fellow Canadian…west coast?

  • @JamesDBurrell2 Complete fan and advocate of #1 and #2…and, well…all of them! Very wise words. Keep these close at hand as you venture into those future decades. They’ll serve you well.

  • 1. Value yourself. Know that what you have to offer is unique and special.

    2. Have broad shoulders but not a thick skin. Some people won’t like you, or what you have to say. Let it roll off those broad shoulders, but never become an impermeable “teflon” person. Feel anger, hurt, betrayal, but don’t own it. It’s the giver’s problem (are you listening @ginidietrich 🙂

    3. Surround yourself with people who have your best interests at heart: the positive, constructive, honest, full-of-integrity types. Let the naysayers take a hike.

  • AnneRyan

    The three things I’ve learned as I exit my 20’s:

    1. Even though it’s just business, for many it’s emotional, so treat all business relationships as if they are “real” relationships by being vulnerable, communicative and forthcoming

    2. As James stated, talk to people and go to as many happy hours and networking events as you can. While there, don’t just hand out your card to as many people as possible. Aim to have 1 – 2 really engaging conversations where that person will walk away with a desire to work with you or refer you or even just say something nice about you to someone else.

    3. You will only feel truly fulfilled on the days where you didn’t waste time doing everything but work. So, less emailing. Less Facebook. Less gchat. Work is an opportunity to learn and be a part of something, so focus on what you bring to the table while at work or you’ll drive home feeling a little disappointed each day you give less.

  • 1brikshort

    Hey Gini, great question, and I wholeheartedly agree that leadership is killer app for life (love the concept: lead, follow or get out of the way).

    Financials is key too, though are you fudging a bit by repeating?

    If I were talking to a younger me, I’d probably buy me a beer and over conversation I’d pause, look me in the eye and say, “Listen kid. Never fear failure, only mediocrity. You’ll learn far more from your mistakes than any successes (and you grow some compassion for others when they screw up too). But if you settle for safety, for comfortable, for mediocre – you’ll next grow, you’ll never learn and you’ll never achieve your potential.” Then I’d tell me it’s my shout and ask about the family.

  • PattiRoseKnight

    1. Play nice (Sister Barbara Jean – 1st grade)

    2. Life is not fair; get use to it (Bill Gates)

    3. Never let a telephone go unanswered (Dan Edelman)

  • walkersutcliffe

    @ginidietrich Mine would be….believe in yourself! If you don’t how can anyone else?!

  • kmtirpitz

    @ginidietrich If I were 35 again and the Ford Modeling agency asked me to model for em I’d say ok

  • cypherinfo

    .@ginidietrich how to get a mentor? 😀

  • fionabell

    Dear Younger Me in Corporate America:

    1. SPEAK UP more at work! Your ideas matter and that’s what they are paying you for!

    2. Practice healthier habits like regular exercise and good sleep. They contribute more to your performance and self-confidence than you realize today.

    3. Make friends with some people in Finance. Get to know the balance sheet and understand the drivers of the company’s success.

    4. Make friends with people from every department. Don’t be too shy to assign yourself a mentor outside of your team and share your aspirations for the future with everyone you meet.

    5. You will be assigned little piddly stuff that you don’t want to do sometimes. Do it fast and well to make time for the projects you want to be working on.

    6. Your positivity is an asset. Use it every day and don’t let anyone take it away from you.

    7. Thank every person who has given you a job or a chance to grow and keep their contact information.

  • ginidietrich

    @rachaelseda I said finances twice because I had NO idea how important they’d be in building a business. In my FH days, we wrote off millions of dollars in time. I wish I’d understood the thinking behind that and how it affected (or didn’t) the bottom line.

    And… thank you! I guess the videos are just me. If you don’t like it, well, don’t watch it!

  • When I was in my 20s, I wish someone had told me: 1) Network more; 2) Doing your job well isn’t enough, like it or not, you simply must learn to navigate through political waters; 3) Understanding PR isn’t enough, learn everything you can about the business of business; 4) There’s this company you haven’t heard of called Microsoft. Buy stock in it now. 5) Someday this insane woman named Gini Dietrich will come into your life…

  • ginidietrich

    @KDillabough Really? Don’t have a thick skin? I’ve found the opposite. Tell me more!

  • ginidietrich

    @AnneRyan I LOVE the third one! What a great piece of advice…and it’s so true. Love, love, love!

  • @ginidietrich @PRKimberly it must be a female thing. Sigh. me too.

  • ginidietrich

    @1brikshort Ha! I couldn’t think of a third one. And, like I said to @rachaelseda , I really wish I’d paid attention to the financials. It’s been a long, hard lesson for me (and expensive) to learn on my own. So, for me, it bears repeating. I love the failure piece. We’re taught it’s not OK to fail, but you’re right, it’s how we learn.

  • ginidietrich

    @KensViews OMG! Water just came through my nose. HAHAHAHAH!

  • ginidietrich

    @KensViews And a piece of advice your 20 something should give you now? Blog more.

  • ginidietrich

    @fionabell And an addendum to #7…you never know when you’ll have the opportunity to work with them again. Numbers two and three are my favorite.

  • ginidietrich

    @PattiRoseKnight Someday you’ll have a #4 by Gini Dietrich. I have one from Patti Knight: They always have to try.

  • This is such a great question. My answer will be a little different, because I was still screwing around waiting tables and playing in my 20’s. So what would I whisper in my ear now?

    1: You are learning a ton about consumer behavior and even PR and marketing in this customer service and hospitality industry. Soak it up and learn.

    2: You have plenty of time. Enjoy what you’re doing now, because when you get that career that you feel guilty that you are not pursuing right now, you’ll just be looking back at these days when you could leave your work at work.

    3: Seriously. shut up and wear sunscreen otherwise you’re going to have to do some funky skin treatment on your face when you are in your 40’s, that will make you look really stupid in business meetings.

  • Well, since I am still in my 20’s 🙂 I will gladly accept all of the great suggestions from every one.

  • HowieSPM

    I would say don’t be a workaholic and miss your twenties or your thirties something I didn’t and observed other do and while they might of excelled economically often they were over worked underpaid and miserable later in life. Always choose the blue pill over the red pill. There will be lots of people not as smart as you, don’t keep reminding them. Nothing a 50 year old wants to hear less is how you know something from college they were never taught and that they are doing something wrong. Yes they are doing something wrong. Yes you are smarter. but be tactful. And definitely find a mentor so you can show those tribal elders your value without having them bitter or feeling threatened.

  • ginidietrich

    @Lisa Gerber LOL!! The second one is SO TRUE! We have no idea how great it is to leave work at work.

  • ginidietrich

    @Justicewordlaw What would you tell yourself of 10 years ago?

  • ginidietrich

    @jamesdburrell2 HA! @lisagerber said wear sunscreen

  • ginidietrich

    @Chris_Eh_Young You’re such a good friend! @DannyBrown @margieclayman

  • I’m right there w/ you, @ginidietrich . Leadership and Financials are both such important pieces of the puzzle. Heres a few more I’d add:

    1. Have obsessive faith in yourself – at some point almost everyone you know, including those closest to you, are going to tell you how crazy and ridiculous your idea / business is, that it will never work out, and you’re just kidding yourself. Take it w/ a grain of salt and KEEP MOVING FORWARD. The more haters you have, the more likely you have something truly special going on.

    2. Hustle your face off – Work your ass off. If they show up at 8, you show up at 7. If they open 10 accounts, you open 11. There will always be people who are smarter than you, or are naturally more talented than you. But there shouldn’t be anyone who works harder or shows up earlier or shakes more hands than you.

    3. Get a little crazy – Dont’ let all of those crazy ideas you’ve written down go to waste. Don’t let fear or embarrasment stop you from doing something remarkable.

    4. Pick your head up and look around – Please don’t let friendships be pushed to the side. It’s easy to get caught up in your work and any successes you are having. One day you’ll look around and have no one to share in all of your excitement. Make time for your friends and family. They’re what matter most.

  • MargieClayman

    @ginidietrich @chris_eh_young this is awesome. You 2 + @lisajohnson – I got me a brute squad 🙂

  • Hmm, let’s see…since I’m barely in my 20’s (turning 21 in December), I’ll go ahead and say what I wish I could have said to myself ten years ago:

    1) Don’t worry so much, whether it’s about weight, your looks, your stomach (I was deathly afraid of throwing up for some reason, so even when I had a stomach ache I freaked out) — it’ll turn out bad in the future, believe me.

    2) Work harder in school. You’re smart and you can get by on just that, but you’ll save a lot of heartache around college admissions time if you learn as eagerly as I do now.

    3) Remember when you taught yourself HTML? You shouldn’t have stopped when you learned it. Should have gone on to CSS more in depth, and maybe coding in Python, etc.

    4) Appreciate the horses you have in your life, because you’ll be miserable when they’re not there.

    5) Appreciate your parents, woman! You’ll miss ’em once you move out.

    I think that’s good for now. 🙂

  • ginidietrich

    @LisaDJenkins sigh…some people

  • @ginidietrich That you really can do any thing that you set your mind to and that taking things slow and researching things is a crucial step.

  • ChristinaPeden

    @KDillabough Hey there,

    Yep, fellow Canadian here! I’m based in Toronto, although I love the west coast! I’ll be starting the Corporate Communications & Public Relations graduate certificate at Centennial College here in Toronto this fall. I’m super-excited and have already connected with some of my future classmates via Twitter. They seem like an excellent group and I can’t wait to dig in and start learning the art, science, and strategy of the PR world!

  • ginidietrich

    @walkersutcliffe That’s great advice!

  • ginidietrich

    @LisaOnTheLoose Like what??

  • ginidietrich

    @kmtirpitz I think that sounds very fair

  • ginidietrich

    @cypherinfo Ask someone you admire!

  • ginidietrich

    @fionabellpr Ha!

  • ginidietrich

    @rachaelseda Love it!

  • jackielamp

    I’m still in my 20’s so I’m not sure, but one thing I’d say for sure is “Splurging for the shoes is ALWAYS worth it” 😉

    I guess I could give my teen self a little advice.

    1) Time does heal. You’ll get through this and it won’t seem so bad. 10 years later, you’ll barely remember why it bothered you at all.

    2) Mom’s advice is always right. (Damn it I hope she doesn’t know I just admitted that)

    3) Not everyone in the world is out to get you, so stop being so dramatic about it

    4) Always be the bigger person/take the high road. You will come out on top in the end.

    5) Don’t forget who you truly are

  • Let’s see, a list of things I would tell myself in my twenties:

    1) Kiss the damn girl and see what happens.

    2) Take that opportunity and leave the country to go live abroad for a while.

    3) Build a great search engine and or social network.

    4) Don’t tell the boss that it is unreasonable for him to let his son do whatever he wants while the rest of you do your job and his.

    5) Take a chance and start that business.

    6) Don’t worry about having enough money to start a family. Because you will never know how much is enough.

    7) Never ever give up on your dream because years later you will try to chase them down again and more responsibilities make it harder.

    8) Live your dreams and don’t dream your life.

    9) Be Excellent.

    10) Keep hanging out with that Keanu guy- maybe you can get a gig in one of those stupid movies.

  • @jackielamp Oh, as I’m in the same boat, I’d add to that teenage knucklehead that I was, “Don’t be so anxious to achieve everything right now; life is long, learn to be patient and enjoy ‘being’ right now. 26 may seem old, but when you arrive, you’ll realize just how young you truly are”… oh, and “remember to wear tennis shoes to Kyle Johnson’s party, they’ll come in handy jumping fences when running from…” the dogs. Yep, I was being chased by dogs. Harmless fun.

  • @ginidietrich @Lisa Gerber Ha, she did say wear sunscreen. Of course I thought of that because of the Baz Luhrmann speech… well and because I burn easily. Lisa, funny you speak of waiting tables in your 20’s as my life is currently a blend of food/bev and heading the marketing efforts for our family business. I sometimes feel that overwhelming guilt, especially when I’m off enjoying the finer points of working in a restaurant (late nights, free food, and a few adult beverages), but I balance it well, or so I suppose. I know I’ll look back at this time and smile, so I might as well enjoy it while it lasts.

  • ginidietrich

    @TheJackB I’m pretty sure there are 10 really good blog posts in this list!

  • ginidietrich

    @jackielamp HAHAHAH! Atta girl!

  • ginidietrich

    @annedreshfield #3 is something I should have listened to, too.

  • @ginidietrich Just be sure, if you do smile like a goof ball, the door to your office is shut. Well, that might look strange, too, if someone were to peer through the window. Oh well. Glad I could bring about that reaction. Oh, #9 is thanks to one of my favorite authors/chefs, Anthony Bourdain. Currently reading “Kitchen Confidential” and absolutely love it. But then again, he’s an egotistical smart-ass, not too dissimilar from someone close to me. Ha.

  • ginidietrich

    @kevinfawley KEVIN! Hi! I love #2. THAT would get you a job with us.

  • ginidietrich

    @HowieSPM And convince A-list bloggers to add aliens to their spam filter.

  • @KDillabough Thanks Kaarina. Love your #1 as well. If you’re not good enough for yourself, you’ll never be good enough for anyone else. At least that’s the way I think about it.

  • I thought of a few more things I would have told myself: Don’t sweat the bullshit. Don’t get involved in gossip, and write every single day. – Oh wait I do that now.See? It took a long time, but I finally took my own advice.

    Also, back up your friends – even take pictures of yourself in a track suit holding a Louisville Slugger!

  • Yep, and I have written a bunch of them. Will probably do so again. Good blog fodder should never be wasted.

  • HerzogIND

    @ginidietrich @coxymoney Indy getting some love with FB question of the week.

  • @JamesDBurrell2 I spend way too much time thinking about and plotting for the future and not enough enjoying the present. So yes. enjoy it, you’ll be amazed at how much things can change in a just a few years, so don’t rush it.

    and was it Baz Lurhmann? for some reason i was thinking it was Carlin (can’t think of his first name right now) Well, I just found out yesterday I’m going to have to do this crazy thing and I’m really good about sunscreen. So everyone is going to hear me preaching about it for awhile.

  • PattiRoseKnight

    @jackielamp can I share #2 with my boys? so right and I was just saying that today – how my mother was right but unfortunately she’s not here for me to tell her directly but she was right (always).

  • jackielamp

    @JamesDBurrell2 HA!!! Right!? Mine would be: “Don’t wear flip flops to Jimmy’s party after graduation. You will lose one in the woods behind his house when running from…. and then have to walk home with one shoe”

  • jackielamp

    @ginidietrich I knew you’d like that!

  • jackielamp

    @PattiRoseKnight Share away! My mom is still calling me out for that. She recently said, “You’re finally learning to just listen to what I say because I’ve been around the block a few more times.”

    As the kid, we always come to the same conclusion, but it takes a lot longer to get there.

  • @annedreshfield I don’t want to sound like the obnoxious old man, but since I am twice your age… 😉

    You have time to learn CSS, Python etc. All that crap that people tell you about how it gets harder when you have kids is absolutely true.

    When you don’t have other responsibilities is a great time to push hard on some of these areas. But have fun along the way.

  • ginidietrich

    @HerzogIND Indy can get more love if you ask a question! @coxymoney

  • ginidietrich

    @kmatthews It’s fun to read people’s responses, too

  • kmatthews

    @ginidietrich Loved the comment about “kiss the damn girl!” 🙂 I posted it on my FB page & answered there.

  • @TheJackB 🙂 Very true. I definitely can learn it now, but I just wish I’d started it earlier…not sure when I would’ve had the time, but one can wish! I will always try to have fun along the way. What’s the point otherwise?

  • fionabell

    @ginidietrich Amen on your addendum! A friend I interned with 12 years ago was responsible for referring me to my last and my current job.

  • @annedreshfield I understand and obviously I don’t know what your schedule is like. I just know that when you are standing on my side of the fence you see lots of time that you could have used.

    Whether that is a case of the grass is always greener is debatable. What I know for certain is that my ability to take on risk and challenge myself is limited by the potential impact on my kids.

    That is not to say that things can’t be done, but there is so much juggling now..

  • @annedreshfield Yeah HTML is always some thing we could have understood more.

  • @TheJackB Oh, definitely. Hindsight is always 20/20. I’m feeling it all the time now and I’m only 20!

  • Coxymoney

    @ginidietrich @HerzogIND #Indy has 9 in the cue! =)

  • ginidietrich

    @kmatthews I loved that one, too. That and “wear sunscreen.”

  • HerzogIND

    @ginidietrich @coxymoney I have another one, why do Chicagoans still think they have better pizza than Indy?

  • @jackielamp And no one looks cool with just one shoe. Trust me, I tried it once. Nobody thought it was hip or trendy, and I spent the whole night just walking in circles….

  • Craig McBreen

    1. Don’t be a wallflower. Speak up at parties, in meetings, wherever.

    2. Listen! Focus on other people not yourself. Stop thinking what you are going to say next.

    3. Don’t worry about what other people are thinking or how you think they perceive you. They don’t care about boring old you.

    4. Be true to yourself. Just be you and stop trying to fit in.

    5. Travel the world or reside in another country for a while.

    6. Gossip and people that love to gossip … well, stay away from them.

    7. Don’t waste countless hours watching old sitcoms and eating cereal in front of the TV, while you could be doing something worthwhile and productive.

    8. You don’t need that 2nd donut.

    9. Try to look at the funny side of life. It helps pull us through when bad things happen.

    10. Constantly strive to learn.

    (11.) Embrace some discomfort every day. Do something, anything that scares you just a little. Had to squeeze this in.

  • Leon

    G’Day Gini,

    Opened computer this morning-it’s 6.30am Friday in Sydney- to find your smiling face…..and find that there’re 99 comments on this post already. At least the International Date Line keeps us ahead of youse guys. Anyway…

    The only thing that I can remember about being 20 is that it was an awfully long time ago. There are a g’zillion things that I’d say to anybody starting a business. Here are four of the most important

    *marketing isn’t everything but everything is marketing

    *do only those things to which you bring a unique perspective. Buy everything else around the


    *your business name and slogan/tag is about what your business promises to prospects/customers not about how you see your business

    *make sure you have fun.

    And I almost forgot the immortal words of Bill Gove way back in the 50s; “Billy,be yourself” That was before even I was 20!

    Regards from the Curmudgeon from Down Unda


  • rustyspeidel

    @TheJackB Love #6. They take whatever $$ you have, so the amount is irrelevant!

  • Coxymoney

    @HerzogIND @ginidietrich because they do.

  • ginidietrich

    @HerzogIND It’s a known fact pizza in Chicago is the best in the country. @coxymoney

  • HerzogIND

    @ginidietrich *prosecution rests* @coxymoney

  • HerzogIND

    @Coxymoney Hardly. @Pizzology and @NapolesePizza better than anything I’ve had in Chicago. (@ginidietrich)

  • Coxymoney

    @HerzogIND @Pizzology @NapolesePizza @ginidietrich difference of opinions. that’s obviously allowed. but I have to disagree.

  • willemknibbe

    @ginidietrich Ha, who doesn’t <3 “Gini off the cuff”???

  • rachaelseda

    @ginidietrich I thought I’d be nice to you today 😉

  • HerzogIND

    @Coxymoney indeed.

  • adamtoporek

    #1. Quit laughing at the weird guy down the hall that keeps playing with that awful Compuserve thing; he has one foot in the future.

    #2. Learn the relationship between risk and return. Eventually, someone will offer you an investment with high returns and low risk; remember what you learned, and run.

    #3. When you meet a lady named Gini Dietrich, let her know that her videos are just peachy the way they are.

  • LisaOnTheLoose

    @ginidietrich – Leadership/strategic planning, Assertiveness (to pursue what I want, don’t be scared of people saying “no”) & Networking.

  • ginidietrich

    @NancyD68 Which I LOVE!

  • ginidietrich

    @Craig McBreen I’m seeing a theme with cereal and donuts. Hmmmm…

    I’m so glad you squeezed in #11 – it’s my favorite!

  • yourgreatlifetv

    Wisdom from @ginidietrich Three pieces of advice to give your younger you

  • ginidietrich

    @Leon I was worried you were going to forget your fourth point!

  • ginidietrich

    @adamtoporek Well, you could still laugh at the guy…just not at the Compuserve thing. 🙂 And #3?! HAHAHAH! LOL!

  • @rustyspeidel That is so very true.

  • ginidietrich

    @LisaOnTheLoose Assertiveness is SUCH a good one!

  • ginidietrich

    @rachaelseda You’re always nice to me!

  • @ginidietrich @Craig McBreen Ditto #11!

  • @TheJackB Kiss the damn girl..or guy, in my case. Soooo sweet! I remember my first “crush”…boy I fell in love with at 14…we first kissed at the corner of our high school when a band was playing “Dizzy”. I’m sure before your time, but etched in memory…forever. A good reminder to this day: kiss the damn girl or guy!

  • Craig McBreen

    Notice I didn’t include malted beverages on that list ;)@ginidietrich

  • Craig McBreen

    @KDillabough @ginidietrich Posting on this blog was scary. Luckily people are not mean here!

  • @ginidietrich Just don’t believe in developing a thick skin. You prick me, I bleed. You injure me, I hurt. I don’t have a thick skin to allow me to NOT feel the pain. But I do have broad shoulders to handle it.

  • @Craig McBreen @ginidietrich No mean-ness here. Just an awesome community of people who believe that, in helping each other, we indeed help ourselves, and each other. And Craig…include those malted beverages any time. Especially if it’s single malt. Cheers!

  • joelfortner03

    Gini – I was really happy to hear your top 3…2…..3! Upon reading your post, I immediately thought of leadership and finances. These are major passions of mine. Committing yourself to excellence and learning as much as possible about these subjects doesn’t just benefit you professionally. Rather, this commitment is life changing because you’ve committed yourself to serving others and finding financial peace. Once you get momentum, you can’t contain it and before you know it you’ve taken your life to a level you’ll never want to come down from. I’ve learned this firsthand and have made it a life-long goal to help others in these areas. Keep spreading the word! And thanks for all you do for our industry!

  • Craig McBreen

    @KDillabough @ginidietrich Although I’m new, I’ve been perusing the blog quite a bit. Now I know why I kept coming back.

    Single Malt. I’m getting very thirsty. Yes, Cheers!

  • That video rocked! Bleh to the dude who offered unsolicited advice.

    So, advice for my younger me:

    1. Pick a better major (Poli Sci was loads of fun, but I’ve had to learn PR and Marketing the hard way).

    2. Know who you are and be that person.

    3. Ditto on your financials! I too have had to learn that the hard way.

    Wait a minute!!! Here’s the real lesson: whenever you feel like you’re learning something the hard way, or something sucks big time, PAY ATTENTION, cause it’s really good stuff!

  • @KDillabough When I am not playing hardass I have a softer side that I sometimes let come out and I wonder sometimes about the road not taken.

    ‘Dizzy’ is an appropriate song for those moments.

  • @EricaAllison ooooooo! the real lesson – that’s a good one. We forget to pay attention, we don’t realize we’re learning. I like that one. 🙂 and re: the major : who knew? we’re so freaking young! I am so envious of people who have a clear sense of who they want to be when they grow up.

  • rachaelseda

    @ginidietrich Usually. Unless @dannybrown is around and you’re not listening 😉

  • @Craig McBreen @KDillabough @ginidietrich Did someone say single malt? Count me in!

  • @Lisa Gerber I knew who I wanted to be and then it changed. @EricaAllison

  • ExpatDoctorMom

    I wish a few guys would have kissed the damn girl! I had guys crop up late who said I really liked you but never had the courage… ARGHH! @TheJackB

  • ExpatDoctorMom


    here goes

    1. I would have taken notes along the way in practice. can you image all the fabulous posts I would have had after 14 years in private practice now!

    2. Financial ( Buy a house right out of residency… I was in Seattle and would have made a killing when i moved)

    3. Financial (really learn personal finance and don’t rely on the first financial advisor you meet… another ARGH! We were sold some bad investments, no room was made for saving for a down payment… double arghh!)]]

    Enjoy the night!Rajka

  • @ExpatDoctorMom I know. Some time ago a girl from college confessed that I had blown several opportunities with her. I of course didn’t know this because if I had then I would have done it.

    And from deep in the past we heard screams of frustration but that is a story for a different time and blog.

  • ansinanser

    (1) Do not respond to the job offer from March 1996. Follow your dad’s advice and wait the extra month.

    (2) In April 1997, your best friend will ask you to go to his housewarming party. Whatever you do, skip it and send him that Hickory Farms gift basket you’re about to order. He will be pleased, and you can attend the networking party scheduled on the same night you’ve been avoiding.

    (3) Whatever you do, avoid the 1994 New Year’s Eve Party. Go home to visit your folks, register for the conference your mom will mention to you before she forgets the details from that friend of a friend.

  • ginidietrich

    @jkretch OMG! I didn’t know if I could talk about it. It’s freaking AWESOME!

  • jkretch

    @ginidietrich you can give a little shout out about it if you want 🙂 interested to see how people react to it, and hopefully more want it!

  • LisaOnTheLoose

    I’m STILL working on that one @ginidietrich! 😉

  • SeanMcGinnis

    @jkretch Love! When can we have it for @12Most? 🙂

  • ElissaFreeman

    Advice to my younger self?

    1.)Travel by yourself.

    2.) Your mother’s advice about men is likely right.

    3.) Don’t fight the natural curl in your hair.

    4.) Do not go into PR because somebody told you “there’s no math.”

    5.) Good things happen to good people – so don’t worry so much. Leave that to your mother.

  • SeanMcGinnis

    @Coxymoney OMG, now we need a like button for twitter integration within LiveFyre! 😉

  • elissapr

    @KreeBeau OMG yes! So true…

  • ginidietrich

    @Craig McBreen Craig, I’d actually love to hear more about why it was scary, if you wouldn’t mind?

  • ginidietrich

    @TheJackB @ExpatDoctorMom I’m finding something fairly similar to not being kissed (or asked out) in high school or college. People are assuming we’re too busy and are taking their business elsewhere. This. Drives. Me. Nuts. It’s the same phenomenon as being too scared to kiss the girl. But it’s business, people! We’re not too busy for your call. #endofrant

  • ginidietrich

    @joelfortner03 That’s a great point about it not benefiting you just professionally. Really great point.

  • ginidietrich

    @EricaAllison LOL! Pay attention. Duh.

  • ginidietrich

    @ExpatDoctorMom It’s funny you say that about #1. We were just talking about all the work we did before the web and how we all have great case studies, but no one wrote them down. None of us were blogging yet so, unless you put in for an award, you didn’t have anything written down. It’s too bad.

  • ginidietrich

    @ansinanser Wow. I really love these because they’re so specific. What happened by 1998? Did you start paying attention?

  • ginidietrich

    @ElissaFreeman LOL! I love 2, 3, and 4. Especially 3 because I’ve seen your curly hair and it’s fabulous!

  • ryancox

    I’m just saying Gini — 154 comments on a Ryan-Cox FB question of the week. You should hire me strictly to ask question. #winning =)

  • I’m still my 20-something me, so I’m going to:

    1. Read through these comments
    2. Take notes
    3. Listen to @janbeery’s advice
    4. Pay attention
    5. Rinse and repeat

  • @Lisa Gerber George Carlin, perhaps? I think this is the video to which we are referring… (I love this BTW)… and as far as living in the present, probably my biggest weakness (speaking of my inability to enjoy the moment). I get so caught up with planning for and projecting myself in the future that I produce unnecessary anxiety in my futile attempt to fast forward to that particular point. No matter how hard we scrunch our brow and grit our teeth, we are powerless to get tomorrow here any quicker, so we may as well just go ahead and enjoy today for all it’s worth.

  • @Craig McBreen @ginidietrich Keep coming back Craig: you’ll love this community, and Spin Sucks rocks!

  • @Lisa Gerber @Craig McBreen @ginidietrich You’re in, Lisa!

  • @TheJackB Love that image Jack…the road not taken…Dizzy…ah, “memories…pressed between the pages of my mind:)’ I can’t help but smile when that song comes on the radio. Not often enough, but when it does, it transports me right back to the schoolyard. Maybe this will inspire a post on schoolyard memories and lessons learned or missed. Hmmmm

  • @ChristinaPeden I wish you every success Christina! I’m “just up the road” from Toronto: do quite a bit of work there, not as a PR professional, but as a business consultant/coach/strategist. Soak in every bit you can in college, and enjoy the ride. Cheers! Kaarina

  • DonovanGroupInc

    Gini off the cuff is the way that your Followers have come to know and admire you. Beauty of social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn is that you can leave the group anytime you like…makes more room for others who appreciate the “conversation” that you’ve created via these videos. Billy Joel’s advice still rings true today – “Don’t go changing…to try and please me…”

  • KevinVandever

    Hmm. The three things I would tell my 20-something self that are really really really important in business?

    1. Do not go into business thinking that you will only perform your craft, art, or technical expertise. Most of the time will be spent performing running-the-business things. Make sure you understand that.

    2. If you decide to have a biz partner, try to partner with someone who strengthens the total ownership package. Do not partner with someone just because you are friends or because he or she is a lot like you. Partner with someone who fills your gaps and weaknesses.

    3. Do NOT F#*K with the IRS!!!!

    Much more I would tell my 20-something self, but not related to business. I get to tell much of it to my soon to be 20-something daughter, so that’s fun.

    By the way, Gini off the cuff is awesome!

  • ansinanser

    @ginidietrich (-: Last year, over coffee, a friend and I listed our respective biggest “duh” moments in life to date, and attempted to graph out what led up to them. In my case, 1994-1998 was the hotbed of cause and effect. Key is to filter, not dismiss, opportunities; stay grounded in purposefulness; and remember the value/quality of relationships not merely to gain connectedness.

  • Craig McBreen

    @ginidietrich @bdorman264 brought me here, really. I commented on his “Do I know you?” post. Kind of my first step in opening up in this here social media domain. I AM struggling with a blog theme and Bill’s style really resonated with me. Not only that, he took the time to reply to my message (people do that!? I thought. Golly!) Anyway in that reply he really convinced me to just jump in, even without my own blog. He mentioned you and how you helped him. I feel he helped me in the same way.

    I’ve read Spin Sucks, but Bill convinced me to dive in, so I did by way of comments. But here on Spin Sucks you have a great group of people who are quite skilled, certainly have better than average writing skills, and are adept at this function called blogging. I am not, yet. I am learning the ropes, so honestly I was kind of hesitant to post, revealing myself somewhat. Go ahead and call me a big sissy, but that is a little scary!

    And, as he said, I don’t feel like I’m ready to be exposed yet, but how exposed are you making blog comments anyway, right? It’s not like I actually have a blog. Which reminds me, I better get busy on that darn blog 🙂

    Everyone I’ve read, listened to (podcasts, etc.) keeps mentioning this Gini. Well, now I know why! Great to be in your neck of the woods. Thanks!

  • Craig McBreen

    @KDillabough @ginidietrich Thanks! I certainly will.

  • @Craig McBreen @ginidietrich @bdorman264 Looking forward to your blog. And if you ever need help, a shoulder to lean on or someone to scream at the moon with you (did I just say that? Bill will be bringing out the wolves comments soon:), you can always turn to a blog community that cares. Cheers! Kaarian

  • @KDillabough My blog is filled with hints, remnants and fragments of those days and memories. Some good posts come from that time.

  • @ginidietrich @ExpatDoctorMom Ring ring.

  • @TheJackB I was thinking of you when I was out driving today, listening to the radio and hearing Crimson and Clover/ Boys in the Bright White Sports Car/ Build me up Buttercup, and so many more. “Hints, remnants and fragments”…that must be what I felt today. Have a great weekend! Cheers! Kaarina

  • ChristinaPeden

    @KDillabough Thank you so much! Good to meet a fellow Canuck on here! And I can’t wait to go back to school in the fall 🙂

  • Craig McBreen

    @KDillabough @ginidietrich @bdorman264 Why thanks for the kind words and offer, Kaarian! Hopefully you won’t regret it! Screaming at the moon is a pastime of mine, well okay, not really. Looking forward to wolves comments for sure.

  • ExpatDoctorMom

    Agreed! @ginidietrich

  • bdorman264

    @Craig McBreen @ginidietrich Ok you big sissy, get your damn big boy pants on and jump right in…………:)

    Trust me, if this knucklehead can pull it off you have nothing to worry about; just because I had to buy new shoes about 3 times from stepping in so much sh………er, uh stuff………….

    If you see something that resonates with you, just comment on it. Most actually appreciate you took the time to read and reply. Granted, you don’t need to be a wise-ass like I am most of the time but just be yourself; you’ll do fine.

    You’re in the right house; you might not get Gini’s best wine but she’ll take care of you………….:). She still has me on Ripple………

  • bdorman264

    @Craig McBreen @KDillabough @ginidietrich That’s a Canadian thing w/ Kaarina; she also runs w/ the bears…………just sayin’……

  • bdorman264

    @ginidietrich @Craig McBreen Because you are big time; this is freakin’ center stage. As nice, welcoming, and generous as you are this can be intimidating for the new person. I didn’t know any better and just started firing away.

    And I’m only saying this half-jokingly and we know what’s real and how most of this works, but from somebody looking in you might feel like you don’t belong. If you recall, I did my share of whining because I never knew if I was ‘in’ or not. Pretty silly, but certainly how I felt.

    Of course, Craig probably has an entirely different explanation but leave it up to me to butt in, huh?

  • Craig McBreen

    @bdorman264 @Craig McBreen @ginidietrich Well there is plenty here that resonates for sure, but I’ll definitely leave the wise-ass commenting to you:) Didn’t think I’d come close to a vintage, or even a jug wine. If you’r on Ripple, maybe I’m Schlitz or Shampipple (what Red Foxx drank).

  • Craig McBreen

    @bdorman264 @ginidietrich Well there is plenty here that resonates for sure, but I’ll definitely leave the wise-ass commenting to you:) Didn’t think I’d come close to a vintage, or even a jug wine. If you’re on Ripple, maybe I’m Schlitz or Shampipple (what Red Foxx drank).

  • ginidietrich

    @KevinVandever I love the first one – it’s something I would tell myself, too. Everyone thinks they’re going into business to do what they love, but it’s always the first thing that goes when you start to grow.

  • ginidietrich

    @DonovanGroupInc LOL! Now I’ll have that song stuck in my head all day.

  • ginidietrich

    @KatieFassl Number three is the most important one!

  • ginidietrich

    @ryancox Don’t break your arm patting yourself on the back.

  • ginidietrich

    @ansinanser I love that you have the ability to think this way. Very, very rare, but oh so valuable!

  • ginidietrich

    @Craig McBreen @bdorman264 LOL! I’m glad Bill called you the sissy first! I can imagine it’s intimidating, especially when you see there are inside jokes and the like. But I hope this is a safe place to test out commenting before you move on to bigger blogs that have bigger communities. We’re pretty nice here…albeit snarky.

  • ElissaFreeman

    @ginidietrich Why thank you! It’s all in ‘the product’ donchyaknow…

  • ExpatDoctorMom

    @TheJackB I am picking up the phone now!

    This little conversation has inspired me to just ask when it comes to a business opportunity or a possibility of a collaborative project… I have been too “shy” to put it out there. Always raised to be self sufficient. So thanks for the inspiration on “just kissing the girl” or in this case just asking. Hate to let opportunity (like the girl) get away. Happy Fathers Day to you! Rajka PS I will tweet you when my “just ask” post goes up next Sat!

  • Craig McBreen

    @ginidietrich @bdorman264 Not sure what bigger blogs you are referring to. From my vantage point it looks like you are big time. I keep coming back to this blog, and Mark Schaefer’s and Danny Brown’s, but I have quite a bit of exploring to do. I’m assuming most of the really big boys and girls have comments closed. As I progress, I’ll try not to whine too much 🙂

  • @ExpatDoctorMom Thanks for the Father’s Day wishes. It is hard sometimes to put ourselves out there, but more often than not the worst that happens is we hear no.

  • @Craig McBreen Gertrude is very humble. This is one of the bigger spots on the web, although I understand it is populated by very short people. @ginidietrich @bdorman264

  • bdorman264

    @TheJackB @Craig McBreen “cause we don’t have the big hair anymore…………

  • Craig McBreen

    @TheJackB @ginidietrich @bdorman264 Randy Newman won’t like it here then.

  • @KatieFassl yup I’m also a young one and I’ll be doing the same 🙂

  • @StephRWong We’re the lucky ones, to have all of these wise people in our lives :).

  • @KatieFassl haha agreed! never take older, wiser people for granted.

  • craigtello

    i really don’t know much about this topic, but I enjoyed the read.

  • craigtello

    Knowing is half the battle.

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    it was a great video
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