7 Life Lessons From Britain’s Youngest Self-Made Millionaire ($2 million worth of advice in 3 minutes)

As a young fellow, I wasted most of my teen years being confused about what I wanted out of life. Then I discovered Steven Bartlett, and his story changed my life forever.

Spare me 3 minutes, and I will share with you seven life lessons from Britain’s youngest self-made millionaire that turned my life around and I strongly believe it will change yours as well.

Steven Bartlett

Steven Bartlett

1. Burn your boats

When Steven Bartlett dropped out of university at 18, he shoplifted pizzas to feed himself. He had no safety net and no rich parents to fall back on. It was either success as an entrepreneur or failure. There was no Plan B. This singular drive and commitment fueled his motivation. He couldn’t afford to get distracted or waste time. His back was against the wall, and the only way out was forward.  The lesson? Discard the concept of alternatives. Choose one goal and go all in.

2. Chase knowledge first

Early in your career, optimize for gaining knowledge and ability, not money and status. Steven spent 3-4 years working in call centers. He dominated his business classes so much teachers almost kicked him out. He was after crucial sales skills. While his friends chased fancy jobs, Steven focused on building his acumen. No one can ever take away what you know and what you can do. Titles, salaries, and networks can disappear in an instant. But your knowledge and skills are yours to keep.

3. Harness the power of discipline

Discipline enables you to stick to positive habits and pursue meaningful goals, even when you don’t feel like it. Because the stronger your why, the more friction you’ll face. In this clip, Steven shares his “discipline equation”:

4. Build a strong work ethic

Growing up poor in public housing, Steven developed an unrelenting drive to succeed. Watching his immigrant single mother work multiple jobs to support the family instilled grit and hunger. A strong work ethic will beat talent in the long run. While still a teenager, Steven woke up at 5 AM to work before school. He didn’t have connections or start-up capital, so he made up for it in sweat equity. His insane productivity even as a youth set the tone for his future. The biggest edge is old-fashioned hard work.

5. Embrace your underdog

Being a college dropout and the poorest kid in his neighborhood gave Steven an underdog mentality. He had a burning desire to prove doubters wrong and create a better life. Your humble beginnings can be rocket fuel if channeled properly.

Steven credits much of his ambition to growing up disadvantaged. The shame of inviting friends to his crumbling home lit a fire under him. He chemically straightened his hair to fit in. The insecurity drove him. Turn your pain into purpose. Embrace your underdog story.

6. Love yourself

No matter your relationship status, the most important one is with yourself. All other relationships impact a part of your life. Your self-relationship impacts everything. Steven advocates improving your self-esteem, self-awareness and self-discipline. Confident people who know themselves can endure loneliness and walk away from sub-par situations. Invest in your mental and physical health. Reflect often to understand your motivations. A thriving self-relationship is the foundation for thriving in life. Prioritize it.

Also read: Overcoming Fear and Failure: Lessons Learned From Successful Entrepreneurs

7. Expand your identity

Many of us have limiting identities based on our upbringing and early life experiences. We subconsciously sabotage our own success because it contradicts our sense of self. Take on new identities to upgrade what you’re capable of. Steven had to shed identities of being disorganized and a poor student. By deciding he was the type of person who could build an 8-figure company, he expanded his potential. Identities influence behavior. Examine yours and shape them to serve your future self.

Special thanks to @AliAbdaal (X) whose insight made this post possible.

Francis Nwokike

Francis Nwokike is the Founder and Chief Editor of The Total Entrepreneurs. A Social Entrepreneur and experienced Disaster Manager. He loves researching and discussing business trends and providing startups with valuable insights into running a profitable business. He created TTE to share ideas and tips to help entrepreneurs run and grow their businesses.

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